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Sequestration Update

Distributed: 3/5/2013

As you may know, Congress and the White House permitted the sequestration of federal funds beginning March 1, 2013. This is important to us because approximately 84% of Drexel’s annual sponsored research expenditures, or almost $100 million, are provided by federal sponsors.

As you might imagine, we have been monitoring the situation closely. Unfortunately, guidance has been quite scarce because federal agencies have been unwilling to disclose information on how they intended to implement sequestration in advance of the March 1 deadline.

At this time, it appears that 5.1 percent of federal discretionary funding will be sequestered for the fiscal year that ends September 30, 2013. Until we receive specific instructions from our sponsors, we won’t know how federal budget reductions will be absorbed. Further, it’s likely that it will vary from sponsor1 to sponsor.

In the absence of concrete information, we have been preparing as best we can for sequestration. Please be assured that we will work with you to minimize disruptions to your federally-sponsored projects.

Provided below are some concrete actions that we encourage you, as PIs, to take in these uncertain times:

  • If you should receive information from your sponsor regarding the impact of sequestration on your project, please forward this information to Mike Edwards at, since sponsors may communicate directly with their PIs rather than with the Office of Research;
  • Review your project budgets, familiarize yourself with actual expenditures, and prioritize efforts. Please do not plan to carry over funds to mitigate the impact of sequestration as this may place your funding at risk;
  • Develop plans to manage your project with a potential budget reduction. Identify work that is essential to the success of the project, and consider how you might plan for a reduction in project scope;
  • If you are doing work as a sub-recipient (subcontractor), maintain close contact with the PI in the prime institution. Make sure your progress reports are complete and submitted in a timely fashion so your work on the project will be evident;
  • If you have sub-awards on your projects, make sure that the sub-recipients are invoicing you in a timely manner and that you are promptly reviewing all those invoices so Office of Research may pay them. This will help ensure that the financial picture for your award is clear to your sponsor.

We will be in contact with you as more information becomes available. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your departmental research administrator or an administrator in the Office of Research.


Deborah Crawford
Senior Vice Provost for Research

Mike Edwards
Senior Associate Vice Provost for Research Administration

1 We do know that a number of NIH institutes have reduced continuation awards awarded this fiscal year by 10 percent.

Please visit the sites indicated below for the latest updates from federal agencies, the Executive Office of the President, and Congress.

National Institutes of Health (

National Science Foundation (

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

U.S. Department of Agriculture (

U.S. Department of Defense (

U.S. Department of Education (

U.S. Department of Energy (

U.S. Department of Transportation (

Congressional Reports

Executive Branch