Sponsored Research

Agency Guidance in Response to COVID-19

Federal agencies offer guidance for researchers regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on research operations.


NSF - Dear Colleague Letter (June 26, 2020)

OMB Memorandum M-20-26: “Extension of Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations”

COGR News Digest - June 19, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - May 18, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - May 13, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - May 11, 2020 (PDF)

COGR - Furlough Programs and Implications for Financial Research Compliance (PDF)

COGR News Digest - May 8, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - May 6, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - May 4, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - May 1, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - April 29, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - April 27, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - April 24, 2020 (PDF)

COGR News Digest - April 22, 2020 (PDF)

New Administrative Flexibilities Guidance for CDC Recipients affected by COVID-19 (PDF)

IES (Institute of Education Sciences) - FAQs About COVID-19 for IES Grantees (PDF)

Simons Foundation Revised Grant Code of Conduct

DHS Science and Technology Master Question List for COVID-19 (caused by SARS-CoV-2) - Weekly Report, 25 March 2020 (PDF)

Helpful Information from the Division of Cultural Affairs

COGR News Digest - April 17, 2020

COGR COVID-19 Resources & Updates (April 14, 2020)

Council On Governmental Relations (COGR) - Federal Agency Guidance on COVID -19's Impact on Proposals and Awards (MS Excel) March 31, 2020 

Council On Governmental Relations (COGR): Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources

Administration for Children and Families Information Memorandum: ACF grant flexibilities in conducting human service activities related to or affected by COVID-19 (PDF)

NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) FAQ on Grants and Research during the COVID-19 Epidemic (PDF)

Important Message from the Division of Cultural Affairs

Frequently Asked Questions for DOD Research Proposers and Awardees Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS): Notification of Critical Infrastructure Workforce during COVID-19 Response (PDF)

Guidance for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) No Cost Extensions (NCEs): Memorandum explaining further guidance on No Cost Extension (NCE) requests for recipients directly impacted by COVID-19. From Air Force Office of Scientific Research (PDF)

Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations (PDF) -  From Margaret Weichert, Deputy Director of Management - March 19, 2020

NIH - New resources on COVID-19-related flexibilities to help our applicant/grantee community

NIH UPDATE: Late Application Policy Due to Public Health Emergency for United States for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - March 26, 2020

NIH Update: Responding to Frequent Questions on Flexibilities Related to NIH Funding and COVID-19 - March 26, 2020

NIH Update: COVID-19 Flexibilities for Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding
Special Edition: Coronavirus Update – March 17, 2020

NIH General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Proposal Submission and Award Management Related to COVID-19 (Notice Number: NOT-OD-20-083)

Message to all NIST/NTIA Recipients - March 25, 2020

NSF - Dear Colleague Letter on COVID-19 - Revised April 3, 2020

NSF - An Important Message from NSF - March 30, 2020

NSF Coronavirus Information: New website for the research community with detailed guidance on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes guidance for awardee organizations, researchers and reviewers of NSF proposals. Please note that this website will be updated as new developments arise.

Engineering Corner: Update on NSF response to novel coronavirus COVID-19

NSF Implementation of OMB Memorandum M-20-20: Repurposing Existing Federal Financial Assistance Programs and Awards to Support the Emergency Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

NSF Implementation of OMB Memo M-20-17: Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus due to Loss of Operations

COGR (Council on Governmental Relations)

OJP (Office of Justice Programs) Grantee Update #1 COVID-19 Impacts

OJP Grantee Update #2: Guidance on Short Term Administrative Relief for Grantees Impacted by COVID-19 (PDF)

USAMRAA’s Supplemental Guidance on Administrative Flexibilities for Grants and Cooperative Agreements in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic (Update, version 2 - March 25, 2020)

USAMRAA - United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity COVID-19 FAQs

Annie Casey Foundation - A Message to Our Partners

Notice to AHA (American Heart Association) Research Community regarding COVID-19

COVID 19: NHSC (National Health Service Corps) Service Commitments

COPS (Community Oriented Policing) Office Fiscal Year 2020 Solicitation Deadlines Extended

Frequently Asked Questions for DOD Research Proposers and Awardees Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


 

On June 18, 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued OMB memorandum M-20-26 (PDF), “Extension of Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations,” extending certain flexibilities for administrative relief to funding recipients affected by the loss of operational capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides short term relief for the following two requirements under 2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. In accordance with M-20-26, these exceptions are time-limited and will expire on September 30, 2020. OJP previously provided various short term administrative, financial, and audit requirement flexibilities to its recipients based on OMB’s memorandum M-20-17 in its March 21, 2020 email to grantees, Grantee Update #2. The flexibilities provided under M-20-17 expired on June 16, 2020. 

1) Allowability of salaries and other project costs: OJP will allow recipients to continue to charge salaries and benefits to their awards consistent with the recipients’ policy of paying salaries and benefits under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances from all funding sources (Federal and non-Federal). As outlined in 2 C.F.R. § 200.431 (a) and (b), benefits may include the costs of leave (“regular compensation paid to employees during periods of authorized absences from the job, such as for annual leave, family-related leave, sick leave …administrative leave, and other similar benefits”), as long as they are provided under written leave policies. This flexibility expires September 30, 2020.

OJP encourages recipients to review and update (if necessary) their written leave policies to address “unexpected or extraordinary circumstances.” Recipients are required to maintain copies of the leave policies and cost documentation (as required by 2 C.F.R. § 200.302, 2 C.F.R. § 200.333, and 2 C.F.R. § 431(b)(1)) to substantiate the charging of salaries and benefits during interruption of operations or services. Recipients are to exhaust other available funding sources to sustain its workforce and implement necessary steps to save overall operational costs (such as rent renegotiations) during this pandemic period in order to preserve Federal funds for the ramp-up effort. Recipients should retain documentation of their efforts to exhaust other funding sources and reduce overall operational costs.

A recipient must ensure that it does not charge payroll costs (if any) paid for with Paycheck Protection Program loans (or Federal funds from other CARES Act programs) to its award, as this would result in the Federal government paying for the same expenditures twice.

While cooperative agreement recipients may benefit from the administrative flexibility outlined above, OJP is still requiring prior approval and Grant Adjustment Notices (GANS) for any cost or project changes related to cooperative agreement awards. Recipients should contact their OJP program managers promptly to discuss anticipated changes.

In keeping with its accountability as a pass-through entity (as applicable) to ensure that subrecipients receive any necessary guidance and information on requirements a subrecipient would need to meet so that the recipient may meet its own responsibility under the award, the recipient should take appropriate measures designed to ensure that subrecipient records (including leave policies) and cost documentation pertinent to the award are maintained consistent with this notice (and as required consistent with 2 CFR Part 200).

