Shutdown affects UConn research
Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 00:10
One of the many consequences of the United States government shutdown is the impact it has had on UConn university research.
As a result of the shutdown, some university professors and researchers who rely on grants that pay installments over time will be unable to receive aid on time. University researchers who rely on cooperation with federal agencies have also been significantly stagnated.
Earlier this week, the UConn Office of the Vice President for Research released a statement advising researchers how to proceed as best they can with this issue. The memo advised researchers that, “The best course of action for you is to proceed with ongoing research unless notified differently, prepare applications and submit new proposals to Sponsored Programs so that we can process them according to the best and most recent directions....”
To accommodate for the government shutdown, federal agencies have also provided researchers with a course of action for how to continue with their work.
Many prominent government agencies responsible for research, such as the National Institute of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), have issued statements regarding their inability to process grant requests, progress reports and conduct meetings. Reference resources provided by the federal government such as Research.gov and Fastlane have also been rendered unavailable for use.
Many agencies advise that university research continue normally, while also cautioning researchers about the limitations of work that can be performed at this time.
In particular, NASA issued a statement to all of their grant recipients which states, “Any work performed during this time period should be carefully planned, taking into account that NASA technical and administrative personnel will not be available to support those activities during the Government shutdown.”
The NIH has also taken steps to ensure that there is no confusion regarding it’s post-shutdown functions.
While NIH grant proposals can still be submitted it has warned that, “For the duration of the funding lapse, applicants are strongly encouraged to not submit paper or electronic grant applications to NIH.”
Despite the efforts of the various government departments in attempting to prevent confusion, there remains some ambiguity in the extent of the government shutdowns effects. Particularly, it is unknown if the government shutdown will affect the deadline for renewing a federal award.
The UConn Office for Research warns those conducting research to “Keep in mind, however, that if deadlines are changed, they will not be posted or announced until after operations resume.”