News & Analysis2011 Budget

China Bets Big on Small Grants, Large Facilities

Science  11 Mar 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6022, pp. 1251
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6022.1251

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Summary

Some nations talk about doubling the budgets of their basic research funding agencies. China's doing it. The National Natural Sciences Foundation of China, the country's main agency for funding competitive, peer-reviewed research grants, will get 12 billion yuan ($1.83 billion) in 2011—a 17% increase over 2010 and twice its budget just 2 years ago. Still, some science policy experts and researchers in China decry the lack of a coherent strategy behind the ramp-up of science spending. China's R&D programs, says one senior scientist who requested anonymity, are stacked "like a layer cake" with little holding them together.

* With reporting by Hao Xin.

  • * With reporting by Hao Xin.