Government Shutdown & Research at Emory

The U.S. government began a partial shutdown on today for the first time since 1996. This shutdown means a lapse in governmental funding and cut backs in services.  In spite of this lapse in governmental funding,  Emory research activities that are under existing federal grants and contracts can continue unless the agency has specifically notified us to stop work.

Although activities on federal grants may proceed at Emory, it is important to remember that Federal employees will not conduct routine activities in oversight, inspection, accounting, administration, or management of these awards.   Based on the information received from specific agencies, the government shutdown shall have the following effect:

  • According to OMB, grantees can continue to drawdown funds on letters of credit for already issued grants during the shutdown, unless there is a restriction on funding that requires approval of a federal staff member.  The PMS and ASP system will continue to function.
  • will continue to operate.  However, these systems will operate with limited capacity – help desks and administrative support activities will be significantly reduced. In addition, many agency back-end systems may not be functional during a lapse period. Therefore, grants that are submitted may not be retrieved by the agency until operations return to normal. (NIH has confirmed that the system will only accept and store applications. They will not be processed further until normal business operations are restored.)
  • No new awards will be issued
  • NIH has issued detailed information on how they will handle grants during this lapse. Of note:
    • The eRA Commons systems is now unavailable. No actions may be taken in Commons (including RPPR submissions, NCE requests, JIT submissions, etc.).
    • NIH is encouraging institutions to not submit paper or electronic grant applications during the period of lapse.  They have indicated that adjustments to application submission dates that occur during this period will be announced once operations resume. Therefore, if this shutdown continues for more than one week, the NIH October 5th (falling to October 7th) deadline will be affected. While we will comply with NIH’s recommendation to not submit proposals during the lapse period, we do encourage all faculty to continue the development of their R01 applications in the Cayuse 424 system, so that they are ready for submission no later than October 7th, in case the lapse in funding does not continue for more than this week. Additionally, if the lapse does continue through the October 7th deadline, we are unsure how long NIH will extend the deadline after normal operations resume.
  • NSF has issued detailed information on how they will handle grants during a lapse. Of note:
    • No new funding opportunities will be issued
    • FASTLANE proposal preparation and submission will be unavailable.
    • submission may be made, but since FASTLANE will not be operating, proposals will not be retrieved or validated. (NSF will issue guidance regarding deadlines which fall during any funding hiatus after normal operations have resumed.
    • Proposal reviews will not occur.
    • No payments will be made during a hiatus.
    • PIs will be unable to submit annual or final reports since will be down.
    • No-cost Extensions will not be able to be submitted or processed. (Awardees are therefore, cautioned that Federal funds cannot be obligated for expenses that occur beyond the award expiration date.)

For active grants at Emory, it will be business as usual, with the exceptions noted above, unless we are directed to do otherwise by the Funding agencies. Should there be a Government shutdown, it is likely that we will continue to submit grant applications, but it is unlikely that they will be immediately reviewed once they reach the Federal agency.

As we receive more information, we will continue to keep you apprised of the situation and how it will affect Emory’s business.

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