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Feb 9, 2007

Continued Flat Funding for the NIH

  • The fiscal year (FY) 2008 President’s budget for the NIH comes in practically flat at almost $28.9 billion. This represents a 0.8% increase of $232 million over the FY 2007 estimate. The FY 2006 budget was almost $28.3 billion.

    About $201 million will go toward the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, leaving the actual increase in the NIH budget at $31 million or 0.1%.

    Congress will begin hearings on the new budget request even though the current fiscal year budget remains unfixed. Lawmakers last year failed to pass fiscal 2007 budgets for NIH and most other agencies. They were thus left to operate at Fiscal 2006 levels under a continuing resolution, which expires February 15.

    Some believe, according to revisions currently in the Senate, that Congress will finally approve over $29 billion for FY 2007. In that case, the President’s FY 2008 budget will be over $500 million less.

    The administration's request for NIH includes $28.7 billion in congressional appropriations and $158 million in transfers for mandated diabetes and public health research. More than half the funds—$15.2 billion, or 53%—would support research project grants and small business awards.


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The Triple Package and Success

One theory for explaining “success," put forward by Amy Chua Jed Rubenfeld, posits cultural traits such as a superiority complex, personal insecurity and impulse control. Union College professors Joshua Hart and Christopher Chabris counter that intelligence, conscientiousness, and economic advantage are the most likely elements of success, regardless of ethnicity. Do you think that Hart-Chabris make a better argument for achieving success than the Chua-Rubenfeld theory?

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