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More Proposed for NSF

The US National Science Foundation could receive a 4 percent to 5 percent budget increase for fiscal year 2019, Science reports. The agency could also receive a boost to its facilities budget, it adds.

In a separate report from last week, Science noted that in the Senate budget proposal for 2018, NSF would receive $8.07 billion in funding, 4 percent more than in 2018. This, it added, is slightly — $106 million — less than what the House spending committee has proposed for NSF, but more than what the Trump Administration requested.

Science now adds that this budget increase for NSF includes additional funds for its Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account. MREFC provides funding for research infrastructure, such as lab or field instruments or computing resources. NSF asked for $94 million for these efforts this year, Science says, to complete its work on two research vessels and two telescopes. But, it adds, lawmakers "decided NSF should be thinking bigger" and proposed allocating $268 million in the House version or $249 million in the Senate version of the budget to MREFC.