Blog Post

What the Government Shutdown Means for Students

I wanted to pass along information for everyone about what a government shut down means for students (Graduate and Undergraduate) and our work.  Unfortunately things are at a stalemate and there will be impacts on our universities and students; I just hope none of your research experiments are affected!  

The following is information passed onto me from affiliation with NAGPS, many of you may have received similiar information but I wanted to pass it along in case you didn't.  One point I am trying to clarify is that since the NSF payment system will be shut down whether this will affect graduate student fellowship stipends.  I don't have much infromation on this, but will keep you posted if I learn of anything.

  • Proposal submissions to federal agencies. will continue to be functional during a shut-down for receipt of grant proposals.  However, will not be delivering the proposals to the sponsoring agencies.  Therefore, you will not know until the shutdown concludes whether your proposal made it through all of the error checking for that particular agency’s rules.  For NSF proposals, Fastlane will not be available during the shutdown.  NSF will provide updated information about any deadlines occurring during a shutdown after business at the agency resumes.

  • Grant and Contract Funding.  Agencies will allow work being performed under already funded awards to continue unless an agency has provide a stop work notice for a particular award. No new awards, award increments, supplements or modifications will be processed during the shutdown.  HHS will allow the university to continue to draw down funds on existing awards, but NSF’s payment mechanisms will not be available.

  • Research Collaborations/subcontracts.  Sponsored Programs will not be able to issue (execute) new subawards or subaward amendments on federally funded programs that are expired during the shut- down even if an advance account request is in place.  Collaborators should be prepared to utilize their own risk-account processes for the duration of the shut-down in order to continue ongoing research work.

  • Availability of federal staff. Federal staff will be furloughed for the duration of the shut down and will not be available for questions or discussions or speaking engagements.

  • Grant and Contract Reporting.  NSF and HHS systems for reporting (, RPPR) will not be functional during a shutdown.  Federal staff will also not be available to assist with requests for modifications and/or guidance relative to your awards.  Please be prepared to submit required reports as soon as the government and its systems are up and running again.

  • Service on Review panels.  All agency reviews scheduled during a shut-down will be cancelled.



1 comment

From the post: "One point I am trying to clarify is that since the NSF payment system will be shut down whether this will affect graduate student fellowship stipends."

At least at my institution, NSF graduate student fellowship stipends aren't affected. They're paid to the university at the beginning of the academic year, or at the beginning of the start of the fellow's tenure (not sure which). But regardless, they're then disbursed by the university, not by NSF. I double-checked this with my fellowship office.