As the partial federal government shutdown enters its third week, Georgia Tech is taking a closer look at potential impacts and reviewing plans for minimizing possible effects on the campus. One area of good news is that the federal agencies affected by the funding interruption continue to accept new proposals in accordance with established deadlines, and no “stop work” orders impacting Georgia Tech’s performance of research have been reported.
Federal government agencies receive funding through a series of appropriations bills. A number of these bills, including those that fund the Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education, have been approved for the federal fiscal year that began in October. As a result, those agencies are not expected to be affected by the partial shutdown.
However, appropriations bills that support agencies such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, NOAA, NIST, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce have expired. At Georgia Tech, the affected agencies accounted for approximately $130 million in expenditures for sponsored research in fiscal 2018.
Georgia Tech administrators have been meeting to assess the potential impact on campus and making contingency plans to manage the effects of the partial shutdown. For instance, principal investigators who are working on projects funded by the affected agencies are being asked to delay large-scale purchases and take other cost-conscious measures – such as deferring non-essential travel and non-personnel expenditures – until the partial shutdown is over.
While proposals are still being accepted by the affected agencies and submission deadlines have not been extended, the schedule for reviewing and awarding grants and contracts is unknown. Access to facilities operated by the affected agencies may be curtailed, certain data sets maintained by the agencies may be unavailable, and meetings with the agencies may be postponed.
Researchers whose collaborations and research are affected by the partial shutdown should communicate with their contracting officers in the Office of Sponsored Programs. Georgia Tech’s Office of Government and Community Relations is interested in how the shutdown may be affecting specific federally funded projects. Please send examples to the Director of Federal Relations, Robert Knotts, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about the partial shutdown and guidance for principal investigators can be found below:
Federal Government Shutdown Guidance
Government Shutdown FAQs
OSP News: Federal Government Shutdown Guidance