Federal and Private Sponsor Guidance Related to COVID-19

Federal & Private Sponsor Guidance Related to COVID-19

Federal Sponsor Guidance Related to COVID-19

Most federal sponsors and many private sponsors have issued Coronavirus specific RFPs and our colleagues at Johns Hopkins have compiled a list of them that they're updating regularly.  As you'd expect, most of them are biomedical, but there are a few in the public and behavioral health area that may be of interest to TC PIs.

In general, the COVID-19 guidance for the National Science Foundation (NSF) shows considerably less flexibility regarding grant funding than NIH. The following are stipulations released by NSF:

  • Salary payments may continue during the crisis but investigators are cautioned they are responsible for ensuring funds are available to complete the scope of work. Investigators are also cautioned they may not assume supplemental funding will be available after the crisis ends.  During this time, NSF is not expecting salary expenses to increase, so any additional unplanned time and effort charged to a grant should be documented and clearly tied to the project’s scope of work
  • Non-reimbursable grant-related travel may be charged to the award. Again, NSF warns investigators cannot assume the availability of supplemental funds.
  • Costs associated with moving to remote/online operations are not allowable under NSF policy
  • Final and interim financial and programmatic reporting, due between March 1 and April 30, have an automatic 30-day extension.
  • Only a handful of NSF programs have revised deadlines in response to the crisis. If the program you are interested in is not on this list, your deadline remains the same.
  • Review panels will meet as scheduled via videoconference.

NSF’s COVID-19 Page contains FAQs and recent policy guidance.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has announced that Investigators may submit any proposal with a due date between March 9, 2020 and May 1, 2020 may be submitted until May 1, 2020 and still be considered on time.  NIH cautions, however, that late submissions may be reviewed later than expected. Due date guidance has already changed once and is likely to do so multiple times throughout the crisis, so please watch this page for updates is subject to revision as the COVID-19 evolves.

Peer review sessions will take place as scheduled but will not convene in person.

For Investigators with active NIH Awards:

  • NIH will continue paying salaries even on projects where work cannot continue until COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Stipend/student support payments may continue
  • NIH will allow non-refundable travel to be charged to a grant.
  • Interim financial reports will be accepted late with no clear time limit stated but will result in a delay in the release of funds for the next year.
  • We have a year after the due date to submit final and programmatic reports

NIH’s Coronavirus Page includes a link to FAQs and more detailed policy statements. Please review the NIH Grants Update Video for more information.

Update on COVID-19 Flexibilities for the Research Community

On March 31, 2020, Mark Schneider, Director of IES issued a letter addressing IES’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. It affirms IES’s commitment to flexibility in reporting and submission deadlines.  Any extensions need to be discussed with your program officer.

Dr. Schneider’s letter also includes links to IES-vetted distance learning materials in many subject areas and for all age groups.

The federal wide guidance issued by OMB early in March also applies to U.S. Department of Education (US DOE), which means that salary payments may continue even if all or part of the work is temporarily suspended. Non-reimbursable expenses related to event and travel cancelation may be charged to the grant.

Please review the National Endowment for the Humanities' (NEH's) COVID-19 homepage for the most up-to-date information.

  • NEH will allow salary expenditures even if activities under the grant have been suspended.
  • Expenses associated with the cancellation of travel or events are allowable.
  • NEH has indicated it will be flexible and consider all proposed changes to performance periods, budgets, scopes of work. Instructions for submitting requests can be found at the link below.
  • All deadlines remain unchanged. NEH has NOT announced any due date changes for reporting requirements.

Please visit the U.S. Department of Defense (US DOD) COVID-19 Page for the most up-to-date information. 

  • DOD has issued general guidance for program officers to be flexible about due dates for applications and periodic reporting. Investigators are instructed to contact their program officer to request extensions on an as-needed basis.
  • Salary expenses may continue to be charged to the grant, as can non-reimbursable travel and event expenses.
  • Note that this guidance only applies to DOD GRANTS. Flexibilities in DOD contracts, if any, are detailed in the terms and conditions. New terms and conditions, including changes to deliverable due dates, alternative service delivery, changes to scopes of work intended to address the COVID-19 crisis will need to be negotiated individually.

The NYC Mayor’s Office of Contracts has affirmed its commitment to its contractors during this period of stay at home orders and school closures. NYC Department of Education (DOE) has allowed all TC’s professional development programs to move to an online format. Investigators who may be performing other types of work for or within the schools should reach out to their point of contact to discuss alternative service delivery models, etc.

Private Sponsor Guidance Related to COVID-19

The Russell Sage Foundation has announced awards up to $175,000 for projects addressing social, political, economic, or psychological disruptions that affect social and living conditions in the US.  Follow the link above to view them all.

Charli Garg has identified a new resource for COVID-19 related grants with an educational focus.  The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations can also link PIs to potential donors and other resources through the Development Office.

Back to skip to quick links