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HHS and NSF Letters to Senate Appropriations Committee outline sequestration impacts to NIH and NSF

By Steve Pierson posted 02-15-2013 20:47


In response to a request from Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (MD-D), the heads of Health and Human Services (HHS) and NSF have sent letters to Mikulski on how sequestration would affect their agencies. The letters are posted on the Senate Appropriations Commitee website.

In her letter, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius writes:

Cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) due to sequestration would delay progress on the prevention of debilitating chronic conditions that are also costly to society and on the development of more effective treatments for common and rare diseases affecting millions of Americans. In general, NIH grant funding within states, including Maryland, will likely be reduced due to both reductions to existing grants and fewer new grants. We expect that some existing research projects could be difficult to pursue at reduced levels and some new research could be postponed as NIH would make hundreds fewer awards. Actual funding reductions will depend on the final mix ofprojects chosen to be supported by each Institute and Center within available resources. With each research award supporting up to seven research positions, several thousand research positions across the nation could be eliminated.
In his letter, NSF Director Subra Suresh says "the required levels of cuts to our programmatic investments would cause a reduction of nearly 1,000 research grants, impacting nearly 12,000 people supported by NSF including professors, K-12 teachers, graduate students, undergraduates, K-12 students and technicians." 

Given the impacts of sequestration to NSF and NIH (and the federal statistical agencies) the ASA continues to urge its members to head the call late last year of 2012 President Bob Rodriguez: ASA President Asks ASA Members to Help Avoid Steep Cuts to NSF, NIH, and Federal Statistical Agencies.

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