Simons Foundation: Policies and Procedures during COVID-19

The Simons Foundation understands that due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) the progress of your grant may be delayed, or you may need an extension to submit requested deliverables. Please email the Foundation at one of the emails below if you foresee any delay in the progress of your project or need additional time to submit a deliverable.

For Education & Outreach, Flatiron, Founders, and SFARI Clinical grant questions:
sfgrants@simonsfoundation.org

For Life Sciences grant questions:
lifegrants@simonsfoundation.org

For MPS grant questions:
mps@simonsfoundation.org

For SFARI Non-Clinical grant questions:
sfarigrants@simonsfoundation.org

The Simons Foundation will not consider unsolicited requests for funding.

The terms and conditions applicable to grants funded by the Simons Foundation are set forth in the Policies & Procedures document, unless otherwise specified in the award letter. Grantees and their institutions must abide by all applicable laws and regulations.

More information can be found here.

Original post by Simons Foundation; Last Updated: March 2020

DOE and Office of Science Accommodating Interruptions Due to COVID-19 with Q&As

DOE MEMORANDUM FOR APPLICANTS AND AWARDEES

FROM: CHRIS FALL, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SCIENCE

DATE: 3/16/2020

SUBJECT: Accommodating Interruptions from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

As the Department of Energy (DOE) and Office of Science (SC) continue to monitor and examine the ongoing developments and impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. and internationally, we provide this update regarding associated disruptions that may have impacts on the research community. This guidance may be updated as circumstances change.

The Office of Science is assessing its current solicitations that have due dates that occur through mid-April to make a determination on extensions to those due dates. Please check the specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) or DOE Laboratory Announcement for the most up-to-date information.

A list of all FOAs and DOE Laboratory Announcements may be found at https://science.osti.gov/grants/FOAs/Open, and https://science.osti.gov/grants/Lab-Announcements/Open, respectively.

The Office of Science extends the following flexibilities to its applicants and awardees:

Applicants preparing a pre-application, letter of intent, or application:

If the lead principal investigator (PI) or the applicant institution are subject to a quarantine or a closure, deadlines for submitting pre-applications, letters of intent, or applications may be extended by no more than fourteen (14) days from the applicable due date. Please contact the Program Manager identified in the FOA or DOE Laboratory Announcement under which the pre-application, letter of intent, or application is being submitted prior to the applicable due date.

Awardees preparing progress reports:

If the lead principal investigator (PI) or the applicant institution are subject to a quarantine or a closure, progress reports for grants, cooperative agreements, and interagency awards may be submitted through the PAMS website at https://pamspublic.science.energy.gov as soon as practicable. Note that delays in submitting progress reports may cause unavoidable delays in continuation funding.

PIs from DOE National Laboratories should contact their program manager if there will be a delay in submitting progress reports.

Applicants and awardees preparing revised budgets or public abstracts:

If the principal investigator (PI) or the applicant institution are subject to a quarantine or a closure, revised budgets and public abstracts may be submitted through the PAMS website at https://pamspublic.science.energy.gov as soon as practicable. Note that delays in submission may cause unavoidable delays in making awards.

Awardees with changed travel plans:

The Office of Science will not consider changes to planned travel caused by the cancellation of meetings, quarantines, closures, or other public health measures to be a change in the scope of an award requiring agency prior approval. Rebudgeting funds that does not create a change in scope does not require agency prior approval.

If a meeting has been cancelled, awardees must follow their institutional travel policies to determine whether costs may be charged to an award. If institutional policy permits travelers to purchase nonrefundable items (airfare, lodging, or other) and does not require travelers to reimburse the institution for change or cancellation fees, such fees may be charged to an award. If institutional policy prohibits the purchase of nonrefundable travel or travelers are required to reimburse the institution for change or cancellation fees, such fees may not be charged to an award.

Please review the attached Q&As. You are encouraged to contact the Administrative Contact for the FOA/Laboratory Announcement or your Program Manager with any concerns or questions regarding your circumstances.

Questions and Answers (Q&As):

Q: The scientific conference my lab group was scheduled to attend has been cancelled. Can our costs be reimbursed?

A: Yes, if your institutional travel policy:

  1. Permits the purchase of nonrefundable travel, and
  2. Does not require reimbursing the institution for change or cancellation fees.

Priority should be on costs incurred by students and postdocs, not by their departments.

Q: My institution told all employees to work from home. May I request an extension to a deadline?

