Lewis-Burke leads UO discussion on federal research funding

Lewis-Burke December 2014 Campus Discussion

Despite an expectation of flat budgets for the remainder of the Obama Administration, there are still new opportunities for UO researchers across the federal research enterprise.

That was one of the takeaways from a discussion for UO faculty and staff led by the specialty consulting and government relations firm Lewis-Burke. The Dec. 2 talk, “Succeeding in the Remaining Years of the Obama Administration,” was held in the Knight Library Browsing Room and broadcast live via webcast.

After offering brief welcoming remarks, Interim Vice President for Research & Innovation Brad Shelton introduced three panelists from Lewis-Burke:

  • April Burke, president and founder of the firm 
  • Karen Mowrer, a specialist in the areas of biomedical research, agriculture, and energy  
  • Bridget Krieger, a specialist covering basic research, energy, agriculture and urban policy

Also on hand were several UO staff members, well-versed in government relations and federally sponsored research: Betsy Boyd, associate vice president for federal affairs; Lynn Stearney, director of Research Development Services; and Vidusha Devasthali, assistant director of Research Development Services.

Lewis-Burke, a firm with a 20-year history of working with research universities, research facilities, and scientific associations, began collaborating with the UO in 2013. The partnership is sponsored jointly by UO’s University Advancement and the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation. The firm was retained to help the university confront rapidly changing federal budget dynamics. The changing climate necessitated a new approach to advocacy and the UO set out to diversify its federal relations program and begin systematically working with federal agencies to identify and shape new areas of competition.

The Dec. 2 discussion included a run down of current legislative and Administration proposals with implications for UO researchers and a summation of President Obama’s support of research during the current period of fiscal restraint. Additionally, the panel examined:

  • Congress’ support of research and some of the conditions they have placed on that support
  • Trends in federal funding
  • Interagency priorities
    • Different sectors of funding (Educational, STEM education, Humanities, Big Data, Neuroscience, Materials, Energy/Environment)

Panelists discussed the importance of demonstrating milestones in research proposals, as well as the need to present a clear vision when requesting federal funding for research. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions throughout the hour-long event. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation was posted online for faculty and staff following the event.