Making the Most of Your Research Budget

Marty Falaro
Marty Falaro
EVP & Chief Operating Officer

For Wasabi customers at research universities, the most common issue we hear across the board is the fight for budget. Hard won, easily cut, simply put research universities have to make their research budgets stretch.

Public colleges have been particularly hard hit with budget crunches, as state funding for public two- and four-year colleges in the school year ending 2018 was more than $7 billion dollars below the 2008 level after adjusting for inflation, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in their October 2018 report “Unkept Promises: State Cuts to Higher Education Threaten Access and Equity.”

Are there ways to free up budget, that used to be simply “the cost of research,” while also INCREASING your ability to execute on the research projects in the queue?

One of the most important components of scientific research is having the staff to do all of the work required in doing primary research. And in universities, that is where Graduate Research Assistants come into play, if any portion of the budget is the most vulnerable, it’s almost certainly with staffing. While technology improvements typically drive down cost over time, inflation and the cost-of-living only climbs upward for the people on the team. If you can carve out budget from other areas that makes sure that your Graduate Research Assistants are fully funded without question, no doubt that’s a win for your research projects.

Consider that the average cost per year of a Graduate Student Research Assistant is (Source: University of Michigan):

Description Cost
GSRA Salary $21,000
Tuition waiver $17,000
Healthcare Benefits $3,000
Total Cost $41,000 per year per Graduate Student Research Assistant


200 TB stored with Wasabi vs AWS S3 would save $42,024.96 purely on the cost of storage. When you factor in egress and API requests, which often take 20-50% in additional budget for S3, the savings continue to add up – and you can then repurpose that savings into other areas where you don’t have the easy option to claw back such a large portion of budget with very little effort.

Consider the scale of data for long-term research projects – scientific teams the world over are awash with data. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) in Chile generates over 15 TB of imaging data every night. The 10-year survey will ultimately produce 500 PB of data.

What could you do if you could free up $84,000 a year in your storage budget?

Hire two dedicated, all costs covered Graduate Research Assistants.

And if you’re an Internet2 member, our peering connection to the Internet2 network provides you with even faster access to our service than a typical customer coming through the public internet.

Wasabi has over 200 technology partners that have integrated with our cloud storage interface, with options that can tie to nearly any data source that you may be using.  These partners can make swapping your on-prem or existing cloud storage to Wasabi the easiest thing you do in your day.

Come talk to Wasabi in Booth #3 at the Internet2 2019 Global Summit to find out how Wasabi can help you make the most of your research budget.

Marty Falaro
Written By

Marty Falaro

EVP & Chief Operating Officer