Update regarding federal government shutdown

Updated October 1: The NIH has issued new guidance about procedures during the government shutdown, advising applicants not to submit grants to grants.gov during the shutdown and that they will adjust application deadlines after the government reopens for business. If you are planning to submit to NIH for the October 7 deadline, Research Grants & Contracts (RGC) is asking you to proceed as usual. If Congress resolves its impasse by the grant deadline date, we will submit the application as normal. If the shutdown continues, RGC will submit the application by the appropriate adjusted deadline. Contact your grants and contracts analyst if you have specific questions. We will continue to update you as we learn more information.

This following message was sent to all OHSU faculty, postdoctoral fellows, research staff, and research administration personnel on Friday, September 27, 2013.

Dear colleagues,

This is to let you know that OHSU leaders and our Government Relations team are closely tracking current federal budget deliberations in Washington, D.C.

Should Congress fail to agree on a budget by September 30, the federal government will see a shut-down of uncertain length that may affect research and other activities. Historical precedent has led us to believe that most research activities will be classified as “essential” and will be sustained, but this situation is fluid and the impacts are difficult to predict with certainty. NIH has provided some guidance if there is a shutdown:

  • PIs can continue spending on grants as awarded during the FY 2013 grant year budget.
  • In the past, clinical trials have been considered ‘essential,’ as has student financial aid, VA operations, Medicare, and Medicaid, so while some administrative disruptions are possible in these categories, we believe that spending should not be affected.
  • PIs should not make any spending changes that would require NIH approval, since agency staff will not be available to approve changes or otherwise provide administrative support. If you change your budget without approval, there is no guarantee that such expenditures will be reimbursed.
  • Federal contracts may be disrupted, and while grant budgets are somewhat protected, contract budgets are more vulnerable:  if you receive a stop work order, you should follow it, because you may not be reimbursed for any work carried out during a shutdown. If you receive such an order, please notify your partners in SPA, and they will help you execute the order.
  • Subcontracts for FY2013 should not be affected.
  • For all FY2014 projects, we await guidance from the federal government—as well as a continuing resolution or a fully approved budget—and we will let you know as soon as we can any implications of a shutdown on these funds.
  • We understand that grants.gov itself will continue to operate under a government shutdown, but no applications will be processed.

We will keep you apprised of new developments as they unfold.

Daniel M. Dorsa, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Research

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