Federal Funding for R&D and for R&D Plant Expected to Decrease in FY 1994

Estimated Federal funding for research and development (R&D) and for R&D plant, as reported in the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Annual Survey of Federal Funds for R&D, is expected to decrease 1 percent to $74 billion for fiscal year (FY) 1994. Contributing to this decline is a 17-percent drop in R&D plant obligations and a 2-percent decrease in development funding, which will not be offset by the moderate 2-percent increase in research spending. In constant (1987) dollars, Federal obligations for R&D and for R&D plant will drop from $61 billion in FY 1993 to $59billion in FY 1994, or by 4 percent.

Five Federal agencies, out of the 33that report to the R&D Survey, will account for 92 percent ($69 billion) of the total Federal funding for R&D and R&D plant in FY 1994.

[Table 1] Table 1

The Department of Defense (DOD) will comprise the largest share (51 percent), eventhough its funding is expected to decrease 4 percent from FY 1993 to FY 1994. Federal funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will comprise the second largest share (15 percent), increasing by 2 percent from FY1993 to FY 1994. Most of the HHS amount is from the National Institutes of Health for the life sciences. The other top funding agencies will be the National aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, (13 percent of the FY 1994 Federal R&D and R&D plant total). the Department of Energy, DOE, (11 percent), and NSF (3 percent). Of these five agencies, NSF will have the largest growth rate -7 percent (4 percent in constant-dollar terms) from FY 1990 to FY 1994, followed by NASA with 6-percent growth (4-percent in constant-dollar terms). Overall,DOD's average annual growth rate will be flat from FY 1990 to FY 1994. Inconstant dollars, DOD's funding will decrease at an annualized rate of 2 percent. R&D and R&D plant funding from HHS is expected to average 5-percent growth per year (3 percent in constant dollars) between FY 1990 and FY 1994.

Combined Federal basic and applied research obligations are expected to rise 2 percent, or $28 billion, in FY 1994. Research would represent38 percent of the total Federal funding for R&D and for R&D plant. This expected increase in funding will result in an average annual growth rate of 5percent between FY 1990 and FY 1994. In constant dollars, total Federal research funding will increase at a 3-percent rate of growth.

Psychology is expected to be the only one of the eight fields of science and engineering identified in the survey that will show a decline in growth (5 percent in current dollars and 7 percent in constant dollars) between FY 1990 and FY 1994. The other seven fields will display positive growths, ranging from 2 percent (0.1 percent inconstant dollars) for the social sciences to 12 percent (9 percent in constant dollars) for the mathematical and computer sciences. The ratio of Federal research funding for mathematical and computer sciences to all Federal research funding over the last five years shows that this field receives an increasing share of the research total each year.

The 33 Federal agencies that report R&D obligations to the Federal Funds survey submitted actual obligations funded for FY 1992 and estimates for FYs 1993and 1994. Data were reported during the period March through December 1993. Agencies can later revise the estimates on the basis of expected changes in the funding levels of R&D programs. Therefore, all FYs 1993 and 1994 obligations are subject to revision in the next cycle.

The data presented in the Data Brief are being released in advance of the comprehensive Detailed Statistical Tables report, Federal Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years 1992,1993, and 1994, Volume XLII.

This data brief was prepared by Ronald L.Meeks, National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies,4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965, Arlington, VA 22230. For a free copy, write to the above address, call 703-306-1773, or e-mail to srsweb@nsf.gov.