COVID-19 Guidance for the Research Community
The Office of Sponsored Projects is closely following COVID-19 outbreak and how it relates to the conduct of research and sponsored projects. This site contains information, guidance, and actions being taken in response to daily changes. It will continue to be updated frequently as new information is received.
As of March 16th, OSP staff will be working remotely. At this time, all OSP services are currently unaffected, including proposal review, submission, and post-award processing. In the event OSP experiences staffing shortages, we will prioritize proposal review and submission. If staffing shortages continue, OSP may not be able to provide a full review of proposals but will instead perform limited compliance review for University institutional standards. It is very important that you communicate with your assigned Sponsored Projects Officer as soon as you know you will be applying for a grant - and throughout - to ensure the successful submission of an application. OSP will not be able to review proposal drafts during this period. Please provide OSP with your proposal applications in final form (ready to send to the sponsor) at least 5 business days prior to the submission deadline.
COVID-19 Related Impacts
Many project PI's and administrators are being effected by the negative impacts of COVID-19 and related harships. OSP and FBS have developed several resources to help faculty communicate impacts to OSP and the federal program sponsors. We have three main elements:
1. Communicate and Coordinate
Close communication is vitally important and a critical first step. We encourage you to contact agency program managers and other sponsor representatives as soon as possible, in writing and by phone, to notify them of specific challenges and likely cost impacts. Written responses from applicable sponsors that grant permission and approval for changes (and approval for any other costs not normally chargeable to awards) should be requested and obtained as soon as possible. The Office of Sponsored Projects can help facilitate those communications as needed.
Please be aware that program officers might request that you file a formal notification to the sponsor that helps quantify the impacts to your project. Therefore, you should continue to identify impacts and document expenditures that are affected or would not have occurred otherwise. There are several tools detailed below to help with this. When/if you do get written feedback from your sponsor, please share it with me so that I have that information to help you in the future.
Please complete the COVID-19 Impacts Survey as a starting point to flag impacts and to notify OSP about stop work orders or affected subcontracts. OSP staff will then follow-up with each PI to provide any help they need.
If your project is set to expire within the next 90 days, your Sponsored Projects Officer can assist you with a no-cost extension request. Please also monitor any subawards. The subrecipient may be unable to perform or meet deadlines, which impacts your performance as well. No cost extensions are being readily granted and many are pre-approved. Please let us know if this is something you would like assistance with.
As supplemental funds become available, OSP can also provide assistance with those submissions. Providing information to the sponsor early on and keeping the project active may allow us the greatest chance of success.
2. Track Past Expenses
Faculty can use the COVID-19 Costs During Soft Shutdown spreadsheet template provided by FBS to document to document impacts on past expenses. FBS has also developed the new "Monthly Summary by Org - FY" report so that PI's, and department and college leadership can identify trends in spending.
3. Track Future Expenses
For future anticipated costs, the University PI Budget Planning Tool, complete with pre-populated data, can help researchers project out future COVID-19 related project expense. See the PI Budget Planning Tool User Guide for details. Access to project data follows Management Reports security.
OSP is encouraging use of these tools to track and predict COVID related expenses as gauging financial impact for each grant gives researchers the information to better respond to federal agencies’ specific questions. These tools can also support researchers in requesting project extensions and supplement funding.
We are still gathering information and developing guidance on how best to respond to many of the impacts being reported. We appreciate your patience. In the meantime, our COVID-19 Guidance is updated regularly.
If you have questions that are not addressed here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vice President for Research (VPR) Office has published Research Community Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19).