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Slight Budget Trim

The US National Cancer Institute is cutting its operating budget by 5 percent, Science reports.

That move, it notes, is despite an overall increase in budget at the agency. In October, President Donald Trump signed into law an appropriations bill that gave a more than 5 percent budget increase to the National Institutes of Health for fiscal year 2019. This included about a 3 percent boost for NCI, according to Science.

But it adds that only $79 million of that is for NCI operating budget, while $100 million is for the cancer moonshot effort. That in conjunction with increased federal salaries, larger grant sizes, and increased training stipends, NCI Director Norman Sharpless says, has meant less operating funds to work with.

To free up funds to the tune of $56 million, NCI is trimming its spending level by 5 percent, Science reports. Additionally, it says most continuing grants will be cut by 3 percent, while new grants and renewals will see a 2 percent cut, in addition to a previous 17 percent cut. With this, it says the agency will be better poised to meet its needs as well as address its low grant success rate.