UPDATE-Federal Govt Shutdown

Date: 
10/08/2013
Author: 
Cathy Breen

As you know, the federal government partially shut down at midnight Monday night, and while we believe this disruption will be relatively short, we do not yet know when normal business will resume. We understand how unsettling this is to both researchers and students whose work and education is supported by federal funding, and we will keep you updated with all the information we have.

As of this point:

Researchers whose work is supported by federal funds should continue their activities unless otherwise advised by your agency or program.  Specific contingency plans from those federal agencies which have made plans available appear on the OSP website in the blog section.

While NIH announced that Grants.gov will be operational and that Contact Center will remain open with assistance for callers, NIH issued a notice strongly encouraging applicants to hold off on submission until the government resumes operations.  Nonetheless, researchers should continue preparing applications and submitting to OSP for review as per the normal process.  The NSF reported that their website, including FastLane and Research.gov, will be unavailable while the government is closed.  

New awards will not be issued by most federal agencies during shutdown nor will extensions be processed. Program staff at agencies may not be available to answer questions and little intervention from agency staff in research activity is expected for the duration of the shutdown. NSF advised that inquiries by email or phone will be answered after the federal government resumes normal operations.

OSP will continue to draw federal payments from agencies where possible – DHHS will continue to issue payments for most programs although NSF will not.  There may be delays in payments for federal agencies which we bill directly.

Grants and financial staff, as well as principal investigators, are encouraged to continue carrying out research according to grant terms but to monitor award balances via the PI Dashboard in GMAS or through other locally supported reporting.  Contact OSP if you have questions about your award (catherine_breen@harvard.edu 617-495-9047).

We will continue to update this site with new information as it becomes available. Harvard’s Office for Federal Relations in Washington, DC, is also available to answer questions you may have regarding the federal government shutdown. (suzanne_day@harvard.edu or jon_groteboer@harvard.edu 202-863-1292).