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Science Funding Trends

Further Reading: Funding Trends

The end of 2023 marked an important season for studying the intersection between science and philanthropy. The Alliance published its inaugural Science Philanthropy Indicators Report in December, in the company of other insightful publications. Read more below:

  • A UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation report from Robert W. Conn and colleagues uses NSF data and university interviews to explore the U.S. R&D ecosystem. It includes discussions of the contributions of government, universities, and philanthropy, including the scale and influence of philanthropy, unique features of the American philanthropic enterprise, and comparisons between U.S. and Chinese R&D.
  • A recent report from the Chronicle of Higher Education offers an in-depth discussion of trends shaping the academic-research enterprise, including a focus on basic research. They explore the role and history of universities as a cradle for basic research, and the way basic science underpins an increasingly applied landscape: “discovery is built on discovery.” The report includes a commentary from Alliance President France A. Córdova about philanthropy’s vital contributions to basic research.
  • The NSF National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has released preliminary 2021 and estimated 2022 data from the Higher Education Research and Development Survey. The accompanying analysis discusses R&D spending at academic institutions and record increases in support from 2021 to 2022.
  • ClimateWorks has released their 2023 report on funding trends in climate change mitigation philanthropy finds a plateau in giving from 2021 to 2022 and some promising growth in decarbonization, climate philanthropy in Africa, and equity and justice efforts.
  • Our Shared Seas shares a global landscape analysis for marine area-based conservation. The report discusses the leadership from large foundations that has driven an increase in philanthropic support over the last decade and the future resources needed for this sector.

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