Office of Sponsored Programs
The Ohio State University

OSP News

Impact of a federal government shutdown on research

Posted: January 24, 2018


Congress ended the three-day federal government shutdown on Monday, January 22, 2018,  by passing a stopgap bill that keeps federal funds flowing through February 8. However, there remains the possibility that we could face another shutdown.

We do not expect that another brief shutdown will have a major impact on the direct conduct of research projects at Ohio State. The impact could be significant in the event of a longer shutdown.

During a shutdown, here is what you can expect, based on our recent experience:

  • Work on federally funded projects can go forward as usual unless the funding agency issues a stop work order. In such cases, the Office of Sponsored Programs would receive a project specific notification. A stop work order is more likely to happen for contracts than grants.
  • Many federal websites and business applications including,,, FastLane, and will likely either be unavailable or have disabled features. and some other federal systems would continue to operate, but have little or no support for problem resolution. Other systems, e.g., FastLane, would not be available.
  • Federal agency program officers and grants management staff would not be available to answer questions, approve requests, etc.
  • Much of the administration relative to federal funding would be on hold. New funding opportunities would not be issued, panel reviews would be postponed, and no new grants or no-cost extensions would be awarded. Federal agencies have filed shutdown contingency plans that provide information about what might happen during a future shutdown.

We recommend that investigators continue proposal preparation and internal submission. If a shutdown occurs, our Office of Sponsored Programs will hold proposals centrally until federal systems are functioning again.

Additional information is available in an Office of Management and Budget memorandum outlining issues related to the federal government’s Planning for Agency Operations during a Potential Lapse in Appropriations.

Should a shutdown occur, the Office of Research and Office of Sponsored Programs websites will be updated with information that is critical to the conduct of your research.

Category : Funding / NIH / NSF