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Last Post 10/23/2013 7:48 AM by  Dawn Myers
career current status
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10/21/2013 8:04 AM

    Laurie (RM)

    Did the recent government shutdown effect any of you? If so, what did you do while not working?

    Tags: career, shutdown

    Kris Sigsbee

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/21/2013 9:06 AM

    Hi Laurie,

    I work at a university and was able to continue working during the government shutdown. However, if the shutdown had continued, people in my department would have started having major difficulties, depending upon their funding sources. Even though the researchers and engineers in my department are not Federal employees, our salaries are paid by grants and contracts from Federal agencies like NASA. When you propose for a research grant, you plan a budget for all of the people working on that project, for a period that is usually 1-3 years. If a grant proposal is funded, the university generally is given an annual lump sum of money from the agency providing the grant. Typically, on the anniversary of the start of the grant, you file an annual progress report and the funds for the next year of work become available. During a long government shutdown, university researchers funded through grants would probably be able to keep working until their grant anniversaries. Depending on when your grant started relative to the shutdown and how you spend your funds, this could be a couple of weeks to several months. Contracts are a bit different in that you do not receive all of the money in an annual lump sum. Payment on a contract is usually based upon meeting certain milestones on the project or the delivery of a product, like a satellite instrument. If the shutdown had continued for just a couple weeks longer, university researchers working on contracts could have started experiencing problems very quickly, depending on the project schedule.


    KD Leka

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/21/2013 9:54 AM

    Hi Laurie;

    Like Kris, I and some of my colleagues are paid by money which comes from the Federal Government, but we are at companies and universities so depending on timing of when grants & contracts are renewed, paid, invoiced, and the exact language in each contract/grant, plus the policies of our institutions, we could work. What happened to us/them really depended on the "flavor" of money you had, as Kris alluded to. For some groups, for example, even though they had $$ "on-hand", they could not have worked past a "reporting period", which was going to be 01 November. Kinda crazy!

    It did impact my daily interactions with scientists and colleagues at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center - they were furloughed and not allowed to work, and we are in the middle of large projects together. To a lesser extent, I and my group were impacted by furloughs at NOAA. We are still waiting for various parts of NASA to come 100% back.

    All in all, I'm very glad it's over - even though officially I could work, it did add a lot of stress.

    cheers, -KD

    Dawn Myers

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/23/2013 7:48 AM
    Hello Laurie I was lucky cause I work on an in flight satellite which meant that I was excepted during the government shutdown and allowed to work. Unfortunately many of my colleagues were not allowed to work and because of that we weren't able to take some of our planned observations. But that being said we were able to still do some fabulous science during the shutdown and everyone is quite happy to be back at work. Dawn
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