I just got out of a too-long meeting with someone from accounting because I was trying to figure out the best way to pay some research fees. The accountants went off on some waaaaaaaaaay looooooooong tangents, and as a result I know a LOT more about the financial woes of the world, country, state, university, college, and department. Yikes. Things are not looking good for grad students coming down the pipeline here at UBC. I'm very happy (and lucky) to have the security of a graduate research fellowship during this time.
However, I now have to pay taxes on more of my research money thanks to a minor language change. In a nutshell: Instead of getting reimbursed (which is not taxable), the money will go on my 1098-t, which, because my fellowship income is also reported on my 1098-t rather than a W-2, is mostly taxable income.
I also learned that it costs the department about $500,000 to hire a biology professor, and with the current distribution of overhead payments, it takes the university at least 10 years to recoup that startup from grant overhead. I had no idea. Talk about pressure to get big grants!