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Release: Oct. 2, 2001

UI temporarily suspends internal research funding programs

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research has temporarily suspended a number of internal funding programs due to uncertainty about potential budget cuts in the current fiscal year.

David Skorton, vice president for research, has told faculty not to submit proposals for funding from six programs that provide seed money for projects. Frequently, this seed money makes the difference in the ability for these projects to compete for grant money from external sources. In one case, the money makes it possible for the university to involve more undergraduates directly in research activities.

"We're trying to maintain as much flexibility as possible while budget uncertainties are being resolved," Skorton said. "We don't want our faculty to spend a great deal of time preparing proposals for funds that might not be available come spring."

The suspended programs are:

  • Central Investment Fund for Research Enhancement (CIFRE)
  • Collaborative Interdisciplinary Projects
  • Iowa Informatics Initiative
  • Iowa Research Experiences for Undergraduates
  • Social Sciences Initiative
  • Biosciences Initiative Pilot Grant Program
Suspending these programs will allow the university to hold about $1.1 million until this year's budget picture becomes clearer. Skorton said the final decision about these programs as well as the Arts and Humanities Initiative, for which faculty apply in the spring, will be made following legislative action on Gov. Vilsack's recommended budget cuts for this fiscal year.

He urged faculty who have projects that might already compete well for external funding to contact his staff for assistance in redirecting their proposals to appropriate Federal or other agencies.

Skorton said his hope is that this suspension will be temporary since these programs are crucial for funding faculty scholarly and creative activities as well as for developing the types of high-quality research programs that compete successfully for external funding.