Federal Research Funding at Risk

 
Do you rely on federal research funding for your studies or work at UW? It’s time to start paying attention to politics in D.C. On July 11, 153 University presidents, including UW President Michael Young, signed a letter to Congress and the President urging them to prevent automatic federal budget cuts that are scheduled to take place in January. These cuts (known as "budget sequestration") could reduce federal research funding to the UW by 7-8% next year. For more information and to view the letter, visit the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities website. To find out how you can advocate on this issue with GPSS, contact Melanie Mayock: gpssvp@uw.edu.
 
"Faculty are spending a lot more time writing grants...It isn't possible to cut corners and do quality research" [Mary Lidstrom] said. On August 15, The Daily covered the effects of potential cuts to federal funding on undergraduate and graduate research students here.
 
 
GPSS President Adam Sherman and other graduate students meet with Congressman Jim McDermott to discuss higher education
 

Letter to Congress

GPSS and ASUW sent the following letter to Senator Murray and all members of the Washington congressional delegation individually on July 27th:
 
Dear Senator Murray,
 
As representatives of the 40,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students at the University of
Washington (UW), we are writing to express our deep concern on the potential impacts of sequestration on
federal research funding. As you know, the UW is one of the nation’s premier research universities, and it
received over $1 billion in federal competitive research grants in fiscal year 2011.
 
The research performed by UW faculty and students is a boon to the economy of Washington State,
contributing $3 billion per year in economic impact, supporting over 22,000 jobs and leading to the creation
of over 250 companies in the state. The automatic discretionary budget cuts scheduled to take effect in
January could lead to cuts of up to 10% in federal research funding for UW. The effect of such a cut would
be felt both immediately and in the long-term. In the short term, such a cut will directly and expressly hinder
active research by eliminating operating funds. This means laying off undergraduate and graduate research
assistants and ending opportunities for undergraduate research, which will irreparably disrupt our innovation
pipeline. Looking forward, the new businesses that could have resulted from this cutting-edge research will
never materialize, harming the economy of our state.
 
Recently, over 150 university presidents and chancellors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia
wrote to President Obama and Congressional leaders urging them to prevent deep across-the-board spending
cuts due to take effect in January as a result of budget sequestration, and to reach “a major, balanced long-
term deficit-reduction agreement that will reduce budget deficits, rein in the nation’s debt, and create
economic and job growth.”
 
Federal support for scientific research set the foundation for the dramatic expansion of our economy in 20th
century. We need the same commitment in the 21st century. Americans know that these investments produce
the people and the ideas that lead to new products, new businesses, and entire new industries, as well as
the jobs that go with them. We urge you to work with your colleagues to press for a solution that preserves
research funding for the benefit of our students and for our economy.
 
Adam Sherman                                          Evan Smith
GPSS President                                         ASUW President
 
 
    Cole Perkinson, 2010 summer intern, working in lab at PMEL.