Possible U.S. government shutdown

September 25, 2023
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research, 2013–2024 |

Dear Colleagues:

As you may have read in the news in recent days, there is a real possibility that the U.S. Congress will fail to pass legislation to fund the government beyond the end of the current federal fiscal year, which ends on September 30. If Congress does not approve spending bills – even a short-term spending bill known as a “continuing resolution” – then the government will shut down.

To make sure you’re prepared, please read through this FAQ as soon as possible.

This is not the first time in recent years that the country has been through a shutdown; previous shutdowns occurred in 2018 and 2019. I am writing to assure you that MIT is following this situation closely and making plans now to minimize the impact on our research enterprise if a shutdown does occur. As a general matter, our aim is to ensure that existing federally funded research projects can continue without interruption.

Anticipate that your federal agency contacts will not be available

If you’re a principal investigator, be aware that, in the event of a shutdown, contacts at affected federal agencies may not be available to approve or process administrative actions such as issuing awards, providing approvals, and issuing no-cost extensions for the duration of the shutdown.

If you anticipate needs such as these in the next few months, please consult your Contract Administrator in Research Administration Services (RAS) as soon as possible. We will update the FAQ page as events warrant; please bookmark it and plan to check it regularly. If you have any questions, contact RAS at ra-help@mit.edu or by reaching out to your RAS Contract Administrator.


Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research