A: Working from home—while it may introduce some complications—should not make it impossible to complete work or meet deadlines. If closure or remote access orders by your institution has occurred within a week of the deadline, please contact your Program Manager.

Q: My Sponsored Research Office has been closed. How do I request a deadline extension?

A: Please contact your Program Manager and include a copy of the closure order or other official notification.

Q: My Vice President for Research, who customarily signs all applications, has been quarantined. What should I do?

A: Please work with your Sponsored Research Office to determine how your institution is handling the situation. If your institution has established delegations of authority or if your Vice President for Research is capable of electronic signatures, there should be no impact on your ability to submit an application. However, if submitting an application is impossible, please contact your Program Manager.

Q: Our postdoc was quarantined after visiting family overseas. Our experiment has fallen behind schedule. Will this delay impact our continuation funding?

A: Please explain the situation—without disclosing protected personally identifiable information—in your progress report. SC may need to modify an award to be a prudent steward of taxpayer funds by delaying access to continuation funds, but SC’s interest is in seeing the research results—even if it takes longer than originally expected.

Q: What information should I include in a request for a deadline extension?

A: Please include official confirmation of the closure, quarantine, or other incident that makes a timely submission impossible. An institutional declaration requiring staff telework, in and of itself, will not warrant a deadline extension. There must be further complications that make the original deadline impossible. Requests to extend a deadline must be made before the deadline. SC does not expect to support every request for an extension.

Q: May I submit a letter of intent, preproposal, proposal, or progress report before its deadline?

A: SC always encourages prompt and timely submissions. Progress reports may not be submitted more than one month before they are due.

 

Original post/email from DOE on 3/16/2020

NSF: FAQs About the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Proposers and Awardees

NSF 20-053

This document addresses questions associated with proposal submission and award management that may arise in relation to COVID-19. NSF is providing this information as a service to our proposer and awardee communities in the hope it will address most of the questions that may arise in this regard. Given that COVID-19 and the associated impacts continue to evolve, proposers and awardees are strongly encouraged to monitor this website for updates.

Questions About NSF Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) NSF 20-052:

    1. Why is NSF offering this DCL?
    2. Who do I contact if I am interested in submitting a COVID-19 related proposal pursuant to this DCL? Is there a deadline by which I must make this contact? How fast will I receive a response on my proposal?
    3. Will NSF help me gain access to foreign locales, secure visas, or assist in providing logistical support?
    4. My research requires me to travel to a country with a high volume of COVID-19 cases, but I see the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory to that destination. Can I still submit a proposal?
    5. Are there any special considerations I should account for when considering research that requires me to engage with foreign counterparts where COVID-19 is, or has been, prevalent?
    6. Will NSF support research that involves gain-of-function in COVID-19?
    7. The DCL encourages RAPID proposals that address the immediate impacts of COVID-19. My concept is to instead address a longer-term or more general issue and seeks to understand conditions caused by the outbreak. Is this concept acceptable?

Impacts of COVID-19 on Submission of Other NSF Proposals and Existing NSF Awards:

    1. 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?
    2. Will NSF provide for an extension to my award if the planned activities are disrupted by the COVID-19 public health threat?
    3. I am a PI on a NSF-funded Conference or Travel award, but the meeting has been canceled. Who do I contact regarding the impact to the NSF award?
    4. A conference has been canceled, but I have nonrefundable travel and/or hotel costs. Can these be charged to a NSF Conference or Travel grant?
    5. I am involved with a Conference or Travel award for a meeting that is taking place in the coming weeks. Should I continue with plans for the meeting?
    6. I am considering submitting a Conference or Travel proposal to NSF for a future meeting. The site of the meeting has not yet been selected; should I take into account COVID-19 in conference planning and site selection?
    7. My NSF grant involves an exchange of researchers (including students) and/or other foreign travel. Should I continue with plans?
    8. I have plans to attend a large scientific gathering. Should I continue?
    9. I am quarantined for a period of time. There is a NSF proposal deadline during my quarantine period and some essential materials I need are in my office.  Can I receive an extension to the deadline?
    10. My university has asked staff to stay home for an undetermined period of time. How would I petition for an extension of a proposal deadline?
    11. I am hosting a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site. If a student arrives who appears sick, can I ask them to return home?
    12. I am hosting a REU Site or similar activity involving the participation of non-local students.  A student from another institution arrived and appeared to be ill.  Health authorities have ordered that the student be quarantined.  Can I use the REU Site grant funds to cover the cost of housing and meals during the quarantine period, even though the student is unable to participate in REU Site (or other) activities?
    13. I am a PI for an NSF REU Site, Conference, or other distributed collaborative research project.  I am considering replacing the face-to-face interaction with the use of virtual technology.  Beyond simple videoconferencing, I would like to use augmented reality or other technology to make the interactions more effective.  May I submit a supplemental funding request to purchase and distribute the necessary equipment and/or contract with a service provider?

