National Institutes of Health director Bernadine Healy says that university administrators need to act more like their private-sector colleagues when it comes to dealing with the issue of indirect costs. If they don't, she warns, rising overhead rates will eat into the amount of new money available for academic research grants.

"Every corporation in this country is trying to hold down its costs," Healy says, "and I think that university presidents need to do the same thing. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening."

Healy offered her comments outside the room where she opened last month's public hearing on a proposed draft report on managing research costs. The draft was put together by a working group of officials from NIH's parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services. In her remarks to the academic officials in attendance, Healy said she would like to maintain the current proportion of NIH research...

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