The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
The Importance of Supporting Engineering Education
The Importance of Supporting Engineering Education
February 20, 2024

In today's era of information technology, engineering plays the role of a vanguard, trying to optimize processes and develop new products, making...

Research still dependent on federal funding

Research being carried out at the Microscopy l...
Research being carried out at the Microscopy lab of the . This photo was taken on July 28, 2006 using a Nikon D70. For more information about INL’s research projects and career opportunities, visit the lab’s facebook site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The future of research funding has been called into question, according to John Belisle, a microbiology, immunology and pathology professor.

“This (shutdown) is a reflection of all the federal budget problems and the inability to have a budget,” Belisle said.


Belisle states that before 2008, 15 percent of research grants were funded by the government. This year, it is down to 8 percent, and more research cuts are expected in the near future. For Belisle, the decline in research funding and the recent shutdown are both an indication of larger governmental issues.

“The bigger impact is the inability to plan, based on federal budgets and reduced funding for projects,” Belisle said. “Overall, the percentage of funding (from the government) is going down.”

The shutdown caused a variety of issues for researchers across the nation.

“We have researchers all over the country and world who…no longer (had) access to their fieldwork,” said Kathi Delehoy, senior associate vice president for research.

Delehoy revealed that the shutdown affected university research in many ways. First, many research projects received ‘stop work orders,’ which forced investigative researchers to cease all work immediately. Delehoy stated that this sometimes happened in the middle of an experiment.

“It (gave) people an uneasy feeling, to say the least,” Delehoy said. “People will be glad to back on their projects.”

Researchers also found themselves unable to access databases with information and other resources that was crucial to their projects.

“The federal government keeps a lot of the most important data, and almost all of those sites (were) down,” said Stephan Weiler, a research associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts.

Weiler was concerned for both the researchers and the students who were affected by the inability to access data.


“Data is a big problem,” Weiler said. “We use (the federal data sites) in our research, and students use them in their capstone projects.”

According to Delehoy, many project proposals, which had not yet received approval, were delayed. This could be harmful to the project, as many were under a specific deadline for approval.

The microbiology, immunology and pathology department has felt many of the effects of the shutdown.

According to Belisle, the department has been unable to obtain clinical samples needed to work on their current projects surrounding diagnostics for tuberculosis. The department is also unable to receive any of the necessary work permits and has been unable to collaborate with the Center for Disease Control in Fort Collins.

“We had to reschedule our research activities and our plans,” Belisle said.

CSU’s overseeing research department also had to cancel some of their plans. Delehoy explained that the department had planned on hosting a National Science Foundation regional conference, which would have hosted 250 people from around the nation, but has been canceled due to the shutdown.

“We (may) not get to hold one this year,” Delehoy said.

Belisle explained how his department has been waiting for funding that is now delayed.

“It’s a snowball effect,” Belisle said. “As (the government) gets backed up with research projects, it takes them longer and longer to catch up.”

Collegian City Beat Reporter Caitlin Curley can be reached at

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Hey, thanks for visiting!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *