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Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology (1995)

Chapter: Appendix A: Senate Report Language for the Prospective Study

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Senate Report Language for the Prospective Study." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council. 1995. Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5040.
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Page 85
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Senate Report Language for the Prospective Study." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council. 1995. Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5040.
×
Page 86
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Senate Report Language for the Prospective Study." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council. 1995. Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5040.
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Page 87

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APPENDIX A / 85 Appendixes 85

Appendix A Senate Report Language for the Prospective Study on Allocation of Federal R&D Funding Excerpt from report language accompanying Public Law 103-733: Research Report—The [Senate Appropriations] Committee is concerned that at a time when there is such opportunity to understand and cure disease, funding for health research supported by NIH in the next fiscal year is held to below the inflation index for medical research due to budget constraints. Similarly, other Federal research agencies are confronted with constrained resources resulting from the virtual freeze in discretionary outlays. This freeze will make decisions over how to best allocate funding for research and development in the future all the more difficult as research opportunities collide with other governmental responsibilities required for preserving, protecting the health, safety and economic security of our citizen [sic]. These realities have compelled the Committee to consider the composition of the overall Federal Government research and development budget, which currently totals more than $70,000,000,000 a year. In particular, the Com- mittee is concerned whether that research budget is designed to meet new national security concerns, military, economic, and health, that confront our Nation in a post-cold war world. The Committee is concerned, for example, that medical research is not at its optimal level of priority and support relative to its importance to national security. Because of these new circumstances, the Committee has provided [$750,000] within the Office of the director [of NIH] to commission a study by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. The study should consider the criteria that should be used in judging the appropriate allocation of funds to research and development activi- ties, the appropriate balance among different types of institutions that conduct such research, and the means of assuring continued objectivity in the allocation process. The academies and Institute should consult with the Office of Science and Technology Policy in planning the framework for the report. The academies and the Institute should submit the report to both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees by December 31, 1995. 87

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The United States faces a new challenge--maintaining the vitality of its system for supporting science and technology despite fiscal stringency during the next several years. To address this change, the Senate Appropriations Committee requested a report from the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine to address "the criteria that should be used in judging the appropriate allocation of funds to research and development activities; to examine the appropriate balance among different types of institutions that conduct such research; and to look at the means of assuring continued objectivity in the allocation process." In this eagerly-awaited book, a committee of experts selected by the National Academies and the Institute responds with 13 recommendations that propose a new budgeting process and formulates a series of questions to address during that process. The committee also makes corollary recommendations about merit review, government oversight, linking research and development to government missions, the synergy between research and education, and other topics. The recommendations are aimed at rooting out obsolete and inadequate activities to free resources from good programs for even better ones, in the belief that "science and technology will be at least as important in the future as they have been in the past in dealing with problems that confront the nation." The authoring committee of this book was chaired by Frank Press, former President of the National Academy of Sciences (1981-1993) and Presidential Science and Technology Advisor (1977-1981).

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