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Update: Partial Government Shutdown

January 15, 2019

To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum
Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and Professor of Physics
Date: January 15, 2019
Re: Update: Partial Government Shutdown

As the partial federal government shutdown enters a record fourth week, Caltech operations continue apace, but future negative consequences remain a possibility.

The most significant impact is on JPL. Prior to the shutdown, laboratory management worked with NASA to maximize the available funding for JPL's tasks. To date, JPL has been able to avoid furloughs, but may have to adjust staffing levels if the shutdown continues into February.

With regard to campus-based activities, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy are unaffected by the shutdown. By contrast, the National Science Foundation and the Department of the Interior, which funds the U.S. Geological Survey, are officially closed.

Investigators with active NSF awards, or active awards from other agencies affected by the partial shutdown, should continue to operate projects within the limits of the awarded funds and their associated guidelines. For campus-based grants, cash flow issues associated with the partial shutdown will be covered by the Institute. NSF and other affected agencies will not issue additional funding increments until the shutdown is over.

For scholars preparing to submit proposals, NSF and other agency proposal submission systems remain operational and most proposal deadlines remain in effect. However, NSF and other closed agencies will not review submitted proposals, issue any new awards, or provide agency approval for new activities that may be required under existing grants, contracts or agreements. All federal reporting deadlines also remain in effect throughout the partial shutdown.

Any Caltech investigator who receives instructions from a closed funding agency to stop work should immediately contact the Office of Sponsored Research. The Office of Sponsored Research remains ready to address your additional concerns as they arise.   

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and I will report back to you if significant developments occur.