A government shutdown seems imminent, and the Department of Health and Human Services, which the National Institutes of Health is a part of, has issued a memorandum about operations of the department in the event of a shutdown. Of importance, “NIH will not take any actions on grant applications or awards.” This means that no applications will be reviewed, and no new grants will be awarded during the shutdown period. However, the memo does state that NIH databases will be accessible during the shutdown. It is not clear if every NIH database will be accessible, and we await more detailed plans from the NIH itself of operations in the event of a shutdown.
Additionally, the NIH issued an informal notice to grantees about how they would be affected in a government shutdown. The notice stresses that many NIH activities will be impaired during a shutdown, but there is no mention of delaying or postponing any due dates for grant applications. Grants.gov will be operational during a shutdown so grant applications can be uploaded to that site. We strongly urge anyone who might be applying for a grant with an October deadline to complete their application and upload it to grants.gov as you normally would. (This information may be out of date. Follow links for updated information.) Your application will be stored here until the government resumes operation. Once that happens, you will need to complete the grant application process.
The National Science Foundation is expected to release its plans for a government shutdown tomorrow.
Stay tuned to the ASBMB Policy Blotter for all the latest news on the government shutdown!
UPDATE: The National Science Foundation has posted a notice of how the agency will operate in a government shutdown. Of note, grantees may continue work “on all awards to the extent that doing so will not require federal staff intervention and that funds are available.” However, “no payments will be made during the funding hiatus.” Thus, if NSF has already disbursed money to you, then you are free to use it as long as you don’t need NSF-assistance, but the agency will not release any new funds during a government shutdown.