I am a staff scientist in [deleted] at [non-profit research institution (NPRI)]. The research group I work for has an interesting setup. The PI is a federal employee with an appointment at [federal agency research organization (FARO)]. This is where [their] salary comes from. We work closely with another lab in [Federal department] where the PI is a joint appointment between the [FARO and major research university (MRU)]. Between the two labs, about half of the people are employed by the federal government. They have been deemed non-essential and thus have been furloughed.
The [Federal Department research center] has been closed to us since this morning. We do have lab space at [NPRI and MRU] that is not in the federal building that we can use. Losing access to the [Federal] building has disrupted our shipping and receiving. We no longer have access to computers and software in the [Federal] building which we use on a regular basis. We cannot order off of funding and grants that are managed by [Federal Department]. This is doubly painful since we lose the government discount and because ordering over the past few weeks has beeen strictly limited due to end of the fiscal year paperwork.
In addition to these infrastructure limitations, the federally funded workers have had to attend meetings and fill out paperwork instead of doing research. Even the non-federal employees have had to take part in some of these meetings in order to ensure that the lab is kept running. The timeframes for certain experiments have been thrown off. We do a lot of work with [living subjects], which don't adhere to a government shutdown. My role as a chemist comes after the biologists have done their part of the experiment. When the biologists are furloughed, the experiment isn't ready for my part of the work.
Monday, October 14, 2013
A chemist, affected by the shutdown
Reader UW writes in with a story on the issue; it has been redacted by CJ to preserve anonymity:
Ugh. Thanks to UW for writing in. Anyone else have a story? E-mail me at chemjobber -at- gmail/dot/com; confidentiality guaranteed.