Iowa State University’s annual report on the funding it receives for research dropped by 9.37-percent — or $33.8 million in the last fiscal year. ISU’s interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development, David Oliver, says the drop in what’s called external funding is due in large part to automatic federal budget cuts.
“The federal funds we normally deal with are USDA, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, all of which fund research and instructional programs at the university. And they are all down because decreased funding that was available because of sequestration,” Oliver says.
The overall funding dropped to $326.4-million. Federal lawmakers failed to come up with a way to hold off the sequester cuts, and Oliver says the university is not planning on much of that money coming back. “Sequestration has also caused — just because of the turmoil shall we say in the federal government — some delays of money coming. So, some of this is one-time money that will return later. But most of it is across-the-board permanent cuts,” Oliver says.
“At least that’s what our expectations are.” Oliver says the university anticipated the potential cuts as federal officials debated how to hold them off. He says the school focused on finding other sources of money to make up the difference.
“That’s resulted in some additional funds flowing in that support our research and teaching efforts. And we’ve had some big changes down at the research park for example, again trying to bring in some other sources of funding, other ways of supporting the kind of research we do on campus,” according to Oliver.
“And some of these have partially offset the decreases in federal funding. But the federal government has traditionally been the biggest supporter of these kinds of research activities, particularly on campus.” Oliver believes the new sources of funding will continue to be available in the future despite what happens with federal dollars.
“We’ve been looking for other funds because we new the sequestration was going to come. I’m not sure the sequestration encouraged this other funding to come in. We’ve gone out and tried to respond to what we knew was actively coming down the road,” Oliver says. I-S-U’s total non-federal external funding was up this year by 1.45-percent at $153.7-million.
Contributions from foundations and associations increased by almost 13-percent over last year’s level. The University of Iowa reported last week that its external funding had topped $400-million for the fifth consecutive year, fueled by gains in corporate, industry and philanthropic funding that helped offset cutbacks in federal research funding due to sequestration.
The U-I’s total external funding for fiscal 2013 was $424-million.
Iowa State’s external funding came from the following sources during the fiscal year that ended June 30. Federal by agency (includes all formula funding, federal direct funding, and regular federal grant and contract activity)
Health and Human Services $10,549,985
National Science Foundation $38,505,984
Environmental Protection Agency $228,496
Total Federal: $172,742,749