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Government Shutdown: Memo from the AVCR and Director of Sponsored Programs

The Office of Research and Engagement has been monitoring activities in Washington, DC in case of a potential government shutdown. As of Friday morning, December 21, President Trump has stated that he will not sign a proposed stop-gap spending bill that would fund the affected agencies through February 8.

We will continue to maintain the Federal Budget Outlook website over the winter break and post new information as it becomes available. We will also disseminate information through a variety of other mechanisms, including the ORE social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter) and Catalyst newsletter.

For faculty with existing federal awards:
Should you receive a “Stop Work Order,” it is imperative that the Office of Sponsored Programs is notified immediately at 865-­974-­3466 during regular work hours or during the winter break.

During previous shutdowns these orders caused 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.

For faculty currently preparing proposals:
ORE’s recommendation is to continue working as though a shutdown has not occurred. Agencies have given no indication that proposal deadline dates will be extended or changed, so please continue working toward the posted deadline. OSP will not process proposals during the winter break.

In the event of a shutdown, it is anticipated that information will not be disseminated from the agencies until the government resumes operation. When information is released, it will be shared with the campus research community.

Should you have any questions about matters related to the shutdown, please contact Jean Mercer, assistant vice chancellor for research and director of sponsored programs (, 865-­974-2465).