Sequestration’s Effects on Undergraduate Research

According to this survey conducted by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Science Coalition, sequestration has already started to diminish the United States’ research capabilities. This includes staff reductions, fewer graduate students, delayed projects, and generally reduced learning opportunities. Sequestration is the automatic federal spending cuts of about $86 billion per year.

In the survey, 171 research universities were asked about the specific impacts of sequestration on their campus. 70% of the 74 respondents not only responded with reduced federal grants, but also a delay in research projects. The organizations who conducted the survey suggest that the impacts of the reductions and delays, such as financial costs, opportunity costs, and the effects on careers, that truly display the consequences of sequestration.

Additionally, 58% reported personnel impacts such as reductions and layoffs. 42% reported student impacts such as fewer graduate students, loss of tuition reductions or stipends, and a reduction in research opportunities for the university’s undergraduate population. 81% reported research impacts such as delayed projects, the inability to purchase equipment, and cancelled or delayed field or experimental work.

The figures from their study below show the breakdown of people-related and opportunity-related costs:

For more information, please read the full survey.

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