Questions About Participation in NSF Merit Review Panels:

  1. I have concerns about traveling to a merit review panel at NSF. What should I do?
  2. I have already booked my travel and accommodations. Will NSF reimburse me for these costs?

Questions About NSF Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) NSF 20-052:

    1. Why is NSF offering this DCL?

      NSF’s mission is “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.” NSF-funded research can 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. Results from NSF-funded research can inform national and international preparedness and response decision making, and explore lessons learned and best practices for the future.

    2. Who do I contact if I am interested in submitting a COVID-19 related proposal pursuant to this DCL? Is there a deadline by which I must make this contact? How fast will I receive a response on my proposal?

      All questions about the DCL 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. Prospective principal investigators (PIs) may contact program officers or this email address anytime. There is no deadline for responding to this DCL, but NSF is seeking to support research that will address the immediate public health threat of COVID-19. NSF will be as responsive to queries as practicable.

    3. Will NSF help me gain access to foreign locales, secure visas, or assist in providing logistical support?

      No, NSF will not be able to help with access to foreign locales, visas, or logistical support for funded projects.

    4. My research requires me to travel to a country with a high volume of COVID-19 cases, but I see the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory to that destination. Can I still submit a proposal?

      Prospective PIs are directed to consult with their sponsored projects offices and the State Department’s Travel Advisories website (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/) for guidance about foreign travel prior to formulating a research plan and submitting a proposal to NSF. You may submit a proposal, but you should be aware that successful execution may be impacted by applicable travel restrictions, including the decisions of foreign governments.

    5. Are there any special considerations I should account for when considering research that requires me to engage with foreign counterparts where COVID-19 is, or has been, prevalent?

      Given that businesses and universities are closed in certain parts of the world as a result of COVID-19, it may be more challenging to engage with foreign counterparts. PIs are encouraged to consider, as they develop research plans, that individuals may be directly affected by COVID-19.

    6. Will NSF support research that involves gain-of-function in COVID-19?

      No, NSF does not fund research that would be considered to lead to a gain of function of agents associated with the U.S. Government’s policy on dual use research of concern. While COVID-19 is not one of the recognized agents of concern, for purposes of the DCL and RAPID research, NSF will not consider requests for gain-of-function research.

    7. The DCL encourages RAPID proposals that address the immediate impacts of COVID-19. My concept is to instead address a longer-term or more general issue and seeks to understand conditions caused by the outbreak. Is this concept acceptable?

      Yes, NSF will consider such concepts, and prospective PIs are encouraged to contact either a program officer managing an NSF program with which the research would be aligned or to email rapid-covid19@nsf.gov.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Submission of Other NSF Proposals and Existing NSF Awards:

    1. 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:

    2. Will NSF provide for an extension to my award if the planned activities are disrupted by the COVID-19 public health threat?

      All NSF awards are eligible for one-year grantee-approved no-cost extensions and then further extensions as approved by NSF. If you foresee a need for NSF-approved extensions, you should include that information in your annual report and discuss the need ahead of time with the cognizant NSF program officer for your award. See the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter VI.D.3, for additional information.

    3. I am a PI on a NSF-funded Conference or Travel award, but the meeting has been canceled. Who do I contact regarding the impact to the NSF award?

      You should contact the cognizant NSF program officer about this situation. In light of the public health threat, you may wish to consider alternate plans, such as providing or using options for virtual participation. In addition, NSF program officers will be open to rescheduling the conference or using the funds for a future meeting that is consistent with the original scope and objectives of the award.

    4. A conference has been canceled, but I have nonrefundable travel and/or hotel costs. Can these be charged to a NSF Conference or Travel grant?

      NSF is currently working internally as well as with our federal partners on a number of proposal and award-related issues pertaining to COVID-19. NSF will communicate with the community about these issues and will provide guidance as further information becomes available. In the meantime, please continue to follow all relevant policies and procedures, including those of your organization, and apply those practices consistently.

    5. I am involved with a Conference or Travel award for a meeting that is taking place in the coming weeks. Should I continue with plans for the meeting?

