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*ALERT* Government Shutdown Effect on Research

Dear colleagues,

I’m writing to alert you to the strong probability that of a government shutdown, effective October 1st – as well as its likely effect on research, and what you can do to prepare.

If a shutdown occurs, we expect all federal agencies to be impacted – and that they will no longer be able to:

  • engage in new rulemaking;
  • look at proposals, although electronic submissions systems will likely to be active to receive submissions;
  • send proposals out for peer review;
  • convene review panels or advisory committees;
  • make new awards or contracts;
  • or make manual payments to existing awards (letter of credit draws will likely still be available).

Most agency staff will be furloughed and will not be allowed to access their government email, meaning they will be unable to communicate about grant programs, active awards, or potential proposals. This will create a backlog, so further delays on announcements of awards or new grant programs is likely.

Given this, we are strongly encouraging all researchers to do the following:

  • If you are planning to submit proposals for the October 5th deadline, please do so as soon as possible, and preferably no later than September 30th.  While electronic submission systems may be operable, federal staff will not be available to assist with unanticipated issues.
  • If you need to extend a grant in October or November, we advise you to do so as soon as possible as grants will not be able to be extended during a shutdown.  We also advise you to do the same for extensions of data use agreement (e.g., CMS).
  • Faculty exploring or applying to new federal funding programs who have questions about programs of interest should communicate with program managers running federal funding grant programs of interest as soon as possible ahead of September 30th.
  • Adhere to posted guidelines for grant applications or advisory committee nominations, though it may be necessary to resubmit once the government is open again.
  • Faculty anticipating serving on review panels or advisory committees should expect that their meetings will be rescheduled if they are set to occur during the shutdown but should reach out to their agency contacts to confirm ahead of September 30th.

The FDA has, during past shutdowns, continued to process some types of submissions (IND, NDA, Expanded Access), but we do not know what will happen this time. Please contact the UR Office of Regulatory Support for help if you have concerns about your FDA related applications.

If you are waiting on award announcements for solicitations that closed earlier this year, please be aware that a government shutdown may also lead to delays in award announcements.

The Office of Government and Community Relations and our national associations (including the Association of the American Universities (AAU), and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)), are closely monitoring the situation and we will provide updates as able.


Steve Dewhurst

Vice President for Research


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