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Federal Funding for Research Drops by 9% in FY 2011

NSF 13-336 | September 2013 | PDF format. PDF  
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by Michael Yamaner[1]

Current-dollar federal obligations for research decreased 9.0%, from $63.7 billion in FY 2010 to $58.0 billion in FY 2011, according to data from the National Science Foundation (NSF).[2] This decline was the result of the last of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds being obligated in FY 2010, which accounted for $5.7 billion (8.9%) of research obligations in FY 2010. Research obligations are estimated to remain relatively flat at $58.1 billion in FY 2012, and they are projected to increase by $1.9 billion (3.3%) to $60.0 billion in FY 2013.

In inflation-adjusted terms, federal obligations for research fell 10.7% in FY 2011, following a 0.9% decline in FY 2010. Estimated research obligations continued falling in FY 2012 by 1.8% before edging up by 1.6%, according to FY 2013 projections (table 1).

TABLE 1. Federal obligations for research and development and R&D plant, by character of work: FY 2009–13
Character of work 2009 2010 2011 2012
preliminary
2013
projected
2009 2010 2011 2012
preliminary
2013
projected
Current $millions Constant 2005 $millions
All R&D and R&D planta 144,758 146,968 139,662 139,159 141,176 131,003 131,786 122,812 120,151 119,905
ARRA 10,081 9,049 na na na 9,123 8,114 na na na
Non-ARRA 134,677 137,919 139,662 139,159 141,176 121,880 123,672 122,812 120,151 119,905
R&D 141,090 140,355 135,491 134,786 136,472 127,683 125,856 119,144 116,375 115,910
ARRA 8,714 6,621 na na na 7,886 5,937 na na na
Non-ARRA 132,376 133,734 135,491 134,786 136,472 119,797 119,919 119,144 116,375 115,910
Research 63,692 63,728 58,024 58,050 59,969 57,640 57,145 51,024 50,121 50,933
ARRA 7,727 5,702 na na na 6,993 5,113 na na na
Non-ARRA 55,965 58,026 58,024 58,050 59,969 50,647 52,032 51,024 50,121 50,933
Basic 32,879 31,795 29,314 29,426 30,066 29,755 28,511 25,777 25,407 25,536
ARRA 5,116 2,667 na na na 4,630 2,391 na na na
Non-ARRA 27,764 29,128 29,314 29,426 30,066 25,126 26,119 25,777 25,407 25,536
Applied 30,813 31,933 28,710 28,624 29,903 27,885 28,634 25,246 24,714 25,397
ARRA 2,611 3,035 na na na 2,363 2,721 na na na
Non-ARRA 28,202 28,897 28,710 28,624 29,903 25,522 25,912 25,246 24,714 25,397
Development 77,398 76,627 77,467 76,736 76,502 70,043 68,711 68,121 66,255 64,975
ARRA 987 918 na na na 893 823 na na na
Non-ARRA 76,411 75,708 77,467 76,736 76,502 69,150 67,887 68,121 66,255 64,975
R&D plant 3,668 6,613 4,171 4,373 4,705 3,319 5,930 3,668 3,776 3,996
ARRA 1,368 2,428 na na na 1,238 2,177 na na na
Non-ARRA 2,300 4,185 4,171 4,373 4,705 2,081 3,753 3,668 3,776 3,996

na = not applicable.

ARRA = American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

a Beginning in FY 2011, Department of Defense totals include additional classified R&D projects not previously reported by its subagencies.

NOTES: Gross domestic product implicit price deflators for 2005 were used to convert current to constant dollars. Detail may not sum to total due to rounding.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development.

Table 1 Source Data: Excel file

Figures for FY 2011 are actual amounts, those for FY 2012 are preliminary, and those for FY 2013 are projected. For the remainder of this report, discussions of changes in funding across years are in terms of inflation-adjusted (or constant) dollars unless stated otherwise.

