Of the $85 billion in cuts announced by the U.S. government, almost $8 billion will be cut from science spending (a 5% reduction). This is the outcome of the sequester agreed to by Congress and the White House to pass the debt ceiling.
Earlier this year the Digital Journal reported that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 had triggered spending cuts to science programs. Now, following the protracted battle over the budget between the White House and Congress, information relating to the extent of the cuts in different areas is emerging.
One of the areas to be cut is science funding. The cuts are targeted towards the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. These are the two main governmental science funding agencies in the U.S.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation (NSF).
In relation to funding cuts, the NIH is to lose around $1.6 billion of its $35 billion yearly budget, while the NSF is set to lose $350 million from its annual $7 billion budget, as the Coalition for Life Sciences sets out.
Essentially, this means less projects going forward. The NSF has released a notice stating that current grantees should not be affected but that there would be about 1,000 fewer new grants this year. With the NIH, the agency posted its operation plan at the end of February 2013, according to Science Insider. The notice stated that if a sequestration happened, the agency would reduce funding levels for those applying for continuation money for previously accepted grants and to reduce the number of new grants it would accept.