The University Record, January 16, 1996

U researchers breathe easier with funding approved for some federal agencies, opening of offices

By Jared Blank

U-M researchers received promising news last week when President Clinton signed into law a continuing resolution allowing research-related government agencies to resume working through Jan. 26. In what Robert Samors, government relations officer, calls a "very pleasant surprise," the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were granted funding through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, at 5.7 percent above last year's level.

"All of the research-related agencies are up and running," Samors says. "They're able to make awards, process grants, answer questions---but only until Jan. 26. The good news is that in addition to the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control accounts for disease prevention, injury prevention and other activities were also funded through September."

Though grants will begin to be processed and awards will be made, it may be weeks before the process returns to normal, warned Wendy Baldwin, NIH deputy director for extramural research, in an e-mail message. "The furlough, and now the blizzard, have had an impact on the initial review group meetings scheduled for early February," she said. "We have lost significant time in the preparation for those meetings and we must be sure that reviewers are able to get materials in advance of the meetings for their review and the preparation of critiques."

In addition, she noted, "the furlough disrupted the publication of the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts. Getting the guide back in publication will be a high priority for my office."

Agency funding update

Here is a summary of the funding status of some of the government agencies that affect the University:

 

Appropriations bills signed into law and unaffected by the current budget problems: Departments of Energy, Defense, Transportation and Agriculture.

 

Funded through Sept. 30: NIH, passport and visa services, Medicare contractors, Medicaid payments to states and the Centers for Disease Control.

 

Funded through Jan. 26: National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Departments of Education and Commerce, and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.