Thursday, February 28, 2013

Our Government at Work

Barring a surprise deal, the sequester goes into effect tomorrow. NSF Director (and soon to be CMU President) Subra Suresh announced a sequestration impact statement.
At NSF, the major impact of sequestration will be seen in reductions to the number of new research grants and cooperative agreements awarded in FY 2013. We anticipate that the total number of new research grants will be reduced by approximately 1,000. All continuing grant increments in FY 2013 will be awarded, as scheduled, and there will be no impact on existing NSF standard grants. It is also important to advise you that the Foundation is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will expire on March 27, 2013. 
Once the CR expires the whole NSF, and many other parts of government, will shut down. While I expect the sequestration to happen, most likely the CR will get extended.

Meanwhile last week the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memo that will require most federally funded research to be publicly available after a year. The NSF and other agencies have six months to produce a plan. According to Farnam Jahanian (NSF CISE head), the NSF will work with close consultation with academics and associations in developing its plan which may not be the same for each discipline. Purely speculating, I'm guessing something akin to what the NIH does by establishing an open repository of research papers and requiring funded researchers to post copies of their papers in that repository.


  1. Will there be any special protection for CAREER grants, or should we expect it to be much harder to win a CAREER next year?

  2. Re the memo: I'd like to see some discussion of what the impact to professional societies like ACM will be, since some significant part of their revenue comes from publications, a good part of which (I would guess) is federally funded.

  3. In further breaking news, the 2013 STEM sauce-pan temperature increase is forecast to be 2.0 °C, as contrasted with the decadal-filtered median yearly increase of 1.5 °C.

    Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Soothsayers, Professor Sparkell Pony noted that these trends are not relevant to students and/or academic institutions that are special.