What Research Universities Need to Know About the FY22 Budget

On May 28th, 2021, the Biden Administration submitted to Congress its budget request for Fiscal Year 2022. The proposed budget – totaling over $6 trillion – recommends significant increases in research and development funding. McAllister & Quinn has analyzed numerous thematic areas, programs, and initiatives in the President’s budget request. Key provisions include:

National Science Foundation

  • $864 million to create a new Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships which will support research and development for breakthrough technologies, accelerate technology transfer, and drive innovative partnerships in service of the Foundation’s mission.
  • $200 million to establish a new center-level program, funding up to 20 Regional Innovation Accelerators.

National Institutes of Health

  • $6.5 billion to create a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), which will leverage novel public-private partnerships to support transformative research leading to breakthrough cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and other diseases.

Department of Energy

  • $200 million to create a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Climate (ARPA-C) which will invest in solutions for climate adaptation, resilience, and achievement of net zero non-energy emissions by 2050. An additional $300 million has been requested for other agencies to support ARPA-C programs. This investment in climate and environmental science is complimented by a 17% increase in ARPA-E’s budget, raising the FY22 request to $500 million.
  • A new Climate Laboratory or Center affiliated with a Historically Black College or University or Minority Serving Institution, pending funding for the American Jobs Plan.

Department of Commerce

  • $167 million, an increase of $150 million over enacted FY21 levels, will fund 2 additional Manufacturing USA Institutes, one of which will focus on semiconductor design and manufacturing.

Department of Defense

  • The Administration’s FY22 proposal for the Department of Defense’s Science and Technology (DOD S&T) program would, if enacted, result in cuts to the Basic Research (6.1) account, the Applied Research account (6.2) and the Advanced Technology Development (6.3) account. DARPA, in contrast, would see a modest increase ($27 million), which would translate into a total budget of $3.53 billion for DARPA in FY22. The S&T accounts generally enjoy substantial bipartisan support in Congress so it appears unlikely that the proposed cuts to 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 will become reality.  

Important Note: Every year the White House releases a President’s Budget Request (PBR) that is used as a foundation by Congress during the annual appropriations process. The figures and priorities detailed above will undoubtedly change as the House and Senate consider the bills that will fund Federal discretionary programs in FY22. McAllister & Quinn will be releasing subsequent memos and information on congressional spending bills as they move through the FY22 appropriations process.

If you would like more information on the FY22 Budget or how it impacts your institution please contact us here.