Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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Federal Government Shutdown FAQ

Frequently asked questions about how a government shutdown might impact university and research funding.

(See OMB’s “Planning for Agency Operations during a Potential Lapse in Appropriations” and your specific agency’s contingency plan for details.)

How would a government shutdown impact my research grant?
No new grants or contracts are awarded during a government shutdown, except in very limited circumstances.

Work should continue on awarded federally-funded projects if adequate funding has been obligated unless PIs hear otherwise from their specific sponsors. Awarded projects may be disrupted during a shutdown if they are housed in a federal facility, if the project includes federal personnel, and/or if an award includes restrictive terms and conditions that require administrative action to approve a drawdown of funds.

Can I still submit a proposal during a shutdown?
Most agencies will not be accepting proposals, however, if you are able to submit a proposal, they will likely not be reviewed until the lapse in appropriations is resolved due to a lack of staffing.

If you are working on a proposal, please continue working towards the original deadline. Postponing work that needs to be completed—budgets, revisions, etc.—could cause your proposal to miss the deadline when the government shutdown ends.

If you have a proposal deadline that falls during the shutdown, it will likely be revised and republished. Please watch for revisions when your specific agency reopens.

What should I do if I receive a stop work order?
Should you receive a stop work order, it is imperative that the Office of Sponsored Programs is notified immediately (865-­974-­3466). During the 2013 shutdown these orders created a minimal impact. However, because they effectively end or suspend the awards, costs associated with any work conducted after the notification will not be reimbursed. The Office of Sponsored Programs will coordinate with the university to address any problems that may arise from these orders.

Will a shutdown impact my internship at a federal agency?
Students who have an internship at a federal agency should contact their supervisor to see if they are impacted by the government shutdown. If so, they should also contact their academic advisor to discuss any possible effects on credits earned.

Will it affect my federal student aid?
This will likely have no impact on federal financial aid. Most federal student aid programs will continue to operate and Federal Direct Student Loans and Pell Grants will continue to be processed.

Graduate student stipends awarded as part of a federal grant should still be paid during the shutdown.

If you have additional questions about your financial aid, check with One Stop Student Services in Hodges Library.

Will the shutdown impact my veterans’ education benefits and services?
Education benefits will continue to be processed and paid, however federal support services for veteran students may not be operational.

If you have additional questions about your benefits and services, please contact UT’s Veteran Student Services.

My question isn’t listed here.
Please contact Jean Mercer (jmerce10@utk.edu, 865-974-2465) if you have any additional questions about the shutdown.