UPDATE: Now that the government shutdown has ended, please refer to newer blog posts for updates on how the NIH will recover from the shutdown.
The National Institutes of Health has issued guidance for grant applicants and grantees during the government shutdown. Here are some of the highlights.
- “For the duration of the funding lapse, all help desks, central e-mail boxes, and web ticketing systems for questions related to NIH grants policy and electronic grants systems will not be available, including the eRA Helpdesk and Grants Information Services.” NIH staff are strictly prohibited from conducting any business during the period of a shutdown.
- “For the duration of the funding lapse, applicants are strongly encouraged not to submit paper or electronic grant applications to NIH during the period of the lapse. Adjustments to application submission dates that occur during the funding lapse will be announced once operations resume.” Grants.gov will still accept applications should you choose to submit them. We suggest grant applicants finish their applications by the due date and upload their applications once the government resumes operations. If the government resumes operations before your application due date, do not expect the deadline to change.
- “For the duration of the funding lapse, the NIH will not be able to conduct initial peer review meetings – whether in-person or through teleconferences or other electronic media.” Reviewers traveling to study sections will have their travel cancelled and anyone who is in the midst of travel for a meeting need to return home immediately. Also, if you need to file for reimbursements during the shutdown, their processing will be delayed. Furthermore, if you are scheduled to be on a study section during the shutdown, you will be notified 48 hours in advance as to whether your meeting will take place.
- “Also, the results, including final impact scores and summary statements, of some peer review meetings that took place prior to the orderly shutdown of operations may not be available until operations resume.”
- “Individuals who had agreed to serve on NIH review panels (”study sections”) that were scheduled to meet during the funding lapse will not be able to access the Internet Assisted Review (IAR) site or other NIH web-based systems during that time.”
- “For the duration of the funding lapse, all work and activities performed under currently active NIH grant awards may continue.”
- “For any progress reports due during the funding lapse, the eRA Commons will not be accessible.” And “No NIH staff will be available to receive paper progress reports.”
From a source at NIH regarding payment on grant monies already allocated: “Drawdowns (payments) on accounts can be processed as long as no Federal staff action is required to finalize the payment. For most NIH grantees, this means drawdowns should be possible. However, if a particular grant is on a reimbursement basis for withdrawing funds or otherwise restricted, then these requests cannot be processed until after Federal Government operations resume. This information is also in the communication to the extramural community at large.”
Stay tuned to the ASBMB Policy Blotter for more updates as the day continues.