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Town Halls Shed Light on Federal Changes Affecting Researchers

Faculty and other researchers on campus received the latest updates last Thursday on changes in the federal research budget, new regulations in federal agencies that affect research and new opportunities from state and federal agencies for research funding and training grants in a series of town halls held across the campus.

At three town halls held throughout the day at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Price Center, Sandra Brown, Vice Chancellor for Research, and Angela Phillips Diaz, Executive Director of Government Research Relations, engaged in frank discussions with faculty and listened to their concerns about regulations and other problems affecting their ability to secure research funding as well as new regulations impacting their research.

Some of the most important opportunities and changes Brown and Phillips Diaz highlighted for researchers as they prepare to apply for grants and manage their research activities in fiscal year 2018 are:

  • NIH’s Next Generation Initiative will provide additional research grant support for early-career and mid-career researchers. The goal for FY 2017 will be to fund approximately 200 more early-career and 200 more mid-career researchers than funded in FY16.
  • A fiscal year 2018 Continuing Resolution (FY’18 CR), which ends December 8, 2017, maintains agency support of university research.
  • Congress included legislative language in the FY’18 CR and FY’18 appropriations bills preventing attempts to reduce or eliminate indirect costs (facilities and administration) for universities. Negotiated rates for indirect costs will continue to be included in grant proposals.
  • A number of issues like indirect costs, budget reductions or agency eliminations, which were actively addressed in FY’17, will be monitored and addressed in FY’18.

A video of the Research Town Hall presentation can be viewed below: