Office of Sponsored Projects Guidance on Partial Federal Shutdown
Dear Faculty and Research Community,
The Office of Sponsored Projects and the Office of the Vice President for Research have developed resources and answers to frequently asked questions to help you navigate the impact of a federal government shutdown on your research activities. These resources are meant to provide general guidance; if you have further questions, please contact OSP at email@example.com
Although OSP will continue to monitor agency websites and provide updates as they become available, we encourage you to check the agency websites for updates as well. If you receive information that is not already within this page, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion.
OSP will continue to submit proposals as long as the federal agency submission systems are operational.
If you are experiencing functionality issues with a system, have a question about a particular system, or have received a notification of possible issues or closures, contact email@example.com
New Awards and Award Modifications
- UNM may not receive new awards during the shutdown. Awards received prior to a shutdown have been or are in the process of account setup or are being reviewed for continued negotiations. Please check the OSP dashboard for award transaction status.
- For existing awards, work can continue if obligated funds are available, and the work does not require support of federal employees or facilities.
- Award modifications received prior to a shutdown will move forward. Award modifications requiring a fully executed modification and/or requests requiring federal agency approval (e.g., No-Cost Extensions) may not be processed by the federal sponsors during a shutdown.
- Additional funds, including continuations/supplements will not be awarded during a shutdown.
- The majority of UNM’s projects that are in progress are unaffected. Award performance should continue to the extent funding is available unless a stop-work order has been issued. Stop-work orders are generally limited to projects funded by contracts or cooperative agreements.
- If a stop-work order has been issued, it will be received by OSP in the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox and then will be forwarded to the email@example.com mailbox and managed by the Awards Team. When a notice is received, a member of the award team will work with the PI, department staff and Contract & Grant Accounting staff on next steps for compliance with the stop-work order.
- If a PI or Departmental administrator receives a stop work order notice directly, please forward to the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox.
For projects funded by contracts, the award agreement most likely contains the “limitation of funds” clause. This clause determines how long award performance can continue. It is recommended to closely monitor spending as additional funding may not be provided during a government shutdown.
Request to Spend Funds
A Request to Spend Funds (RTSF) gives PIs the option to spend on awards for which funds have not yet been disbursed. These requests are being reviewed and considered. Continue making these requests through our standard process. Risk, agency shutdown guidance, source of funds, award mechanism and any documentation we may have received are all factors considered during the review of these requests.
Recommendations for PIs:
- Identify federally funded grants that expire within the next 3 months and request extensions if needed. You may submit a request to spend funds (RTSF) now to continue to spend on the award while the extension is in process, if supported by your department/college/school.
Prepare for potential impacts on future sponsor award issuances by submitting a Request to Spend Funds (RTSF) if supported by your department/college/school.
The Office of Sponsored Projects and Contract & Grant Accounting will continue to submit financial, technical, and other reports. PIs should continue to submit their progress and technical reports on time.
Federal Agency Payment Systems
UNM will continue to draw down funds from the various sponsor portals monthly and where the systems are available to do so.
Federal Sponsor Specific Guidance
- What can I do to minimize the impact of a federal government shutdown on my research?
During a federal government shutdown, chances are that you will not experience significant or prolonged impacts on your research. To minimize any impact, stay informed about agency updates, adjust research plans and timelines if necessary, and seek guidance from OSP.
- Can I still apply for federal funding during a federal government shutdown?
It may be possible to submit grant applications during a federal government shutdown (unless a sponsor has specifically communicated that submission systems will be affected). However, it is unlikely that applications will be processed and reviewed until normal operations resume. It is advisable to check the specific guidelines and updates from the funding agencies (check the link to the federal agency websites above) regarding grant application submission and review processes during a shutdown. In the event of a shutdown, it may take the agencies some time to get back up to normal operations after federal government operations resume.
- Will the submission deadlines for contract and grant applications be extended?
Although the answer will vary by agency, the submission deadlines for grant applications could be extended or affected by the federal government shutdown in other ways. It is important to closely monitor updates from the funding agencies to stay informed about any changes or extensions to submission deadlines.
- Will the review and evaluation of contract and grant applications be delayed during a federal government shutdown?
As with submission deadlines, the review and evaluation of contract and grant applications may be delayed during the federal government shutdown. The availability of program officers, reviewers, and support staff may be limited, which can result in delays in the review process. It is important to stay informed about updates from the funding agencies regarding the review timelines.
- Should I continue to work on my federally-funded grants and contracts?
In general, researchers should continue work on active federally sponsored grants and contracts unless you receive a specific order to stop work from an authorized representative of the sponsoring agency.
Researchers on grants and contracts that have not yet received federal funding, or where there are not currently funds available, should not continue work. This includes any projects that are relying on 90-day pre-award spending or are waiting for renewal or extensions.
- Will the disbursement of funds for my awarded research project be affected by a federal government shutdown?
The disbursement of funds for awarded research projects will be suspended for any agency affected by a federal government shutdown. Federal agencies responsible for fund distribution may not be able to process payments until the shutdown is resolved. This should not, however, impact your ability to continue work on your research unless there is a specific stop work order issued for your project.
- If a stop-work order has been issued, it will be received by OSP in the email@example.com and then will be forwarded to the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox and managed by the Awards Team. When a notice is received, a member of the award team will work with the PI, department staff and Contract & Grant Accounting staff on next steps for compliance with the stop-work order.
- If a PI or Departmental administrator receives a stop work order notice directly, please forward to the email@example.com mailbox
- Will the reporting requirements for my awarded research project be affected by a federal government shutdown?
Reporting requirements for awarded research projects may be affected by a federal government shutdown. The availability of submission systems and access to program officers and support staff for project oversight and reporting may be limited, which could result in delays in reporting deadlines. It is important to stay informed about updates from the funding agency regarding any changes to reporting requirements and deadlines.
- My federal project end date has passed and is in the closeout process, how will a federal government shutdown affect my closeout being processed?
OSP will continue to process closeout documents based on the established closeout deadlines. However, federal sponsors will not be available to process the closeout until federal government operations resume. It is important to stay informed about updates from the funding agency regarding any changes or extensions to deadlines.
- What is a stop work order, and how does it affect federal research contracts?
A stop work order is a directive issued by a federal agency that temporarily suspends contract activities and funding. It halts the work specified in the contract and may impact project timelines, deliverables, and payments. Contractors are typically required to cease work until the stop work order is lifted or modified.
- What should I do if my federal research contract is affected by a stop work order?
If your federal research contract is affected by a stop work order, it is important to comply with the order and cease contract activities as directed. OSP will provide further instructions and guidance for navigating the impact on your federal research contract work.
- Will the availability of federal resources and databases for research administration be affected by a federal government shutdown?
The likely answer is yes. The availability of federal resources and databases for research administration may be affected by a federal government shutdown. Federal agencies responsible for maintaining and providing access to these resources may have limited staff or be unable to maintain regular operations during the shutdown. This can result in limitations in accessing necessary resources and databases.