NIH has cancelled all study sections this week and next. This means that no study sections will be meeting before October 25.
By cancelling all CSR study section meetings from October 1 through October 18, NIH:
- Cancelled over 170 meetings
- Notified over 4000 reviewers
- Postponed review of over 8600 applications*
All October application deadlines are being rescheduled to November.
*Preliminary NIH analysis.
The U.S. Treasury has announced that it expects the debt ceiling to be reached in mid-October at which point the country will have reached the limit of its borrowing authority and will not be able to pay all of its bills. The looming October deadline is earlier than previously anticipated and the path forward is unclear. Treasure Secretary Jacob Lew has sent a letter to Congress encouraging action to extend the debt ceiling in order to avoid default. President Obama has stated that he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling while Speaker John Boehner says that he is preparing for a show down and intends to “leverage the political process” and demand “cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit.” Speaker Boehner has not made statements regarding specific cuts and reforms that will be requested.
This news leaves many government agencies guessing as to how to plan for the coming year – and beyond. Their uncertainty translates to an increasingly competitive federal funding landscape. The NIH has referred to 2013 as the “darkest ever” year for the agency and they continue to fund fewer of the grant applications that they receive.
A recent article in the Baltimore Sun described the impacts that the budget uncertainty is having on research as agencies face increasing scrutiny in how funds are distributed. Dr. Daniel Ford, vice dean for clinical investigation at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said during an interview for the article, “I have never seen a year where there is going to be such a need for advocacy around NIH funding.”
University of Michigan head of research Stephen Forrest anticipates that the Ann Arbor school would lose $40 million in research funding if Congress follows through on a policy that would drastically reduce federally funded research.
Sequestration, a series of automatic federal spending cuts scheduled to begin March 1, would cut national federal research funding by $12 billion in 2013.
U-M medical school dean James Woolliscroft and vice president for research Stephen Forrest.
File photo | AnnArbor.com
“It is a meat cleaver-approach to solving budget problems,” Forrest told U-M regents during a Thursday board meeting. “We don’t know what the future’s going to look like. It’s certainly not going to be very robust.”
Read the entire article here.
Reaching an agreement on a mechanism to avoid sequestration on March 1 will be far more complicated because of other fiscal deadlines. Congress failed to pass any of the twelve appropriations bills for this fiscal year that started three months ago. A stop-gap funding bill continuing most federal budgets at a constant level expires on March 27. “Extraordinary measures” now being taken by the U.S. Treasury to avoid a default on the government’s debt will run their course by the end of February.
Jones, Richard. (January 9, 2013). No Resolution in Sight [FYI: The AIP Science Policy News]. Retrieved from http://www.aip.org/fyi/2013/003.html
Advanced manufacturing is garnering national momentum as an industry with major growth potential; it has been identified as a key component of the 2013 budget proposed by the White House, in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Proposed Initiatives, and as part of industry-initiated news articles.
Advanced manufacturing focuses on technical innovations that produce beneficial and sustainable impacts on production processes. University-industry partnerships have the opportunity to solve real industry problems through lab research.
New advanced manufacturing opportunities are highly collaborative between private industry and public entities. There are several advantages to researchers collaborating with the manufacturing industry including: accelerated rate of innovation due to a more proximate loop between the workbench and the drawing board, increased number of patents and inventions, and access to specialized processes of production.
Read more about Advanced Manufacturing at the following sites: