Research and Sponsored Programs - 2018

Funding Agency Guidance on COVID-19

Please see below for agency-specific guidance regarding grant proposal submission and/or award management in response to the Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information not contained below, the Council on Governmental Relations is maintaining a comprehensive record of agency-specific communications.

Please check back regularly for updates, as information will likely change.

Last updated: May 14, 2020

National Institutes of Health - NIH

Automatic extensions for NIGMS-specific FOAs with due dates originally in May: 

Because many people in the research community are facing considerable challenges trying to juggle various responsibilities during the COVID-19 outbreak, NIGMS will accommodate late application submissions for due dates in May 2020 for all NIGMS-specific FOAs (see NOT-GM-20-029 for a complete list of applicable FOA numbers). For applications submitted through June 30, 2020, institutions do not need to request advance permission or provide a cover letter to justify a late submission to these FOAs.

The NIH has issued four additional Notices in response to COVID-19:

NOT-OD-20-082 - Late Application Policy

NOT-OD-20-083 - General FAQ for Proposal Submission and Award Management

NOT-OD-20-086 - Flexibilities Available to NIH Award Recipients

NOT-OD-20-087 - Guide for NIH-Funded Clinical Trials and Human Subjects Research

Additionally, current SCORE award recipients may benefit from flexibilities outlined in NOT-GM-20-026.

Please note that RSP staff are working remotely, and the departments responsible for proposal submission and award management remain fully operational.  For this reason, at the present time, please do not plan to rely on institutional closure as the basis for negotiating extended deadlines or alternate requirements for your award. To the extent that your research activities have been hindered due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and/or illnesses, please be ready to provide documentation to NIH describing the effects, and how long your NIH-related research, clinical practices, or instruction was/will be affected.

The NIH also hosts a comprehensive list of COVID-19 related information for applicants and awardees and general FAQ for COVID-19 related questions.

National Science Foundation - NSF

The NSF has established a landing page for information about the novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

This page is updated frequently and includes links to the agency's latest guidance on upcoming program deadlines, as well as budget and logistics questions pertaining to existing awards that may be affected in various ways. It is a good starting place for help in answering questions about disruptions to your NSF-funded work. NSF will make efforts to facilitate the continuation of research and education activities as much as possible during this challenging time. Additionally, we provide the following specific information:

Program Deadlines:  NSF is assessing program deadlines on an ongoing basis and are particularly discussing deadlines in April, as all of us adjust during this period. The Impact on Existing Deadline Dates page will be updated as decisions are reached about particular deadlines.

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 through May 1, 2020. Reviewers who are scheduled to participate in an in-person review panel after May 1, 2020, should expect notification from NSF staff approximately two weeks in advance of the panel about any changes to the panel. Please contact the cognizant NSF program officer if you have questions about panel logistics.

For those taking part in a Reverse Site Visit (RSV), NSF has continued to conduct RSVs virtually. While some proposing teams have chosen to participate in an RSV from a single room (larger than normal for social distancing purposes) with videoconferencing to NSF, at this point we encourage RSVs to be fully virtual via videoconferencing.

Other NSF-Funded Meetings:  NSF is encouraging principal investigators of 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. NSF continues to update existing FAQs and other resources to reflect all new guidance and will keep you informed at their Coronavirus Information page.

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.

National Endowment for the Arts - NEA

We at the National Endowment for the Arts are thinking about all our colleagues across the country as COVID-19 continues to spread. Your health and well-being - and that of the communities you serve - is of the utmost importance, and we are aware that many organizations in our field are adjusting to new realities and facing hardships. As information changes rapidly, we stand ready to assist in the coming weeks and months.

Applicants and Awardees

Our public affairs staff is now maintaining a web page on Information for Arts Endowment applicants and grantees, which will be updated as things evolve.

Note: The upcoming 2020 application deadlines will not be changed. The National Endowment for the Arts will continue to accept grant applications at our published deadlines. All applications are submitted electronically through systems that are unaffected by the COVID-19 situation.

For current awardees who have yet to submit their final reports for the 3/30/2020 deadline, the Arts Endowment is administratively extending the due date for submission of final report material. The new deadline for submission of final reports will be 5/31/2020, which should give organizations time to assess submission options or request an alternative amendment from the Office of Grants Management.

