FY2022 Budget & Appropriations for Chemistry

The release of the President’s budget request for fiscal year 2022 (FY22) marks the beginning of the process to fund the government from October 2021 – September 2022. The FY22 request was released on May 28, 2021. In recent years, Congress has largely set its own budget, so the President's budget request is mostly an indication of Administration priorities.

On July 29, 2021 the House passed an minbus bill, H.R. 4502, which set funding for the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. As of August 2, 2021 the Senate has only just begun its own Appropriations process

Below are agency-by-agency breakdowns of what we know about the FY22 budget, and what it might mean for chemistry.

See how Chemistry did in the FY21 budget

Browse the Breakdowns by Agency

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Final FY21 funding: $8.49 billion, with $6.91 billion directed to Research and Related Activities.

Proposed FY22 Budget: $10.34 billion

The basics: NSF funds science and engineering in every discipline except the medical sciences. Money for research grants comes out of NSF’s Research and Related Activities Account (R&RA). For FY22, the Administration requested $8.14 billion for R&RA. The proposed budget includes $1.69 billion for the Math and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS). Within MPS, the Division of Chemistry (CHE) would be funded at $284 million, while the Division of Materials Research (DMR) would receive $349 million. The Office of Multidisciplinary Activities, which co-funds research that is relevant across multiple disciplines within MPS, would be funded at $187 million. The Administration also proposed a new directorate: Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP). With Congress considering its own visions for a new directorate, the final scope and mission of any new directorate at NSF remains to be seen.

The impact on chemistry:  More than half of all chemistry research at NSF is funded by the MPS through the CHE and DMR divisions.



Department of Energy Office of Science (SC)

Final FY21 Funding: $7.02 billion, including $2.25 billion for BES and $753 million for BER. EERE received $2.86 billion.

Proposed FY22 Budget: $7.44 billion

The basics: SC is the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the U.S. and the lead entity focused on fundamental research into future energy solutions. In addition to its 6 research programs, SC has primary oversight and stewardship for 10 of DOE’s 17 national laboratories.

The impact on chemistry:  The majority of chemistry research funded by SC comes from 2 research programs - Basic Energy Sciences (BES) and Biological and Environmental Research (BER). For FY22, the Administration has requested funding of $2.3 billion for BES and $828 million for BER. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) would be funded at $4.73 billion.

Additionally, the budget proposes funding a new Advanced Research Project Agency-Climate (ARPA-C), with $200 million from DOE, outside the Office of Science. ARPA-C would collaborate with NOAA, EPA, HUD, and USDA to conduct research on revolutionary advances in climate-related applied sciences and work to transfer those advances to the market.

Update 8/2021: The House passed appropriations bill would provide $7.32 billion for the Office of Science in FY22.



Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)

Final FY21 Funding: $427 million

Proposed FY22 Budget: $500 million

The basics: ARPA-E, which is modeled after the famous DARPA at the Department of Defense, “advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment.” In contrast to recent budgets, ARPA-E is not slated for elimination this year and received an increase to $500 million instead.

The impact on chemistry: Since transformative energy projects will rely on advanced materials and energy storage capabilities, chemistry is at the heart of what ARPA-E does.

Update 8/2021: The House passed appropriations bill would provide $600 billion in funding for FY22.


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Final Funding FY21: $42.93 billion for NIH as a whole. Within that, NCI received $6.36 billion,  NIGMS received $2.99 billion, NIBIB received $410 million and NCATS received $855 million.

Proposed FY22 Budget: $51.95 billion.

The basics: NIH is the largest funder of biomedical research in the world. Each of its institutes and centers (ICs) has its own research agenda, and many focus on specific diseases or body systems.

The impact on chemistry: While chemistry can be found in many different ICs, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is the most prominent supporter of chemistry research because of its total focus on basic research.  The President proposes to fund NIGMS at $3.1 billion. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), which also provide significant support for basic chemistry research and tools, would be funded at $6.73 billion, $422 million, and $879 million respectively.

The 2022 budget proposed a new Advanced Research Project Agency-Health (ARPA-H) within NIH, which would receive $6.5 billion to focus on transformational innovation in health research. How chemistry will be included remains to be seen, as well as how much support Congress will provide for the initiative.

Update 8/2021: The House passed appropriations bill would provide $49.4 billion for NIH overall. NIGMS would receive $3.1 billion, NCI $6.8 billion, NBIB $898 million, and NCATS $3 billion. President Biden's newly proposed ARPA-H would receive $3 billion.