2) Single Audit Submission: In cases where OJP serves as the cognizant agency or has oversight for a recipient’s audit, it will allow grant recipients that have not yet filed their single audits with the Federal Audit Clearinghouse as of March 19, 2020 that have normal due dates from March 30, 2020 through June 30, 2020, an extension of six (6) months beyond the normal due date. Audits with normal due dates from July 31, 2020 through September 30, 2020 will have an extension up to three (3) months beyond the normal due date. This flexibility expires December 31, 2020. Please note that recipients taking advantage of this extension should maintain documentation of the reason for the delayed filing and would still qualify as a "low-risk auditee" under the criteria of 2 CFR § 200.520 (a).  Additionally, in order to provide adequate oversight of the COVID-19 Emergency Acts funding and programs, recipients and subrecipients must separately identify the COVID-19 Emergency Acts expenditures on the Schedules of Expenditures of Federal Awards and audit report findings.


Simons Foundation Revised Grant Code of Conduct

April 6, 2020

Effective immediately, the Simons Foundation (the “Foundation”) has revised the Grant Code of Conduct (see below) applicable to grantee institutions as set forth in the Foundation’s Policies and Procedures. The Foundation expects principal investigators and institution administrators to share this policy with all individuals working on a grant funded by the Foundation.

View our complete policies and procedures.

Effective Date: April 6, 2020

Grant Code of Conduct

The Simons Foundation is committed to the conduct of science in an environment that conforms to the highest ethical, professional, and legal standards.

Accordingly, in connection with a grant from the Simons Foundation, a grantee institution must maintain an environment that complies with law, professional codes of conduct, its own policies and procedures as well as those of the Simons Foundation.

All grantee institutions are expected to implement and adhere to policies and procedures that:

  1. foster an environment free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation;
  2. actively promote professional codes of conduct;
  3. ensure employees understand, and are fully aware of, applicable laws, policies, and codes of conduct;
  4. provide an accessible and effective process to report Prohibited Conduct (as defined below), with protection from retaliation;
  5. respond promptly to reports of Prohibited Conduct, investigate the report thoroughly, and impose Administrative Action (as defined below) where appropriate.

Personnel (as defined below) funded by the Simons Foundation must comply with this Grant Code of Conduct.

Notifications

The Simons Foundation requires grantee institutions to provide notice, within 10 business days, of the following, except as prohibited by law:

  1. any Determination (as defined below) involving Personnel (as defined below) relating to Prohibited Conduct; and
  2. any Administrative Action (as defined below) involving Personnel.

The Notice should be submitted through the Simons Foundation’s secure portal.

The Simons Foundation will maintain the confidentiality of a Determination and Administrative Action as well as all related information to the extent required by law.

Individuals should report any Prohibited Conduct that impacts a grant funded by the Simons Foundation to the designated persons at their institution. If the institution does not address the report, the individual may contact the Simons Foundation through its secure portal.

In that case, the Simons Foundation may follow up with the institution, as appropriate, to confirm that the grant is being performed in a workplace consistent with this Grant Code of Conduct.

Review of Grant Status Following Notification

The Simons Foundation will review the Determination and/or Administrative Action, consider the impact on performance of the grant, and determine whether it is appropriate for the grantee institution to proceed with the grant.

Pursuant to its Policies and Procedures, the Simons Foundation has the right to suspend or terminate any grant.

Definitions

For purposes of this Grant Code of Conduct, the following definitions apply:

Administrative Action: Any disciplinary or corrective action, including termination or suspension, taken with respect to Personnel.

Determination: The final disposition of a matter involving Prohibited Conduct.

Personnel: Principal investigators and all other members of the research team working on a grant funded by the Simons Foundation.

Prohibited Conduct: Any violation of applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-retaliation laws; criminal laws, including those with respect to physical assault; institutional policies and procedures relating to anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-retaliation, including this Grant Code of Conduct; and professional codes of conduct.

Read the Code of Conduct FAQs.


Helpful Information from the Division of Cultural Affairs

April 3, 2020

The Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs supports grantees that have had to cancel or modify their programming, events, and everyday operations. We welcome the opportunity to work with grantees on a case-by-case basis. Grantees can reach out to their individual program managers to discuss their specific circumstances.

Division of Cultural Affairs


COGR News Digest - April 17, 2020

4/17/20: To streamline coronavirus vaccine and drug efforts, NIH and firms join forces (Science) More than 100 treatments and vaccines are in development to stem the COVID-19 pandemic, and some onlookers have worried that this sprawling and potentially duplicative effort is wasting time and resources. Hoping to bring order to the chaos, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and major drug companies today announced a plan to stage carefully designed clinical trials of the drugs and vaccines they have decided are the highest priorities for testing and development.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/tame-testing-chaos-nih-and-firms-join-forces-streamline-coronavirus-vaccine-and-drug

See also: Drug Industry Coordinates Covid-19 Response With NIH (1) (Bloomberg Law)

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/pharma-and-life-sciences/drug-industry-coordinates-covid-19-response-with-nih?context=search&index=4


COGR COVID-19 Resources & Updates

April 14, 2020

In COGR’s ongoing response to COVID-19’s Impact to Federal Awards, we have developed and updated a number of resources for our members to help navigate the evolving landscape of this public health emergency.

COGR Resources:

  • NIH FAQ Addendum #1 with new FAQs have been developed from NIH specific questions from the membership and will be updated periodically as new information becomes available (4/13/20)
  • A Costing FAQ Addendum #2 has been developed from costing specific questions from the membership and will be updated as new information becomes available (4/9/20)
  • A federal agency guidance matrix that is updated periodically as new guidance becomes available (4/8/20)

What’s next?

Webinar #2:  Registration is now open for COGR’s 2nd webinar in our COVID-19 Series “A Focus on Compensation Policies Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis.” The webinar will be on Friday, April 17 from 12-1:15 p.m.

Want More Information?

Please visit COGR’s Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources page for a list of federal agency guidance released to date, links to institutional COVID-19 policies, and other helpful resources. Questions related to COVID-19 or COGR resources can be sent to COVID19@cogr.edu.


NIH - New resources on COVID-19-related flexibilities to help our applicant/grantee community

Message to the Community (and New Resources):

See the new Open Mike blog post highlighting a host of new resources on COVID-19-related flexibilities to help our applicant/grantee community.


NIH Update: Responding to Frequent Questions on Flexibilities Related to NIH Funding and COVID-19

Open Mike

Posted on March 26, 2020 by Mike Lauer

The public health emergency due to COVID-19 is causing difficulties in many aspects of our lives. My colleagues and I here at NIH are well aware of the challenges being felt in the research community as institutions are closing, people are being asked to practice social distancing, and resources and attention are justifiably focused on public health needs. We are listening to your concerns and are working quickly to develop answers to your many questions.