Resources for Artists and Organizations

We have created a page on our website to aggregate resources and links provided by our colleagues at the service organizations: https://www.arts.gov/covid-19-resources-artists-and-arts-organizations

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions or updates.

National Endowment for the Humanities - NEH

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will receive $75 million in supplemental funding to assist cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus as part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan. As detailed in the Supplemental Funding FAQ on the NEH website, this emergency funding will support at-risk humanities positions and projects at museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, colleges and universities, and other cultural nonprofits that have been financially impacted by the coronavirus.

A FAQ page has been provided to address frequently asked questions related to NEH funding under the CARES Act and the Office of Management and Budget memo 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.” The questions have been organized into three groups:

I. Eligible cultural organizations and humanists affected by the coronavirus seeking funding
II. Applicants for regular FY20 NEH funding opportunities
III. Current NEH grant and cooperative agreement recipients seeking administrative flexibilities and supplemental funding

Importantly, FY20 application deadlines will not be extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Applications must be submitted through and validated by Grants.gov by the published deadlines. Please consult the FAQs for additional information from the NEH.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture - NIFA

Due to the disruptions arising from the national response to COVID-19, the following Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) application submission deadlines will be adjusted, as follows:

      Previous deadline                            New deadline              
      March 19                                            April 2
      March 26                                            April 9
      April 2                                                 April 9
      April 9                                                 April 16

At this time, no other deadlines have been extended. NIFA’s policies for accepting late applications are available online. If your application is delayed for a valid extenuating circumstances, please let the program contact listed in the Request for Application (RFA) know about the potential delay and submit all the required documentation after your application had been submitted to us.  NIFA will consider your request at that time based on the information provided.

In addition to the announcement on NIFA’s home page, updates are also on the following pages:

NIFA’s AFRI resource page
NIFA’s AFRI Deadline page
NIFA’s Plan of Work page
NIFA’s POW and REEport Integration

NIFA will continue to monitor the situation and post updates to this guidance on our web site.

US Department of Education - USDE

On May 12, the U.S. Department of Education released the following clarifications regarding their EIR and i3 grants:

No-Cost Extensions
Project directors should continue to communicate early and often with their program officers to discuss initial project updates, which might include delayed timelines and revised activities. Furthermore, the project director should document the aspects of their project that have changed in response to COVID-19. Due to delayed timelines, those considering no-cost extensions, as authorized in EDGAR § 75.261(a), should also contact their program officer.

Performance Measures
Regarding performance measures, please be sure to continue reviewing the potential impacts of COVID-19 as it relates to the project-specific performance measures and targets that you will report on in your annual performance report. At this time, we are not asking you to submit any requests to make changes to these measures or targets. Instead, continue to document areas that are impacted by COVID-19.

Evaluations
Our evaluation partners at ED’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and our Abt Technical Assistance liaison to work directly with your evaluators to collaboratively explore a range of possible solutions to evaluation plans that may have been disrupted. In updating project plans in response to COVID-19, please be sure you consider evaluation implications, communicate with your evaluator early and often, and prioritize supports to high needs students served by your grant.

Budget Changes
In making budget changes in response to revised project activities/timelines that do not change the scope or objectives of the grant, grantees should exercise existing flexibilities as outlined in the Expanded Authorities 2 CFR 200.308. Grantees do need to request prior approval for changes such as moving funds into a budget category in which you have not been funded, large dollar amounts, or a large percentage of funds in any category (cumulative 10 percent rule).

All expenditures, including those related to revised activities/budgets in response to COVID-19, must still follow Federal cost principles (2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E). This includes determining if the cost is allowable (necessary for the project success), allocable (for the grant), reasonable (cost incurred by a prudent person) and necessary (needed to implement the grant). As required by 2 CFR 200.302, please remember to maintain appropriate records and cost documentation.

Some businesses are offering flexibility regarding refunds, credits, and other remedies for losses due to COVID-19. However, if a grantee or subgrantee is unable to recover nonrefundable costs (e.g., travel, registration fees) from the relevant entity that charged the fee (e.g., airline, hotel, conference organizer), the grantee or subgrantee may charge the appropriate grant for the cancellation costs, provided the costs were reasonable and incurred to carry out an allowable activity under the grant, consistent with the Federal cost principles (2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E).

