Sequester raises concerns over future of research

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The Daily Illini

By: Eleanor Black 

Concerns regarding the future of research funding have arisen at the University due to the sequester that took effect in March after Congress was unable to reach an agreement on a budget plan. 

The National Science Foundation has already been affected by the sequester, and its budgetary resources were cut by $356 million. In an announcement published on July 17, the foundation states that it will most likely limit the number of new grants given out, though it will continue to fund already existing grants.

Andy Borum, graduate student in aerospace, recently received a Graduate Research Fellowship from NSF, which is awarded annually.

While he has not seen any impacts thus far, he said he questions what the future will hold.

“For grad students, there’s six years in grad school, and things could be really different six years from now,” he said, “It would be awful to spend six years, and your last year — about to graduate — you have trouble with funding.”

As a graduate student, Borum said he is more worried that cuts could mean there will be fewer jobs available upon graduation, rather than worrying about the research funding that is available.

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