Possible impacts of sequestration on federal research



U.S. federal research and development (R&D) activities could be reduced by up to $57.5 billion, or 8.4%, through 2017 because of automatic reductions in U.S. federal funding, referred to as sequestration, that are set to begin in January 2013 under the 2011 Budget Control Act. That is according to a 27 September analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). If defense R&D is pulled from the equation, sequestration could cut nondefense R&D by $50.8 billion, or 17.2% through that same time period, according to AAAS. Under an equal allocation scenario, the Department of Energy could lose $4.6 billion for R&D over that time period, the National Science Foundation could lose $2.1 billion for R&D, and NASA could lose $3.5 billion, according to the analysis, which also notes that states could be hit hard by decreased federal R&D spending. Congressional leaders currently are looking into how to avoid sequestration. For more information, see http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2012/0928sequester.shtml.