      NSF recommends first reaching out to the conference organizer or host. They are best equipped to understand the guidance at the location of the event. 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 may wish to consider developing contingency plans.

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

    6. I am considering submitting a Conference or Travel proposal to NSF for a future meeting. The site of the meeting has not yet been selected; should I take into account COVID-19 in conference planning and site selection?

      Travel logistics, accessibility, and health and safety considerations of the participants should always be a foremost consideration in any Conference proposal. Since the COVID-19 threat is still evolving, it is important to consider flexibility and alternative plans in a proposal to support travel or a conference. For foreign travel, you should consult the State Department Travel Advisories website.

    7. My NSF 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. NSF recommends consulting with your organization about its policies and procedures. You may consider approaching the planned researcher exchanges and/or other foreign travel with flexibility, and/or devising alternate plans including virtual participation as appropriate. As noted above, NSF understands 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?

      As noted previously, NSF recommends 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 equipped to understand the guidance at the location of the event. 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. I am quarantined for a period of time. There is a NSF proposal deadline during my quarantine period and some essential materials I need are in my office.  Can I receive an extension to the deadline?

      Researchers or sponsored projects office staff from organizations that have been directly affected and are unable to meet stated NSF deadlines should contact the cognizant NSF program officer to discuss the issue. NSF will consider extensions to the submission deadline on a case-by-case basis (and, in a few cases, on a program-by-program basis), understanding that it may be particularly difficult for individuals impacted to contact NSF. See NSF PAPPG Chapter I.F for additional information on procedures for submitting such requests.

    10. My university has asked staff to stay home for an undetermined period of time. How would I petition for an extension of a proposal deadline?

      Researchers or sponsored projects office staff from organizations that have been affected and are unable to meet stated NSF deadlines should contact the cognizant NSF program office to discuss the issue. NSF will consider extensions to the submission deadline on a case-by-case basis (and, in a few cases, on a program-by-program basis), understanding that it may be particularly difficult for individuals impacted to contact NSF. See NSF PAPPG Chapter I.F for additional information on procedures for submitting such requests.

    11. I am hosting a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site. If a student arrives who appears sick, can I ask them to return home?

      Please follow the appropriate policies and practices of your organization. More generally, NSF defers to awardees on decisions regarding the safety and security of their faculty, students, and personnel.

    12. I am hosting a REU Site or similar activity involving the participation of non-local students.  A student from another institution arrived and appeared to be ill.  Health authorities have ordered that the student be quarantined.  Can I use the REU Site grant funds to cover the cost of housing and meals during the quarantine period, even though the student is unable to participate in REU Site (or other) activities?

      NSF is currently working internally as well as with our federal partners on a number of proposal and award-related issues pertaining to COVID-19. NSF will communicate with the community about these issues and will provide guidance as further information becomes available. In the meantime, please continue to follow all relevant policies and procedures, including those of your organization, and apply those practices consistently.

    13. I am a PI for an NSF REU Site, Conference, or other distributed collaborative research project.  I am considering replacing the face-to-face interaction with the use of virtual technology.  Beyond simple videoconferencing, I would like to use augmented reality or other technology to make the interactions more effective.  May I submit a supplemental funding request to purchase and distribute the necessary equipment and/or contract with a service provider?

      Contact the cognizant NSF program officer managing your award. Supplements can be made to address unexpected events that threaten the original scope and objectives of an award but are contingent on the availability of funding.

Questions About Participation in NSF Merit Review Panels:

  1. I have concerns about traveling to a merit review panel at NSF. What should I do?

    Contact the cognizant NSF program officer as soon as practicable. NSF will be flexible about accommodating virtual participation.

  2. I have already booked my travel and accommodations. Will NSF reimburse me for these costs?

    Panelists who wish to switch to virtual participation should immediately contact ADTRAV to cancel all reservations. ADTRAV can be reached by phone at (855) 417-4024 or by email to nsfpanel.travel@adtrav.com.

    Panelists are responsible for the cancellation of room reservations in sufficient time to retain the deposits on personal credit cards. NSF will not be able to provide reimbursement for such charges. Panelists participating virtually will be compensated in accordance with NSF’s standard policy for compensation of virtual meeting participants.

Original post by NSF revised 3/4/2020

NIH: FAQs – Proposal Submission and Award Management Related to COVID-19

NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-20-083

Key Dates
Release Date: March 10, 2020

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-20-086
NOT-OD-20-082Issued by

Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)

Purpose

This Guide Notice intends to address general questions associated with proposal submission and award management that may arise in relation to COVID-19. NIH is providing this information as a service to our applicant and recipient communities in the hopes it will address high-level questions that may arise in this regard. Please note that given the fact that COVID-19 and associated impacts continue to evolve, applicants and recipients are strongly encouraged to monitor this website for updates. NIH intends to publish detailed guidance related to administrative flexibilities and associated FAQs.

1. 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:

  • Travel to/from and quarantine in foreign countries: see the State Department Travel Advisories website
  • NIH website: NIH-funded facilities may post guidance for users of the facilities on their websites, and NIH will update this document with pointers to that information as it becomes available.

2.The NIH Standard Terms of Award provide the recipient the authority to extend the final budget period of a previously approved project period one time for a period of up to 12 months beyond the original completion date down in the NoA. Any additional project period extension beyond the initial extension of up to 12 months requires NIH prior approval. Per NIH Grants Policy Statement sections 8.4.1 and 8.6, as well as the terms and conditions outlined in Notice of Award, NIH requires that recipients periodically submit financial and progress reports. NIH understands that some reporting delays due to the impact of coronavirus may be unavoidable. Therefore, if recipients are unable to complete and submit a progress report ((Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR)), Financial reports (Federal Financial Report expenditure data), and/or invention report by the scheduled due date, they should promptly contact the assigned grants management and/or program official. Although NIH will accept these late reports, grant awards will be delayed until the required reports are submitted and accepted by NIH.

3. I am a PI on a NIH-funded Conference or Travel award, but the meeting has been canceled. Who do I contact regarding the impact to the NIH award?

You should contact the cognizant NIH grants management official named in the Notice of Award to alert them of the situation. Feel free to copy the program official to make sure that all appropriate IC 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.

For meetings that are directed by NIH program officers (e.g. steering committee meeting, data coordinating center meetings, etc.), the IC will be open to rescheduling the meeting or allow recipients to use the funds for a future meeting that is consistent with the original scope and objectives of the award.

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

NIH is currently working internally as well as with our federal partners on a number of proposal and award-related issues pertaining to COVID-19. NIH will communicate with the community about these issues and will provide guidance as further information becomes available. In the meantime, please continue to follow all relevant policies and procedures, including those of your organization, and apply those practices consistently.

5. I am involved with a Conference or Travel award for a meeting that is taking place in the coming weeks. Should I continue with plans for the meeting?

NIH recommends first reaching out to the conference organizer or host. They are best equipped to understand the guidance at the location of the event. 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 may wish to consider developing contingency plans.

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

6. I am considering submitting a Conference or Travel proposal to NIH for a future meeting. The site of the meeting has not yet been selected; should I take into account COVID-19 in conference planning and site selection?Travel logistics, accessibility, and health and safety considerations of the participants should always be a foremost consideration in any Conference proposal. Since the COVID-19 threat is still evolving, it is important to consider flexibility and alternative plans in a proposal to support travel or a conference. For foreign travel, you should consult the State Department Travel Advisories website.

7. My NIH 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. NIH recommends consulting with your organization about its policies and procedures. You may consider approaching the planned researcher exchanges and/or other foreign travel with flexibility, and/or devising alternate plans including virtual participation as appropriate. As noted above, NIH understands 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?
As noted previously, NIH recommends 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 equipped to understand the guidance at the location of the event. 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. I am quarantined for a period of time. There is a NIH proposal deadline during my quarantine period and some essential materials I need are in my office. Can I receive an extension to the deadline?

The NIH will consider accepting applications late, on a case-by-case basis.

Recipients must submit a cover letter with the application, outlining the fact that the institution is closed due to affects of COVID19 so that NIH staff can document the delay.

Recipients do not need to request advance permission to submit late due to a public health emergency-related delay.

10. My university has asked staff to stay home for an undetermined period of time. How would I petition for an extension of an application deadline?

When delays occur because the applicant or recipient organization is officially closed due to a natural disaster or other emergency or because designated PD/PI(s) or other key staff is/are quarantined or involuntarily unable to come to their work locations, the NIH will consider accepting applications late, on a case-by-case basis, under the following circumstances:

Recipients must submit applications or reports as soon as possible after reopening or end-of-quarantine, not to exceed the number of days the institution was officially closed or the key staff including but not limited to the PD/PI was quarantined.

Recipients must submit a cover letter with the application, with enough detail about the delay so that NIH staff can make a determination whether circumstances justify accepting the application late.

