Will Result Of 2016 Elections Affect The Duke Funding?

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Nov 08, 2016 06:00 AM EST

Although Hillary Clinton's and Donald Trump's positions on issues such as immigration reform, gun laws and taxes have been carefully dissected by the media and public throughout past year, the candidates' views on funding science and research have flown mostly under the radar.As a top research university, Duke overall received 759 awards amounting to a total of almost $398 million in fiscal year 2016, up from approximately $363 million distributed among 740 awards in fiscal year 2015. 

Chris Simmons, associate vice president of federal relations, noted that Clinton's voting record in the Senate and her work with major research universities in New York indicate that a Clinton administration would be supportive of scientific research funding. 

Vick also noted that neither Clinton nor Trump are against funneling money into scientific research, but that looking at research funding in the context of their overall agendas is more telling.

Trump has spoken highly of NASA research before, Simmons noted, although the University gets more funding from the NIH and NSF.

Clinton is focused on how investments affect the economy and the overall growth of the nation, Vick said. On the other hand, he added, Trump does not advise against funding scientific research, but he wants to put the resources of the government into building infrastructure and other issues. 

Both Angrist and Vick pointed out that the president has influence over how much the government invests in scientific research, but ultimately it is Congress that sets government agencies' budgets. 

The outcome of the presidential race could indirectly affect the University, in that the president's relationship with Congress would impact the NIH budget

Simmons also noted the importance of leaders having knowledge of science, and of the country's immigration policy influencing the University's ability to bring in scientists and researchers from other countries.

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