FAQs: Government Shutdown and Sponsored Research

Updated: January 9, 2019

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is closely monitoring the budget situation in Washington, D.C.. Impacts to application submission, award processing, and other tasks that require federal sponsor interaction are being assessed. Our commitment to help campus navigate sponsored programs administration is unchanged. We will continue to provide guidance as clearly and timely as possible.

For more information, visit Federal Government Shutdown Guidance.

Impacts of Federal Government Shutdown

How would a shutdown impact the agencies I work with?

Each agency may handle the shutdown and determine essential personnel differently. It is important that principal investigators continue to work until they receive specific information or instructions from their program officers.

You can read about how every agency operates in a shutdown by looking at the agency contingency plans on the White House Office of Management and Budget website:

What agencies will be open and which are closed?

Unlike some previous shutdowns, the current situation is a partial government shutdown. The federal budget has already been funded for many of the agencies that sponsor activities at Georgia Tech such as the Air Force, Army, Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services. We expect those agencies will continue to operate and can be billed for sponsored operations.

The federal agencies facing a shutdown and impacting Georgia Tech include the National Science Foundation, NASA, NOAA, NIST, Homeland Security, Agriculture, FDA, Transportation, Interior and the EPA.

We have provided a useful reference table listing the agencies by the status of their appropriations.

For agencies without finalized budgets, only essential federal personnel are working, and each agency defines “essential” differently. You can see how every agency operates in a shutdown by looking at the agency contingency plans on the White House Office of Management and Budget website.

Would a shutdown delay deadlines for a grant proposal?

It is possible, but we do not yet know if deadlines will be impacted. In the event of a shutdown, it is important that principal investigators continue to prepare and work with Pre-Award on your proposals and proceed as if there will be no change in grant submission deadlines. It is possible that some government systems may not be working during the shutdown.

For example, the National Science Foundation announced during a previous shutdown that FastLane, its web-based grants management system, was to be closed during the shutdown. The best thing investigators can do is to continue to work on proposals and have them ready so that Pre-Award can process them according to the most up-to-date guidelines given by each specific agency once the shutdown is over.

If you have a proposal deadline that falls during the shutdown, there is a possibility it will be revised and republished. Please watch for revisions when your specific agency reopens.

Should researchers continue to work on their federal contracts and grants?

Yes, researchers should continue to work on their grants and contracts unless their agency or program officer advises them otherwise. Faculty should keep in close touch with their Post-Award administrator and check this page for the latest information.

What should I do if I receive a stop work order?

Should you receive any shutdown-related correspondence from the sponsor (e.g., stop work order), please immediately provide the information to, your supervisor or Principal Investigator, your School Chair and/or Assistant Dean for Research, and your contracting officer in the Office of Sponsored Programs.

During the 2013 shutdown these orders created a minimal impact. However, because they effectively end or suspend the awards, costs associated with any work conducted after the notification will not be reimbursed. The Office of Sponsored Programs will coordinate with the university to address any problems that may arise from these orders.