We recently updated our Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients website with a slew of additional FAQs, new funding opportunities, as well as the video message from me, below, where I address some of the most common questions. 

Since yesterday’s recording of this video, in response to community concerns about their ability to submit applications in a timely manner, we have published a notice announcing that grant applications submitted late for due dates between March 9, 2020, and May 1, 2020, will be accepted through May 1, 2020. This notice applies to all relevant funding opportunity announcements, including those that indicate no late applications will be accepted. A cover letter providing a justification is not required. NIH will be extending the expiration date of most FOAs expiring between now and May 1. Be sure to read the notice carefully for details.

Things are moving quickly. Please continue to communicate with us. We are listening.

I encourage you to monitor our website frequently. To help you identify updated content, the page now includes a link to page update history so you can easily see what’s new.

VIDEO: Update on COVID-19 Flexibilities for the Research Community (YouTube)


NIH Update: COVID-19 Flexibilities for Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding
Special Edition: Coronavirus Update – March 17, 2020

Open Mike

COVID-19 Resources for Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding
By Mike Lauer

Due to the potential exceptional impact of the declared public health emergency, we want to assure our recipient community that NIH will be doing our part to help you continue your research. See a video message from Dr. Mike Lauer discussing the flexibilities available for applicants and recipients. Continue reading→

Top Stories

Guidance for NIH-Funded Clinical Trials and Human Subjects Studies Affected by COVID-19
For details on expanded flexibilities, such as mid-project period extensions and administrative supplements for unanticipated costs, see NOT-OD-20-087. Continue reading→

NIH Late Application Policy, Administrative Flexibilities, and FAQs Related to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
When delays occur because the applicant or recipient organization is officially closed or unable to submit grant applications due to the effects of COVID-19, the NIH will consider accepting applications late, on a case-by-case basis. Continue reading→

Flexibilities for Assured Institutions for Activities of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) Due to COVID-19
See NOT-OD-20-088 for flexibilities provided in the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy) that are applicable to implementing a pandemic plan for animal care and use programs. Continue reading→

Special OLAW Webinar on March 19: Pandemic Contingency Planning and Its Impact on Animal Care
Are you testing or implementing your institution’s pandemic response plan for the first time? Do you have questions about flexibilities provided by the PHS Policy that may be helpful during a pandemic? We are hosting a special webinar on March 19th to help your institution prepare for a pandemic that may impact the animal care and use program. Continue reading→

Calendar

Canceled – NIH Regional Seminar in Baltimore (4/20-4/22)  
Postponed – 21st Annual HHS Small Business Program Conference (4/28-4/30)
Extended – Deadline for Feedback on NIH Strategic Plan (4/1)


Message to all NIST/NTIA Recipients

Due to the impact of the declared public health emergency, we want to assure our recipient community that NIST will be doing our part to help you continue your research/project. The NIST Grants Office continues to operate during normal business hours with staff working remotely. While our staff is working remotely, the best way to contact your Grants Officer and Grants Specialist is via email.

Below is a list of the Memoranda issued by OMB with information to assist Recipients and Applicants of Federal financial assistance directly impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will provide updated guidance and information as it becomes available. You are encouraged to visit the OMB website to obtain more information.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/memoranda/

Best regards,
Jannet Cancino
Division Chief
NIST | Office of Acquisitions and Agreements Management | Grants Management Division


Dear Colleague Letter on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Revised April 3, 2020

Dear Colleague,

In light of the emergence and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States and abroad, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical-care research that can be used immediately to explore how to model and understand the spread of COVID-19, to inform and educate about the science of virus transmission and prevention, and to encourage the development of processes and actions to address this global challenge.

NSF encourages the research community to respond to this challenge through existing funding opportunities. In addition, we invite researchers to use the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism, which allows NSF to receive and review proposals having a severe urgency with regard to availability of or access to data, facilities or specialized equipment as well as quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events. Requests for RAPID proposals may be for up to $200K and up to one year in duration. Well-justified proposals that exceed these limits may be entertained. All questions should be directed either to a program officer managing an NSF program with which the research would be aligned or to rapid-covid19@nsf.gov.

Proposals in response to this DCL may also request the use of NSF-funded advanced computing resources such as Frontera, Stampede2, Bridges, Comet, and JetStream. To ensure availability of these computing resources, investigators must contact the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) at rapid-covid19-oac@nsf.gov prior to submission of the proposal.

Complete guidance on submitting a RAPID proposal may be found in Chapter II.E.1 of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide.

We ask that all investigators and organizations maintain awareness of the dynamic nature of this event through regular monitoring of official communications from the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

NSF has also created a dedicated website on COVID-19, with links to Frequently Asked Questions addressing (i) questions associated with NSF proposal submission and award management relevant to research proposals relating to COVID-19 and (ii) possible impacts of COVID-19 on activities under existing awards; that website will be updated as appropriate. We strongly urge that you read the FAQs prior to submission of an inquiry about possible RAPID funding.

READ MORE: Dear Colleague Letter on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Sincerely,
Dr. F. Fleming Crim
Chief Operating Officer


An important message from NSF:

March 30, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

We are excited to announce that effective March 30, 2020, the research community can prepare and submit separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations in Research.gov. Proposers can now prepare Full, Research proposals in Research.gov that are:

  • Single submissions from one organization (available since April 2018)
  • Single submission collaborative proposals with subawards (available since June 2019)
  • Separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations

What's New for Separately Submitted Collaborative Proposals?

  • Proposal Preparation: Proposers can select a separately submitted collaborative proposal as an option in the Proposal Creation Wizard and identify themselves as part of a lead or non-lead organization.

  • Linking: The lead organization can initiate a request to link proposals with non-lead organizations. However, all proposals in the collaboration must be prepared and submitted in Research.gov and cannot be a mix of Research.gov and FastLane proposals.

  • New "Submission Pending" Status: The Research.gov submission process for separately submitted collaborative proposals is different than the submission process in FastLane.
    • A new Research.gov “Submission Pending” status informs the organization that their proposal submission is pending in a queue until all linked lead and non-lead proposals in the collaboration attain “Submission Pending” status and can be submitted to NSF as a set.
    • Separately submitted collaborative proposals with a "Submission Pending" status can be edited, but the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must resubmit the edited proposal to return it to a "Submission Pending" status.
    • A Proposal File Update (PFU) is not required to edit the proposal at the "Submission Pending" stage. However, a PFU could be utilized after the entire collaborative set is submitted to NSF and a proposal ID number for each separately submitted collaborative proposal is generated.

