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NIH to Ax 20% of Electronic Grant Contractors Due to Budget Cuts

Posted Apr 06 2011 6:10pm

30 of 160 contractors will get the word and this means a longer wait for grants and image fewer will be processed.  The agency does not have a 2011 budget and is operating at last year’s levels. 

The required cut is $2 million in the $36 Million dollar budget so research and development kind of moves backwards I guess is the best way to put it.  BD 

In a sign of grim budget times, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is cutting 20% of the contractors who help run its electronic grants system.

In a message today to extramural staff, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Sally Rockey explains that "in the strained budget climate," the agency's Electronic Research Administration (eRA) "has been dealt a major reduction in its budget." To make matters worse, the cut is coming in the middle of the fiscal year (which runs from October to September). About 20% of eRA contract staff members are being "released," which will result in "a significant impact" on eRA's services, Rockey's note says. NIH staff and grantees will wait longer for eRA staff to respond to questions and fix system problems, and many eRA projects will be curtailed.

Like other federal agencies, NIH doesn't yet have a 2011 budget, and the agency is operating at last year's level under a temporary spending measure. Rockey says "competing priorities" required a $2 million cut in eRA's $36 million budget. That will mean shedding about 30 of the 160 eRA contractors, including some on the help desk. "We're going to try to find as many efficiencies as we can," she said.

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