Director, Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums Program
COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on the research enterprise and academic budgets, more specifically the systems, support services, and staff that enable large US research universities to keep their research mission operational. While universities have lost billions in this year of crisis, externally funded research has proven to be perhaps the most resilient major revenue stream for large research universities. However, academic research has also faced substantial hurdles over the last year and there are further risks ahead. We are especially concerned with the myriad of university services that support and enable scientific research, from libraries, data services, and shared facilities to proposal development and compliance functions. In this presentation, drawing from our recent issue brief, we will share findings from our new issue brief about some of the risks to academic research budgets. We will focus in particular on the budgets of those vital enablement and support functions that make it possible for universities to seek and administer grants, to comply with various regulations, and to conduct research. We will describe some of the drivers of these issues, such as how indirect costs operate, as well as institutional differences that may derive from budget models.