Doors chained with a padlock

Government shutdown affects awardees, proposers, and review panelists at some government agencies

Image of the Capitol Building with the words "Government Shutdown" overprinted.

We’re pleased to reblog this RAM Research News post by Tricia Callahan, Senior Research Education and Information Officer, Office of Sponsored Programs, Colorado State University.

The Antideficiency Act prohibits agencies from incurring obligations beyond their current appropriation. Therefore, Federal agencies that are not covered by appropriation bills signed into law are most heavily impacted by a partial government shutdown. Below is a list of federal agencies currently affected:

  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Treasury
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NSF)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

See guidance for Federal agencies subject to the partial shutdown (courtesy of the University of Minnesota).

PIs with current awards

Funds already distributed (obligated) can continue to be used; however only in extremely limited circumstances (i.e., emergencies) will new funds be awarded during the shutdown. This means no new awards and no incremental funding. Additionally, contracts based on milestones may have to renegotiate timelines once the government reopens. And while funding for work may not be available, PIs are still required to provide technical reports on time during the shutdown.

See agency contingency plans (courtesy of the Office of Management and Budget – OMB).

Those developing/submitting proposals

Many e-systems that receive proposals will still be operational (e.g.,,, NSF FastLane, ezFedGrants). Many agencies affected by the shutdown are currently accepting proposals in accordance with published deadlines and their helpdesks are still operational. However, agency representatives will not be able to answer programmatic questions via phone or e-mail during the shutdown. Additionally, proposals will not be reviewed during the shutdown.

Check with individual agencies on proposal acceptance policies during the shutdown by going to the agency’s e-submission site.

Those serving on peer review panels

Individuals scheduled to serve on a review panel for an agency affected by the shutdown may have to cancel travel plans without reimbursement for airfare or lost deposits on hotel rooms. Again, check with individual agencies as possible.

If you are uncertain whether a proposal/award/service is affected by the shutdown, first check your sponsoring agency’s website (assuming it is up and operational), then contact [your OARS proposal facilitator].

Source: Government Shutdown and What It Means For . . .

Lock photo via Max Pixel, public domain/CC0 license. “Government Shutdown” photo by 2nd Lt. Jake Bailey for U.S. Air Force, public domain.

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