In DepthU.S. Funding

Research agencies revel in final 2016 budget

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Science  01 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6268, pp. 10-11
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6268.10

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Advocates for U.S. science succeeded in winning more dollars for most federal research agencies in the final 2016 spending bill signed into law last month. Just as importantly, however, they also dissuaded Congress from imposing policies that they believe would have harmed the scientific enterprise. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), backers of biomedical research achieved their ambitious goal of winning a $2 billion increase for the king of the research hill; the 6.6% boost over its 2015 budget was the largest NIH has received since 2003. Science at NASA and the Department of Energy did much better than expected, with hikes of 6.6% and 5.5%, respectively. The National Science Foundation ended up with a more modest bump of 1.6% that nevertheless exceeded the amounts approved earlier in the budget process by congressional spending panels. Research funded by grant competitions will expand at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well.