Total Research and Development by Agency

Total federal constant-dollar R&D obligations decreased 5.3% to $119.1 billion between FY 2010 and FY 2011. This decline is primarily due to the last of the ARRA funds ($5.9 billion) having been obligated in FY 2010 (table 1). Even absent the ARRA obligations, R&D decreased by $775 million (0.6%) in FY 2011. R&D obligations were estimated to decrease 2.3% to $116.4 billion in FY 2012 and were projected to decrease 0.4% to $115.9 billion in FY 2013.

In FY 2011, six federal departments and agencies accounted for 96.0% of FY 2011 total federal R&D dollars: the Department of Defense (DOD) (55.5% of total R&D obligations), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (22.8%), the Department of Energy (DOE) (7.3%), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (4.8%), NSF (3.8%), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (1.7%) (table 2).

TABLE 2. Federal obligations for research and development, by agency in FY 2011 rank order: FY 2009–13
Agency 2009 2010 2011 2012
preliminary
2013
projected
2009 2010 2011 2012
preliminary
2013
projected
Current $millions Constant 2005 $millions
All agenciesa 141,090 140,355 135,491 134,786 136,472 127,683 125,856 119,144 116,375 115,910
ARRA 8,714 6,621 na na na 7,886 5,937 na na na
Non-ARRA 132,376 133,734 135,491 134,786 136,472 119,797 119,919 119,144 116,375 115,910
DODa 75,857 73,471 75,157 74,504 73,725 68,649 65,881 66,090 64,327 62,617
ARRA 184 120 na na na 167 108 na na na
Non-ARRA 75,672 73,351 75,157 74,504 73,725 68,481 65,774 66,090 64,327 62,617
HHS 35,584 35,935 30,849 30,916 30,853 32,203 32,223 27,127 26,693 26,204
ARRA 4,889 4,696 na na na 4,424 4,211 na na na
Non-ARRA 30,695 31,238 30,849 30,916 30,853 27,778 28,011 27,127 26,693 26,204
DOE 9,890 10,686 9,946 9,592 10,683 8,950 9,582 8,746 8,282 9,073
ARRA 1,393 1,217 na na na 1,261 1,091 na na na
Non-ARRA 8,496 9,469 9,946 9,592 10,683 7,689 8,491 8,746 8,282 9,073
NASA 5,937 7,121 6,571 6,612 6,972 5,373 6,385 5,778 5,709 5,922
ARRA 315 385 na na na 285 345 na na na
Non-ARRA 5,622 6,736 6,571 6,612 6,972 5,088 6,040 5,778 5,709 5,922
NSF 6,095 5,016 5,146 5,177 5,423 5,516 4,498 4,525 4,470 4,606
ARRA 1,808 38 na na na 1,636 34 na na na
Non-ARRA 4,288 4,978 5,146 5,177 5,423 3,881 4,464 4,525 4,470 4,606
USDA 2,267 2,364 2,341 2,460 2,269 2,052 2,120 2,059 2,124 1,927
ARRA 0 0 na na na 0 0 na na na
Non-ARRA 2,267 2,364 2,341 2,460 2,269 2,052 2,120 2,059 2,124 1,927
Other 5,460 5,762 5,482 5,525 6,546 4,941 5,167 4,821 4,770 5,560
ARRA 125 164 na na na 113 147 na na na
Non-ARRA 5,335 5,598 5,482 5,525 6,546 4,828 5,020 4,821 4,770 5,560

na = not applicable.

ARRA = American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; DOD = Department of Defense; DOE = Department of Energy; HHS = Department of Health and Human Services; NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NSF = National Science Foundation; USDA = U.S. Department of Agriculture.

a Beginning in FY 2011, DOD totals include additional classified R&D projects not previously reported by its subagencies.

NOTES: Gross domestic product implicit price deflators for 2005 were used to convert current to constant dollars. Detail may not sum to total due to rounding.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development.

