Federal Shutdown Information

About Federal Shutdowns

Articles Relevant on the Impact of the Federal Shutdown on Scientific Research:

What to Expect:

Awards/Additional Funding on Existing Awards:

You should not expect any additional funding to be provided by any closed agency until the Federal Government shutdown has ended. We expect not to receive new awards (or incremental funding on existing awards) during the funding hiatus. You may continue to submit requests for Pre-award/Advance Accounts (new awards) and - until otherwise notified by OGCA - continue spending on existing awards for which you feel confident a new increment of funding will be provided. Remember, however, that PIs and departments are responsible for overdrafts in the event that funding does not materialize. For this reason, it is wise to exercise spending restraint.

Proposal Submissions:

Grants.Gov, Research.Gov, FastLane and ezFedGrants will be up and accepting proposals during the shutdown; this means that it is likely that proposal deadlines will not be extended for agencies using these systems for proposal submission. Please proceed with your proposal submissions in a normal fashion. Agency Help Desks are also operational (except ezFedGrants). For NSF proposal submission please review the NSF Guidance.

If your agency's electronic system isn't listed here, please look at that agency's website or scroll down to the specific agency's information on this site to see if OGCA has been informed about the status of that agency's system(s). Please proceed with your proposal submissions in a normal fashion. Agency Help Desks are also operational.

OGCA expects that agencies will only extend proposal deadlines if an agency chooses to shutdown its electronic proposal submission system during the funding shutdown. We are not aware of any proposal system shutdowns at this time.

Existing projects

Continue working normally unless you receive guidance from OGCA or your program officer/grants official to stop work. If you receive a stop work order, immediately send that communication to OGCA.

Technical Reporting

Please continue to submit on time any award reports that become due (even if there is no one at the agency to read it). If you are using an on-line agency reporting system to file your report and the system will not allow you to submit, please specifically note the date/time you attempted submission, and submit your report promptly after the funding hiatus is over.

Agency prior approvals

You will likely not be able to obtain prior approvals from federal officials during the funding hiatus (including requests previously submitted and ones you need now to submit). The specific activities that are the subject of the prior approval should not be undertaken. Consult with OGCA if you have an emergency situation that requires action in this regard.

Requests for Pre-Award Spending/Advance Approval (PASAA)

Requests for approval to spend funds on awards not yet received (PASAA requests) should be carefully considered due to the additional financial risk caused by the shutdown. Each PASAA should be discussed with OGCA prior to department/unit or Dean/Director endorsement of such requests. The OGCA will closely review and monitor PASAA requests and consult as needed with PIs, Deans/ Directors and department staff to determine if the risk is appropriate for the University to assume.

Research Compliance

At this time, we do not anticipate that a shutdown will impact the review and approval of research protocols by UAF's research oversight committees (e.g., IRB, IACUC, etc.). Please note that these services may be more than minimally impacted by a long-term shutdown.


UAF/OGCA will continue to draw down funding if agency payments systems so allow. OGCA is aware that agency payments may be suspended during the funding hiatus and is taking the necessary steps to allow researchers to continue their work uninterrupted. If the event of a long duration shutdown, additional guidance will be issued.

Federal Systems:

Grants.gov will remain open but function slowly with limited helpdesk and administrative support. Agencies that use local electronic systems (not Grants.gov) for applications, submission of progress reports, requests for payments, etc., generally will not be available during the shutdown.

Work should continue on all federal awards:

Agencies will notify Principal Investigators if work should be stopped or curtailed. However, we do not envision this scenario being commonplace. If you receive specific sponsor guidance, please notify OGCA immediately at uaf-ogca@alaska.edu.


It is likely that each Contract will receive specific guidance as to whether work can continue or if a stoppage is in effect and notify OGCA at uaf-ogca@alaska.edu .

Review Panels:

Faculty and staff serving on a review panel for an agency that is currently shut down should consider cancelling their travel plans. Review panels are cancelled until further notice. Note: Most agencies will not reimburse lost deposits or airfare.

Agencies with Appropriation Bills Not Yet Passed (as of December 21, 2018, partial list)

National Science Foundation: Contingency Plan

NSF is closed during the shutdown, including all access to websites and proposal submission portals such as FastLane. Should the partial shutdown go forward, NSF will not be able to respond to emails or phone calls, but will respond to all inquiries as soon as possible once the government reopens. During the shutdown period, no new funding opportunities would be announced, and no new grants would be awarded.

Awardees would be able to continue using already awarded funding as long as activities are under the already agreed-to award budget and period, as no extensions or supplements would be processed. After the shutdown, NSF typically assigns new deadlines for any programs where proposals were due during the shutdown period. Panels and advisory committee meetings would also be rescheduled post-shutdown. NSF's current shutdown plan can be found at: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2019/shutdown19001/shutdown19001.pdf and full guidance will likely be posted at https://nsf.gov/ during the shutdown.

Department of Agriculture (USDA)

During a shutdown, no new USDA grants will be announced, and no new funding will be awarded. However, awardees would be able to continue using already awarded funding within existing budgets. Lapse of funding contingency plans for the Research, Education, & Economics office (REE) can be found at https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda-ree-shutdown-plan.pdf, and full information on USDA contingency plans can be found at https://www.usda.gov/shutdownplans

Department of Commerce

Department of Homeland Security

DHS is impacted by a shutdown; however, a majority of DHS employees are required to report to work as DHS is partially fee funded and has many positions that would be deemed essential to the "safety of human life or the protection of property." DHS's lapse in appropriations plan estimates that nearly all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will be exempt/excepted and retained during a lapse in funding. However, in previous shutdowns the E-Verify system went down and there could be some delays in processing. DHS's Science and Technology Mission Directorate would completely shut down. See Department of Homeland Security's Full guidance (PDF).

Department of Housing and Urban Development: Contingency Plan

Department of Interior

Department of Justice: Contingency Plan

Department of State

Department of Transportation

Department of the Treasury

Environmental Protection Agency

National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Contingency Plan

Most of NASA's workforce is furloughed during a potential shutdown, though the agency will continue to launch processing efforts, the operation of the ISS and other ongoing missions, and the "phase-down" of research activities where an abrupt suspension could result in severe damages. The shutdown will delay the issuance of new grants or contracts and result in changes to existing ones to accommodate reduced funding. Contractors are urged to minimize costs where possible during the shutdown. See NASA's full shutdown guidance.

National Endowment for the Arts: Contingency Plan

National Endowment for the Humanities: Contingency Plan

NEH is closed during a shutdown, and all grant reviews, grant payments, and application processing activities would be halted. According to official shutdown guidance, NEH "will not be able to update information, process any transactions submitted via the website, or respond to any inquiries until funding for NEH is restored and the agency resumes its operations." Full shutdown guidance can be found at https://www.neh.gov/sites/default/files/inline-files/administrative_directive_m-500_-_september_2018_update.pdf

U.S. Agency for International Development: Contingency Plan

Status of FY2019 appropriations

Appropriations bills have been passed such that about 75% of FY2019 funding is in place. The table below shows on the left which agencies have received funding and, on the right, the agencies whose appropriations bills have not yet passed and are affected by a partial shutdown. Note that these are not complete lists.

Agencies with FY 2019 Appropriations Agencies without FY 2019 Appropriations

These agencies WILL NOT be affected by a lapse in funding and will continue operations:

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services (includes the National Institutes of Health)
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

These agencies WILL be affected by a lapse in funding and will be on limited operations.

See appropriations for Fiscal Year 2019.