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Biden’s research budget ‘comes up short’, conference hears

Image: Rachel Magee for Research Professional News


SRAI 2022: $205 billion R&D budget proposal “not enough”, as researchers “move to non-federal funding”

President Joe Biden’s “historic” proposal for a US federal R&D budget of $205 billion for the 2023 financial year is not enough for American researchers, delegates at the Society of Research Administrators International conference have heard.

Keith Graff, a clinical research consultant at ECG management consultants, told an audience at the conference in Las Vegas on 3 November that more researchers have started to move towards non-federal funding as a result of a lack of money from the government.

Announcing its R&D funding plan for 2023 in April, the administration said it was the first time that the plan surpassed $200bn. “The Biden-Harris Administration Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Budget makes historic investments in science and technology,” it said.

But Graff (pictured) was not convinced that the planned increase of $45bn from 2022, which still needs to be signed off by Congress, would meet researchers’ needs.

“The Biden administration put a big growth in from a research budget perspective and that is terrific, but realistically, it is still pretty short on what our researchers would like it to be,” Graff said. He added: “What we are seeing are these moves to non-federal relationships.”

Graff predicted that government funding will decline as a percentage of the country’s total research funding in the coming years, while non-federal funding, such as from industry, will make up even larger portions of research budgets.