Scholars and Aid Officers Brace for Looming Budget Cuts

Threat of Sequester Has Researchers, Aid Officers Scrambling 1

Matt McLoone for The Chronicle

Francis Collins (center, standing), director of the National Institutes of Health, discusses the potential impact of forced budget cuts on medical research with Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland.

With only days remaining till steep federal spending cuts take effect, colleges and students are bracing for painful reductions in research, student-aid, and job-training programs. Some researchers say federal grant making has slowed already, as the science agencies prepare for tighter budgets.

Unless Congress acts to avert the cuts by March 1, the federal budget will be slashed by roughly 5 percent across the board through a process known as "sequestration." Thousands of researchers