President Barack Obama has released his proposed budget for 2014. It is aimed at alleviating some of the budgetary panic as a result of the sequester’s across-the-board cuts signed into effect on March 1st2,3 and contains increased funding for a variety of programs within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Science Insider3 reports that the proposed plan would provide an additional 1.5% increase of $31.3 billion compared with that of 2012 and a 6.8% increase over the 2013 sequestered fiscal year.
As a part of this plan, researchers involved in proteomics work would benefit from an increase in $80 million given to the National Institute on Aging. This funding would be given to study drug development for Alzheimer’s. A total of $50 million (a $40 million increase) would go to The Cures Acceleration Network, which is part of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and also has applications to proteomics work.
Another increase of funding would come to researchers beginning their career in any field, including proteomics. The National Research Service Awards program, which funds stipends for postdoctoral trainees and fellows, would increase stipends to $42,000 annually with 4% increases for each subsequent level of experience. This is an increase in 1.8% from fiscal year 2012, though the number of trainees supported by these stipends would dip by 108. In addition, the proposed budget also would increase the number of new grants funded to 10,269, which is 351 additional grants, compared with those awarded in 2012. Another $32 million would go to encouraging minorities to pursue biomedical research careers.
According to Science Insider,3 the response of the proposed budget by NIH director Francis Collins was somewhat mixed. “Considering what we’ve been going through in FY ’13, what’s being proposed here is really gratifying,” Collins commented in a press conference. Others, such as Research!America’s CEO Mary Woolley and Dave Moore, President of the Association of American Medical Colleges, still remain concerned about the harm sequestration and yearly inflation rates will have on keeping U.S. research competitive with other nations.4 “It’s a little bit of good news, but I think it’s still very worrisome as to where this is all headed,” Moore told Science Insider.3
1. Humphreys, E. (2013) ‘Sequester concerns NIH‘, Accelerating Science, published online March 4, 2013
2. Humphreys, E. (2013) ‘Sequestration cuts threaten proteomics research‘, Accelerating Science, published online February 25, 2013
3. Science News Staff (2013) ‘Obama’s 2014 science budget: research gets some help, and hurt‘, Science, published online April 12, 2013
4. Science News Staff (2013) ‘Reactions to Obama’s science budget‘, Science, published online April 12, 2013