Office of Research Research Guidance Regarding Possible Federal Government Shutdown - Office of Research

Research Guidance Regarding Possible Federal Government Shutdown

Research Guidance Regarding Possible Federal Government Shutdown

"US Capitol Building" by ukanda is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As we move through summer and toward the end of the federal fiscal year, many are starting to wonder about the potential for a federal government shutdown, what that will mean and how it will impact them.

Current reports are that the U.S. House and the Senate are still far apart on the terms of a budget deal and there will be precious little time available when they return from the August recess to craft an agreement by the end of September when the current federal budget expires. Absent that agreement or a continuing resolution, the federal government will shut down, which is a definite possibility, and some people believe it is a likelihood.

With that said, our goal is to ensure you are as adequately prepared as possible to mitigate any impacts from a shutdown and to limit any disruptions to your research work. Accordingly, we are offering the following update and encourage you to take action now if you receive federal funding.

In a shutdown, the administration, distribution, and funding of federal grants will be impacted. While it is important to note that each federal agency will have their own unique procedures and protocols, as well as issuing their own contingency plans, we can generally expect the following:

  • Agencies will be prohibited from signing new grants or contracts.
  • Most agency staff will not respond to any inquiries received, including about upcoming deadlines, proposal preparation, and applications.
  • The review process for proposals will be delayed although deadlines may still be enforced unless an agency posts alternative instructions.
  • No new Continuing Grant Increments (CGIs) will be awarded.
  • Grant payments to the campus could be disrupted.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) should be able to submit annual and final project reports and Project Outcomes Reports via
  • No-cost extensions will likely not be processed until normal agency operations resume, and federal funds cannot be obligated for expenses that occur beyond the award end date.
  • Supplemental funding requests will not be processed and awarded until normal operations resume.

Given that each agency functions differently and will have their own unique contingency plan, we recommend you do the following:

  • Beginning in September, start reaching out to your agency contacts/program managers and discuss their specific agency contingency plan and what will happen to your award in the event of a shutdown. However, please note that they may have limited capacity to respond.
  • If you are thinking about a Continuing Grant Increment or have a new Task Order pending, please pursue that as soon as possible.
  • Similarly, any no-cost extension requests should be pursued as soon as possible.
  • If you work with collaborators at national laboratories, it would be prudent to contact them in September to ensure you receive any materials or information from them in advance of a potential shutdown.
  • In the event of a shutdown, any “stop-work orders” received on federal grants and contracts should be forwarded to [email protected].

Please note that a government shutdown does not mean that you must immediately stop work on federally funded projects (unless you receive a stop-work order, which is not expected). The campus will be able to manage cash flows for the immediate future so that research work can continue.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these circumstances. We understand that a government shutdown will create some uncertainties and it will require additional effort to manage this challenge. Of course, the impact will extend well beyond our campus to the entire country.

We will provide additional guidance as the situation evolves.


Mary Croughan
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Jeffery C. Gibeling
Interim Vice Chancellor for Research

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