Congress reached a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

What happened? On November 15, 2023 the House and Senate passed a stopgap spending measure (CR) to keep the government open through March 2024.


Congress must allocate funding to 438 government agencies each fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. If lawmakers don't pass those bills before the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, those agencies will be unable to continue normal operations.


  • There have been 14 shutdowns since 1981, according to the Congressional Research Service, many lasting only a day or two. ​

  • The most recent one was also the longest, lasting 35 days between December 2018 and January 2019. ​

  • The 2018-2019 shutdown cost the economy about $3 billion, equal to 0.02% of GDP according to the Congressional Budget Office.​

  • The 2018-2019 shutdown furloughed roughly 800,000 of the federal government's 2.2 million employees.​

  • Lawmakers often temporarily push that deadline back by extending agencies' current funding levels in a "continuing resolution" so they can continue negotiating.

Scenarios in Play

The government could shut down at the end of the month unless Congress comes to an agreement. As of September 26, there were four scenarios in play:​

  1. Congress does nothing and shuts down the government at 11:59 pm on Sept. 30, 2023.​

  2. Congress passes one or more continuing resolutions (“CR”) that extend FY2023 funding at current levels until a certain date, moving a potential shutdown date further down the calendar.​

  3. Congress passes a CR with cuts to discretionary agency spending ​

  4. Congress passes some or all of the 12 separate appropriations bills to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2024.

How will a full or partial government shutdown impact UK?

  • The impact will depend on the length of a federal government shutdown as well as guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and each of the federal agencies affected. ​

  • We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide more information to campus and research community as it becomes available. ​

  • We expect little to no immediate impact on research funding, but our assessment will change depending on how long a federal government shutdown lasts. ​

  • For PI’s receiving grants from research grant or contract making agencies, funds that are already awarded would likely not be affected. However, during a shutdown, agencies not currently funded may not be able to issue new contracts or grants or renew existing projects. ​

  • Every agency has different procedures and protocols, as well as issuing their own contingency plans (see sidebar for link to all contingency plans on the OMB site). 

  • Each agency functions differently, and we recommend that grant applicants and recipients alike reach out to their agency contacts as soon as is deemed necessary to discuss their contingency plan and what will happen to their grant in the event of a shutdown.

Federal Agency FAQs

1. What is the expected impact on federally funded research projects?

Federal proposal preparation systems are expected to remain open for proposal submission, although it is likely that proposals will not be processed by agencies until normal operations resume. 

2. What about proposal submissions?

Peer review and study sections are not expected to occur during the shutdown.

3. Will awards still be processed?

New grants or contracts are not likely to be issued during the shutdown, and receipt of award notices after operations resume will likely be delayed. 

4. How should I handle reporting requirements?

Performance of work on most federally funded awarded projects should continue.

5. What if my project is funded by a subaward UK has received? Is there anything I should do differently?

Increments of funding will likely not be executed until the shutdown ends.

6. What would happen if UK received any “stop work” orders?

Stop work orders may be implemented on federal contracts and for subawards issued to UK under prime federal funding.

7. What is the expected impact on research conducted in federal facilities or research that includes federal personnel?

A shutdown also can have negative impact on our research partnerships and collaborations with federal agencies.  ​

  • Awarded projects, housed in a federal facility, may be disrupted during a shutdown. ​
  • Projects also may be disrupted 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.

8. What about no-cost extensions?

Some federal personnel may not be available to provide routine administrative and support services for grants and contracts including approval of no-cost extension requests, grant transfers, re-budgets or other actions requiring agency approval. 

  • For no-cost extensions that require sponsor approval, PIs should submit an e-Request to continue projects that are eligible for a sponsor-approved no-cost extension. OSPA will send the request to the sponsor if their system remains open. 
  • Extension of subawards would not be processed under the e-Request because that results in UK taking on the subrecipient’s financial risk.
  • If OSPA is allowed to approve a one-time extension to the period of performance, it will be processed as usual.