Table 2 Source Data: Excel file

Federal Funding for Research by Agency

The six departments and agencies that accounted for most federal R&D dollars in FY 2011 also accounted for most (92.3%) of FY 2011 total federal research dollars. However, their research shares differed considerably from their R&D shares, reflecting the emphasis their varying missions place on research versus development: HHS (53.0% of total research obligations), DOE (12.7%), DOD (11.4%), NSF (8.9%), USDA (3.7%), and NASA (2.7%) (table 3).

TABLE 3. Federal obligations for research, by agency in FY 2011 rank order: FY 2009–13
Agency 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Current $millions Constant 2005 $millions
All agencies 63,692 63,728 58,024 58,050 59,969 57,640 57,145 51,024 50,121 50,933
ARRA 7,727 5,702 na na na 6,993 5,113 na na na
Non-ARRA 55,965 58,026 58,024 58,050 59,969 50,647 52,032 51,024 50,121 50,933
HHS 35,490 35,797 30,771 30,845 30,785 32,118 32,099 27,059 26,632 26,147
ARRA 4,888 4,694 na na na 4,424 4,209 na na na
Non-ARRA 30,601 31,104 30,771 30,845 30,785 27,693 27,891 27,059 26,632 26,147
DOE 7,188 7,598 7,350 7,086 7,989 6,505 6,813 6,463 6,118 6,785
ARRA 843 652 na na na 763 585 na na na
Non-ARRA 6,346 6,946 7,350 7,086 7,989 5,743 6,228 6,463 6,118 6,785
DOD 6,792 7,065 6,596 6,619 6,769 6,147 6,335 5,800 5,715 5,749
ARRA 38 45 na na na 34 40 na na na
Non-ARRA 6,753 7,021 6,596 6,619 6,769 6,111 6,296 5,800 5,715 5,749
NSF 6,095 5,016 5,146 5,177 5,423 5,516 4,498 4,525 4,470 4,606
ARRA 1,808 38 na na na 1,636 34 na na na
Non-ARRA 4,288 4,977 5,146 5,177 5,423 3,881 4,463 4,525 4,470 4,606
USDA 2,076 2,141 2,125 2,246 2,065 1,879 1,920 1,869 1,939 1,754
ARRA 0 0 na na na 0 0 na na na
Non-ARRA 2,076 2,141 2,125 2,246 2,065 1,879 1,920 1,869 1,939 1,754
NASA 1,703 1,503 1,575 1,637 1,867 1,541 1,348 1,385 1,413 1,586
ARRA 25 110 na na na 23 99 na na na
Non-ARRA 1,678 1,393 1,575 1,637 1,867 1,519 1,249 1,385 1,413 1,586
Other 4,348 4,607 4,462 4,440 5,071 3,935 4,131 3,924 3,834 4,307
ARRA 124 163 na na na 112 146 na na na
Non-ARRA 4,223 4,444 4,462 4,440 5,071 3,822 3,985 3,924 3,834 4,307

na = not applicable.

ARRA = American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; DOD = Department of Defense; DOE = Department of Energy; HHS = Department of Health and Human Services; NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NSF = National Science Foundation; USDA = U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NOTES: Gross domestic product implicit price deflators for 2005 were used to convert current to constant dollars. Detail may not sum to total due to rounding.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development.

Table 3 Source Data: Excel file

Basic Research

Basic research obligations decreased 9.6% to $25.8 billion between FY 2010 and FY 2011. ARRA funds accounted for $2.4 billion of FY 2010's $28.5 billion basic research total. Even without the ARRA funds, basic research obligations decreased by 1.3% in FY 2011. Basic research obligations were estimated to decrease 1.4%, to $25.4 billion in FY 2012 and were projected to increase by 0.5% in FY 2013 to $25.5 billion. Basic research obligations accounted for 21.0% of total R&D and R&D plant in FY 2011 (table 1).

Applied Research

Federal obligations for applied research decreased 11.8% to $25.2 billion between FY 2010 and FY 2011. Even without the FY 2010 ARRA funds, applied research decreased by 2.6% in FY 2011. Applied research obligations were estimated to decrease 2.1% between FY 2011 and FY 2012 to $24.7 billion and were projected to increase 2.8% in FY 2013 to $25.4 billion. Applied research obligations accounted for 20.6% of total R&D and R&D plant in FY 2011 (table 1).

