The FY2018 budget proposal released today by the White House seeks to cut crucial funding for biomedical research, threatening scientific progress and the search for treatments for more than 1,000 debilitating brain and spinal cord diseases. The administration’s proposal slashes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) by nearly 22 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

SfN supports strong, consistent funding for NIH, NSF, and other key agencies to advance the field of neuroscience as part of the larger federal investment in biomedical research. We thank members of Congress for coming together in a bipartisan fashion to prioritize biomedical research in the recently-approved FY2017 appropriation, and encourage them to again support critical research funding by providing $36 billion for NIH and $8 billion for NSF in FY18. Robust funding will help ensure the success of programs such as the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, which was supported by an overwhelming majority of Congress as part of the 21st Century Cures Act.

In addition, Congress should reject the administration’s proposal to place severe limits on facilities and administrative costs supported by federal grants. These “indirect costs” are crucial for maintaining high-tech laboratories by supporting equipment maintenance, data processing and storage, health and safety controls, administrative support, and other critical facets of the research enterprise.

Without sustained government investment, the U.S. role as a leader in biomedical research is at risk. These proposed funding cuts would not only have devastating effects on public health, but would have major economic implications.

The federal government has a responsibility to promote public health and wellness. At a time of unprecedented opportunity in neuroscience advancement, funding for keystone agencies such as NIH and NSF must increase. Investments made today pave the way for a healthier tomorrow.

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. Learn more about SfN advocacy priorities surrounding research funding and about brain science at BrainFacts.org.