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Potential Government Shutdown: Research Related Info


The Office of Research has posted information regarding anticipated impact on federally funded research projects.  

Research Related Information Regarding the Potential Government Shutdown

September 29, 2023

As you may have been following, Congress has not passed legislation to fund the operations of the federal government as of this morning. If Congress fails to fund the budget, the US Government will be required to shut down until a budget agreement is reached by Congress and signed by the president. Generally, a government shutdown has minimal immediate impact on the ability of ongoing federally funded research to continue. The impact of a shutdown will depend on its length, but the biggest challenge for our institutions will likely be the inability to speak directly with federal employees who are not permitted to work during this time.    

UTHSC does not anticipate any significant immediate impact on UTHSC research projects. Salary and benefits for individuals at UTHSC paid from federally funded research projects should not affected by the government shutdown. UTHSC researchers should continue to proceed as normal unless notified otherwise by the Office of Research or their federal sponsor.  

What is the anticipated impact on federally funded research projects?  

New federal awards, award renewals, federal contracts, continuation awards, amendments, supplements, incremental funding, and no-cost time extensions that require prior awarding agency approval are not expected to be received during the shutdown. Specific questions on continuation grants and new awards notices for which funding has not been released should be directed to the Office of Sponsored Programs. The shutdown does not directly affect research projects supported by non-federal sponsors.  

Federal personnel will likely not be available to respond to questions either by email or phone.   

Investigators should continue to submit proposals by the published deadline set by the federal awarding agency unless notified otherwise. However, the proposal review process will be delayed.   

If an agency’s electronic reporting system remains available, as is expected for most agencies, then all technical, financial, and other reports such as annual and final project reports must still be submitted by their original deadline. If a report submission attempt fails, it is recommended the investigator request a Help Ticket to document the attempt to file the report on time. It is likely Help Tickets can be requested online even if the Help Desk itself is not being staffed. If a report is intended to be emailed, it should be filed on time, though report “acceptance” by the agency may not occur until after the shutdown.  

Faculty working at a federal agency on an IPA agreement should follow information provided by the agency to determine next steps.  

Once the shutdown ends, there will be delays as the federal government resumes operations. 

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not provided final guidance to federal funding agencies about what actions they may or may not take during a shutdown. We will provide updates as new information and guidance becomes available.   

For questions, additional information, or further guidance please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at 901-448-4889.