  • Submit Proposal Wizard: The AOR Submission Wizard screen will display the lead and non-lead organization information.

  • Other Related Changes:
    • Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan: A Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan is only required when funds for postdoctoral scholars are requested on the budget. A proposal compliance error will block proposal submission if there is a mentoring plan but no requested funds.
    • Print Concatenate: This functionality is available for lead and non-lead proposals.
    • New Automated Compliance Error/Warning Messages and Business Rules for Separately Submitted Collaborative Proposals: Compliance checks triggering an error will prohibit proposal submission to NSF, whereas checks triggering a warning will allow proposal submission to NSF.
    • Delete In-progress Proposals: Proposers can delete their in-progress separately submitted collaborative proposals.
    • Redesigned Research.gov "About" Page with New and Updated FAQs: Check out our redesigned Research.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission webpage with links to new and updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) organized by topic.

Engineering Corner: Update on NSF response to novel coronavirus COVID-19

Dear Colleagues,
 
In these unprecedented times, we in the NSF Engineering Directorate wish that you and your families and friends are safe and well.  We know that many of you are navigating the complexities of courses going virtual, research labs shutting down, students scattering away from campuses, sponsored research offices working remotely, new responsibilities in your own homes, and potential health issues for yourselves and your loved ones.

We are taking steps to help you navigate this difficult and fluid situation, and these steps are summarized for you below.

SUMMARY WEBPAGE

NSF has established a landing page for information about the novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) at www.nsf.gov/coronavirus.
 
This page is updated frequently, as we are coordinating with other agencies and responding to a changing situation and new questions. Today NSF added new community guidance and an encouraging message from NSF Director France Córdova.
 
The page links to changes on certain program deadlines and to guidance on facilities, budget and logistics for existing awards. This page is a good starting place for help in answering  questions about disruptions to your NSF-funded work, which is a concern for many of you. The operation of each university follows local guidance, and NSF will make efforts to facilitate the continuation of research and education activities as much as possible during this challenging time.
 
The page also links to two Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) that NSF issued earlier this month (1) inviting research proposals via NSF’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) mechanism on topics of specific relevance to COVID-19, and (2) announcing the availability of advanced computing resources such as Frontera for COVID-19-related research.

PROGRAM DEADLINES

We are assessing program deadlines, especially those in March and early April, on an ongoing basis, as all of us adjust to changes during this period. As we know more about particular deadlines, we will update the following webpage: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/covid19/covid19_deadlines.pdf. Recall that most of the core programs in ENG have no deadlines; you can submit your research proposal at any time.

REVIEW PANELS AND SITE VISITS

If you have agreed to serve on an upcoming merit review panel, please note that these are all virtual at present, with ongoing reassessment every two weeks.  Please contact the cognizant NSF program officer if you have questions about panel logistics.

Some site visits and reverse site visits are going virtual, and some are postponed. Again, please contact the cognizant NSF program officer with questions.

OTHER NSF-FUNDED MEETINGS

NSF encourages principal investigators planning upcoming NSF-funded conferences and other meetings originally scheduled to take place in the coming weeks to either reschedule these meetings or to move them to all-virtual gatherings.

NSF OPERATIONS

As with many other workplaces, NSF is now in a maximum telework mode, but the work of the agency continues. To that end, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we, ourselves, adjust to this new way of life. We are heartened by the efforts of both our own NSF colleagues and all of you in the community in carrying on nearly seamlessly with virtual review panels and other activities. As always, our mission is to support the great research that you conduct, and the students and researchers involved in NSF-funded projects. This means doing our best to be flexible while maintaining the merit review process and funding timelines in order to facilitate getting funding out to you, our research community, as planned this fiscal year.
 
In summary, we wanted to reach out and reiterate our commitment to keeping programs, panels, and other efforts on track as much as possible. The unique circumstances we are all experiencing have challenged us, and yet simultaneously they have profoundly demonstrated the immense need for our research. Engineering contributions to sensing, communications, logistics, and health technologies (to name only a few) vitally support the needs of society and enable many elements of the virtual interactions that keep us close in a time that requires physical distancing (but social connection). Thank you for your past work, and we look forward to supporting your future projects in the months and years to come.

Best wishes,
Dawn Tilbury
NSF Assistant Director for Engineering


NSF’s Implementation of OMB Memorandum M-20-20: Repurposing Existing Federal Financial Assistance Programs and Awards to Support the Emergency Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Foundation has issued guidance on NSF’s implementation (PDF) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum (M-20-20) (PDF), entitled, Repurposing Existing Federal Financial Assistance Programs and Awards to Support the Emergency Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  NSF remains committed to working with the Administration, other federal agencies, and the research community to effectively respond to the COVID-19 national emergency.  This guidance is to implement the flexibility class exception authorized by OMB Memorandum M-20-20 that allows Federal awarding agencies to repurpose their Federal assistance awards (in whole or part) to support the COVID-19 response, as consistent with applicable laws. This will certainly help address questions that recipients may have regarding the donation of items/resources from NSF awards.


NSF Implementation of OMB Memo M-20-17: Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus due to Loss of Operations

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation has issued Important Notice No 146 to the Community Regarding COVID-19. NSF has also issued additional guidance on NSF’s implementation (PDF) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum (M-20-17), entitled, Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations. NSF has implemented flexibilities authorized by OMB from specific administrative, financial management and audit requirements contained in 2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards without compromising accountability requirements.

Any questions about the policies described in the NSF Guidance should be directed to policy@nsf.gov. Questions specific to a particular award should be directed to the cognizant NSF Program Officer. NSF is working to update existing FAQs and other resources to reflect NSF’s new guidance and will keep you informed on our website at: nsf.gov/coronavirus.

Regards,
Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution and Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management


COGR (Council on Governmental Relations)

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COGR Web page on Federal Agency Guidance in Response to COVID-19's Impact on Federal Awards

3/20/20: Funding Agencies, Accountability and Title IX (Inside Higher Ed) A review of federal research grants by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that federal agencies have taken action on sexual harassment but need clearer procedures, plans, goals and collaboration. Some 40 complaints under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sexual harassment, were filed with the five granting agencies studied between 2015 and 2019.
https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/03/20/funding-agencies-accountability-and-title-ix

3/19/20: Universities urge U.S. leaders to boost science budgets by 15%, ease rules to cope with pandemic (Science) The U.S. research community is urgently asking the White House and Congress to take steps aimed at keeping academic research afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Four organizations representing the nation’s major research institutions and medical schools today wrote to Congressional leaders, urging them to increase research spending at federal science agencies by some 15%, or $13 billion, in order to prevent students and researchers in all scientific disciplines from going broke, to help closed laboratories re-start once the pandemic eases, and to cover other unanticipated costs to the academic research enterprise. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/universities-urge-us-leaders-boost-science-budgets-15-ease-rules-cope-pandemic

