As Congress and the President work to reach an agreement on a budget deficit reduction plan, universities receiving federal research funds must prepare to adjust project activities if an agreement is not met. With the March 1st enactment of sequestration federal agencies anticipate more than $85 billion dollars’ worth of cuts across the board. Further complicating matters is the March 27th 2013 deadline to extend funding through a Continuing Resolution.
In an effort to keep the Clemson University research community apprised of how agencies plan on implementing funding reductions, the Office of Research has created a central information warehouse for all agency guidance, available on the Office of Sponsored Programs webpage. Notices from Federal Agencies are available here:
In addition to this central guidance location, the Grants and Contracts Administration Office will send each letter to investigators currently funded by the applicable agency.
In summary, agencies indicate that reductions may result in delays committing to new funding, a percentage reduction or elimination of levels of continued funding on multi-year projects, or renegotiation and re-scoping of current project activities. Agencies may also choose not to exercise future year options on procurement contracts where funding has not already been committed. Additionally, certain activities will be under greater scrutiny, such as hiring new personnel, issuing discretionary monetary awards to employees and requesting new obligations for training, conferences and travel. These actions may also flow down through subcontracts that the University has, as well.The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be our resource in navigating through these issues. OMB maintains five resource offices to assist with budget concerns for federal funding agencies. OSP is available to help with any issues that may arise from sequestration. Please contact your college-based OSP support center on any issues that may arise from sequestration. OSP will continue to keep the research community posted on any further developments.