These days, it is very difficult for researchers to get funding. The National Institute of Health (NIH) says no to about 90% of the professors that apply for grants. Graduate students seeking funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) are also bound for disappointment, as only 1000 receive money annually. Unfortunately, this exclusivity discourages aspiring scientists from entering the field.
The Bush administration has exacerbated these problems by cutting funding for non-military scientific research, but many Democratic challengers want to reverse this trend. So far, Hillary Cinton has the clearest plan. She promises to double the NIH budget and triple the number of NSF fellowships for graduate students.
Barack Obama has voiced similar goals, though he seems more focused on early education. At Yearly Kos, he had this to say:
Only time will tell whether this rhetoric will lead to tangible improvements.