Continuity of Operations for Research and Externally Sponsored Projects and Related Resources for COVID-19
Normal services provided by the Office of Research will continue during the suspension of university instruction. Please allow time for actions that require coordination between remote staffers. Below is general information and guidance for maintaining operations.
Any research activities that can be conducted remotely or virtually, including the initiation of new projects, are encouraged and can proceed with required local scientific and institutional regulatory/sponsored award approvals, when applicable.
Examples include the following:
- Data processing/analysis
- Survey research conducted via the web or telephone
- Proposal writing
- Publication and abstract composition and review
- Patent applications
- Grant and proposal reviews
- Virtual focus groups
- Research/laboratory administrative meetings
New non-essential studies can be submitted for scientific, sponsored award, regulatory and/or budgetary review.
Extraordinary Use of University Facilities
TA1s/LA1s: If a TA1 needs to come to campus to fulfill any work-related responsibilities, the student must communicate with their supervisor and this communicated with the department chair and with the Dean. These cases should be rare, and the chair and Dean informed of days and times the TA1 expects to be on campus.
RAs: faculty supervisors should work with the students to discuss expectations of how work will be completed and a timeline for that work. If a student is working in a lab and that work is necessary to progress a project, please follow these steps:
- I. Establish a lab schedule for students-no more than 2 students working in a lab at one time.
- II. Share the schedule with a list of student names with the all vital parties including the chair, Dean, and the Dean of the Graduate College. University Police will be patrolling spaces on campus and may ask individuals to leave that do not have permission.
- III. Work with these students to ensure they are only coming to campus when necessary. RAs should do most of their work remotely.
Current Sponsored Projects
- Principal Investigators (PIs) should familiarize themselves with university and public health department guidance to ensure compliance with the recommended practices of hygiene, social distancing, and self-monitoring of individual health to inhibit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- PIs should prepare for flexibility and potential adjustments as the rapidly changing situation progresses.
- PIs who anticipate that deliverables will be delayed due to the exigencies of the condition please contact your Grant Coordinator as soon as possible in order to work with the funding agency. Please provide a brief explanation of the delay, outlining alternative work completed, and providing a plan for accomplishing the original deliverables.
- PIs who order their own disposable personal protective equipment for their labs should place orders much earlier than usual due to supply chain delays. Please contact the appropriate Research Accountant with your questions or concerns.
- Sponsored projects including workshops, group meetings, and other kinds of gatherings should consider using virtual meetings or delaying in-person gatherings until the Coronavirus risk recedes per university guidelines.
- We anticipate that funding agencies will post their own guidance for dealing with the pandemic. Grantees should follow that guidance as it is made available.
- If you are planning to submit a grant, ORSSP will continue to submit proposals while working remotely.
- All new grant applications should go through the usual setup and review process through Cloud Express, including routing and approvals. Please contact your Grant Coordinator if you intend to submit a proposal that you have not yet entered into Cloud Express.
- The IRB, IBC and IACUC will continue to function without disruption.
- Amendments to move existing in-person studies to online studies will be given expedited priority.
- PIs should consider pausing in-person human subject research. If it’s necessary for projects to continue, they should instruct participants to not come into the lab or office if sick and make available preventive measures. Lab and office surfaces should also be sanitized frequently.
- Researchers working at off-site locations (e.g. schools, nursing homes) should check with location contacts to ensure they are still allowed to conduct their projects and to follow site-specific sanitary procedures.
- Please remember that any human subject, animal or biological material protocol changes must be submitted for approval to the relevant review committee before being implemented.
- The Office of Research Accounting will also continue operations, reviewing and approving expenditures; providing faculty notifications; award set up and monitoring; effort reporting; and working with the Research and Service Foundation on billing and invoicing activities.
- Students employed through research grants and internal funding sources may continue to work remotely on those sponsored projects. The use of university facilities may be allowed in accordance with current university policies and procedures. Please direct any questions to Human Resources.
- Graduate students should contact the College of Graduate Studies for questions pertaining to theses and dissertation research.
The Georgia Southern home page and the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal will remain the definitive sources of information about the University’s operating status. All announcements regarding changes to the University operating schedule will be posted as soon as decisions are made. In addition, Eagle Alerts may be issued regarding closings, cancellations or delays.
Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources
The National Science Foundation has issued Important Notice No 146 to the Community Regarding COVID-19. NSF has also issued additional guidance on NSF’s implementation of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum (M-20-17), entitled, Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations. NSF has implemented flexibilities authorized by OMB from specific administrative, financial management and audit requirements contained in 2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards without compromising accountability requirements. Any questions about the policies described in the NSF Guidance should be directed to email@example.com. Questions specific to a particular award should be directed to the cognizant NSF Program Officer. NSF is working to update existing FAQs and other resources to reflect NSF’s new guidance and will keep you informed on our website at: nsf.gov/coronavirus.
As you can imagine, NIH is devoting significant resources to COVID-19. In addition to dedicating regularly appropriated funds, to date NIH has received emergency funding for COVID-19-related activities in two supplemental bills (available from the NIH Office of Budget website), that together provide:
- $1.532 billion for NIAID
- $103.4 million for NHLBI
- $60 million for NIBIB
- $36 million for NCATS
- $30 million for the NIH Office of Director
- $10 million for NIEHS
- $10 million for NLM
To get funding as quickly as possible to the research community, we are using Urgent and Emergency competing revisions and administrative supplements to existing grant awards. This approach allows us to leverage resident expertise, getting additional funding to those researchers who are already working with other organisms, models, or tools so that they can quickly shift focus to the novel coronavirus. These Urgent and Emergency competitive revision Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) allow NIH to fund applications quickly, often in under three months, sometimes much quicker than that, because evaluation for scientific and technical merit is done by an internal review panel convened by staff of the NIH awarding institute or center rather than by our traditional peer review process.
Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) has compiled a listing of Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources. The listing will be updated as Agencies and Universities provide additional information and includes links provided by Universities to COVID-19 updated institutional travel policies, a helpful one-stop resource.
For updated information on the federal response, including news releases, fact sheets, rumor control, best practices and FAQ’s please visit the FEMA Coronavirus website.
COVID-19 FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
GrantForward Funding Opportunities for COVID-19
As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, it’s critically important that researchers, who are learning about the virus and pursuing science-based solutions to the global coronavirus pandemic, can find the funding they need. With this in mind, GrantForward is proud to provide free access to a list of funding opportunities in the area of COVID-19 here: https://www.grantforward.com/grant-covid.
Funding Opportunities Searches through INFOED’s SPIN
We are tracking COVID-19/Coronavirus-related funding opportunities and other types of community resources and making that information available to everyone. Accessing this information does not require a subscription or any kind of registration with InfoEd Global. The information can be accessed via this link: https://www.infoedglobal.com/COVID-19.
Other Funding Opportunities
Last updated: 5/20/2020