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Will ISU be affected by sequestration?

Published On: Apr 05 2013 03:47:15 PM CDT
Pocatello, Idaho -

The effects of sequestration are showing up... But will they be felt at Idaho State University?

As of right now, the answer to that question is a big unknown.

Some universities have announced that their research departments will be cutting back because of government spending cuts.

However, the research that goes on at ISU is being led by a man with a plan.

"We really need universities to helps us solve these bigger challenges facing our society, and facing out planet," said Dr. Howard Grimes, Vice President of Research and Economic Development.

And the way universities do that is through research. But how can they do that now with funding being limited by sequestration?

"Getting more quality proposals, grant proposals out the door," said Dr. Grimes, "and helping your faculty become more successful ant getting grant dollars in the door."

Idaho State also announced a restructuring of its Office of Research just two days ago.

The new model focuses on three key aspects of research: development, integrity, and innovation.

"I will be, next fall, deploying multiple mechanistic venues that will increase ISU faculty competitiveness at that federal grant level."

Dr. Howard grimes and his staff are looking at the bigger picture.  Having a university bring in research dollars impacts the economy with jobs.

Those new employees then put their money back into local businesses.
But to make that happen, it all comes down to the teamwork in the office of research.

"We will be going more after that pot of money," Dr. Grimes stated, "and we will be increasing our competitiveness in order to do that."

Grimes also said increasing that competitiveness will increase the likelihood of receiving the grant money.

Research grants aren't automatically given by the government. The proposals go through a peer-review process. But the National Science Foundation has cut back the number of grants it will approve.

"You have to lower the barriers, the bureaucratic barriers, in order to do that, but that's just work," Dr. Grimes said. "It's work you get done, and you move on."

Essentially, what Grimes is looking to do is overcome sequestration by simply improving the way that research is started at ISU.

Grimes past experience includes being Vice President of the Office of Research at Washington State University. During his four years in that position, the university's research grant money doubled.

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