Recipients need not request advance permission to submit late due to a disaster/emergency-related delay.

11. I have concerns about traveling to a peer review panel at NIH. What should I do?Contact the cognizant NIH Scientific Review Officer (SRO) as soon as practicable. NIH will be flexible about accommodating virtual participation.

12. I have already booked my travel and accommodations. Will NIH reimburse me for these costs?NIH is currently working internally as well as with our federal partners on a number of proposal and award-related issues pertaining to COVID-19. NIH will communicate with the community about this issue and will provide guidance as further information becomes available.

Additional FAQs can be found here.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
Office of Extramural Research
Telephone: 301-435-0949
GrantsPolicy@nih.gov
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters.htm

Original post by NIH on 3/10/2020

NSF Issues FAQs for Revised PAPPG (NSF 20-1)

NSF has announced the issuance of a set of Current and Pending Support Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that accompany the revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), effective June 1, 2020. The FAQs address policy questions related to the PAPPG clarifications to the current and pending support coverage, as well as questions regarding use of an NSF-approved format for current and pending support. The FAQs will be updated periodically as appropriate.

If you have any questions regarding the 2020 PAPPG, please contact the DIAS/Policy Office by email at policy@nsf.gov.

Original post by NSF Jean Feldman on 2/19/2020

NSF: Writing Budget Justifications

A budget justification is the narrative that accompanies your NSF budget and can be up to 5 pages in length. This is where investigators validate and explain the dollar amounts they requested in their line-item budget. Justifications explain pay rates and outline equipment, materials, and supplies requests. Investigators should ask themselves if their budget justifications are answering these questions;

  1. Why are these requested funds needed?
  2. How does each item in the budget help meet the proposed deliverables?
  3. How were these requested funds estimated?

The first place to start before writing any budget justification is the PAPPG. In addition to all the picky details provided there, here are three general pieces of advice that typify budgets that meet little resistance when it comes time to fund your project. The best budget justifications tend to have these things in common:

Use of Parallel Formatting with the Budget Pages

The absolute best way to organize and format your budget justification is to use the same letter and number system used in the budget template. This also helps your Program Officer locate specific items and amounts.

Using Senior Personnel as an example, your budget template will look something like this;

budget just.png

Then your budget justification for this exciting, cross-disciplinary proposal should follow this order;

A. Senior Personnel

  1. Pomona Sprout- Principal Investigator, # months’ work/year, list specific responsibilities and explain how she arrived at this calculation.Year 1 $$$$, Year 2 $$$$, Year 3 $$$$, Year 4 $$$$
  2. Indiana Jones- Co-Principal Investigator, # months’ work/year, list specific responsibilities and explain how he arrived at this calculation.Year 1 $$$$, Year 2 $$$$, Year 3 $$$$, Year 4 $$$$

Salaries: Time and Rates

For all personnel, show what amounts you are asking for and state how you calculated those salary amounts. Give a monthly breakdown and include any fringe rates.

If you are requesting more than two months’ salary for any senior personnel, clearly justify that the rationale fits into one of these two categories:

  1. the person has a soft money position, or
  2. the project scope requires buying out of teaching time.

Section G. Other Direct Costs

Section G is often where confusion happens. The best way to avoid confusion is to start in the PAPPG. It clearly defines which costs should live in lines G1-G6. Some key points to keep in mind are;

  • Do not include funds for Materials and Supplies under Participant Support Costs (section F), even if those items will be used by students or other trainees. List them under G.1.
  • Section G.3 (Consultant Services): If you are using the consultant category, Program Officers may request additional information as to each individual’s expertise, primary organizational affiliation, normal daily compensation rate, and number of days of expected service.
  • Section G.5 (Subawards): For each subaward, a budget and budget narrative need to be prepared and submitted. Please make sure that the subaward budgets list the subawardee institution and PI (and not the information of the lead proposal again).
  • Section G.6 (Other Direct Costs – Other) is a catch-all category that will always attract scrutiny, so especially for this section be sure to be explicit about what you’re requesting, why, and how much it will cost. Also,
  • Graduate student tuition goes in G.6. Other.

In Conclusion

Justify everything. Assume nothing. If necessary, clarify the NSF budget guidelines with your Authorized Organizational Representative prior to submitting a proposal. This is especially important for rare or unusual expenditures, such as foreign subawards or consultancies or salary requests beyond two months for any senior personnel. It’s also important for normal expenditures like travel.

