A reduced salary cap for university researchers who receive National Institute of Health grants is expected to dramatically affect research programs at universities nationwide, though it will likely have little impact on the Georgetown University Medical Center’s budget.

The salary cap was reduced by $20,000 as part of the new federal budget for fiscal year 2012. As a result of the legislation, universities nationwide must bear the burden of maintaining salaries.

Few scientists at Georgetown will be affected, according to GUMC’s Dean for Research and Interim Director of Biomedical Graduate Research Robert Clarke.

“The overall impact of the NIH salary cap reduction will be modest since we have a relatively small proportion of researchers who have salaries at or above the cap,” he wrote in an email.

But the funding cuts could have far more negative consequences for Georgetown’s neighbors. According to a Jan. 17 article in The GW Hatchet, The George Washington University will likely lose thousands of dollars for researcher salaries.

“I realized it would have an impact the moment I heard about it,” Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, the director of the GW Institute for Neuroscience, told The Hatchet.

At Georgetown, about 80 percent of the $153.7 million in research grants that the university receives comes from the federal government.

Clarke noted that of the Medical Center’s typical yearly budget, 56 percent comes from the NIH while the remaining 44 percent is from other government agencies, foundations and businesses.

Although the federal budget was signed on Dec. 23, Clarke said that it would not be possible to gaugethe precise economic consequences of the cap until the NIH issues further details on the policy. Depending on the NIH’s rules for the cap’s implementation, both new and old research grants could be affected.

Executive Vice President and Dean of the Medical Center Howard Federoff agreed that the ramifications of the cap would not have too severe an effect on research at Georgetown.

“We will manage the additional burden and do not believe it will impact investigators such that they would depart GU,” he wrote in an email.

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