Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Proposed cut to publicly-funded research (NIH)

  1. Mar 21, 2017 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Dr. Steven Novella contributes to a couple blogs I frequent:


    A recent post addresses proposed budget cuts1 and the need for publicly-funded research:

    For those members of PF who rely on public funding for their research, I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this. Do you believe private funding will be an option? If not, will you be able to continue your research?

    Will the private sector be able to make up for the proposed cuts? I have no doubts the money is there, but I feel like private-funding might not be an option for those doing research that doesn't align with the funder's interests.

    1 http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/trumps-first-budget-analysis-and-reaction
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2017 #2
    Business idea, kickstarter for science research?
  4. Mar 23, 2017 #3
    I don't think that's likely; the sheer scale of the funds required is beyond what crowdsourcing could really provide, and often there is no real predictable monetary benefit.

    Novel research in the use of potassium nitrate as a contrast agent in MRI for the detection of breast cancer.

    $150 pledged of $3,560,000 goal

    2 Backers


    would you?
  5. Mar 23, 2017 #4

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    My research is dependent on external funding, and competition for funding has steadily gotten more difficult over time. I know lots of people who are in more precarious positions than I- soft-money 'research faculty' positions for example. Private funding (either through non-profits or for-profits) cannot replace federal funding- insufficient funds. In addition to submitting more collaborative proposals (to increase the 'relevance'), I expect to submit more proposals for research funding to other government agencies, typically military agencies.
  6. Mar 24, 2017 #5


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    From what I've read, at least some of the cuts in NIH funding and other similar cuts in federal funding for scientific research will be redirected toward military/defense spending. Would the increase in the military or defense budget lead to more money available for the military to fund scientific research? (I know, it sounds circular, but then again I wonder if there is much logic involved in terms of decisions made regarding government budgets).
  7. Mar 27, 2017 #6

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    It's unclear. In any case, the different agencies have different goals for funded projects. To be sure, 'grantsmanship' comes into play when translating (say) and NIH proposal into (say) an Army proposal, but the Army and NIH have very different goals and evaluation procedures.
  8. Mar 27, 2017 #7


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    Hi everyone. I also wanted to ask a separate question that is related to this thread. Would any of you on PF think that the proposed cuts to publicly funded research at the NIH (and possibly other agencies) may lead to an "exodus" of scientists leaving the US for other nations (e.g. Canada)?

    Does anyone on PF based in the US know of people who have seriously considered, are planning, or have actually moved out of the US due to the potential funding climate that scientists may possibly face?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted