At the end of 2022, Congress finalized fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations bill that funds research across federal agencies. These investments augment funds that were provided over the past year by the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Hopes were high for a large increase to the science agencies covered by the recently-enacted CHIPS and Science Act, but appropriations fell short of the authorization targets set by the bill. All science agencies, however, saw increases over their FY2022 levels. Highlights include:

  • While the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s budget will increase to US$9.5 billion from US$8.8 billion in FY22, the amount doesn’t approach the CHIPS and Science authorization of US$11.8 billion. Although the appropriations bill itself provided flat funding to the NSF, the disaster relief supplemental bill provided an additional US$1 billion to NSF, directing US$335 million of the increase to implement the CHIPS and Science Act, with a focus on STEM education.
  • DOE’s Office of Science received US$8.1 billion, a 8.4% increase, but shy of the authorized levels of US$8.9 billion. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) received US$470 million, a 4% increase.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey received US$1.5 billion, an increase of 7%, plus an additional US$41 million from the supplemental bill for expenses related to natural disasters. All mission areas received increases, with ecosystems seeing the largest percentage increase (11%), largely supporting climate adaptation science centers.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Science Mission Directorate budget was raised 2% to US$7.8 billion. Within the science directorate, earth-science increased 6% to US$2.2 billion and planetary science increases of 3% to US$3.2 billion.
  • Within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research received a 17% boost to US$761 million, spread across weather, climate, and oceans research.

Although FY2023 spending just wrapped up, discussions in Congress have already turned to FY2024 and the potential for budget caps to return, providing additional challenges to enacting and reaching the goals set by the CHIPS and Science Act.