Research Administration FAQ’s on COVID-19 Impacts
On March 20, 2020 NYU suspended all non-essential onsite research for public health reasons. Research continues remotely, through data analysis, meeting virtually and other activities furthering scholarship. A portion of this work directly addresses COVID-19.
The following FAQ’s will help you navigate research administration requirements and manage your sponsored program portfolio during this time.
Q: Who can I contact with questions about COVID-19 impact specific to my sponsored project?
Q: Will I be allowed to submit grant proposals after the deadline/due date?
A: Several federal agencies have issued guidance allowing for flexibility, with justification, for institutions impacted by COVID-19. However, NYU research administration staff are fully operational remotely and do not anticipate disruption in proposal review and submission. We encourage PIs to make every effort to submit proposals before the due date.
Q: What agencies are extending proposal deadlines?
A: For the NIH, proposals submitted in response to any funding opportunity with a deadline date between March 9, 2020 and May 1, 2020, will be accepted through May 1, 2020 including those that indicate no late applications will be accepted.
Q: Can I get and where do I find opportunities for new funding to do COVID -19 research based on either an existing grant (Administrative Supplement / Competitive Revision) or via submission of a new proposal?
A: Visit COVID-19 Research Resources on the OSP WiKi.
Q: For PPEs that may have been purchased with sponsored project funding, what is the best course of action if we want to donate to frontline medical use?
A: This is usually not allowable, but agencies can specifically approve these costs. Reach out to your OSP Project Officer and sponsoring agency program officers, who can help you get these approved.
Q: Can I continue to pay staff assigned to, and working on, extramurally funded projects?
A: In the absence of an agency-specific restriction, NYU policy will allow you to charge employee salaries and benefits to currently active awards under this unprecedented circumstance, regardless of funding source. Therefore, personnel should continue to be paid and sponsored projects charged accordingly.
In accordance with University guidance, employees are required to telework. For employees whose work cannot be performed at home, PI’s should consider whether they can be reassigned to duties that can be performed at home or relieve others who are assigned as essential/critical. If work can be performed on a different sponsored project, salaries should be charged as appropriate.
Q: Can salaries be charged when no work or partial work is performed under these extraordinary circumstances?
A: NYU policy on Personnel Costs allows for the charging of salaries and benefits during periods when no work is performed due to the effect of COVID-19 or other extraordinary circumstances, regardless of the funding source, including Federal and non-Federal.
Charging salaries and benefits to most federally funded *grants* when no work can be performed is allowable under the current circumstances but should be continuously evaluated and discussed with your OSP Project Officer and sponsoring agency program officer and grants specialist.
Where a sponsor agency does not allow for the charging of salaries and benefits for staff who cannot work, the PI will need to work with their department administrator and SPA to update project costing allocations accordingly
Note: For *contracts* requiring deliverables by a certain date, PI’s should actively document their specific situations to provide a basis for salary and effort adjustments needed and confer with OSP and the sponsor for approval.
Subrecipients will need to adhere to their own institutional policies and provide evidence of such policies to support charging salaries and benefits on awards made by the pass-through entity under extraordinary circumstances, including documentation when no effort is made to the project. This applies when NYU is the subrecipient of an award or serves as the pass-through entity. Agencies will require evidence of this documentation that describes the effects, and how long the institution and related research was or will be impacted.
Please see the Record Retention Policy for additional details.
Q: Can I charge salaries and benefits for personnel to new sponsored project awards where project work cannot be initiated or performed due to COVID-19?
A: Sponsors, including the NIH, have issued clarification guidance confirming that it is inappropriate to charges salaries and benefits to new awards where project work cannot commence and/or project personnel cannot work on site or remotely.
For all new awards, PIs and department administrators should coordinate with their OSP Project Officer and the sponsor in the event that project work cannot be initiated onsite or via telework to confirm allowable personnel costs and in support of adjusting project performance dates, personnel or budgets as needed.
Q: What guidance applies to research expenditures from externally sponsored and University research accounts during COVID-19?
A: The University now restricts research to remote work or onsite research deemed critical. Sponsor specific guidance applicable to extramurally funded research and other sponsored activities regarding research administration, pre and post award flexibilities afforded, cost allowances and documentation requirements should be followed.
View COVID-19 FAQ's on Expense Actions containing specific and detailed information applicable to research expenditures from University funded research accounts during COVID-19.
Q: Can research personnel be hired during COVID-19?
A: Positions supported by extramurally sponsored projects or internally funded research seed grants can proceed if research can be conducted in accordance with University guidelines for remote or critical onsite research and for extramurally sponsored activities, in accordance with the scope of work approved by the sponsor.
Q: My sponsored project supports fellow and trainee stipends. Are these payments allowable if the individuals are unable to participate in the program due to COVID-19?
