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Federal budget sequestration: What it means for public health research


An  article appeared in The Scientist this week addressing the much-debated federal budget ‘sequestration’ and the potential consequences for university research. Read the full story. The topic also caught the attention of our own GW Hatchet this week. The proposed federal budget “sequestration” for research funding, estimated at over $3 billion for 2013, could have detrimental effects on not only the viability of university research enterprises, but on the nation’s public health broadly. Many of the targeted agencies, such as NIH, CDC, HRSA, and AHRQ,  support public health research. A significant portion of our School’s research portfolio comes from these federal agencies. If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes to read (and share with colleagues) an excellent, concise document put out by Research America!, which explains the impact on federal research dollars agency by agency. See: Sequestration: Health Research at the Breaking Point. If the budget cuts pass, research dollars would not go away altogether, but undoubtedly there may be fewer grants awarded and the competitive bar for funding could reach an all time high. Regardless of whether or not these the cuts are fully implemented, it seems that changes in federal funding for research are inevitable. I underscore that our School has been anticipating and continues to plan for this impending new era in research funding. Universities that remain competitive in this environment will be those that place emphasis on strategic recruitment, alternative innovative funding sources, and lean and efficient operations—these  goals are very much in line with our School’s strategic research planning.  

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