David Conover

Questions on federal research funding raise concern at UO

The UO, and other universities, can generally guess the amount of federal research funding they will receive in a given year based either on hints from the president’s science policy advisor or items run through the Office of Management and Budget.

But under President Donald Trump, neither of those things exist yet. The Register-Guard recently interviewed several UO officials about their concerns over the uncertainty surrounding federal research policy.

“Right now, part of the problems is the new administration doesn’t have people in place to put a budget together,” said David Conover, vice president for research and innovation at the UO. “It’s very difficult to get information currently about what the new priorities will be in the agencies.”

Last fiscal year the UO received $98 million in federal research dollars, and an additional $170 million went to students through loans and Pell grants.

Enrollment also could be affected by changes in federal policy. Applications from international students are down 15 percent, and an agreement with Saudi Arabia to enroll 80 students a year is now on hold.

“Admissions is doing a lot to reach out to applicants and make sure they know that they’re welcome on this campus — and increase the rate at which they do come to the University of Oregon,” said Dennis Galvan, UO provost for International Affairs.

For more, read “Scientists nationally and at University of Oregon fret about federal research funding under Trump” in The Register-Guard.