Federal Government Shut-down


Right now is a difficult time for the federal government and for the American people.  We have been shut down due to lack of an appropriation.

I provided guidance to our grantee community through a direct email to principal investigators, signing officials at institutions with active awards, and reviewers. That guidance is also available in NOT-OD-13-126 for applicants and others to review as well.

Unfortunately, my blog team will not be available to get your comments posted or to answer questions until we are back up and running.  My staff and I remain dedicated to the NIH mission and will do everything we can to bring things back up quickly once staff is allowed to return work.  It is a great comfort to think about the truly incredible research and training that is going on throughout this country, even as we navigate through these tough times.


  1. You are all too kind to the government. You must be privately furious. I know that your research for conditions like Alzheimer’s (which my mother recently died of) has been set back years due to the GOP’s and Tea Party’s determination to slow down and minimize government functions. Your work is so important. I hope you have lobbyists who are fighting hard to keep the NIH and the U.S.A. in first world standing as a first world scientific research organization.

  2. Hi Dr. Rockey – Can you provide a reasonable time estimate for how long the new deadlines will be extended after the shutdown. This is especially sensitive new K applications (deadline was Oct 12). During the shutdown, while Grants.gov was open, referees were unable to load letters of recommendations. I think it’s going to take people a couple of days to get reoriented both here and I assume there as well.



  3. I am deeply concerned, to say the least, Sally. Now that the Feds have turned the lights back on, how hard is NIH (and ultimately extramural scientists) going to be hit by the new round of budget cuts and sequestered funds? I have an honest question: is it even worth submitting proposals at this time if the likelihood of having the funds to score even the best of the best proposals is rapidly approaching ZERO? Is it even worth it to go through the motions? I feel like we are in a free fall as NIH-funded researchers … and that politicians are successfully creating a scientific vacuum that is going to destroy the structure of what was once the best system in the world. Case in point, I am losing a very promising junior scientist this week who was unable to get her K award funded (scored in the top 8%-ile) and she is now going to a lab in MALTA.

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