Message Regarding the Government Shutdown

The Office of Research Services is monitoring the government shutdown and its impact on the Penn research community.

Agency by agency guidance on operations during the shut-down can be found at the following website: The following is meant to serve as a general guide for Penn researcher grant and contract activities during the shutdown.

Guide to Federal Grants Management During the Government Shutdown

AgencyContinue work on existing awardsContinue to draw down expenses on existing awardsChanges requiring prior approval (e.g., change in scope, no-cost extensions, new foreign components)New awards or funding segments issues
Department of DefenseYesYesNoNo - no new task orders or options exercised
Department of EnergyYesYesNoNo
Department of EducationYesYesNoNo
National Endowment for the HumanitiesYesNoNoNo
Department of StateYesNoNo
Department of JusticeYesYesNoNo

In general, researchers may continue work on grants that have been awarded unless the project requires significant involvement of federal employees.  Currently funded grant activities should continue.  For those researchers performing research under contracts rather than grants, work should continue until a specific “stop work order” is received from the funding agency.

During the federal government shutdown, federal personnel generally will not be available to oversee or administer grants and contracts.  This means that, any changes requiring sponsor prior approval may not be made during the shut-down.  If you are uncertain if your proposed change requires sponsor prior approval, please contact the Office of Research Services (ORS) for guidance.

Some agencies will continue to accept automated proposal submissions during the shutdown but others will not.  Most contingency plans do not include good guidance on revised proposal due dates.  In an abundance of caution, ORS advises that Principal Investigators and Business Offices continue with proposal preparation and submission in accordance with previously published agency deadlines under the assumption that due dates will not be changing.  Proposals prepared in PennERA will be submitted to federal systems as usual unless a federal submission portal becomes unavailable.

Across the board, no new non-essential federal grants or contracts will be issued until normal operations resume.  As a result, Penn will not be receiving new federal awards during the shut-down.  In addition, non-competing continuations will not be issued until normal federal operations resume.  If your grant or contract period is ending and you have not received your renewal, the new award will not be issued until the shutdown is over.  Principal Investigators should work with their school and department business administrators to implement Advance Accounts as appropriate for the management of expenses during any resulting lapse.

Agency Notices to Penn Regarding the Shutdown

None at this time.


Should you have any questions about your specific circumstances, please reach out to Missy Peloso in the Office of research Services (  Thank you for your patience as we navigate this challenging time.