Matching Requirements
As a reminder, grantees have matching requirements that must be met by the end of their grant. Should you encounter concerns with fulfilling that requirement, please contact your program officer for further discussion

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Additionally, a prior fact sheet contains responses to three frequently asked questions related to the use of grant funding with respect to otherwise allowable compensation, travel, and conference costs:

1. May a grantee or subgrantee continue to pay the compensation of an employee paid with grant funds from the Department during the period the employee is unable to work because his or her organization is closed due to novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Yes. Generally, a grantee or subgrantee may continue to charge the compensation (including but not necessarily limited to salaries, wages, and fringe benefits) of its employees who are paid by a currently active grant funded by the Department to that grant, consistent with the organization’s policies and procedures for paying compensation from all funding sources, Federal and non-Federal, under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances, such as a public health emergency like COVID-19. Thus, if the organization pays, consistent with its policies and procedures, similarly situated employees whose compensation is paid with non-Federal funds during an extended closure, those paid with grant funds from the Department may also continue to be paid. However, an employee who is being paid with Department grant funds while the program grant activities are closed in whole or in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic may not also be paid for the time during which the program is closed by the organization or another organization for working on other activities that are not closed down. If a grantee or subgrantee does not currently have in place a policy that addresses extraordinary circumstances such as those caused by COVID-19, the grantee or subgrantee may amend or create a policy in order to put emergency contingencies in place for Federal and non-Federal similarly situated employees. If the conditions exist for charges to be made to the Federal grant, charges may also be made to any non-Federal sources that are used by a grantee or subgrantee in order to meet a matching requirement.

A grantee and subgrantee must maintain appropriate records and cost documentation as required by 2 CFR § 200.302 (financial management), 2 CFR § 200.430(i) (standards for documenting personnel expenses), and 2 CFR § 200.333 (retention requirements for records) to substantiate the charging of any compensation costs related to interruption of operations or services. At the same time, recipients should consider ways that employees paid with grant funds can support continuing activities, including distance learning opportunities for students served by the grant.

2. If a conference, training, or other activity related to a grant from the Department is cancelled due to COVID-19, may grant funds be used to reimburse nonrefundable travel (e.g., conveyance or lodging) or registration costs that were properly chargeable to the grant at the time of booking?

Yes, provided that a grantee or subgrantee first seeks to recover nonrefundable costs (e.g., travel, registration fees) associated with a grant from the Department from the relevant entity that charged the fee (e.g., airline, hotel, conference organizer). Some businesses are offering flexibility with regard to refunds, credits, and other remedies for losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Moreover, many agreements or contracts for conferences, training, or other activities related to a grant contain an emergency or “act of God” provision, and the grantee and its subgrantees must seek to exercise those clauses to the extent possible in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

If a grantee or subgrantee is unable to recover the costs, the grantee or subgrantee may charge the appropriate grant for the cancellation costs, provided the costs were reasonable and incurred in order to carry out an allowable activity under the grant, consistent with the Federal cost principles described in 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, And Audit Requirements For Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance).
Grantees and subgrantees 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. Grantees and subgrantees must maintain appropriate records and cost documentation as required by 2 CFR § 200.302 (financial management) and 2 CFR § 200.333 (retention requirements for records) to substantiate the charging of any cancellation or other fees related to the interruption of operations or services.

3. If a grantee or subgrantee is planning future travel under a grant from the Department, may it purchase travel insurance with grant funds?

Due to health concerns related to COVID-19, grant-supported travel generally should not be occurring. However, if travel is permitted by Federal, State, and local directives and is the only means to carry out an essential grant function that must be undertaken on a time-sensitive basis during the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with the grantee’s or subgrantee’s travel policy, travel insurance is allowable provided the cost is reasonable and allocable to the grant consistent with the Federal cost principles described in 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E of the Uniform Guidance.

If you have additional questions or comments related to these questions and answers, please contact your Department program officers or send your questions to: COVID-19@ed.gov. The USDE is also maintaining a general page for Coronavirus-related updates.

US Department of Defense - DOD

The Department of Defense (DOD) is aware that many in the research community have been impacted by COVID-19.  The DOD is taking action to provide greater flexibility to the research community in this challenging time.

On March 19, 2020, OMB issued Memorandum M-20-17Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations.  Based on the OMB Memorandum, please find below answers to Frequently Asked Questions by grantees and proposers about research and development awards at the DOD. These Q&As are effective as of March 19, 2020 and may not be retroactively applied to your financial assistance awards.