3/19/20: OLAW’s Pandemic Contingency Planning and Its Impact on Animal Care - March 19, 2020 (Recorded Webinar Now Available)
https://olaw.nih.gov/education/educational-resources/webinar-2020-03-19.htm

3/19/20: Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations (OMB)
https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/M-20-17.pdf

3/19/20:  Coronavirus lockdown: What I learned when I shut my cancer lab in 48 hours (Nature) Doing science during the quarantine in northern Italy has shown me that creativity needs connection.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00826-7

3/18/20: As Coronavirus Spreads, Universities Stall Their Research to Keep Human Subjects Safe (The Chronicle) A basic calculation governs research on human beings: How do the benefits stack up against the risks?.... That reality is prompting research institutions including Columbia University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the California Institute of Technology to suspend much face-to-face human-subjects research.
https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-Coronavirus-Spreads/248274?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_1b

Toni J. Russo
Administrative Officer and Policy Analyst
1200 New York Ave NW Suite 460
Washington DC 20005
(202) 289-6655 x110
www.cogr.edu


OJP (Office of Justice Programs) Grantee Update #1 COVID-19 Impacts

Dear OJP Award Recipient –

Effective Monday, March 16, and until further notice, pursuant to OMB Memorandum M-20-15, dated March 15, 2020, the Department of Justice is moving to a posture of maximum telework in the National Capital Region. Office of Justice Programs (OJP) staff will work remotely and will be available to assist grantees, stakeholders, and the public during this period.  Likewise, all OJP systems and services will be available. 

Grant Payments: The Grants Payment Request System (GPRS) will remain in service to accept and process grant payment requests.

Programmatic and financial monitoring: Until otherwise notified, all planned on-site monitoring will be conducted as remote monitoring or postponed for a later date. You will be contacted by your OJP grant manager and/or financial staff of OJP’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer to make alternative arrangements. If your organization is unable to participate in remote monitoring due to operational limitations, you may request postponement until a later date.  

Conferences, events, and other gatherings: For OJP-sponsored conferences, meetings, trainings, and other gatherings that are scheduled in the near term, cooperative agreement recipients should work with their OJP program or grant managers to set up meetings as virtual events or postpone or cancel meetings. For events planned farther out, please work on a case-by-case basis with your grant manager.

Grantees should contact their OJP grant managers to address issues resulting from postponed or canceled meetings, such as using grant funds to cover hotel or travel related cancellation fees and penalties. 

Grantees should try to have the airline reimburse the canceled ticket(s) in cash. However, if the airline will only refund the cancellation as a credit:

  • The grantee should apply the credit to a future trip for the same OJP grant or project.
  • If that is not possible, the grantee should use the credit for another OJP program or project and reimburse the original OJP grant or project with the equivalent dollar amount.
  • If neither of those options is possible, then the grantee should process the trip as a cancellation, which OJP approves to be charged to the grant due to this mitigating circumstance.

Grantees should provide similar guidance to subrecipients (that is, subgrantees). Please document these such changes via a Program Office Approval Grant Adjustment Notice (GAN) in OJP’s Grant Management System (GMS) for record keeping purposes.

Interruptions in performance of work under the grant: Grantees (and subrecipients/subgrantees) should review the DOJ Grants Financial Guide and the Part 200 Uniform Requirements (2 C.F.R. Part 200, as adopted by DOJ) (see, for example, 2 CFR 200.430 and 2 C.F.R. 200.431, under Subpart E – Cost Principles), and the grantee’s (or subrecipient’s/subgrantee’s) established policies, to help in determining how the grantee’s personnel costs may be treated during any period(s) of interruption to the performance of work under the award.  You should direct any questions about allowability of costs to your OJP grant manager, or to OJP’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer by calling the Customer Service Center at 1-800-458-0786 (TTY: 202-616-3867), or via email at ask.ocfo@usdoj.gov.

Award extensions: In accordance with Part 200 Uniform Requirements (2 C.F.R. Part 200, as adopted by DOJ) and consistent with the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, most OJP awards may be eligible for one no-cost extension of up to 12 months.  If the grant has previously received a no-cost extension and an additional extension will be requested due to the extenuating circumstances, refer to the DOJ Grants Financial Guide for additional information and consult with your grant manager as needed.  

Please note that awards funded by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) (or any other OJP bureau/program office) under the provisions of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984, are available during the federal fiscal year of the award, plus the following three fiscal years. OVC and other OJP bureaus/program offices have no discretion to permit extensions of any award’s period of performance beyond the statutory period.

Solicitations: Solicitations with application due dates between March 16th and March 31st will have a 2-week extension for submission.  OJP program offices are in the process of updating those due dates now. OJP will continue to monitor the situation and determine if additional adjustments to closing dates will be needed. Grants.gov and OJP’s Grants Management System remain open to continue to accept applications. 

We will continue to provide updated information on potentially impacted grants activities, including financial and other required reporting. Thank you for your patience during this time. OJP and the Department of Justice appreciate your ongoing commitment to your missions and the safety of all Americans. 

Office of Justice Programs


USAMRAA’s Supplemental Guidance on Administrative Flexibilities for Grants and Cooperative Agreements in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Version 2, revised: March 25, 2020

On March 19, 2020 OMB issued Memorandum M-20-17 Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/M-20-17.pdf). The Department of Defense (DoD) also recently published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (https://basicresearch.defense.gov/COVID-19/Frequently-Asked-Questions/). The United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) will apply, to the maximum extent possible, all the allowed exceptions to our financial assistance awards, including allowance of costs. The following exceptions, aligned with the format in Memorandum M-20-17 and guidance from the DoD, are time limited. OMB anticipates reassessing the exceptions within 90 days.

1. Flexibility with SAM registration:

  • The SAM registration process will be relaxed as outlined in M-20-17.

2. Flexibility with application deadlines:

  • There are currently no plans to modify existing application deadline dates but please continue to monitor Grants.gov for any potential change(s) to an application deadline.
  • Please contact the CDMRP Help Desk at help@eBRAP.org or 301-682-5507 if you need further assistance.
  • This response may be updated at a later date depending on whether application review panel meeting dates are revised. Please check this page periodically for possible updates.

3. Waiver of Notice of Funding Opportunities Publication:

  • USAMRAA has no immediate emergency Program Announcements for grants or cooperative agreements available at this time.
  • This response may be updated at a later date depending on whether application review panel meeting dates are revised. Please check this page periodically for possible updates.

