TAMPA – The Psychology Department at University of South Florida faces the same challenge as all research conducting institutes: a tighter budget.
According to The Center of University Measurement, USF was ranked 27th among public institution in research in 2010. Although they have managed to keep their rank high, acquiring money for research is becoming more difficult each year.
“Not having enough funding for research is actually hindering our learning because research provides foundation for the future,” said graduate student Joshua Halonen.
“The department receives money from the college it’s in. Faculty has to obtain other [additional] funding through grants,” said Psychology Department Chair Dr. Michael Brannick.
The National Institute of Health provides grants for most research; however, competition has increased drastically.
“A smaller institute has more money for research, whereas you would think a larger, more prestigious school would get more funding, but that is simply not the case,” said Halonen. “Once you start receiving grants, it’s easy to keep them coming if you’re doing your job right, but just getting your foot in the door is the hard part.”
Luckily for USF, the Psychology Department along with the Health Department has steady contracts with the Veterans Hospital.
“We work very closely with the V.A hospital so that helps us out tremendously. We also get a small portion of funding from doing pilot work with drug companies,” says Halonen.
Even though receiving money for research is getting hard for every department, requirements will not change for students who hope to complete research toward a higher education.
“In order to get into graduate school, it’s crucial to have some sort of research completed,” said the Director of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Paul Spector.
Even with tighter funding, research facilities aren’t going anywhere. Universities suggest that students get involved with research studies during their undergraduate years.