I thought this was important enough to send along. The short version is that the grad school asserts that the shutdown is not expected to immediately effect disbursement for stipends for fellowships or federally-funded GRAs and similar in the vast majority of cases. Below is a note from Susan Wicker.
Several graduate students have raised concerns about the impact of the government shut-down on graduate student stipends and access to research sites. While a serious issue for concern, the government shut-down currently is having a minimal impact on stipend disbursement to graduate students. Graduate students appointed as GRAs on federally-funded grants are not considered federal employees and are not impacted by the furlough unless a stop work order is placed on the award. At this time, across the university, five stop work orders have been issued and fewer than 10 individuals—individuals who do not receive their support through Cornell—have been impacted by the furlough.
The Division of Human Resources released a message on Thursday, October 3 to help departments consider options for individuals impacted by the furlough. That message is pasted below.
The Graduate School has an emergency grant fund that can be used to assist U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate students impacted by the furlough. (International students impacted by the furlough should contact the International Students and Scholars Office. For additional information on how the government shutdown may impact international students, see: http://www.isso.cornell.edu/about/Govshutdown.php.) To apply for an emergency grant, the student should contact Kat Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 255-7374) for an application form.
We ask that DGSs reach out to students whose research is hampered by inability to access federally-managed research sites or data sets, particularly if the lack of access occurs during a critical time for crop analysis or other field work. These students may need guidance on how to address their research issues and, in some cases, may require extra time to complete the degree if delays due to the shutdown result in missing a field season.
University leadership shares student and faculty concern about the impact of the shut down on research and our community and will do everything it can to maintain funding continuity. However the university will be required to continually reassess depending on the length of the shutdown. We ask that you forward this message to students in your graduate field as appropriate to help reduce anxiety. If you have additional questions or would like to share your perspective on the impact of the shutdown on your academic program, please contact me.
Sarah S. Wicker
Associate Dean for Administration
The Graduate School
350 Caldwell Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-2602