January 17, 2019

As a reminder, the federal government is undergoing a partial shutdown. As in past shutdowns, it is likely that no funds–neither new awards nor annual increments of ongoing awards–will be forthcoming from affected agencies until the shutdown has ended.

Until the situation is resolved, researchers with existing awards are encouraged to defer expenses as much as possible so that existing funds may be used, should it prove necessary, to support soft-funded staff, including grad students, postdocs, and other soft-funded researchers and support staff.

Federal agencies subject to the current federal shutdown are issuing instructions to on how to proceed during this period.  Such notices are typically received by the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) and the PI, but it is possible that only the PI will receive this information.  PIs should therefore forward all shutdown notices to their department liaison and SPO team as soon as possible. PIs and department contract and grant liaisons are responsible for reviewing these notices to learn how the federal shutdown will impact awards and subawards funded by these agencies.

Note:  Agency shutdown instructions vary across federal agencies and may vary among different offices of the same agency. Please see the SPO Government Shutdown website for additional information.

Many agencies have not issued specific stop work orders and may allow for continued spending on a grant as long as time and funds are available. Once the period of performance has ended or obligated funds are expended, work must stop. If these, or other conditions listed in the agency’s notice, apply to a PI’s project/s, the PI or department liaison should notify their SPO team as soon as possible. It is important for PIs to project how long their funds will last and adjust their spending and work plan accordingly.

Reporting Obligations: Grant reporting obligations and original deadlines are still in effect. While there may be no one at the agencies to review these reports, principal investigators must adhere to the reporting schedule per their grant awards and submit on time.  We don’t want to compromise the deliverables of the grants.

New Grant Submissions: Opportunities through Research.gov, NSF Fastlane and Grants.gov with posted deadlines are still in effect although submissions will not be processed until agency operations resume. Agency personnel cannot answer questions about grant submissions.

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