Federal Government Shutdown

Wednesday, Dec 26, 2018

As you are likely aware, as of 12:01 am, Saturday, December 22, 2018, Congress was unable to reach agreement on the federal budget. As a result, the United States federal government is in a partial shutdown.  This shutdown impacts nine federal departments and a number of independent agencies, causing them to shut down some or all of their operations.  The nine departments impacted are:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of the Treasury

The shutdown will not directly affect a number of major science agencies because they are already fully funded under spending bills previously signed this government fiscal year by President Trump. Those non-affected agencies include the National Institutes of Health and the departments of energy and defense.

Federal shutdowns generally impact the research enterprise of the University in the following ways: new solicitations and awards cannot be issued by affected federal agencies, payments under existing awards cannot be made by affected federal agencies and personnel at affected agencies are not available to discuss program or research-related matters.

*Note, however, that current guidance from the government reflects that proposal deadlines over the course of the shutdown (i.e., established before the shutdown) remain in effect until further notice.*

The Office of the Dean for Research and the Office of Research and Project Administration, in partnership with Sponsored Research Accounting (SRA), are monitoring the situation closely. ORPA will periodically update its website as well as communicate to the research administration community through the length of the shutdown, which is still unknown. The week of Christmas is not a peak period in terms of sponsored programs administration, but the longer the shutdown, the greater the likely impact to the Princeton research enterprise.

Listed below are links to information from some affected federal sponsors, including NSF, NASA and the Department of Commerce (which houses NOAA and NIST). Note that not all affected federal agencies/sponsors have published detailed information on their operational status related to the shutdown.

National Science Foundationwww.nsf.gov/shutdown/grantees.jsp

NASAhttps://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/181218_revised_shutdown_plan.pdf

Department of Commerce (NOAA, NIST) - https://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2018/12/shutdown-due-lapse-congressional-appropriations

Thank you for your cooperation in sharing this information with faculty, researchers and others in your department as appropriate.  If you have any project-specific questions, please feel free to contact your ORPA representative.