March 18, 2019 – “If enacted, the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to research and development would derail our nation’s science enterprise. The federal government provides critical investments that enable scientific discovery and innovation. For the United States to remain a world leader in science and innovation during a time of increased competition from other countries, we should invest more in science and engineering, not less. In his recent State of the Union, President Trump said, ‘our most thrilling achievements are still ahead.’ Policymakers should recognize that thrilling achievements can only be realized from new science and engineering discoveries. Our nation has long benefited from bipartisan and public support of federal investment in research and development, providing the foundation for a strong economy. We urge Congress to build on the bipartisan agreement for the FY 2019 budget and negotiate a FY 2020 budget that raises the budget caps for discretionary spending and ensures sustainability for our nation’s research.”

–    Rush Holt, chief executive officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Analysis by the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program of the Trump administration’s FY 2020 proposed budget

  • Research agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, would be subject to budget reductions of more than 12%.
  • The budget proposal requests reductions of 10% for basic research and 14% for applied research. However, because of the lack of timely appropriations for FY 2019, the budget proposal relies on placeholders for several R&D agencies including NASA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture; thus, the actual proposed research reductions are likely much larger than requested in the budget proposal.
  • The budget continues to recommend cuts for research programs in several previously targeted areas, including:
    • Climate and environmental research programs – i.e., a proposed 30% reduction to the Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research, more than 13% reduction to National Science Foundation’s Geosciences, and a 67% reduction to Environmental Protection Agency’s Air and Energy; and,
    • Energy R&D  – i.e., a proposed 65% reduction for Department of Energy’s applied energy programs, including proposed elimination of ARPA-E.

For additional information on budget analysis, please see recent updates from the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational MedicineScience Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science AdvancesScience Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, see