The United States Senate Appropriations Committee has approved legislation that would slash funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Under the Committee’s proposal, the Research and Related Activities account at NSF would be cut by $120.9 million in the coming fiscal year. This is the account that provides funding for NSF’s various research directorates, such as the Biological Sciences Directorate, Geosciences Directorate, and so forth.

Importantly, the Senate spending plan provides significantly less funding to NSF than the appropriations bill approved by the House Committee on Appropriations. Under the House plan, Research and Related Activities would receive roughly $5.6 billion in the next fiscal year, about $43 million above the current funding level.

Additionally, both the House and the Senate have developed appropriations legislation that would cut funding for Education and Human Resources programs at NSF, but the House would cut roughly $6 million less than the Senate.

As proposed, the Senate plan would cut more than $160 million from NSF in fiscal year 2012. If enacted, these cuts would be damaging to NSF programs and counter to bipartisan pledges of support for scientific research and education.

If the Senate fails to increase funding for NSF, it is almost guaranteed that the agency will receive a significant budget cut in the coming fiscal year. It is important that Senators hear from their constituents today. Please contact your Senators today to urge them to oppose the Senate Appropriation Committee’s proposed cuts to NSF.

If you will be in Washington, DC, in the coming days, please make time to stop by your Senators’ offices to express your concerns. You may also schedule an appointment to meet with your Senators at one of their offices in your state (visit to locate Senate offices in your state).

Please contact both of your Senators today! A prepared letter is available at and a targeted letter for Maryland residents is available at


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