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Funding Rises for UMD’s Key Federal Partners

New FY20 Appropriations at NIH, NASA, DOE, Others Support Research, Student Aid

By Maryland Today Staff

Large sundial on UMD campus

Photo by John T. Consoli

Congress passed 12 spending bills that bump up funding for federal departments vital to researchers and students at the University of Maryland.

Amid worries of another year-end government shutdown, Congress passed 12 spending bills that bump up funding for federal departments vital to researchers and students at the University of Maryland, with boosts to quantum and energy research as well as much-needed growth in student financial aid.

The bills, signed by President Donald Trump in late December while Washington was in the thick of impeachment proceedings, resulted from an August budget deal that lifted stringent budget caps known as “sequestration” that had limited spending since 2011.

“The FY20 appropriations measures that were recently signed into law included some big opportunities for the university, including increased funding for many of the programs we rely on to support our research enterprise and student aid,” said Laurie Locascio, vice president for research.    

Passage of the bills was vital because university relies primarily on federal research programs to support its broad spectrum of science and scholarship.

“While some of the programs benefitted more than others in these bills, by and large, the increases help both students and those involved in research on our campus,” said Virginia Meehan, director of federal relations.

Among the funding increases:

  • $350 million to support the National Quantum Initiative, which UMD experts played a key role in creating and pushing through Congress;
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy: up 16.1% to $425 million;
  • National Institutes of Health: up 6.6% to $41.7 billion;
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology: up 4% to $754 million, including a 33% increase for quantum information science;
  • National Science Foundation: up 2.5% to $8.3 billion;
  • NASA Earth Science Mission Directorate: up 3.4% to $7.1 billion;
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Administration oceanic and atmospheric research: up 4.4% to $548 million;
  • Department of Defense basic research: up 2.9% to $2.6 billion;
  • Department of Agriculture Agricultural and Food Research Initiative: up 2.4% to $425 million;
  • National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities: each up 4.7% to $162.3 million;
  • Pell Grants: the maximum award increased 2% to $6,345 for this academic year;
  • Federal Work Study Program: increased 3% to $1.2 billion;
  • TRIO program: increased 3% to $1.1 billion.

“We are happy to see continued strong backing in Congress for the agencies that support the advancement of research in science and technology as well as the arts,“ Locascio said.



Schools & Departments:

Division of Research

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