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September 21, 2005

Federal Funding and Supportive Policies for Research

JAMA. 2005;294(11):1385-1389. doi:10.1001/jama.294.11.1385

Today, the United States is only one decade removed from what was then a forecast of difficult meager times for the national investment in medical and scientific research. In 1995, the US House of Representatives budget resolution called for a cut in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of 5% for fiscal year (FY) 1996 and a freeze on NIH funding through FY 2000.1 However, the NIH received an increase of almost 6% for FY 1996, followed by 7% increases in the following 2 years2 when the economy was not yet strong. Those years of increases were followed by the remarkable feat of doubling the NIH budget over 5 years—FYs 1999-2003.3(p83) Bad news can be turned into good news, bad numbers into better, even pacesetting ones.

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