Researchers mostly unharmed by budget impasse

Faculty will have to wait longer to hear back about research grant applications thanks to the government shutdown, though funding will continue to flow to current researchers.

Top research centers – such as the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation – will not process grant applications until a federal budget is passed.

Still, funds that have already been doled out will be unaffected by the shutdown, according to NSF and NIH contingency plans. About 62 percent of GW’s research dollars come from federal sources.

Jason Zara, an associate professor of engineering, was scheduled to evaluate NIH grant proposals for medical imaging technology next week. But that process will be halted if the government remains shut down Saturday.

“If [the shutdown] is a couple of days, it probably won’t have a big impact,” Zara said. “If it’s 21 days like it was in the 90s, it could start to affect when they notify people and when they could start funding them.”

GW prepared for how last year’s sequester would affect research, but still yielded higher research numbers than previous years.

Zara said the next deadline for NIH grant applications is not until November, so it is unlikely that the shutdown would affect grants coming in for that date.

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