Kind of an interesting observation, so I figured I’d post it.
Now that I’ve been here a little while and have gotten some research grants funded, I was curious how my research group was faring from the University’s finances perspective. Now of course this is going to be a gross oversimplification, but I figured a simple metric was taking the amount of money the University has gotten as indirects from my research grants (61% indirects rate; you can figure this out through a simple Google search), and subtract that by the amount of startup funds I’ve spent so far (note: this isn’t all the startup funds I have available; just what I’ve spent so far and is thus officially “gone”). Well, here’s what that looks like over the last two years:
My first pass at trying to analyze this data was incorrect, since my budget reports only list the total money spent (which includes directs and indirects), so I had to go back and extrapolate the direct and indirect funds out of that number for each budget number (with there being three classes: startup accounts with no indirects, the K award with 8% indirects, and the R awards with 61% indirects). So in actuality, I have not yet accrued more indirects than startup funds expended, although I do know that for the last 6 months I’ve been funded 100% off my NIH grants (I haven’t been spending my startup at all), so presumably the trend will keep trending toward the positive.
11/9/23 update: Well, so the trend did continue until I reached dead even, although I’ve since started spending on my discretionary accounts because I’m tired of it just sitting there and losing value due to inflation. Now my short-term goal is to keep finding good ways to spend my discretionary funds to help the research projects in the lab while I get more space (been waiting for years…) so I can potentially hire more people and buy more equipment with remaining funds later…