Grantees and proposers are advised that each federal agency has different authorities, and there might not be complete uniformity between agencies, components of agencies, and even between programs.  The safest course of action in all cases is to contact the grants manager and program officer for the award to determine how the financial assistance award will be treated.

Q: Will I have to meet the current deadlines for reports and other deliverables related to my research award?

A: Consistent with OMB Memorandum M-20-17, the DOD will allow grantees to delay submission of financial, performance and other reports on currently-active award accounts up to three months beyond the normal due date.  For any other deliverables related to research awards, please contact the DOD grants manager and/or program manager for award specific guidance. 

Q: Can I get reimbursed for costs incurred due to travel cancelled because of COVID-19?

A: The DOD will allow nonrefundable travel expenses incurred for travel canceled due to COVID-19 to be charged to active awards in agreement with OMB Memorandum M-20-17.  Grantees must follow applicable institution policy on allowable expenses for travel.

Q: Can I continue to charge salaries and benefits to currently-active awards for personnel who would normally be paid out of the award (e.g., graduate students, principal investigators, and postdoctoral researchers)?

A: Based on OMB Memorandum M-20-17 and the uniform guidance (2 CFR 200.403, 2 CFR 200.404, 2 CFR 200.405), the DOD will allow recipients to 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.  DOD components may allow other costs to be charged to federal awards necessary to continue work on a project even if in a period where primary research activities are limited or curtailed.  To the maximum extent practicable, recipients will be expected to 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 or may be created to respond to this crisis.  Appropriate records and cost documentation must continue to be updated and maintained as required by 2 CFR 200.302 - Financial management and 2 CFR 200.333 - Retention requirement of records.

Q: COVID-19 closures have delayed my work. Can I receive a no-cost extension on my active award?

A: During the COVID-19 emergency, the DoD is acting in accordance with OMB memo M-20-17, which encourages no cost extensions when possible. Current terms and conditions may already allow for a no-cost 1 year no-cost extension, with notification of to the grant office. For those that require prior approval, offices may waive the prior approval requirement for some grantees. If requested, each administrative office may grant a blanket no-cost extension on all awards to a given recipient.   NOTE:  In some cases, awarded funds may be cancelled prior to the revised period of performance.

Q: There are upcoming application deadlines for a program I want to submit a proposal for. Can these be extended?

A: The DOD recommends that program offices provide flexibility with upcoming proposal deadlines to the extent allowable by funding authorities and by the need to have enough time for merit review of submitted proposals.  Please contact the program officer and grants manager for the funding opportunity in question to seek an application deadline extension. Proposers are encouraged to monitor grants.gov to see if an extension has been posted.

For more information in regards to COVID-19, please visit the following links:

US Department of Energy - DOE

The Department of Energy issued the following guidance implementing OMB Memorandum M-20-17. Please note that, pursuant to OMB guidance, these administrative relief flexibilities are intended to be time limited. OMB plans to reassess their applicability within 90 days and DOE will update our guidance, as needed, at that time. Except where noted below, the following flexibilities are applicable to DOE applicants and awardees affected by the loss of operational capacity and increased costs due to the COVID-19 crisis. DOE COs and recipients are reminded of the requirement to maintain appropriate records and documentation necessary to support any relief or charges to DOE awards.

Flexibility with application deadlines (2 CFR § 200.202)
DOE will determine if an extension to the application due dates are needed due to the COVID-19 crisis on a case by case basis. COs should work with their Program Offices to determine if an extension of due dates for applications is needed for any FOA currently published. If it is determined that an extension to the application due date is needed, COs must amend the FOA to extend the application due date in accordance with current policies and procedures.

No-cost extensions on expiring awards (2 CFR § 200.308)
Recipients must notify the CO if it is utilizing the regulatory authorities in 2 CFR 200.308(d)(2) to implement a no-cost extension to its award. The CO will then issue a modification to the award to change the expiration date. COs are authorized to provide no-cost extensions to current awards which were active as of March 31, 2020 and scheduled to expire on or before December 31, 2020. COs are also authorized to extend awards for which recipients have already utilized the one-time extension provided in 2 CFR 200.308(d)(2). A determination for non-competitive federal financial assistance as required by 2 CFR 910.126 will not be required for any no-cost extensions due to the COVID-19 crisis. COs are reminded to properly document the award when making the modifications to the expiration date.

