UTB federal grants halted by government shutdown

UTB federal grants halted by government shutdown
News Center 23

POSTED: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 4:35pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 9:11am

Like many colleges around the country, UTB is being heavily impacted by the government shutdown. The school's federal funding for grants, awards and research have been halted - and that means students, faculty and staff could all be affected.

"For the students, I mean a lot of it is they don't get their funding. It impacts us in research in the sense that we communicate daily with the federal program officers, um, and all of that is totally cut off so we can't move forward on any new grants and the existing grants. We're kind of in a holding pattern," said UTB's Office of Sponsored Programs manager Pamela Paulson.

And with less money for student assistance, UTB may not experience the same record-breaking number of students it had last semester.

"Some of it limits funding to students because a lot of our grants provide scholarships, tuition assistance, stipends to students. Uh, I would say fifty percent of our grants are student-oriented in the sense that our students are paid to do research," said Paulson.

Because the National Science Foundation happens to be one of UTB's biggest federal funders, there's no telling what this could mean in terms of future research.

Even though students at UTB can continue doing research now because it's already been federally funded, they're not sure if their research funding will continue in the future.

"Everything which will be happening for the next...for the future - this is submitting grants, or some grants which are under consideration there, this is... We don't know what will be happening," said UTB associate professor of physics and astronomy, Dr. Karen Martirosyan. "You cannot submit any proposals because the web pages are closed completely...one week that we do not work will be a lot of delays."

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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