Stimulus bill provides source of new R&D funds

The Senate is expected to push through a revised stimulus bill that includes $17.8 billion for biomedical research and development, according to a report in New Scientist. The research community is likely to prefer it over the House version of stimulus economics, where lawmakers penciled in $13.2 billion for R&D.

The NIH is slated to get much of the new money, with the Senate designating $6.5 billion for the federal research group. The National Science Foundation is slated to receive $1.2 billion under the Senate version and $3 billion in the House bill. Whatever House and Senate lawmakers pass will have to be reconciled in committee before a final bill heads to the president. Obama has made the stimulus effort the top initial goal of the new administration.

The research community has complained loud and long about the Bush administration's decision to keep new R&D spending flat for the past five years. New R&D money, critics maintained, was badly needed to provide grants to the nation's young scientists, who in turn could hire an up-and-coming generation of students for their lab work.

- read the report from New Scientist