Proposed increased funding for NSF budget under review

Submitted by Sammy Smith (

OMB_budget_disc_bannerOn June 16th, President Barack Obama’s office responded to a proposal by the House of Representatives to reduce the funding he has proposed for FY 2010 of the National Science Foundation (NSF) by $108 million. President Obama’s Plan for Science and Innovation proposes a doubling over ten years of the funding for three key federal research agencies. In his proposed FY2010 budget President Obama advocated a $555 million increase to the NSF budget, and increase of 8.5% over the FY 2009 budget. Research and agency operations would be cut as a result of the reduction in the House budget.

NSF is mandated to:

provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and engineering resources, and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies of the Federal Government….

Many academic archaeological researchers obtain at least partial funding from NSF. Nevertheless, most archaeological projects in the USA are funded as part of cultural resource management (CRM) projects, which are mandated when federal lands, monies, or licensing are involved. Other CRM projects are funded due to state or local regulations.

Summary tables available from the Office of Management and Budget indicate that the President’s proposed budget included about $6.09 billion for NSF. The $108 million reduction proposed by the House is only about 1.8%, but that will still mean cuts to research, and may imperil at least a few potential archaeological research projects.

The OMB letter discussing this administration priority is available here. The White House document discussing the Plan for Science and Innovation is available here.