University of Texas graduate student Joe Hanson has shaped his lifestyle to accommodate the meager salary he earns as a genetic engineering biology researcher. He supplements his income with a job as a college teaching assistant. He and his wife don’t take vacations; they drive a 1999 Ford truck with manual windows. They have even postponed having children.
But federal budget cuts to college research dollars have Hanson, who makes $25,000 a year, rethinking his career choice. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the government slashed an estimated $57.5 billion for research over the next four years under the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, cuts that will hit many as the school year — and annual research contracts — comes to a close.
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