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Potential Federal Government Shutdown and Sponsored Activity

Resources and Information for the Virginia Tech Research Community

Updated: Oct. 2, 2023

Virginia Tech is closely monitoring developments in Washington, D.C. to evaluate the likelihood of a federal government shutdown.

A government shutdown was prevented after Congress passed a stopgap funding measure ahead of a critical midnight deadline. President Joe Biden signed a short-term funding bill on Sept. 30. The bill will keep the government open through Nov. 17.

Congress must enact 12 appropriations bills that establish discretionary spending levels for the new federal fiscal year, or agree to pass a continuing resolution to temporarily fund federal government agencies. If Congress fails to enact the required appropriations bills, by Nov. 17, the lapse in enacted appropriations will necessitate a government shutdown, halting nonessential functions until the funding bills are passed.

The Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation and the Office of Sponsored Programs have developed this page to provide the most up-to-date information and guidance on what a U.S. government shutdown would mean for research activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each agency may handle the shutdown and determine essential personnel differently. It is important that principal investigators continue to work unless and until they receive specific information or instructions from their program officers or the Office of Sponsored Programs.

For information on how individual agencies operate in a shutdown, view agency contingency plans on the White House Office of Management and Budget website.

While this is possible, principal investigators should continue to prepare and work with pre-award on proposals and proceed as if there will be no change in grant submission deadlines.  OSP will submit all proposals in systems that remain active during the shutdown.  It is possible that some government systems may not be working during the shutdown. Investigators should continue to work on proposals and have them ready so that pre-award can process them according to the most up-to-date guidelines given by each specific agency once the shutdown is over.

Yes. Researchers should continue to work on their grants and contracts unless their agency or program officer advises them otherwise. Generally, awarded grants and cooperative agreements will continue but any modifications, increments of funding or other activities not already approved by the sponsor will most likely be impacted; federal contracts may receive stop work orders.  These decisions are made by the agency on a case by case basis. Faculty should keep in close touch with their post-award administrator grants/contracts post-award administrator and check this page for the latest information.


For pre-award questions, contact your pre-award associate.

For post-award questions, contact your grants/contracts post-award associate.