Office of Research News

Sequester update: Limiting the impact on your research

Posted: February 28, 2013

Below is a summary of information currently available regarding the impact of sequester on Ohio State research.

The sequester amount will be about 5.1% of the current fiscal year budget for non-defense agencies and 7.3% for defense agencies. Agencies will have flexibility in how they manage their cuts. NSF just announced that it plans to maintain existing awards at their current funding level and manage its budget cut by making fewer new awards (about 1,000 fewer in FY 13). NIH, on the other hand, is funding non-competing continuation awards at 90% of the committed level with the intent of providing some additional funding (though probably not the entire 10%) when they finally have a budget in place. NIH’s plan will also necessitate fewer new awards, but we have no estimate of the number. Other agencies have not yet provided any information on their plans.

This variability and lack of detail makes planning for the future challenging. Provided below are some steps that you can take to limit potential impacts on your research program:

  • Spend mindfully and monitor expenditures carefully. Plan for how you would manage a 5% cut. While this isn’t a large change, over the course of a multi-year award it could have a noticeable impact.
  • On the other hand, do not hoard funds. A couple of requests to carry forward unencumbered balances on NIH U awards have already been denied.
  • Encourage subawardees to submit timely invoices. This will help you manage your award budget more effectively.
  • If you are a subawardee, maintain close contact with the PI at the prime institution. Make sure that you submit reports and other deliverables on time so that we receive timely payment.
  • New awards are most susceptible to large cuts. If you receive a new award that is cut significantly, think carefully about the impact on the scope of work. It may be necessary to submit a revised scope to the sponsor.
  • Do not incur costs on an award that is “coming.” Wait until we have an award document in hand.
  • If you receive communications directly from your sponsor, please forward a copy to Anne Moffat, executive director of sponsored programs, at

As additional information becomes available we will post it on the Office of Research and Office of Sponsored Programs websites. Please contact Anne Moffat (292-3732 or or your Sponsored Program Officer if you have questions or need help with planning.


Additional Sequester Updates


Category : Funding / General Information / Office of Sponsored Programs