For example, don’t just write, “I need $8000 for international travel to go to two meetings in Europe.” PIs should use an airfare estimator and show the breakdown of costs.

Again, make sure your Program Officer understands how you came up with the total number you’re requesting in each category. There’s no harm in adding a table to show calculations. And this may seem obvious, but make sure the numbers in the budget justification match the numbers in the budget.

Finally, if most of your work is off-campus, check with your Authorized Organizational Representative about whether the off-campus indirect cost rate applies. Different institutions have different policies on when the off-campus rate is appropriate.

For additional tips on preparing an award budget, visit the MCB blog.

Original post by DEB Science Staff 8/23/19

How do I get an ORCHID iD?

If you are not familiar with the ORCID iD, ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID.  This is a unique personal digital identifier that distinguishes every researcher and is a global effort for adoption by the scientific community.  Eventually the ID will allow you to link your eRA Commons account to various other resources to reduce your administrative burden. Currently for NIH, your ORCID iD will link to your eRA Commons account so that publications can be easily associated with your grants.

Starting in October 2019, ORCID iDs will be required for new appointees to institutional training grants and other awards who make appointments through xTrain.

When a 2271 appointment form is submitted for Training and Institutional K awards, eRA systems will check to ensure that the ORCID iD is present in the Personal Profile associated with the Commons IDs listed in the form.  Starting this month, a warning will be issued if the ORCID iD is not present.  This warning will be switched to an error in October of 2019 and must be cleared to successfully submit the new appointment.

How do you get an ORCID iD, you ask? Well, that is very easy.  Logging into eRA Commons, you can go to your Personal Profile. Just under your name and your listed eRA Commons roles, you will find a link to create your ORCID iD. Following that link to ORCID.org, you will be able to register and link your Commons account to your ID. See steps and screenshots in the ORCID topic in the eRA Commons online help.

For more information, see Guide Notice NOT-OD-19-109.

Original post on NIH eRA Items of Interest — July 2019

Now Available in Research.gov: Support for Collaborative Proposals with Subawards and New SPO/AOR Email Notification

Important message from NSF:

We are very pleased to announce that as of June 24, 2019, the research community can prepare and submit full, research collaborative proposals with subawards in Research.gov. This is in addition to the existing capability (since April 2018) to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in Research.gov. Since that initial release just over a year ago, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has implemented several enhancements to the site, including additional flexibilities for PDF uploads, support for PDFs generated from LaTeX source documents, and compliance checks for fonts and font sizes. Future enhancements to the Research.gov proposal system will allow the preparation and submission of separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations.

Compared to FastLane, our grants management system launched in 1994, the Research.gov proposal system is much easier to use and provides proposers with faster document uploads and the ability to quickly create and update documents. We encourage you to try the new system, and we are confident that you will agree that this next generation grants management system is more efficient and less burdensome than FastLane.

Also, as of June 24, 2019, a new email notification functionality was implemented to generate Sponsored Project Office (SPO)/Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) email notifications when Principal Investigators (PIs) enable proposal access to SPOs/AORs. A similar email notification is available in FastLane, and we are excited to add the capability in Research.gov.

Modernizing Proposal Preparation and Submission

NSF’s modernization of its FastLane system continues with the goal of improving the user experience to prepare and submit NSF proposals, while also reducing administrative burden for both proposers and NSF staff. As capabilities are migrated from FastLane to Research.gov, the system features will expand until it eventually replaces FastLane for proposal preparation and submission.

While proposers can still prepare and submit collaborative proposals with subawards as well as full, research non-collaborative proposals in FastLane, we encourage the research community to use the new Research.gov proposal system because as NSF continues to enhance the new system incrementally, your vital feedback is being incorporated during the development process.

Preparing and Submitting Proposals in Research.gov
Here’s some of the current Research.gov features that proposers are enjoying:

  • Integrated compliance checks for fonts, margins, and line spacing;
  • Real-time compliance feedback and alerts, so proposers know a proposal section is compliant before moving on to another section;
  • Specific checks on the budget screens and for Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) uploads;
  • A few seconds to upload documents versus 30-90 seconds for each document upload in FastLane; and
  • Embedded relevant sections of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and video job aids, so proposers don’t have to go to multiple sites to access guidance and tools.

Initiating a Proposal in Research.gov
By answering a few questions in the five-step proposal wizard, Research.gov customizes the set-up process and compliance rules for the proposal being created. In addition, the proposal wizard dynamically drives the proposal sections that are required on subsequent screens.

