Updated March 1, 2024


Re: Federal Shutdown and Oregon State Sponsored Programs


Takeaways:
  • Negotiations in congress to avert a federal government shutdown remain ongoing.
  • Congress has passed four Continuing Resolutions since October 1, 2023 to temporarily fund the government and avoid a shutdown.
  • The current Continuing Resolution funds these agencies:
    • Appropriations for Agriculture, Energy, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing & Urban Development expire March 8, with Congress expected to pass full fiscal year 2024 budgets for these agencies prior to that deadline.
    • Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, Defense, Interior-Environment, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Homeland Security, Legislative Branch, State Foreign Operations, and Financial Services-General Government expire March 22.
  • The federal government sponsors about three fourths of Oregon State sponsored research, education, and outreach activities. 
  • Oregon State can sustain a short-term shutdown with limited impact on ongoing research projects, but certain projects funded through federal contracts may be immediately impacted.
  • OSU students will continue to receive financial aid disbursements for the current term.
  • A long-term shutdown will impact a wide range of research, education and outreach activities that are central to the mission of Oregon State University. 
  •     Timely information regarding a potential shutdown will be updated on the Division of Research and Innovation website Government Shutdown Information 2023-2024.
What does a federal shutdown mean to OSU's federally sponsored research, education and outreach 
projects?

The federal agencies and the Office of Management and Budget have plans that guide their changes to operations in the event of a shutdown. Agency plans and impacts on operations will vary, but there are some consistent impacts to expect. Federal employees will cease routine activities in proposal processing, award issuance, program oversight, and payments/accounting. Access to federal facilities and resources will cease, with some possible exceptions. Most ongoing federally sponsored research, education and outreach activities at Oregon  State can continue without interruption for the short-term. More information about the types of activities that may be impacted by a shutdown, including impacts of a longer-term shutdown, are outlined in this document.

More information on a Federal Agency’s plans for a shutdown can be found on OMB Website at: 
https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/agency-contingency-plans/


How will a shutdown impact Financial Aid?

A short-term government shutdown will have limited, if any, immediate impact on OSU educational services and financial aid programs. Financial aid disbursements will continue for the current term and are not affected by the shutdown. If the shutdown extends beyond the current term, there may be delays and OSU will further communicate any impact to students as we receive guidance from the federal agencies.
 

How will this impact proposal submission?

The impacts of a shutdown on proposal submission have varied in past shutdowns. We recommend all Principal Investigators (PIs) keep close attention to submission dates. Unless you hear otherwise from the Agency, PIs should continue to plan to meet established deadlines for proposal submissions or reporting.  Deadlines may be extended for some opportunities but proposals will continue to be due unless the funding agency issues new guidance.

Review of proposals by federal agencies will be delayed.

 
How will this impact an awarded proposal?

1) Scenario 1- Project is selected for funding but the agency has not issued the award: 
The federal agencies will not issue new awards during the shutdown. A shutdown will cause a delay in projects selected for funding to receive an award but it should not impact their selection for funding. Projects that are time sensitive may be negatively impacted by this delay. After a shutdown is lifted, there will be a delay in the federal government resuming normal operations and additional delays should be expected.

2) Scenario 2- Federal agency has issued the award and OSRAA is processing it: 
OSRAA is prioritizing federal awards received prior to the end of the current continuing resolution budget period that may be impacted by a shutdown. The vast majority of awards issued prior to a potential shutdown will continue to be processed and indexes will continue to be issued for awards that have been received. Circumstances such as agencies rushing awards prior to shutdown or the end of the federal fiscal year have the highest volume of awards so there may be a delay in award acceptance and index setup.


How will this impact an ongoing project?

1) Short-Term: Most federally sponsored research, education and outreach activities are funded through grants and cooperative agreements and will continue without interruption in the short-term.

2) Federal Contracts: Although most OSU sponsored programs are grants or cooperative agreements, we have a handful of Federal Contracts which may be immediately impacted. Certain Federal Contracts will receive a Stop Work Order. With limited exceptions, Stop Work Orders require the immediate stop of all project work and all expenses. OSRAA will be in immediate contact with PIs who receive a Stop Work Order. If you receive a Stop Work Order, please forward it to OSRAA at sponsored.programs@oregonstate.edu.

3) Unless directed by a stop work order or other agency notice, or university notice, federally funded project personnel may continue working during the shutdown.

4) Federal Facilities and Resources: Access to federal facilities will be extremely limited. Most research taking place on federal sites will be impacted. Most agency staff will not be working and will not be available for inquiries. 

5) Project Changes: Federal agencies will not process future funding increments, supplements, or no-cost-extension.

6) Progress Reports: PIs should continue to meet all reporting requirements as best as possible. Agency websites will likely be active and accept submission of reports.
 

How will a prolonged shutdown impact Oregon State University?

Most federal agencies will not issue any payments for federal research that OSU is performing during the shutdown period. The university will use its cash reserves to sustain delayed reimbursement for a period of time. A prolonged shutdown will force OSU to consider curtailment measures to reduce the negative cash flow.

The lack of federal funding in a prolonged federal shutdown will have greater impact on our sponsored research, education and outreach activities as well as our faculty and students who perform those activities. More information will be issued if OSU needs to further consider or implement curtailment measures.