Government Shutdown Information

As of 12/22/18, the federal government went into ‘partial shutdown’ status due to an impasse in budget negotiations involving Congress and the White House.

Agencies that have received FY 19 appropriations are continuing normal operations while those that have not are operating according to their shutdown plan, which means that most grants-related staff are furloughed.

Agencies operating according to their shutdown plan are:

  • Agriculture
  • Commerce (including NIST, EDA)
  • Homeland Security
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Interior (including NEH & NEA)
  • Justice
  • NASA
  • National Science Foundation
  • State
  • Transportation
  • Treasury

If you work with these agencies, here’s what to expect:

Proposal Submissions

Grants.Gov, Research.Gov and Fastlane are expected to remain up and accepting proposals during the shutdown; this means that it is likely that proposal deadlines will not be extended for agencies using these systems for proposal submission. Please proceed with your proposal submissions in a normal fashion. Agency Help Desks are also operational. Contact your Research Development Specialist with questions about specific agency deadlines. 

We currently expect that agencies will only extend proposal deadlines if (and only if) that agency chooses to shut down its electronic proposal submission system during the funding hiatus. SPA is not aware of any proposal system shutdowns at this time. In the event a proposal submission system is shut down, we expect that federal agencies will extend proposal due dates on a day-by-day basis (one day of funding hiatus = one day of proposal due date extension). More information will be shared when available.

Existing Projects

Continue working normally unless otherwise notified by SPA. If you receive a stop work order from your sponsoring agency, please send it to your Grants and Contracts Associate right away and cease new spending. Contact Dara Little if your work requires interaction with federal personnel or facilities to determine how to proceed.

Agency Prior Approvals

You will likely not be able to obtain prior approvals from federal officials during the funding hiatus (including requests previously submitted and ones you need now to submit). The specific activities that are the subject of the prior approval should not be undertaken. Consult your Grants and Contracts Associate if you have an emergency that requires action.

Technical Reports

Please continue to submit on time any award reports that become due (even if there is no one at the agency to read it). If you are using an on-line agency reporting system to file your report and the system will not allow you to submit, note the date/time you attempted submission and submit your report promptly after the funding hiatus is over. 

New Awards/Additional Funding on Existing Awards

We expect not to receive new awards (or incremental funding on existing awards) during the funding hiatus. You may continue to request Advance Accounts; however, these will be undergoing additional review in SPA to manage financial risk. Remember that Investigators and departments are responsible for any expenses incurred in the event an award does not come through. 


SPA will continue to draw down funding if agency payment systems are functional. Finance and Administration is aware that agency payments may be suspended during the funding hiatus and is taking the necessary steps to allow researchers to continue their work uninterrupted. In the event of a long duration shutdown, additional guidance will be issued.

(Modified with permission, University of Minnesota)

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Sponsored Programs Administration
203 Lowden Hall
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828
P: 815-753-1581
F: 815-753-6081

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