Proposals and Awards During Partial Federal Government Shutdown

January 2, 2019


The following is general guidance related to federally sponsored research proposals and awards during the partial shutdown of the Federal Government. A partial shutdown of the Federal Government means that all non-essential operations cease for the affected departments and agencies. Essential services or functions include such things as air traffic control and airport screening, food stamps, and active military operations. Other activities, such as some research and grants, are temporarily suspended.
Resources from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Proposal Submission

Grants.Gov, Research.Gov, Fastlane and ezFedGrants will be 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. If your agency's electronic system isn't listed here, please look at that agency's website or scroll down to the specific agency's information on this page.

Research Awards

Agencies may temporarily stop making payments. Expect a lack of federal communications related to awards. OSR will continue with business as usual within any constraints created by unavailable sponsor systems and staff.
Research NOT Dependent on Agency Resources
Unless directed otherwise by awarding agency: If the research is not accessing agency locations, resources, data, personnel, or additional funding, the work should continue as long as you have available award funding.
Agency Resource Dependent Research
If the research DOES depend on accessing agency locations, resources, data, personnel, or additional funding, the work must cease until appropriations have been reinstated and further notice from the agency sponsor.

Affected U.S. Departments & Agencies

This chart summarizes of the status of the primary federal departments and agencies that provide research funding to Northwestern. Below are links to resources for specific departments and agencies.
Open DepartmEnts CLosed Departments* CLosed Agencies*
  • Defense
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Health & Human Services, including National Institute of Health (NIH)
  • Labor
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Agriculture
  • Commerce
  • Homeland Security
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Interior
  • Justice
  • State
  • Transportation
  • Treasury
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

*except for essential functions

Agriculture (USDA, including ARS, Forest Service, NIFA)
Commerce (including NIST, NOAA, etc.)
Department of Commerce Shutdown Plan (December 17, 2018) 
Homeland Security
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Justice Programs Guidance (Updated on January 4, 2019
Department of Justice Shutdown Plan (January 19, 2018) 
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
National Science Foundation
During a lapse in appropriations, NSF will continue to accept proposal submissions pursuant to existing deadlines. However:
  • No new funding opportunities will be issued.
  • FastLane and proposal preparation and submission will be available; however, proposals will not be processed until normal operations resume.
  • proposal preparation and submission will likely be available; however, proposals will not be processed until normal operations resume.
  • Responses to any inquiries received regarding upcoming deadlines, including proposal preparation, will be deferred until normal operations resume.
State (including USAID)