What does sequestration mean for biomedical and health research?


We’€™ve heard plenty in the media about sequestration’€™s impact to federal agencies including furloughs and short-lived’€”delays at airports, but how is the biomedical research community dealing with the across-the-board cuts? The word ’€œfurlough’€ is something you would never hear in a research lab; time-sensitive research experiments cannot simply be put on hold. So how will the shortfall in budgets be met?  Many researchers and universities are making tough decisions that could delay promising studies and result in layoffs.

Below are resources with more details about sequestration’€™s impact to science and the economy.

  • Research!America’€™s  sequestration fact sheet. There are many more resources available on our website, as well.
  • The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has taken it a step further and estimated the state-by-state cost of sequestration in FY13. FASEB has also prepared a fact sheet on the value of federally funded research.
  • United for Medical Research has estimated the impact of sequestration at the state level in terms of both dollars and jobs.
  • FasterCures has a wealth of information available at their sequestration station.
  • Francis Collins, MD, PhD, the Director of the NIH, took the conversation to social media and asked members of the Twitter community how sequestration is affecting their research in real-time. Scientists are using the hashtag #NIHSequesterImpact to share the impact of these cuts. Many of these responses have been compiled on Storify to paint a fuller picture of the financial pains being felt in research labs across the U.S.

We urge you to join Research!America and our network of advocates to speak up for medical research using social media during the Memorial Day Congressional recess. Learn more about the week of advocacy here.

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America’s economic destiny lies in innovation, technology, science and research.
The Honorable John E. Porter