The partial government shutdown won’t stop a major overhaul of human research regulations from taking effect in less than two weeks, but it could hinder some agencies’ ability to enforce those changes.

Major revisions to human research protection regulations known as the Common Rule go into effect Jan. 21, culminating a nearly eight-year effort to modernize federal requirements to protect research volunteers from undue harm.

While the Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections administers the Common Rule,...