Science made the complete transcript of a recent interview with NIH director Francis Collins available, and Writedit at Medical Writing, Editing & Grantsmanship says that Collins was "a bit more encouraging — for those in basic research — than the printed excerpt." Collins says that he wants "to protect the basic science foundation of everything we do because that is our future. And I would certainly say to any R01 investigator who's worried about this that the vast majority of the discoveries that are going to matter are going to come from those hypothesis-driven investigator-initiated efforts," though he also wants "to inspire those individuals who may have thought of themselves as lifelong basic scientists to think translationally if the opportunity arises and not to feel that's off limits."
Writedit, though, is concerned. "However, the funding emphasis will remain on translational and applied research — accelerating cures … on cue, it seems. And the more pure basic science, seeking to serendipitously discover mechanism ... the way things work? I worry that these sorts of projects will be lost as "less productive" ... harder to explain to Congress," she writes.