Update on the Federal Government Shutdown and AU Research

Published: January 03, 2019
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The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is closely monitoring the government shutdown and its impact on the university’s sponsored projects. Any additional information relevant to current awards will be shared with the campus as it is received.

During a government shutdown, normal activities related to grant and contract administration will be interrupted. Agency contingency plans are currently posted on the White House Office of Management and Budget website, which will be updated as additional plans become available.

As this is a partial shutdown, please note that the following agencies are impacted:

  • Department of Agriculture (DOA)

  • Department of Commerce (DOC)

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

  • Department of Justice (DOJ)

  • Department of State (DOS)

  • Department of the Interior (DOI)

  • Department of the Treasury (USDT)

  • Department of Transportation (DOT)

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • National Science Foundation (NSF)


Researchers that hold federally funded contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and sub-awards should be aware of the impacts the current partial federal shutdown will have on their projects.
Based on prior shutdowns, we anticipate the following for impacted agencies:

  1. Proposal Submittals: Generally speaking, Grants.gov will be maintained by the agencies so that grants can be submitted. They will be held in the queue and processed after the government fully reopens. Proposal deadlines may be impacted.

  2. New Awards: New awards are likely to be delayed until after the shutdown is over. Be very cautious about spending funds before an award document is received. All expenditures must occur in the period of performance.

  3. Routine Administration of Grants and Contracts by the Agencies: It is expected that requests for re-budgeting, no cost extensions, award continuations, and other action decisions may not be processed or will be significantly slowed down. 

  4. Availability of Funds: Auburn may not be able to draw down or invoice for some federal projects.

Please note that FY19 federal funding appropriations are approved for many agencies, and will not impact current or anticipated research funding from the following:

  • Department of Defense (DOD)

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • Department of Energy (DOE)

  • Department of Education (DOED)

Should you receive any shutdown-related correspondence directly from the sponsor (e.g., stop work order), please immediately provide the information to the OVPR.

Please contact Tony Ventimiglia, Acting Executive Director of Research Administration Services in the OVPR, for additional questions.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.