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Biomedical researchers in the U.S. rely on funding provided by federal agencies to drive discovery and innovation that improves lives and fuels our economy. Each year, APS helps members connect with their Congressional offices to advocate for continued support for these agencies.

The annual budget process begins with the president’s budget request, which includes detailed spending proposals for all federal agencies. By statute, this request should be submitted to Congress by the first Monday in February, though it is often delayed.

Once the president’s budget is submitted, the House and Senate each develop their own proposals through appropriations subcommittees. Once the full House and Senate committees agree on their budget bills, the two chambers work together to reconcile any differences and pass a joint budget resolution.

APS advocates for the funding of four federal agencies that support biomedical and physiology research: NIH, NSF, NASA and VA.

AgencyFY22 EnactedFY23 President's BudgetAPS Recommendation
NIH$45 B$49.04 B$50 B
NSF$8.8 B$10.5 B$11 B
NASA$194.1 M$251.6 MIncrease funding
VA$882 M$946 M$980 M
  • Includes funding for the NASA Division of Biological and Physical Sciences ($79.1M in FY21) and the Human Research Program ($115.0M in FY21)
  • Funding amounts are for VA Medical and Prosthetic Research

NIH: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest funder of biomedical research in the US. Funding for the NIH supports over 550,000 jobs and generates over $94 billion in economic activity. New treatments, diagnostics, and other medical breakthroughs — such as the COVID-19 vaccines — rely on research funded by the NIH.

NSF: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the only federal agency that supports fundamental research across all disciplines of science and engineering. It provides support for 24% of all federally funded basic research, including 65% of the support for non-medical biology. The NSF’s merit review process for awarding competitive grants is considered the gold standard for research funding.

NASA: Physiologists may find support for their research through one of two programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The goal of NASA’s Space Biology Program is to better understand how space flight affects living organisms. Researchers study how organisms such as animals, plants, and microbes adapt to living in space, either through experiments on the International Space Station or in ground-based experiments that mimic space flight. NASA’s Human Research Program seeks to understand how space travel affects the human body, and supports experiments such as the NASA Twins Study.

VA: The Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical and Prosthetic Research Program performs fundamental, translational, and clinical research to address health problems that are common among the veteran population. This research program has been instrumental in developing new prosthetic devices and sensory aids, improving mental health treatment, and supporting rehabilitation following traumatic injury. The discoveries led by the VA research program provide healthcare benefits for all Americans.

 

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