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Policy & Funding

College Researchers Impacted by Federal Shutdown

The third-longest federal government shutdown in history is impacting researchers who rely on agencies to fund their college and universities projects.

While the U.S. Department of Education is still funded under the current federal government shutdown, college and universities who rely on funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Geological Survey are currently impacted.

"While the NSF is a pretty huge and important funding agency, others are science funding agencies…are part of the shutdown which means that they are not able to review grant proposals and interact with the scientists that they are funding in the extramural community at our universities," said Jennifer Poulakidas, vice president of congressional and governmental affairs at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.

Currently, the work done by these science agencies to award and monitor grant funding is frozen. If the shutdown continues, Poulakidas said scientists will eventually be impacted by grant funding running out and the outcome will be "quite detrimental to science."

"The way that we fund science in this country is considered the best in the world and this will have a major impact on our ability to be preeminent in science research if we don't get the funding up and running again," Poulakidas said. "While our universities and researchers do receive some funding from non-U.S. government sources, the overwhelming majority of the funding that our scientists compete for and receive is from the federal government."

For those university projects that are funded, the shutdown will also impact efforts when funding expires.  There also will not be an opportunity for researchers to submit new proposals and compete for grants.

In order to restore funding, the APLU is working with member universities to talk to their members of Congress and the Trump administration to make the case that the shutdown needs to end as soon as possible.

More information about the APLU can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.

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