With COVID-19 impacting nearly every facet of life, proposal submissions and awards are no different. Below are some items to consider as many of our sponsors shift to remote operations.
Please note the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs has shifted to remote operations. Please feel free to contact the Director via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Google Chat during regularly scheduled business hours.
Most sponsors continue to accept proposals for regularly scheduled deadlines; no sponsors have fully indicated the suspension of all grant proposal submissions as a result of COVID-19. Please remember to check your sponsor/program regularly to see if any deadlines have been extended.
Access to electronic systems to develop and submit proposals remain operational. For sponsors which require a paper copy of proposals, please contact the Director (email@example.com) as soon as possible to discuss arrangements for shipping.
For those with pending proposals, it is anticipated there will be some delays. NSF, for example, has moved all in-person panel sessions to remote sessions, which will take some time to organize and conduct—and further delay award decisions. Some sponsors do permit pre-award costs of up to 90 days (NSF and NIH, for example), so it may be possible to maintain original project start dates if your project is funded.
If delays will result in significant changes to a project’s scope of work, please feel free to contact the Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss options and contact the sponsor.
To the extent feasible, work on funded projects may continue while shifted to remote operations. However, because many of our researchers require access to their labs, libraries, or must travel domestically or internationally to meet their original scope of work, COVID-19 will have a significant impact on research activities for the foreseeable future.
The biggest question in the sponsored project community right now is “Do I need to contact the sponsor if I am working remotely?” And the answer to this question, generally, is NO. Most federal grants require us to contact the sponsor ONLY if the PI, Co-PI, or other senior personnel will be absent from the project for greater than 90 days. If you are concerned about your specific award, please contact the Director (email@example.com) to discuss.
Items to consider for funded projects:
- You may continue to incur expenses while on remote operations. This includes salary/wages, materials/supplies, publishing costs, and other expenses necessary for you to continue your project while working remotely.
- Please consider postponing travel arrangements until more information is available. While this may not be possible depending on the urgency of your project, college-sponsored travel is suspended until 13 April 2020. For those who may have incurred charges to a sponsored project account for travel that was subsequently canceled due to COVID-19, you may seek reimbursement for costs not recovered through the cancellation process. Please contact the Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
- Start planning for a no-cost extension. Some sponsors (NSF and NIH, for example), provide grantees with an automatic one-time extension of grant periods. Other agencies require you to specifically request the extension. A few agencies have already automatically granted no-cost extensions to all projects. If you have questions about this process or need assistance, feel free to contact the Director (email@example.com).
- Remember all other terms and conditions of your award remain in force. While COVID-19 will likely impact all sponsored research on campus, the original terms and conditions of our awards remain in force. So if your award requires prior approval for any change to your project, this remains in effect during remote operations.
A number of sponsors have already published specific websites for COVID:
- John Templeton Foundation
- National Endowment for the Arts
- National Endowment for the Humanities
- National Institutes of Health
- National Science Foundation
If you have an award from any of these agencies or are considering a proposal submission in the next few weeks, please be certain to check these sites regularly for updates.