Information/Guidance Regarding the Impact of the Potential Federal Government Shutdown on UCI’s Research Programs

Subject: Information/Guidance Regarding the Impact of the Potential Federal Government Shutdown on UCI’s Research Programs


At midnight September 30, 2013, current year funding to the federal government will expire.  At that time, federal agencies will begin implementing their shutdown procedures in accordance with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-13-22, "Planning for Agency Operations During a Potential Lapse in Appropriations."   Agencies are providing  notices and plans for shutting down operations on their own web sites and listservs.  We are collecting that information and posting it to the Sponsored Projects website: under the heading, “Potential Government Shutdown Notices”. The website includes links to guidance issued by federal sponsors and additional information and guidance specific to UCI.


In light of the impending shutdown, Research Administration in the Office of Research is providing the following guidance and advice:


If a shutdown occurs, it will temporarily cease operational and administrative activities related to the federal oversight of research regulations and its administration of grants, cooperative agreements and contracts.  Please note that the shutdown and the associated furlough of federal employees does not waive or alter UCI’s obligation to comply with federal regulations, rules, and policies.


  • Proposals – Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) will continue to review, approve and submit proposals to federal sponsors to the greatest extent possible.  However, at this time, we have confirmed that some federal government electronic systems may not accept proposals. For example NIH has informed us that the system will be operational during the shutdown and will accept and store applications. However, those applications will not be further processed in eRA Commons until the federal government resumes normal operations.  Additionally, there will be no help desk or technical support available for federal government electronic systems.


  • Research Protocols – At this time, we do not anticipate that the shutdown will impact the review and approval of research protocols by UCI’s research oversight committees (e.g., IRB, IACUC, hSCRO, etc.).  Please note that these services may be more than minimally impacted by a long-term funding lapse. 


  • Awards


We expect the following to occur:


    • No awards will be issued by federal sponsors during the funding lapse.


    • Award actions under negotiation at the time of the shutdown and multi-year contacts that end after the current fiscal year ends may be put on hold by the sponsor.


    • Federal employees (e.g., Program Officers, Grants Management Specialists, Contracting Officers) will not be available to conduct routine business.


    • Work on federal awards currently in hand may continue to the extent that funding is available and such performance does not require federal staff intervention, unless the federal sponsor issues a stop-work order.  If a stop-work order is issued, SPA will receive a project-specific notice from the federal sponsor and will inform the PI and department.  Projects funded by contracts or cooperative agreements are more likely to receive stop-work orders or performance suspension notices than projects funded by grants.


    • Spending on awards and award modifications not yet received is the decision of the unit that will administer the award (or that unit’s coordinating point).  SPA will continue to review and approve or disapprove, as appropriate, requests for preaward spending (  Department chairs, unit directors, deans and vice chancellors should carefully consider the additional risk caused by the shutdown and discuss each request with SPA prior to endorsing such requests.


    • There are broad factors (e.g., the length of the funding lapse), as well as subtle nuances and details (e.g., type of award, appropriation source, federal employee involvement, etc.) that will impact UCI’s continued performance under our federal awards.  Please direct questions regarding the shutdown’s impact on your current awards to the team of Contract and Grant Officers assigned to your unit (, Tam Tran, Assistant Director, Sponsored Projects,  or Nancy Lewis, Director, Sponsored Projects.



Nancy Lewis

Director, Sponsored Projects


Sponsored Projects Administration

UCI Office of Research

5171 California Avenue, Suite 150

Irvine, CA  92697-7600

PH:  (949) 824-2897

Fax: (949) 824-2094



Normal hours: 8:30am-6:30pm
1st/3rd Thursday: 8:30am-5:30pm
1st/3rd Friday: Out of office


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