4. No-cost extensions on expiring awards:

  • USAMRAA’s terms and conditions of award already allow for a one-time, no cost extension of up to 12 months, without need to request prior approval, when the recipient notifies the Grants Officer (GO).
  • Recipients may notify USAMRAA’s GO(s) of a blanket no-cost extension on all active awards(including grant numbers) covered under M-20-17 -- i.e., they do not need to be requested on an individual basis for each award.
  • However, please be aware that funding expiration statutes may prohibit extensions. Recipients should contact the USAMRAA GO for award-specific guidance.

5. Abbreviated continuation requests:

  • Not applicable for USAMRAA grants and cooperative agreements.

6. Expenditure of award funds for salaries and other project activities:

  • Recipients may continue to charge salaries and benefits to currently active awards consistent with the recipients' policy of paying salaries (under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances) from all funding sources, Federal and non-Federal.
  • USAMRAA will allow other costs to be charged to Federal awards necessary to resume activities supported by the award, consistent with applicable Federal cost principles and the benefit to the project. This may include allowing rent on equipment and facilities during this time frame.
  • However, to the maximum extent practicable, recipients must invoke or institute any and all reasonable mitigation actions and practices to lessen the cost to the Government during the crisis period. Such actions may be part of an existing program created by the recipient organization or may be created to respond to this crisis.
  • Recipients must maintain appropriate records and cost documentation as required by 2 CFR §200.302 - Financial management and 2 CFR § 200.333 - Retention requirement of records to substantiate the charging of any salaries and other project activities costs related to interruption of operations or services.

7. Allowability of Costs not Normally Chargeable to Awards.

  • USAMRAA will allow recipients who incur costs related to the cancellation of events, travel, or other activities necessary and reasonable for the performance of the award, or the pausing and restarting of grant funded activities due to the public health emergency, to charge these costs to their award without regard to 2 CFR § 200.403, Factors affecting allow ability of costs, 2 CFR §200.404, Reasonable costs, and 2 CFR § 200.405, Allocable costs.
  • USAMRAA will allow recipients to charge full cost of cancellation when the event, travel, or other activities are conducted under the auspices of the grant.
  • However, recipients should not assume additional funds will be available should the charging of cancellation or other fees result in a shortage of funds to eventually carry out the event or travel.
  • Recipients are required to maintain appropriate records and cost documentation as required by2 CFR § 200.302 - Financial management and 2 CFR § 200.333 Retention requirement of records, to substantiate the charging of any cancellation or other fees related to interruption of operations or services.

8. Prior approval requirement waivers:

  • OMB and DoD have authorized awarding agencies to waive prior approval requirements as necessary. Some prior approvals are already waived under the DoD General Research &Development Terms and Conditions and USAMRAA’s agency-specific terms conditions.
  • Recipients should consult their GO regarding other potential prior approval waivers based on project-specific circumstances.
  • All costs charged to Federal awards must be consistent with Federal cost policy guidelines and the terms of the award, except where specified in OMB Memorandum M-20-17.

9. Exemption of certain procurement requirements:

  • The procurement requirements contained in 2 CFR 200.319(b) regarding geographic preference and 2 CFR 200.231 regarding contracting with small and minority businesses, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus supply firms are waved in order to expedite the procurement process for needed support during the period outlined in OMB Memorandum M-20-17.

10. Extension of financial and other reporting:

  • Recipients may delay submission of financial, performance and other reports on currently active award accounts up to three (3) months beyond the normal due date.
  • Contact the GO and Grants Officer’s Representative (GOR) for extensions on other milestones and deliverables required in the terms and conditions of the award. If warranted, the same three-month extension may be granted.
  • Recipients may continue to invoice for payment of Federal funds without timely submission of reports.
  • Reports must be submitted at the end of the postponed period. Additional extensions require prior approval of the GO.

11. Extension of currently approved indirect costs rates:

  • Recipients may continue to use the currently approved indirect cost rates (i.e., predetermined, fixed, or provisional rates) to recover their indirect costs on Federal awards.
  • Recipients may contact their cognizant agency for indirect costs to request an extension on the use of the current rates for one additional year without submission of an indirect cost proposal. The cognizant agency may also approve requests for an extension of the indirect cost rate proposal submission to finalize the current rates and establish future rates.

12. Extension of closeout:

  • Recipients may delay submission of any pending financial, performance and other reports required by the terms of the award for the closeout of expired projects, provided that proper notice about the reporting delay is given by the grantee to the GO.
  • This delay in submitting closeout reports may not exceed one year after the award expires.

13. Extension of Single Audit submission.

  • Implemented as stated in M-20-17.

14. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the conduct of my DoD-supported human subjects research protocol. What do I need to report to the USAMRDC Human Research Protection Office (HRPO)?

15. ACURO Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic


United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) COVID-19 FAQs

This Notice addresses general questions associated with proposal submission and award management that may arise in relation to COVID-19. The United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) is providing this information as a service to our applicant and recipient communities to address immediate, high-level questions that have been posed to federal research assistance agencies. Please note that given the fact that COVID-19 and associated impacts continue to evolve, applicants and recipients are strongly encouraged to monitor the resources noted below for updates. USAMRAA is publishing information on flexibilities for organizations funded by USAMRAA to conduct research on COVID-19 along with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on other administrative flexibilities whose operations have been adversely impacted in the emergency response related to COVID-19. These FAQs will be updated as more information becomes available.

1. What will be done for recipients whose awards support the continued research and services necessary to carry out the emergency response related to COVID-19 during the period formally declared by the Department of Health and Human Services through the 90 Day Public Health Emergency Declaration (Public Health Emergency Period)?

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has identified the following actions to relieve short-term administrative, financial management and audit requirements under the Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR Part 200 – “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards”-without compromise to accountability requirements (M-20-11). USAMRAA will extend flexibilities to awards that support efforts related to COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Grants Management Specialist or Grants Officer’s Representative listed in the award document for information concerning individual grants.

2. I have a question related to COVID-19's potential impact on my research project, project- related travel, or field work. Where are some of the places I can find helpful information?

Your employing organization is an ideal starting point. In many cases, colleges and universities have created websites offering information.

Beyond that, we encourage you to consult the following resources:

3. The DoD Research & Development (R&D) General Terms and Conditions provide the recipient the authority to extend the period of performance one time for up to 12 months beyond the original completion date down stated in the award document. Any additional project period extension beyond the initial extension of up to 12 months requires prior approval from the DoD awarding component.

Part 2, Article V., Section C (Financial and Program Management) of the R&D General Terms and Conditions addresses pre-award costs, carry forward of unobligated balances, and one-time no cost-extensions. Item 3 indicates that one-time no-cost extension provisions are reserved for the discretion of the DoD awarding component. See the agency-specific or award specific section of your award to see whether the awarding agency has already authorized a one-time no-cost extension without the need for prior approval. If it has not done so, once you have assessed how much additional time will be needed to complete performance, contact the POC on the award to request an extension. Grants officials have been advised to be flexible in considering requests related to this public health emergency.

