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FYI Number 35: March 27 , 2002

AIP Endorsements of NSF, DOE, and DOD FY 2003 Funding Statements

When Congress returns from its recess next month the big push will be on to draft the first versions of the thirteen appropriations bills. Some of the key appropriations hearings on S&T funding have already been held, and others are scheduled in the coming weeks.

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics has endorsed three statements by coalitions working in support of science and technology. The statements recommend funding levels for the forthcoming FY 2003 appropriations bills. Excerpts from these statements appear below. The entire text of these statements can be read at Several AIP Member Societies have also endorsed some of these statements.

The below statement was issued by the Coalition on National Science Funding (CNSF):

"For the FY 2003 NSF budget, CNSF recommends an increase of $718 million (or 15 percent) above the FY 2002 level of $4.79 billion, bringing the agency's budget to $5.508 billion. These additional funds, above the FY 2002 baseline, would be devoted to achieving the following objectives:

"Increase by $220 million the funding for core programs for research and education. . . . The proposed increase would provide $220 million to enable more highly rated proposals to be funded, allowing NSF to meet unrealized opportunities in core research and education.

"Increase funding by $220 million to continue supporting key initiatives: Nanotechnology, biocomplexity, information technology research, workforce development (including mathematics and science partnerships), mathematics research, and social and behavioral sciences have all been identified as fields ripe for advances."

"Provide an additional $130 million to increase grant size and duration: The average NSF grant in the year 2000 was for $93,000 and lasted for just under three years. By comparison, the average NIH grant in 2000 was for $283,000 and lasted for just over four years. Increasing the size and time period of grants will enable researchers to concentrate on discovery rather than paperwork."

"Provide an additional $100 million to stimulate the economy through the purchase of needed research instrumentation: In FY 2001, the NSF Major Research Instrumentation program awarded $75 million, but many worthy applications could not be funded. . . ."

"Provide an increase of $25 million to assist with homeland security and anti-terrorism efforts. . . . Working closely with other federal agencies, NSF can enhance support for groundbreaking research in information security, detection of airborne hazards, structural studies to improve building safety, social and psychological effects of living with terrorism, wireless communications, and a broad range of other relevant issues."

"Provide $23 million to increase graduate student stipends: Providing better compensation to graduate students will attract more qualified Americans to science and engineering careers, thereby addressing long-term workforce needs."

The below statement was issued by the Energy Sciences Coalition (ESC):

"The Energy Sciences Coalition encourages the Administration and Congress to strengthen the nation's investment in the Department of Energy's Office of Science (SC) programs and facilities by providing an increase of at least $300 million, for a minimum budget of $3.580 billion in FY 2003."

"DOE is the primary supporter of scientific facilities and the largest sponsor of research in the physical sciences, second in computer science and mathematics, and third in engineering. SC provides a significant portion of federal R&D funding for scientists and students at our universities and plays a central role in supporting long-term, peer-reviewed basic research that strengthens our knowledge base and fosters the next generation of scientists."

"ESC appreciates the bipartisan support shown by Congress and the Administration in the final FY 2002 budget for the Office of Science. To maintain the tremendous advances that the U.S. brings to basic scientific research and into the marketplace, we strongly encourage Congress and the Administration to provide the Office of Science with a $300 million increase in funding for a total of $3.5 billion in FY 2003. This increase would be allocated to support a targeted increase in the DOE research infrastructure of $300 million a year for each of the next five years, allotted as follows:

"$100 million to strengthen core research and education in the physical sciences and engineering performed in universities and national laboratories; $100 million to increase the effectiveness and utilization of DOE's world class research facilities; $50 million to develop the next generation of scientific research tools; and $50 million to advance research and innovation, specifically targeting energy independence and national security."

The below statement was issued by the Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR):

"For FY 2003, CNSR encourages the Administration and Congress to provide 3 percent of the total Defense Department budget, or $11 billion, for the DOD basic (6.1), applied (6.2) and advanced technology development (6.3) accounts, which make up the S&T program. . . ."

"DOD's S&T programs provide critical investments in scientific disciplines vital to ensuring future security, including engineering, mathematics, and physical, computer, and behavioral sciences. . . ."

"The QDR [Quadrennial Defense Review] states: 'A robust research and development effort is imperative to achieving the Department's transformation objectives. DOD must maintain a strong science and technology (S&T) program that supports evolving military needs and ensures technological superiority over potential adversaries. To provide the basic research for these capabilities, the QDR calls for a significant increase in funding for S&T programs to a level of three percent of DOD spending per year.'

"CNSR applauds the support that Congress and the Administration have provided to DOD S&T programs. To sustain this momentum, CNSR recommends an increase to $11 billion in FY03, and the continued, stable investment in DOD's S&T programs necessary to protect and equip new generations of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in the 21st century.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3095

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