Thursday, May 31, 2007

The CIRM Budget and Burger King

The California stem cell agency plans to nearly double its staff during the next 12 months or so.

That means it will grow from tiny to not-so-tiny. In other words, from 24 workers to 41.

The additions are much needed. Beleaguered might be too strong a term to apply to the staff, but it probably was appropriate on some days during the last two years.

The additions are part of the budget approved earlier this week by CIRM's Governance Committee. The spending plan totals about $8 million for administrative functions, up from about $7.3 million for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The full Oversight Committee is expected to approve the proposal next week in Los Angeles.

CIRM is already seeking applications for the following positions: president, associate legal counsel, grants management officer, grants management specialist, grants technical assistant and scientific program and scientific review officers.

The agency will also see a substantial decrease in costs related to the now finally finished litigation, but CIRM will add $200,000 for legal work related to intellectual property issues.

Lest you fear that CIRM is on a path of rampant bureaucratic growth, Prop. 71 capped the number of employees at 50 to administer the $3 billion research effort. We would have to check, but it is probably fewer than it takes to run a Burger King. Sphere: Related Content

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