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Final Funding FY21: The final omnibus provided $9.24 billion for EPA, with CSS receiving $127 million and the STAR program receiving $28.6 million.

Proposed FY22 Budget: $11.2 billion

The basics: EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment. To develop the foundation for the regulatory part of its mission, EPA funds scientific research in the areas of risk assessment and the impact assessment of substances on human health and the environment. The President’s budget request would set EPA’s funding for Science & Technology at $830 million, one of the largest requested increases in years.

The impact on chemistry: S&T research at EPA is housed within the Office of Research and Development (ORD), with most chemistry research falling under the Chemical Safety and Sustainability (CSS) research program. CSS helps EPA evaluate and predict the impacts of manufactured chemicals throughout their lifecycle. For FY22, the President has asked for $135 million for CSS.

Aside from research, EPA plays a critical role in the chemistry enterprise by regulating the use of chemicals in commerce. The Chemical Risk Review and Reduction program, which oversees this work, would receive $76 million in FY22.

Update 8/2021: Under the House pass appropriatons bill, EPA Science and Technology would receive $807 million, out of an total budget of $11.3 billion.


Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB)

Final Funding FY21: $12 million

Proposed FY22 Budget: TBD

The basics: CSB was created by Congress in 1990 “to investigate accidents to determine the conditions and circumstances which led up to the event and to identify the cause or causes so that similar events might be prevented.” 

The impact on chemistry: Though different from the other agencies covered here, CSB plays a key role in the chemical enterprise. By investigating and widely reporting flaws in the process of chemical production (or in the case of universities, laboratory safety), CSB protects the lives of workers and prevents property damage.

Update 8/2021: The CSB received its first increase in funding in three years in house passed appropriations, to a total of $13.4 million. The CSB has not released its FY22 budget yet.


National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)

Final FY21 Funding: NIST received $1.03 billion. MEP was funded at $150 million, STRS received $788 million. Research facility construction was funded at $80 million.

Proposed FY22 Budget: $1.5 billion

The basics: NIST, part of the Department of Commerce, develops and maintains the national measurement and standards system that makes cross-sector research, development, and commerce easier and more efficient. For the third year in a row, the President is proposing major cuts to NIST that would impact both scientific and industrial programs.

The impact on chemistry: As part of its Scientific and Technical Research Services (STRS) program, NIST provides world-class measurement science, standards, and technology in a range of S&T areas. This includes chemistry: NIST researchers have projects studying reaction mechanisms and rate constants, complex chemical systems, advanced materials, and more. NIST also operates a NanoFab laboratory and the Center for Neutron Research, two user facilities that attract researchers from across sectors. For FY22, the budget request included $915 million for STRS.

NIST’s manufacturing programs under Industrial Technology Services (ITS) would be dramatically increased as a result of the budget request, funded at $441 million,  while the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) would be funded at $275 million. Importantly, Construction of Reseach Facilities (CRF) would receive $140 million, an important investment in NIST's facilities and a significant increase over the last year.


STEM Education

The basics: The federal government sponsors an array of programs designed to increase science literacy and train the next generation of science and engineering professionals. While many agencies have STEM education programs, the Department of Education (DoEd) and NSF’s Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate are the top funders in this area.

  • NSF requested $1.29 billion for EHR.
  • DOE Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists would receive $35 million for FY22.
  • DOEd overall would receive $103 billion overall, with the following allocations for STEM-related programs:
    • Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants—designed to augment state programs for a number of academic areas, including the sciences— would receive $1.2 billion. 
    • The Administration requested $2.18 billion for the Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, which are sources of federal funding to states for postsecondary career and technical education.
    • Supporting Effective Instruction Grants would receive $2.15 billion, 
    • Education Innovation and Research Programs would receive $194 million
    • 21st Century Community Learning Centers that support after-school programs would receive $1.3 billion.

The impact on chemistry:  The future of chemistry depends on students receiving strong STEM education at all levels.

Update 8/2021: Under the appropriations measure passed by the House DOE Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists would receive $35 million for FY22. SSAE grants would receive $1.3 billion, Perkins CTE progams $2.24 billion, Supporting Effective Instruction Grants $2.29 billion, Education Innovation and Research Programs $254 million, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers $1.36 billion.


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