A: Institutions affected by COVID-19 may continue to provide stipend payments to fellows and trainees who cannot work as a result of COVID-19. Please contact your OSP Project Officer as the sponsor’s grants management official must be notified within ninety (90) days, and OSP must provide documentation demonstrating the effect of COVID-19 on NYU.
Q: I have budgets for travel in my grants. Can I repurpose?
A: Generally, yes. You have the authority to rebudget unless the incurrence of costs is associated with or is considered to be a change in scope which requires sponsor approval.
Q: Can non-refundable costs associated with grant-related travel be charged to my grant?
A: Non-refundable costs associated with grant-related travel cancelled due to COVID-19 may be charged to the grant award if they would have otherwise been allowable.
Q: Can materials be shipped to the home address of project personnel to support research continuity for projects which can be conducted remotely?
A: Yes – IT items (equipment, peripherals) ordered via i-Buy from select vendors (see list below) may be shipped directly to the home address of University faculty and administrators.
Eligible vendors for the Interim Ship to Home Process:
- B&H Photo Video
- Best Buy
- Follett (NYU Bookstore)
Please note this option is for IT equipment only. Other office supplies and materials may not be shipped to a home address.
For any questions or clarifications please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Interim Ship to Home Process:
- The Shopper or Requestor populates the Requisition with the IT item(s) and in INTERNAL COMMENTS lists the Name, Home Ship to Address and contact information of whom will be receiving the goods.
- If the INTERNAL COMMENTS field is empty – the Requisition will be returned to the Requestor by Procurement.
- A reminder that if this purchase is COVID related the requestor must use the Program code VIRUS-WSQ01.
- Any Requisitions - regardless of dollar value – for these preferred suppliers will route to the Procurement team for review and to ensure the ship to address is correct and populated on the requisition. This a special workflow only for this special ship to home time period.
- PLEASE NOTE: if the Requestor is asking to ship items to an address that is NOT the same as recorded in PeopleSnyc then approval for the home address will be sought from the FO. Thank you in advance for this.
- Effective Monday April 13 the POSHIPHOME email address will no longer be monitored. All requests/orders place up until Friday April 10 will be fulfilled.
Q: Will the end date of my award be extended if the planned activities are disrupted by the COVID-19 public health threat?
A: All federally funded grants are eligible for a one-year NYU approved no-cost extension and then further extensions as approved by the sponsor. If you foresee a need for further extension beyond the initial no cost extension, include that information in your progress or annual report and discuss the need ahead of time with your OSP Project Officer.
Q: Can I delay submission of reports due?
A: Federal agencies understand that some reporting delays due to the impact of coronavirus may be unavoidable. Therefore, if you are unable to complete and submit a progress report, or work with central research administration on financial reports, and/or invention reports by the scheduled due date, contact your OSP Project Officer and the sponsoring agency grants management specialist. Understand that although late reports will be accepted, follow on grant awards will be delayed until the required reports are submitted and accepted.
Q: I am a PI or host of a Research Undergraduate Experience (REU) site and need to restructure, postpone or cancel the program or have questions about whether or not it’s feasible to host students, charge cancellation expenses to the award or request additional funds to support alternative hosting options due to COVID-19.
A: NSF has provided detailed guidance to inform options about the impact of COVID-19 on planned REU activities. This guidance, in tandem with NYU COVID-19 guidance on University research operations and travel should be consulted when determining options. If you have questions about application of this guidance and/or need to explore adjustments to your REU award or participation, please contact your OSP Project Officer.
Q: Can I support COVID-19 relief efforts by donating resources from my federally funded sponsored project to organizations which need help?
A: The Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance which allows federal sponsors the flexibility to issue a class exception to support the donation of medical resources (personal protective equipment, devices, medicines) or other project resources (labor, supplies) purchased with federal assistance funding to hospitals and other public service organizations working to combat COVID-19.
While each federal agency will issue its own guidance (see NSF’s here), it likely a formal request will need to be submitted to the agency by NYU’s authorized organizational official:
- Detailing the items to be donated
- Affirming that the resources will be provided to a public service organization providing COVID-19 relief
- Addressing the impact of the donation to the scope of the project (if applicable)
If you wish to confirm the allowability of repurposing funds from your federal grant award to support COVID-19 relief efforts, please contact your OSP Project Officer.
Q. Can research related equipment purchased with sponsored project funding be brought home to support research related work?
A: Yes, equipment can be taken home to continue research remotely. The equipment should be returned to campus when normal operations resume. No additional notifications to the sponsor are required unless the scope of work has changed. In accordance with University asset management policies and procedures, notification should be given to Asset Management who tags equipment and keeps track of its location.