Abbreviated non-competitive continuation requests (2 CFR § 200.308)
Recipients with continuation applications due to be submitted between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, will continue to follow the process as detailed in the ‘CONTINUATION APPLICATION AND FUNDING’ award term of their award. COs, in consultation with their Program Offices, will continue to process continuation awards according to the current policy; however they may determine that an additional statement from the recipient is required to verify that it is able to: 1) resume or restore their award/project activities; and 2) accept a planned continuation award. COs will need to inform recipients (on a case by case basis) when they determine that an additional statement is needed to execute the continuation award.

Allowability of salaries and other project activities (2 CFR § 200.403, 2 CFR § 200.404, 2 CFR § 200.405)
Recipients are authorized to continue to charge salaries, stipends, and benefits to currently active DOE awards consistent with the recipients’ policy of paying salaries (under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances) from all funding sources, Federal and non-Federal. The recipient is authorized to charge other costs to DOE awards that are necessary to resume activities supported by the award, consistent with applicable Federal cost principles and the benefit to the project. Recipients must not assume that supplemental funding will be available should the charging of such costs or other fees result in a shortage of funds to eventually carry out the project.

If a funding shortfall is anticipated, recipients must contact the cognizant DOE CO to address the situation. DOE will evaluate the recipient’s ability to resume the project activity in the future and the appropriateness of future funding, as done under normal circumstances—based on subsequent project reports and other communications with the recipient. Recipients are required to 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. See previously released Attachment 1 for additional guidance.

Allowability of Costs not Normally Chargeable to Awards (2 CFR § 200.403, 2 CFR § 200.404, 2 CFR § 200.405, 2 CFR § 910.352)
COs must determine the allowability of all costs charged by recipients under their awards. The provisions of 2 CFR 200 Subpart E and 2 CFR 910.352 apply for the allowability of costs. DOE may determine if recipient’s costs incurred 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 COVID-19 crisis, are allowable. COs will make allowability determinations for these costs incurred on a case by case basis and must document the file accordingly.

Recipients should not assume additional funds will be available should the charging of cancellation or other fees result in a shortage of funds. 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 cancellation or other fees related to interruption of operations or services.

Prior approval requirement waivers (2 CFR § 200.407)
Recipients are required to obtain the prior approvals specified in 2 CFR § 200.308 (c) (i-viii). Recipients are reminded that they are to ensure that all costs charged to Federal awards must be consistent with Federal cost policy guidelines and the terms of the award, except as specified in this guidance.

Exemption of certain procurement requirements (2 CFR § 200.319(b), 2 CFR § 200.321)
DOE has waived the procurement requirements contained in 2 CFR § 200.319(b) regarding geographical preferences and 2 CFR § 200.321 regarding contracting with small and minority businesses, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms. Recipients must document awards accordingly.

Extension of financial, performance, and other reporting (2 CFR § 200.327, 2 CFR § 200.328)
Recipients must inform the DOE CO if they require an extension for the submission of any pending periodic financial, performance and other reports required by the terms of the award. DOE will extend the due dates for the submission of financial, performance and other reports for up to three months. Recipient periodic financial, performance and other reporting requirements due between March 1 and August 1, 2020 can be extended up to 3 months from the date required in their awards. These reports must be submitted in accordance with the terms and conditions of their award.

Extension of closeout (2 CFR § 200.343)
Recipients must inform the DOE CO if they require an extension for the submission of any pending financial, performance and other reports required by the terms of the award for the closeout of expired projects. The notice provided by the recipient to delay submitting closeout reports must identify the date which the required reports will be submitted to DOE. The new date may not exceed one year after the award expires.

This, and other recently-issued DOE guidance, may be found online at https://www.energy.gov/management/policy-flashes. 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.

 

Additionally, the Office of Science has extended 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 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 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 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 following 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. (CSUN note: our Research and Sponsored Programs office remains open at this time.)

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. (CSUN note: our AOR, Dr. Schrager, is not quarantined and remains available to sign applications at this time.)

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, pre-proposal, 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.

