LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

KU starting to feel decline in federal research dollars


When I saw Steve Warren, KU's vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, at a groundbreaking event on Friday, I asked him about something that I figured is probably frequently in the back of his mind nowadays: how the federal budget sequester is affecting KU's millions in federal research funding.

He said there's been one unfortunate piece of news: A government office called the Institute of Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education, has indicated that it will simply stop awarding new research grants for the time being because of the federal budget cut.

KU already has a number of active grants thru the IES, and those will continue to be funded as scheduled. But grants expire eventually, and Warren said it looks like no new funding will be available for now.

Altogether, Warren said his best rough guess is that KU's federal research funding might decrease by about 5 percent for the 2013-14 year. KU gets more than $200 million per year, so that's a decrease of more than $10 million. And that would break a five-year streak of increasing federal research funding, Warren said.

This could be a real blow to a lot of folks, from young faculty who crave grants and research opportunities so they can achieve tenure to graduate students who sometimes rely on outside funding sources to fund their education. And the competition will likely get stiffer for whatever grants remain available from the federal government, Warren said.

Altogether, he said, it could be an "unpleasant" year, though he said KU would do whatever it could to shield faculty and students from the effects.

Anyone out there at KU who's seeing the sequester affect his or her work up close? If so, let me know at merickson@ljworld.com. And send in those KU news tips, too.

More LJWorld KU News Coverage

  • Recent Kansas University news stories
  • Heard on the Hill KU news blog
  • Follow @LJW_KU on Twitter
  • Comments

    Michael Rowland 4 years, 10 months ago

    Best way to find someone who's work is affected by the reduced number of grants going out: get the KU directory, look up any and all professors.

    It's not just IES, but NIH and NSF who are cutting grants.

    LogicMan 4 years, 10 months ago

    That's easy to answer, overall. KU has a huge liberal arts school, and these are difficult economic times for the lower and middle classes. Parents are voting with their money by sending their kids to get degrees that have more chance of paying off on their investment.

    Michael Rowland 4 years, 10 months ago

    KU is getting pretty expensive for the education you get.

    Commenting has been disabled for this item.