Seal for Executive Office of the President of the United States Office of Management and Budget.
Published on: Jan 3, 2019

As you likely know, parts of the U.S. Government shut down on December 22.

Three of Penn State’s largest sponsors—NSF, NASA, and USDA--are impacted by the shutdown. Other sponsors impacted by the shutdown include Commerce, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior (including the National Park Service), Justice, State (including USAID), Transportation, and Treasury. Agencies not impacted by the shutdown include Defense, Education, Energy, most of DHHS (including NIH), and Labor.

In prior shutdowns, Penn State was permitted to continue work on most existing projects. But certain Federal grants and contracts may be terminated, especially if the shutdown lasts a long time. Other projects may be subject to additional restrictions, even if they are not shut down completely. If you or your faculty receive any notices of termination, suspension, or “stop work” orders, please forward them to immediately. 

We should not expect to receive any new awards, funding increments, payments, modifications, or other approvals from agencies affected by the shutdown.

Certain government websites—including proposal submission systems—may be taken down during the shutdown. Others may remain in place, but without helpdesk or technical support.

Penn State must continue to comply with all Federal terms and conditions, including reporting requirements, regardless of the duration of the shutdown.


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). “Contractors may continue to perform under contracts for work obligated prior to the shutdown, provided performance does not require the use of shutdown NASA facilities or other Government support which would be funded by a lapsed appropriation, including administration, oversight or other actions required of civil servants . . . Contractors continuing to work under these circumstances will be instructed to preserve resources and limit contractual expenditures.” More information can be found here.
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). “Contractors will be notified of the Government status and what limits/changes they will have to operate under by the applicable Contracting Officer.” More information on USDA shutdown provisions can be found here.
  • National Park Servce (NPS). Penn State has been instructed to refrain from performing any National Park Service projects during the shutdown “that require access to NPS sites or NPS personnel or that are dependent on additional appropriations after midnight ET, December 21st.”
  • National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF will continue to accept proposals in accordance with published guidelines. Responses to inquiries will be deferred until normal operations resume. More information can be found here.

The Office of Management and Budget has aggregated FAQs and shutdown plans for all the agencies affected by the recent shutdown at

If you have any questions, contact John Hanold, Penn State Associate Vice President for Research and Director of Office of Sponsored Programs, at


News Topics: Government, Funding, NSF