4. I am an investigator on a USAMRAA-funded award that includes travel to a meeting/conference, but the meeting/conference has been canceled. Who do I contact regarding the impact to the USAMRAA award?

You should contact the cognizant USAMRAA grants official named in the award document to alert them to the situation. Also, copy the program official to ensure all appropriate federal staff are aware of the circumstances. In light of the public health threat, you may wish to consider alternate plans, such as providing or using options for virtual participation. Additionally, it may be possible to attend if the meeting/conference is rescheduled within a year. See the question above regarding one-time no-cost extensions.

For meetings that are specified directly in the application or award notice, or that have been required by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) (e.g. Milestone Meetings, In-Progress Reviews, etc.), we will be open to rescheduling the meeting or setting up a virtual presentation.

5. A conference has been canceled, but I have nonrefundable travel, registration, and/or hotel costs. Can these be charged to a USAMRAA grant?

USAMRAA is currently working within DoD as well as with our federal partners on a number of proposal and award-related issues pertaining to COVID-19. We will communicate with the about these issues through updated FAQs as further information becomes available. In the meantime, please continue to follow your organization’s relevant travel policies and procedures.

6. I am involved with a USAMRAA award with a meeting/conference scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. Should I continue with plans for the meeting?

USAMRAA recommends reaching out to the conference organizer or host. They are best positioned to know the guidance at the event location. They may recommend having contingency plans if the event is ultimately cancelled or re-located, or might be planning to provide options for virtual participation. If you are the organizer, you should consider developing contingency plans.

We also suggest checking the State Department Travel Advisories website if the conference involves foreign travel.

7. My USAMRAA grant involves an exchange of researchers (including students) and/or other foreign travel. Should I continue with plans?

Travel logistics, accessibility, and health and safety considerations of the participants in an active research project should always be a foremost consideration. USAMRAA recommends consulting with your organization about its policies and procedures. You should consider approaching the planned researcher exchanges and/or other foreign travel with flexibility, and/or devising alternate plans including virtual collaboration as appropriate. As noted above, we understand that plans for active research projects may be disrupted, to the point of needing extensions on the original award durations. For foreign travel, you should consult the State Department Travel Advisories website.

8. I have plans to attend a large scientific gathering. Should I continue?

We recommend first consulting with your organization about its policies and practices. In addition, you may consider reaching out to the organizer or host of the scientific gathering. They are best positioned to know the guidance at the event location. They may have contingency plans if the event is ultimately canceled or re-located, or they might be planning to provide options for virtual participation. We also suggest checking the State Department Travel Advisories website if the gathering involves foreign travel.

9. (a) My organization is open, but I am quarantined for a period of time. There is an application submission deadline during my quarantine period and some essential materials are in my office. I am the PI. Can my organization receive an extension to the deadline?  (b) My organization has asked staff to stay home for an undetermined period of time. How would I petition for an extension of an application deadline?

There are currently no plans to modify existing application deadline dates but please continue to monitor Grants.gov for any potential change(s) to an application deadline. 

Please contact the CDMRP Help Desk at help@eBRAP.org or 301-682-5507 if you need further assistance.

This response may be updated at a later date depending on whether application review panel meeting dates are revised. Please check this page periodically for possible updates. 

10. My position is funded through an USAMRAA award.  The university will officially close until further notice as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Can the USAMRAA award be used to pay my employment costs?

The Department of Defense (DoD) will only allow recipients to charge salaries and benefits to currently active awards for work actually performed to meet the project activities, regardless of the location where those duties are performed (i.e., telework eligible). Some allowable activities may include -- e.g., data analysis, preparation of articles and papers based on the analysis of the research findings, monitoring subrecipients, care of research animals, direct charged administrative costs, etc. Additionally, such charges to the award should only be made when the work is performed within the recipient organization’s policies for allowable remote/telework and/or emergency operations.

Applicable indirect costs may be charged to all allowed costs. 

11. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the conduct of my DoD-supported human subjects research protocol.  What do I need to report to the USAMRDC Human Research Protection Office (HRPO)?

In addition to seeking local guidance from your human research protection program officials and reviewing Institutional Review Board (IRB), notify the HRPO in the following circumstances:

            a) Amendments: Per the terms of your HRPO approval, substantive amendments require HRPO review and approval prior to implementation. The HRPO will not require pre-approval of amendments intended to minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure for research volunteers or study team members. You must follow your institution’s guidance or requirements for IRB review and approval for amendments and must provide documentation to the HRPO of all such actions in a prompt manner via email to the following address:  usarmy.detrick.medcom-usamrmc.mbx.COVID-19@mail.mil

            b) Unanticipated Problems Involving Risks to Subjects or Others (UPIRTSOs): Per the terms of your HRPO approval and the Common Rule, UPIRTSOs must be promptly reported. This includes any UPIRTSOs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as inadvertent exposure of research subjects and/or study personnel, missed or delayed safety assessments due to the pandemic, inability to provide study product or conduct key research interventions, etc. UPIRTSOs related to the COVID-19 pandemic must be promptly reported to the reviewing IRB and the following HRPO mailbox: usarmy.detrick.medcom-usamrmc.mbx.COVID-19@mail.mil.

            c) Halting research: Promptly report any actions taken to halt the conduct of ongoing human subjects research (e.g. pausing new enrollment, canceling follow-up procedures with previously enrolled subjects, etc.) due to the COVID-19 pandemic to the reviewing IRB and the following HRPO mailbox: usarmy.detrick.medcom-usamrmc.mbx.COVID-19@mail.mil.

            d) Note: You must adhere to all other reporting and submission requirements specified in your HRPO approval memorandum.

If notification by electronic mail is not feasible, notifications can be made telephonically to 301-619-2165. If you have questions, you can contact 301-619-2165 or the HRPO mailbox atusarmy.detrick.medcom-usamrmc.mbx.COVID-19@mail.mil.

USAMRAA is currently working internally with DoD as well as with our federal partners on a number of proposal and award-related issues pertaining to COVID-19. USAMRAA will communicate with the community about this issue and will provide guidance as further information becomes available. Please check the USAMRAA website for updates.


Annie Casey Foundation - A Message To Our Partners:

In just a matter of days, our world has changed dramatically.

In many communities, businesses and houses of worship are shuttered, schools are closed and streets are empty. We’re all feeling tremendous uncertainty and tension as our nation and the entire world try to navigate this unprecedented moment. And the children, families and communities we all care about are facing greater challenges than ever before as we contend with the coronavirus pandemic — some immediate, and others as yet unknown.