Research by Broad Field of Science and Engineering

Six of the broad fields of science and engineering experienced decreased federal research funding between FY 2010 and FY 2011. The two fields experiencing the largest decreases were life sciences (down $4.5 billion, or 14.9%) and engineering (down $1.1 billion, or 11.0%). Two broad fields saw increased federal research funding between FY 2010 and FY 2011: social sciences (rose $37 million, or 3.4%) and other sciences not elsewhere classified (rose $0.5 billion, or 20.7%).[3]

In FY 2011, three broad fields of science and engineering received 77.4% of FY 2011 total federal research dollars: life sciences (50.7% of total research obligations), engineering (17.3%), and physical sciences (9.4%) (table 4).

TABLE 4. Federal obligations for research, by broad field of science and engineering: FY 2009–13
Character of work 2009 2010 2011 2012
preliminary
2013
projected
2009 2010 2011 2012
preliminary
2013
projected
Current $millions Constant 2005 $millions
All fields 63,692 63,728 58,024 58,050 59,969 57,640 57,145 51,024 50,121 50,933
Computer sciences and mathematics 3,612 3,412 3,374 3,451 3,751 3,269 3,060 2,967 2,980 3,186
Engineering 10,285 11,081 10,057 9,873 10,743 9,308 9,936 8,844 8,524 9,124
Environmental sciences 3,751 3,339 3,207 3,079 3,140 3,395 2,994 2,820 2,658 2,667
Life sciences 33,267 33,909 29,409 29,061 29,152 30,106 30,406 25,861 25,092 24,760
Physical sciences 5,821 5,871 5,427 5,574 5,950 5,268 5,265 4,772 4,813 5,054
Psychology 2,086 2,156 1,887 1,914 1,923 1,888 1,933 1,659 1,653 1,633
Social sciences 1,157 1,197 1,262 1,203 1,253 1,047 1,073 1,110 1,039 1,064
Other sciences, nec 3,713 2,763 3,401 3,894 4,058 3,360 2,478 2,991 3,362 3,447

nec = not elsewhere classified.

NOTES: Gross domestic product implicit price deflators for 2005 were used to convert current to constant dollars. Detail may not sum to total due to rounding.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development.

Table 4 Source Data: Excel file

Data Notes

The data presented here are from the NSF Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development for FYs 2011–13. The 27 federal agencies that report R&D obligations to the survey submitted actual obligations for FY 2011, preliminary data for FY 2012, and projected data for FY 2013. Data were requested from agencies beginning in March 2012. Agencies later revise the preliminary data based on actual changes in the funding levels of R&D programs. Further, agencies may provide changes in prior-year data to reflect program reclassifications or other data corrections.

In order to enable reporting from the Department of Defense's subagencies engaged in classified R&D projects, starting with the FY 2011–13 survey cycle the DOD subagencies are reported as an aggregate total under Other defense agencies.

Definitions of research, development, and R&D plant as used in this InfoBrief are provided in the technical notes that accompany the detailed statistical tables report for this survey. For the prior-year report, see http://nsf.gov/statistics/nsf13326/.

The full set of detailed tables from this survey will be available in the report Federal Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years 2011–13 at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/fedfunds/. Individual detailed tables from the FY 2011–13 survey may be available in advance of the full report. For more information, contact the author.

Notes

[1] Michael Yamaner, Research and Development Statistics Program, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965, Arlington, VA 22230 (myamaner@nsf.gov; 703-292-7815).

[2] Obligations represent the amounts for orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and similar transactions during a given period, regardless of when the funds were appropriated and when future payment of money is required.

[3] "Other sciences not elsewhere classified" is used for multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary projects that cannot be classified within one of the broad fields of science.


National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Federal Funding for Research Drops by 9% in FY 2011
Arlington, VA (NSF 13-336) [September 2013]


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