by Richard J. Bennof
Federal agencies have a proposed total budget authority
of $143.4 billion for federally funded research
and development in FY 2011. This represents a slight
drop (0.3%) in current dollars from FY 2010 preliminary
appropriations of $143.9 billion and an expected drop of
2.3% in inflation–adjusted dollars (table 1). The FY 2011
proposed totals are agency estimates of federal funding
for R&D based on agency documents and Office of
Management and Budget data through May 2010.
Table 1 Source Data: Excel file
In current dollars nondefense R&D ($61.4 billion) is up
by 6.3% and defense R&D ($82.0 billion) is down by
4.8% from FY 2010. Adjusted for expected inflation,
nondefense R&D is up by 4.2% and defense R&D is
down by 6.6%.
FY 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
funds (ARRA, Public Law 111–5) for R&D total $15.1 billion.
(About 98% of ARRA funds were for nondefense
R&D). Although ARRA funds are listed in this report
under FY 2009 actual appropriations, these totals are
preliminary; agencies have until the end of FY 2010 to
obligate ARRA funds, and some program–funding decisions
are still being made.
Unless otherwise indicated, references to dollar amounts'
or percentages for the remainder of this InfoBrief are in
Defense R&D Funding
The proposed defense component of federal R&D budget
authority for FY 2011 is $82.0 billion, a decrease of
$4.1 billion from the preliminary FY 2010 amount. The
defense share of the FY 2011 proposed R&D budget
is 57.2%, down from its FY 2010 share of 59.8%. The
majority of federal defense R&D (88.5% in FY 2011)
is allocated for development, whereas the nondefense
portion of the federal R&D budget is directed mostly
toward funding research (80.1% in FY 2011).
Of the FY 2011 proposed R&D defense dollars, 93.7%
($76.8 billion) is funded from Department of Defense
military research, development, test, and evaluation
(RDT&E) programs (table 2). The Air Force, Army,
Navy, and two defense agencies, the Missile Defense
Agency and the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA), account for 86.4% ($66.3 billion) of
this RDT&E account.
Proposed figures show the Air Force to be the largest
recipient of defense R&D funding in FY 2011 ($27.5
billion), but it is down by 2.0% from its FY 2010
level. DARPA (3.7%) and the Missile Defense Agency
(5.6%) show increases in proposed FY 2011 funds
Table 2 Source Data: Excel file
Proposed R&D funding for Department of Energy
(DOE) atomic energy defense activities is at $4.0 billion
in FY 2011, an increase of 5.9%. Most of DOE defense
R&D funding is for support of weapons activities
(table 2). Environmental restoration and waste management
programs are proposed to increase by 56% in FY
2011 after more than doubling between FY 2009 and
Nondefense R&D Funding
Total nondefense R&D budget authority is up by $3.6
billion (6.3%) in FY 2011. The estimated nondefense
share of federal R&D budget authority is 40.2% in
FY 2010 but increases to 42.8% in FY 2011. The six
functions that account for the largest shares of federal
nondefense–related R&D activities are discussed below
and shown in table 1.
Proposed FY 2011 R&D funding for health, mostly for
National Institutes of Health programs, is up by $941
million from the FY 2010 level, or by 3.0%. This is the
largest dollar increase in FY 2011 for any individual
nondefense R&D funding category. Health, listed at
$31.9 billion in FY 2011, is the second largest R&D
budget function after national defense.
In constant FY 2000 dollars, health R&D budget authority
increases in FY 2011 by 1.0%. Health accounts
for 22% of total federal R&D budget authority in both
FY 2010 and FY 2011.
Proposed research funding for general science is up
6.9% in FY 2011, or by $646 million, to a total of $9.9
billion. Of the proposed FY 2011 total, the National
Science Foundation (NSF) is expected to account for
51% ($5.1 billion); DOE and the Department of Homeland
Security are expected to account for the remaining
portion ($4.8 billion).
In constant 2000 dollars, general science funds, excluding
ARRA funding, have increased each year since FY
2007. Under the proposed FY 2011 budget, general
science will account for 6.9% of the total federal R&D
budget authority, up from 6.5% in FY 2010 and up
from 6.3% in FY 2009 (excluding ARRA funding).
Space Research and Technology
The proposed FY 2011 total for space research and
technology is $7.4 billion, 11.2% higher than the previous
year. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) programs account for this entire amount.
The share of R&D funding for space research and technology—estimated at 4.6% in FY 2010 and 5.1%
in FY 2011—is down from its FY 2007 high of 6.5%.
Natural Resources and Environment
Proposed FY 2011 budget authority for natural resources
and environment R&D is $2.5 billion, up 8.3%
($190 million) from the FY 2010 level. Four agencies
provide nearly all of the support for R&D in this area:
the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce,
the Environmental Protection Agency, and the
Department of Agriculture.
The proposed FY 2011 total for energy R&D is $2.5
billion, up 14.6% from the FY 2010 level. DOE accounts
for nearly all of these funds. With a proposed
FY 2011 energy R&D constant–dollar total of $1.9 billion,
energy R&D budget authority will have increased
in constant dollars by 84.6% since FY 2006.
Transportation R&D reached a proposed $2.0 billion in
FY 2011, up by 43.5% from the FY 2010 funding level.
This represents the largest percentage increase for any
individual nondefense R&D funding category. This
growth stems from NASA's increased share of transportation
funding (52.5% in FY 2011, up from 30.5%
in FY 2010) with the addition of the Space Technology
Program in FY 2011. NASA receives nearly 53%
of these funds for its projects, with the Department of Transportation getting most of the remainder.
Data Comments and Availability
The figures used in this report, provided by federal
agencies in May 2010, represent agencies' best estimates
of actual (FY 2009), preliminary (ARRA funding
and FY 2010), and proposed (FY 2011) federal budget
authority for R&D. Budget authority is the primary
source of legal authorization to enter into obligations
that will result in outlays. These data, tabulated for
NSF by the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, are based primarily on information
that agencies provide to the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) and account for nearly all federally
sponsored R&D activities. The R&D budget figures
reflect estimates of R&D based on agency documents
and OMB data through May 2010. They include FY
2010 supplemental appropriations. Budget numbers
for individual activities, programs, or agencies may
therefore differ from those published in the President's
budget or agency budget documents. Congressional
actions determine the final budget authority for R&D in
A full set of detailed tables on the President's requested
federal funding of R&D components of agency
programs for FY 2009–11 will be available in the
forthcoming report Federal R&D Funding by Budget
Function: Fiscal Years 2009–11 at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/fedbudget/. The report will also contain R&D
information that became available from the individual
agencies after the administration's budget was prepared
and reported. Individual detailed tables may be available
in advance of the full report.
 Richard J. Bennof (retired), Research and Development
Statistics Program (RDS), Division of Science
Resources Statistics, National Science Foundation,
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965, Arlington, VA
22230. Please contact Mark Boroush, RDS, for information
related to this report (email@example.com;
 Clemins, PJ. 2010. Federal R&D in the FY 2011
Budget: An Introduction. Chap. 1, p. 16, in American
Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS
Report XXXV: Research and Development FY 2011.