We recognize that all of this has implications for your organization and the work we do together. Many of you must rightly turn your attention to addressing the most basic needs and concerns, not only for the people you serve but also for your own staff, children and families.

In light of these shifts, the Foundation is also making changes in how it operates and works with grantees and other partners.

Working Remotely
To do our part in mitigating the spread of the virus and potential strain on our health systems, the Foundation has officially closed all of its buildings and restricted business travel. All staff are working remotely.

We remain committed to being available to you and will continue our work as much as possible by phone and through videoconferencing. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your primary Foundation contact for support with your work or if you have questions.

Our Grants Management team will continue processing grants and payments and can answer questions about the Grantee and Consultant Portal. If you have not already done so, now may be a good time to sign up for electronic funds transfer to receive your payments more quickly.  

Adjustments to Agreements
We recognize that some of your Casey-funded work may slow down or not even happen this year as you focus on more pressing issues. Your primary contact at Casey will talk with you to determine whether your original plans under our agreement are still feasible and to discuss any necessary adjustments.

If we need to make changes to deadlines or scopes of work — or table some things entirely — please know that we will work with you to craft the best solution possible. Our primary focus is giving you the flexibility to ensure the health and well-being of yourself, your staff and the kids, families and communities you serve.

Foundation-Hosted Meetings, Conferences and Other Events
When possible, we’ve gone virtual for meetings and events — or postponed or canceled them entirely. A staff member will contact you about any event changes that affect you or your organization.

If you have incurred any expenses related to postponed or canceled Foundation events (e.g., for travel, lodging or registration), you may expense them as part of the existing budget in your grant or consulting agreement. And if you need to reschedule Casey-funded events down the road, you can work with your Foundation contact to determine the support available for those activities.

On a final note, we are constantly assessing and monitoring this ever-evolving situation. This is uncharted territory for all of us. We are making the best decisions we can based on the information we have and will keep you updated accordingly.

Whatever may come, we aim to be flexible, supportive and understanding of you and your capacity throughout this period, and we hope you will do the same for us. And while we will move work forward as much as possible, our top priority is everyone’s health and well-being. So please remember to take care of yourselves, too.

Our mission, and the ultimate goal of our work, is to improve the lives of the children, youth and families whose well-being is at stake in this moment. Therefore, we are exploring ways to join with other foundations to address this crisis and ensure public systems and policymakers prioritize the needs of these young people and families.

Thank you for everything you are doing even as you deal with your own challenges. As always, we truly appreciate your efforts and your partnership, especially during this difficult time.

With gratitude,
Lisa M. Hamilton
President and CEO
The Annie E. Casey Foundation


Notice to AHA (American Heart Association) Research Community regarding COVID-19

Dear AHA Research Community:

We know many of you are experiencing significant challenges conducting research at your institutions during the coronavirus pandemic. You no doubt have questions about steps the AHA is taking to support your research programs. 

First and foremost is the safety of you and your research teams. We anticipate you are following the direction of your sponsoring institutions with regard to access to laboratories and research clinics. We are aware there are varying responses to the pandemic, ranging from all research activities being suspended indefinitely, to reduced operations and remote working until further notice. We understand the need for decisions to be made at the local level, with fluctuating degrees of interruptions on a daily and weekly basis. The AHA has adopted flexible grants management policies in recent years and will expand that flexibility and support as much as possible. 

Disruptions to Ongoing Research Projects
  • Inform AHA if your funded projects are placed on hold indefinitely. This could take the form of restrictions on human subject recruitment or visits with enrolled subjects, as well as inaccessibility to laboratories.
  • AHA will support interim-year carryover requests due to suspension of research projects and allow rebudgeting. 
Reporting
  • Currently pending deadlines to submit scientific progress reports and patient recruitment/retention reports should proceed in a timely manner. The AHA is not extending these deadlines at this time.
  • Contact awards@heart.org if submission of upcoming expenditure reports will be impacted by closure and/or reduced staffing of institutional accounting offices. 
Award Extensions and Salary Expenditures During Work Stoppage
  • No-cost-extensions (NCE) are available as always. Please submit a Change Request in Grants@Heart. Awards currently on NCE may qualify for additional extensions.
  • AHA will also allow payment of salaries on grants and fellowships for up to 60 days without pre-approval during periods of work stoppage. Should inability to conduct research exceed 60 days, please contact AHA. 
Expenditures Related to Cancelled Travel
  • Unrefunded charges (conference registration, airline ticket, etc.) incurred with the intent to attend a scientific conference that was subsequently cancelled can be charged to an AHA grant.    
Deadlines for New Applications
  • AHA’s next proposal deadlines for research funding will be in August.
  • Any changes to upcoming deadlines will be announced by July 1.

AHA Research Information will be constantly updated at: professional.heart.org/research.  

Additional relevant resources can be found at the following sites:

CDC coronavirus (COVID-19) site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Issues Guidance for Conducting Clinical Trials: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-issues-guidance-conducting-clinical-trials

NIH Coronavirus (COVID-19) website: https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus 

Stay safe and healthy,
AHA Research Administration Team


COVID 19: National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Service Commitments

HRSA understands the COVID-19 outbreak will have a direct impact on our National Health Service Corps (NHSC) clinicians and sites. We hope you and your family are safe and are taking appropriate preventive measures to protect yourself and your community. Your health and safety are our foremost concerns as we continue to fulfill our mission.

We are committed to providing flexibility to allow our clinicians and sites the means to focus on facing this unprecedented public health emergency. NHSC participants may encounter situations directly related to COVID-19 that might impact their ability to complete their service obligation. 

The NHSC has mechanisms in place to ensure that, in the event of an emergency or disaster, participants are able to remain in compliance with their service obligation. Participants whose circumstances change – for example, they are required to be away from their approved service site more than the allotted seven weeks per service year; they become unemployed as a direct result of the outbreak; or they are directed by their employer to provide care outside of the NHSC-approved site – should contact a program analyst immediately via the Customer Service Portal for assistance. 

We will continue to update you on additional provisions relating to you or your staff’s NHSC service. Thank you for your commitment to providing care to the nation’s underserved communities.

For more information about COVID-19, visit:
Coronavirus.gov
CDC.gov/coronavirus
USA.gov/coronavirus


COPS (Community Oriented Policing) Office Fiscal Year 2020 Solicitation Deadlines Extended

The COPS Office has extended the solicitation deadline for several open grant programs due to the potential impact of jurisdictional emergency responses to COVID-19 that may cause reasonable delays for applicants. The following program deadlines have been extended:

Deadline Extended from March 31 to April 14

Deadline Extended from April 8 to April 22

Deadline Extended from April 8 to April 29

For detailed information about our solicitations, please visit the COPS Office website.