The National Science Foundation sent the following notification to the Sponsored Projects Office.

December 21, 2018

From: Tim Kashmer, Acting Branch Chief, Cooperative Support Branch

Subject: Federal Government Shutdown due to Absence of Appropriations

The current appropriation under which the National Science Foundation (NSF) has been operating expires at the end of the day, December 21, 2018. In the event that neither a new appropriation nor a continuing resolution is passed, a lapse in funding would ensue requiring NSF to shut down with limited exemptions for specifically excepted activities. The NSF’s website ( ) will be updated to indicate a lapse in appropriations, if one occurs.

NSF Recipients may continue to perform under their cooperative agreements for work where sufficient funds were obligated prior to the funding hiatus, and where performance does not require Government support, such as quality assurance oversight or other actions required of NSF staff. Please note that you will not be able to draw down on these monies during the funding hiatus. Additionally, the absence of NSF personnel to process administrative actions or provide needed authorizations during this hiatus does not constitute agency approval of any pending action.

For Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) activities, even if funds are available, Recipients may continue work only up until the next full monthly reporting period requirement, not to exceed 30 days, but must not enter into any subawards, contracts, or other like arrangements, that require NSF prior approval. If a funding hiatus continues to the monthly reporting period, not to exceed 30 days, Recipients must minimize expenditures while taking such steps to orderly suspend these activities in a manner that does not imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property.

In all cases, Recipients must take appropriate steps to ensure that property and equipment acquired in whole or in part with Federal funds are protected and otherwise secured from harm during any funding hiatus.

Please be aware that, except for issues of life or property noted herein, NSF will not be available to respond to e- mails or phone calls during a funding hiatus, but will respond to your inquiries as soon as practicable after normal operations have been resumed. To the extent legally permissible, NSF is committed to minimize the negative impacts this disruption may have on the science and engineering enterprise and, as necessary, would issue follow-on guidance after a funding hiatus ends. In the event that an emergency situation arises that endangers life or property, please contact Keith Boyea, Branch Chief, Contracts Branch, Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support, by telephone at (703) 292-4486 or by e-mail at, or Jemal Williams, Grants and Agreements Officer, Cooperative Support Branch, Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support, by telephone at (703) 292-2219 or by e-mail at Responses will not be provided in nonemergency situations.

The direction in this memorandum remains effective until an appropriation authorizing NSF to operate is signed by the President at which time this direction is rescinded.