If you have not done so already, we invite you to initiate a proposal in Research.gov by following the steps outlined below:

  • Open Research.gov and click “Sign In” located at the top right of the screen;
  • Enter your NSF ID and password and click “Sign In;”
  • From the Research.gov “My Desktop” page, click “New! Prepare Proposals (Limited proposal types)” in the “Prepare & Submit Proposals tile” or go to this option from the top navigation bar by selecting the “Prepare & Submit Proposals” tab and clicking on “New! Prepare Proposals (Limited proposal types);”
  • Select the “Prepare Proposal” option in the “Prepare New Proposal” tile on the left side of the Proposal Preparation page; and
  • Follow the five-step proposal wizard to set up the proposal.

After completing the initiation steps, you are ready to complete all required and optional sections

Submitting Feedback
NSF wants to hear from you! To submit feedback about the new Research.gov Proposal Preparation and Submission Site:

  • Go to the Research.gov Feedback page;
  • Choose “Other” under the Site Area dropdown menu;
  • Include your feedback in the Comments or Suggestions field; and
  • Click Submit when you are ready to send your feedback to NSF.

Training Resources and Additional Information

Please share this information with your colleagues. If you have IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or rgov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

Original post by NSF 6/26/2019

NSF-approved Biographical Sketch Format

Please be advised that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has designated the National Institutes of Health’s SciENcv (Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae) as an NSF-approved format for submission of biographical sketch(es) and is encouraging its use to prepare a biographical sketch for inclusion in proposals to NSF.

In accordance with the current Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), a biographical sketch (limited to two pages) is required for each individual identified as senior personnel on a proposal, and a separate biographical sketch PDF file, or other NSF-approved format, must be uploaded in FastLane for each designated individual (see PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.f.). These biographical sketch and file format requirements also apply to NSF proposals submitted through Research.gov and Grants.gov.

Use of an NSF-approved format aims to reduce administrative burden and improve efficiencies by providing proposers with a compliant and reusable way to maintain this information for subsequent proposal submissions to NSF, while also ensuring that the information is submitted in a searchable composition.

Beginning with the next iteration of the PAPPG (expected to be implemented in January 2020), NSF will only accept PDFs for biographical sketches that are generated through use of an NSF-approved format. A description of NSF-approved format(s) will be posted on the NSF website when the PAPPG is issued. A draft version of the PAPPG was published in the Federal Register for public comment. The deadline for submitting comments is COB July 29, 2019.

Multiple training resources are available on the SciENcv website. The following website resources may be of assistance to proposers preparing a biographical sketch using the SciENcv format:

You are encouraged to share this information with your colleagues. If you have IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or rgov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

Original post by NSF 6/17/2019

System Enhancements in Grants.gov

New system enhancements released on March 18th from Grants.gov are focused on bringing more convenience to the Grants.gov applicant experience.

Grants.gov has already highlighted changes to how grant forecasts will be displayed, making them easier to identify.  There are also a handful of other updates in Release 17.0, including the use of a mobile number when resetting a forgotten password and the ability to view the system privileges associated with an account profile.

Add Your Mobile Number to Your Account

When registering, Grants.gov users will soon have the option to add a U.S.-based mobile phone number to their account as a means to reset a forgotten password.

Users who registered before March 18 will likewise see a one-time pop up invitation to add a mobile number to their account.

Option to Add Your Mobile Phone Number

Please note: the mobile number will only be used by Grants.gov during the password reset process.

Know What Privileges Are Associated With Each Profile

Applicants will soon have the ability to view the privileges associated with each of their account profiles. This added convenience will take the guesswork out of trying to determine what privileges one has been assigned.

View Role Privileges

To view the privileges associated with a specific profile, users will go to the My Account page and click on the Manage Profiles tab.  Under the action column, a View Privileges link will pop open a list of privileges for each profile associated with an organization.

You can learn more about what each privilege does on the Grants.gov Roles & Privileges page.

Additional Enhancements

There are a few other changes that applicants can expect to see when they log into their account after March 18:

  • Applicants will be able to sort a list of their workspaces by Closing Date, making it easy to prioritize form work.
  • Applicants subscribed to a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will be able to receive notifications from the grantor when changes are made to Related Documents and/or Links in the FOA. (Note: This is an optional feature that some grantors may choose not to use.)
  • Applicants will be able to filter workspace activity column data by keyword.

Original post by Grants.gov on 3/6/2019