California Department of Food and Agriculture - CDFA

CDFA recognizes that due to COVID-19, grant requirements such as outreach events, field days, etc. will be delayed or otherwise affected. CDFA will work with grantees to the extent possible to adjust the Scope of Work and timelines. For example, some of our grant programs, such as our dairy digester grants, are allowing flexibility to satisfy community engagement/outreach obligations by hosting online events instead of physical events. Please reach out directly to your grant contact for more specific information.

For the following grant programs, please email grants@cdfa.ca.gov or call (916) 657-3231.

  • California Agriculture License Plate Grant Program
  • California State Trade Expansion Program
  • Spay and Neuter Grant Programs
  • Pet Lover's License Plate Grant Program
  • Animal Homeless Cruelty Fund
  • Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
  • Specialty Crop Multi-State Program

For the following Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) grant programs, please email cdfa.oefi@cdfa.ca.gov or call (916) 654-0433.

  • Dairy Digester Research and Development Program
  • Healthy Soils Program
  • State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program
  • Alternative Manure Management Program
  • Technical Assistance grants

For the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Programs, please email cafarmtofork@cdfa.ca.gov.

California Department of Public Health - CDPH

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made protecting the health of everyone the highest priority. We understand that school closures and Governor Newsom’s executive order on social distancing measures are having an impact on grantees’ ability to meet grant objectives, including the cancellation or postponement of events.

In light of this, we are directing grantees to follow recommendations from state health officials to refrain from holding large gatherings or meetings and follow the guidelines provided here. Grantees should also cancel any planned events or meetings with large crowds and practice prudent “social distancing” precautions. In addition, please follow guidance from your local health department specific to your community. 

Please keep your assigned Program Consultant informed on the status of your project, as we understand that some grant objectives and activities may be temporarily postponed or conducted with an alternative plan. 

This is a trying time for all of us. The COVID-19 response is fluid, but we are actively monitoring the situation and planning accordingly. Updated information on Coronavirus can be found on our Department’s webpage.

California Humanities

In recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the public humanities field across the state, California Humanities will direct funds from the federal CARES Act, through the National Endowment for the Humanities, to meet the emergency relief needs of organizations and individuals in order to help sustain and grow the public humanities field in California.

In keeping with California Humanities’ mission to connect Californians to ideas and one another in order to understand our shared heritage and diverse cultures, inspire civic participation, and shape our future, California Humanities relief and recovery grants aim to provide support to organizations that have experienced the cancellation of their public humanities activities due to a decrease or loss of revenue, programming opportunities, loss of paid staff, or venues as a result of COVID-19, as well as to humanities practitioners who are facing financial hardship.

Funding from the State of California will provide capacity-building recovery grants to assist organizations as they consider new approaches to public humanities programming and organizational strength. Eligible individuals and organizations applicant organizations must demonstrate a track record for supporting rich and engaging public humanities work that is accessible to the people of California.

Due dates and other information can be found at:  https://calhum.org/funding-opportunities/ca-cares-humanities-relief-and-recovery-grants/

Additionally, we are taking the following steps regarding our grant programs:

  • We are committed to flexibility for grantees who need to reschedule events due to public health concerns. Grantees should make event decisions that meet the needs of their audiences, staff, and board. In the event of postponement or cancellation, we request that project directors notify us as quickly as possible so that we may update our records and calendar.
  • We understand that program cancellations may delay interim and final reports. Therefore, we will consider extending grant periods by up to six months. Please contact your program officer to discuss this option.
  • We will continue to accept applications for the upcoming California Documentary Project NextGen deadline on March 16.
  • We ask grantees who host public programs to continue to monitor the situation in their own communities and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health for recommendations.

Above all, we invite you to stay in touch as you work to keep your communities safe. If you have any questions, our staff is here to help. 

California Governor's Office of Emergency Services - CalOES

During this difficult and unprecedented time, we want to assure you that the Victim Services Branch is operational. We are processing payments and grant documents, and are still available to provide you with technical assistance.

Emailing is the best method of communication as we are implementing social distancing and some Program Specialists may be working remotely.

The Victim Services Branch is open to extensions for all programmatic reporting (e.g., progress reports, PMT, etc.) and non-competitive applications. If you need an extension, please work with your Program Specialist. If the extension does not fall outside the deadline for obligating the funds, we will grant extensions.

We also understand that many agencies must modify the services they are providing. We will defer to you to determine what is needed to keep your team and clients safe. We are open to all needed modifications, including teleservices, reduced service locations, reduced hours, elimination of high-risk services, and even complete closure for a period of time. Please inform (via email) your Program Specialists if you are modifying services and include the intended time frame. We understand things are changing rapidly so feel free to update your service plan as needed. Modifications to services for the duration of this pandemic will not impact funding.

Thank you all for doing your best to serve victims at this time.

Department of Children and Family Services - DCFS

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) leadership is working closely with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and health officials to address Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19 concerns.  We recognize that this is a challenging time and that many of you are fearful or anxious.  As a valued partner, we want to assure you that DCFS has a dedicated team in place monitoring developments and will provide updates as quickly as possible.  We ask that you continue to make sensible and reasonable decisions for contracted services that you provide to our Department.  For more information on COVID 19 and resources, please visit the following websites:  https://dcfs.lacounty.gov/ or https://lacounty.gov/covid19/

We trust that you continue to uphold all contractual obligations whenever possible and work to minimize disruption and delay when services are impacted by the ongoing epidemic beyond your control. If you have any problems or questions related to this matter, please email your assigned Program Manager or Contract Analyst.

You can also reach out to the CAD section manager, Aileen Ochoa, or Assistant Managers, Corneitha Kirk or Maria Baldwin.

Thank you for your partnership.

Administration for Children and Families - ACF

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is deeply concerned for the health and safety of people involved in ACF programs and about the effects on the human service enterprise in the areas affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. To the extent permitted by law, and per 45 CFR §75.102(a), this Information Memorandum: IM-ACF-OA-2020-01 provides short-term relief for administrative, financial management, and audit requirements.

Please read IM-ACF-OA-2020-01 carefully to learn about the following flexibilities ACF can provide for human service activities related to or affected by COVID-19:

  • Flexibility with System for Award Management (SAM) registration and application deadlines
  • No-cost extensions on expiring awards
  • Abbreviated non-competitive continuation requests
  • Allowability of salaries, other project activities, and costs not normally chargeable to awards
  • Prior approval requirement waivers
  • Exemption of certain procurement requirements
  • Extensions of financial, performance, and other reporting; currently approved indirect cost rates; closeout; and single audit submission

These exceptions are time-limited and will be reassessed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within 90 days of the M-20-17 memo, dated March 19, 2020. If OMB extends the flexibilities contained in their M-20-17 memo, HHS and ACF will also re-evaluate the extension of the exceptions.

These flexibilities are applicable to ACF applicants and grantees/recipients where the entity is conducting human service activities related to or affected by COVID-19. Affected entities are those that have been closed or that have business activities that are hindered due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and/or illnesses. If the recipient/grantee intends to use any of the flexibilities identified in IM-ACF-OA-2020-01, the recipient/grantee must notify the ACF Program Office describing the impact the emergency is having on their program and any ACF-related work.  Documentation may be requested; however, ACF is still in the process of determining the documentation details as it may be program-specific oriented.

ACF is continuing to monitor the situation, to identify ways we can help, and to publish any additional information about the public health emergency at Stay Safe and Be Informed about COVID-19. Please direct all inquiries to your assigned Grants Management Specialist and Project Officer.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - SAMHSA

SAMHSA understands that there may be a need to re-budget grant funds as a result of COVID-19.  Grant recipients have the flexibility as long as re-budgeting (e.g. 25% or less of the current budget or $250,000, whichever is less) includes activities that are allowable under the FOA, within the scope of your grant application, and in line with the statutory requirement of the award.  Grant recipients must keep documentation of all costs and SAMHSA may request this documentation during the grant period.

If the re-budgeting of fund is more than 25% of the current budget or $250,000 whichever is less you MUST submit a COVID-19 post award amendment through eRA Commons.  Please contact your assigned liaisons for assistance with this amendment.

If your organization incurs costs related to the cancellation of events, travel, or other activities necessary and reasonable for the performance of the award due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may charge these costs to your award.  If you have contracts with providers or other vendors, you must adhere to terms of the contract’s cancellation clause(s), as appropriate.  Grant 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. Grant recipients are required to maintain appropriate records and cost documentation to substantiate the charging of any cancellation or other fees related to interruption of operations or services.

Additional guidance on how to submit this request is attached and can also be found on the SAMHSA websitePlease contact your SAMHSA Grants Management Specialist if you have any questions.