Stories about: sequestration

The shutdown may be over, but sequestration still threatens research

shutterstock_127896818The impact on science of this month’s federal government shutdown is still being calculated. But even before the shutdown, research across the U.S. was on rough footing.

Sitting in his office, Randolph Watnick, PhD, points to a stack of file folders and papers on his desk. It’s a good six inches tall. “I usually send out 10 or 11 grant applications in a year,” he says. “This year, I sent out that many by July.”

Watnick, who studies cancer metastasis at Boston Children’s Hospital, is writing so many grants because it’s what he has to do to keep his lab afloat. Like thousands of researchers across the U.S., he is trying to make up for funding losses due to sequestration—the automatic across-the-board federal spending cuts that went into place in March of this year.

In conversations with researchers up and down the academic ladder, the picture that comes together of sequestration’s impact on research is not pretty. And the worst may be yet to come.

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