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COVID-19: Information from SPA/OSP/CGA

COVID-19: Information from SPA/OSP/CGA

This webpage includes information specific to topics within SPA/OSP/CGA’s responsibilities.  Please also see information related to MSU research from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at:  https://vp.research.msu.edu/coronavirus. The list of agencies under the Agency Guidance section includes the agencies that MSU frequently works with, in approximate order of relevance.

COVID-19 Workplace Health Screening Form

Faculty, staff and graduate students approved to conduct research activities on MSU sites, even intermittently, need to complete a health screening questionnaire each time they work at an MSU site and communicate the information to their supervisor. While the specific order from the Ingham County Health Department has now been rescinded, the State of Michigan Executive Order 2020-97 requires a daily health screening for those reporting to work. The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Workplace Health Screening form has been developed if departments should choose to use it rather than their current process*.

Please note:

  • Authorization to show up at a worksite is separate from the self-check-in screening process.
  • Some of the questions in the Workplace Health Screening Form have recently changed
 

*Other units on campus have already implemented their own processes or electronic versions of the screening form. Individuals in those units are not required to use the survey tool provided here and we are simply sharing it with you as an option to promote the implementation of the screening requirement within your unit. Whether or not this tool is used, employees and supervisors should verify that they are meeting the requirements of the executive order.

If you experience any problems with the Health Screening Form, please inform systems@msu.edu.

SPA/OSP/CGA Communications

Proposal Deadlines

We anticipate that OSP will continue to have the ability to submit proposals, even while personnel are working remotely.  Our experience is that several federal agencies tend to be flexible about deadlines under difficult circumstances beyond our control.  If agencies are officially closed, proposals will most likely remain in a queue, pending resumption of agency operations – as has been the case during federal budget-related shutdowns.  Agency specific guidance is provided below.  When communicating with OSP please use group email addresses.

COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

For agency funding opportunities related to COVID-19 please visit the SVPRI COVID-19 Research Funding Opportunities webpage.

Travel

Due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, MSU has suspended university-sponsored international travel and non-essential domestic travel indefinitely.  A waiver is required for domestic business essential travel; it can only be granted by the provost, a vice president or the president through the following form and must be approved before a trip begins. Waivers are currently not being granted for international travel. In-state travel is permitted to perform one’s essential job duties, but also requires a waiver. Non-essential in-state travel to state conferences or other gatherings should not occur.  Please see the MSU Travel website for the most current information regarding travel restrictions. 

As large gatherings pose a risk of spreading the virus, many organizations are taking precautionary measures and cancelling conferences and events. The suspension also applies to grant-funded travel and if exceptions need to be considered, they must follow the waiver process described above.  Please refer to MSU’s guidelines for travel impacted by COVID-19 for guidance on cancelling any scheduled travel arrangements and requesting refunds.

Cost Related Flexibilities/Expenditure of Award Funds

Guidance from our sponsors on COVID-19 is evolving, and we anticipate that most sponsors will be flexible. Based on the federal cost principles including the requirement for consistent treatment of expenses, and guidance shared by the Office of Management and Budget through Memo M-20-17, salary should continue to be allocated to projects based on the planned distribution, consistent with MSU policy on all sources of funds.  An excerpt from the OMB Memo follows:

Salaries:

Awarding agencies may allow recipients to continue to charge salaries and benefits to currently active Federal awards consistent with the recipients' policy of paying salaries (under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances) from all funding sources, Federal and non-Federal.

No-Cost Extensions

If you expect that you will need a no-cost extension and are within four to six months of the end date of your project, please submit your request to the CGA Awards group as soon as possible.  We are anticipating potential delays.  The sooner you submit your request, the less likely there will be a disruption to the project.

Communicating with Sponsors

Generally, if changes to the timeline or statement of work are needed, some communication with sponsors is likely appropriate.  More detailed information on communicating with sponsors by type of funding is provided in the 5/22 memo to faculty.  Communicate the potential impacts and requested resolution to the Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) Awards Group via email as soon as practicable, at awards@cga.msu.edu.  The Awards Group will review your specific scenario and work with you on next steps.

Agency Guidance Regarding COVID-19

Some Federal agencies, as well as the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) have started providing guidance on the impacts of COVID-19 on proposals and awards.  Below is a list of resources by agency/group.

Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Changes to the Scope of Work or Timeline of a project: Changes or delays to project milestones must be discussed with the funding Institute/Center (IC).  Please communicate any changes or anticipated delays with the CGA Awards group.

  • Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients
  • COVID-19 Flexibilities FAQs
  • NOT-OD-20-091 - Grant applications submitted late for due dates between March 9, 2020, and May 1, 2020, will be accepted through May 1, 2020.  Some Institute/Center (IC) reviewed FOAs may not be able to extend the deadline.  For these applications, please check with the IC to verify if the deadline can be extended to May 1, 2020.
  • Video from Dr. Mike Lauer, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, with a Message to the Research Community on Flexibilities Needed for COVID-19
  • NOT-OD-20-082 – NIH Late Application Policy for COVID-19
  • NOT-OD-20-083 - FAQs related to COVID-19 for proposal submission and award management
  • NOT-OD-20-086 - Flexibilities available to applicants and recipients of federal financial assistance affected by COVID-19
  • NOT-OD-087 - Guidance for NIH-funded Clinical Trials and Human Subjects Studies Affected by COVID-19
  • NIH Guidance on Travel and Meetings

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Changes to the Scope of Work or Timeline of a project: Changes or delays to project milestones must be submitted through Fastlane.  Please work with the CGA Awards group to submit these change requests.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Changes to the Scope of Work or Timeline of a project awarded by NIFA: Challenges with completing the program objectives of an award should be communicated to the National Program Leader.  The majority of NIFA awards are allowed no-cost extensions of up to twelve months.  Non-competitive Capacity Grants that expire on 9/30/2020 with a remaining balance may also receive a no-cost extension.  See the NIFA Implementation of OMB Memo M-20-17 notice listed below for details.  Requests for changes to program objectives or no-cost extensions must route through the CGA Awards Group.

Department of Defense (DOD)

Changes to the Scope of Work or Timeline of a project: Changes or delays to project milestones should be discussed with the grant manager and program officer of the award to determine implications to the award.  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. Please work with the CGA Awards group to communicate any changes or delays with DOD.

  • FAQs for DOD Research Proposers and Awardees Impacted by COVID-19
  • CDMRP - COVID-19 FAQs for Grant Applicants and Recipients
  • CDMRP - The pre-application submission deadline for the following opportunities has been extended: the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Program (ALSRP), Autism Research Program (ARP), and Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP).
  • CDMRP - A 4-day grace period was added to the full application deadlines for the following BCRP funding opportunities on Grants.gov:
    • Breakthrough Award Levels 1 and 2 – Funding Opportunity Number W81XWH-20-BCRP-BTA12
    • Era of Hope Scholar Award – Funding Opportunity Number W81XWH-20-BCRP-EOHS

Department of Energy (DOE)

Changes to the Scope of Work or Timeline of a project: Changes or delays to project milestones must be included in the progress report.  Some offices within DOE (e.g. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) request that the Contracting Officer be contacted to discuss any changes to the project.  No cost extension requests must be requested from the Contracting Officer (CO).  The CO will issue an amendment to the award extending the end date.  These requests must be made through the CGA Awards group.

Department of Justice (DOJ)/Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • STSCI/NASA - JWST Cycle 1 GO proposal deadline has been extended to no earlier than May 27, 2020.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Foundations / Non-Profits / Associations

United States Department of Education (USDE)

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Category:     Subcategories: none

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