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Impacts of Shutdown on Research Funding

January 23, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

As you are all likely aware, the partial shutdown of the federal government has the potential to significantly impact our federally sponsored research activities. Funding authorizations are in place for the Departments of Health and Human Services (which includes the National Institutes of Health), Defense, Education and Energy, and thus extramural awards from these departments are not impacted by the shutdown. The grants programs of all other federal agencies may be disrupted by this ongoing impasse. As in prior shutdowns, we expect no new funds or annual increments of continuing awards to be issued by these agencies until the shutdown has ended.

Given this uncertainty, we ask researchers with existing awards to prioritize their expenditures to support trainees (graduate students, postdocs and undergraduate students) employed on their grants, followed by other soft-funded researchers and support staff. If possible, please avoid charging major travel or capital expenditures to your awards during the shutdown

Agencies that have not issued stop-work orders will generally allow for continued spending on their grants as long as time and funds are available. However, once the period of performance has ended or obligated funds are spent, work must stop. PIs may still request no-cost extensions from affected agencies, but is it unlikely that such requests will be addressed until the government resumes full operations. If you have an award that is approaching a terminal date, please inform Sponsored Research Services (SRS) as soon as possible.

If you receive a stop-work order directly from the agency, please contact SRS right away.

All existing reporting deadlines for current research awards are still in effect. Principle investigators must continue to meet the reporting requirements established by their sponsors.

New opportunities through, NSF Fastlane and with posted deadlines are still in effect. Submissions will be logged by electronic repositories, but submitted proposals will not be processed until normal agency operations resume. As the shutdown continues, the backlog of unprocessed proposals will grow, so please expect unusually long periods between the submittal and review of any new proposals. Unfortunately, there are no staff members available in the affected agencies to address questions pertaining to grant proposal submissions.

If you have any questions about shutdown notices and the shutdown’s effect on specific awards, please contact the SRS office.


Samuel J. Traina

Vice Chancellor for Research

Gregg Camfield

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost