University of Southern California

Research

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research-Related Updates

Jump to:

 March 20, 2020 – Guidelines Under the Stay-at-Home Rule
 March 17, 2020 – Expanded Research Guidelines
 March 16, 2020 – COVID-19 Research Continuity Plan
 More Information UPDATED 4/01
 Virus-Related Research Resources
 USC COVID-19 Research UPDATED 4/01

 

March 20, 2020 – Guidelines Under the Stay-at-Home Rule

The city of Los Angeles and the state of California are under stay-at-home rules at this time. To help the community and minimize the spread fo the virus, USC research should be limited to remote work; only approved essential personnel can be on campus / USC facilities. Researchers should work with their schools to determine who qualifies for the essential status, using the Research Continuity Plan form.

Students (any level) and postdocs cannot serve as essential personnel; the only exceptions involve critical clinical COVID-19 research or very minimal and occasional maintenance necessary to avoid significant loss of research function; approval must be obtained through the updated Research Continuity Plan process that includes student/postdoc agreement to participate, and approval by the school.

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March 17, 2020 – Expanded Research Guidelines

Following up on Monday’s memo, and in anticipation of the need for stricter personal distancing, we ask that you prepare to dramatically reduce the number of people in your labs and core facilities. This will entail pausing all but essential laboratory and core laboratory research by Friday of this week.  Guidelines for human subjects research were addressed in a memo from my office on March 16. This timeline may need to be shortened in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 emergency.

All USC PIs/research leads, labs, and teams need to:

  1. Complete Research Continuity Plans and, where required by the school also the lab research continuity checklists and submit them to department chairs/division chiefs by noon on Thursday, March 19. Importantly, these Plans must include evidence for perceived critical functions and designated individuals who must have campus access on a limited basis; those individuals need to be in agreement with the plans.   
  2. Finish ongoing, on-campus work in a way that minimizes on-site meetings. Any meetings must follow social distancing and other safety guidelines already outlined in previous memos and found on the Research COVID-19 site (research.usc.edu/coronavirus).
  3. Refrain from launching any new experiments/studies.
  4. Begin an orderly process immediately to have on-campus activity reduced to essential functions only by Friday, March 20 at 5 pm. Schools and departments have the option to accelerate this timetable while allowing their faculty sufficient time to complete necessary procedures.
  5. Remind those who may be at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 including those over the age of 65, those with severe chronic health conditions – heart, lung, or kidney disease, or immune suppression, and those who are pregnant    to check with their health care provider and follow-up with their PIs. PIs should show flexibility in assigning tasks only to personnel who are comfortable being on site, during and after this period.
  6. Communicate that prior approval of the department chair / division chief or relevant vice dean for research or dean is required for the removal of any research materials (e.g., specimens or sensitive equipment) from USC laboratories, other than computers, storage devices, and lab notebooks and papers.

The following are the only remaining essential on-campus research functions:

Any exceptions to the above must be approved by the relevant school dean and by the vice president of research before they can proceed.   

If you have concerns, please contact their department chair / division chief, student services staff, or the relevant dean.

We will continue to monitor and support essential on-campus research functions and communicate updates to our research community.  

The Research COVID-19 web site (research.usc.edu/coronavirus) is being continually updated with  resources: contact information for receiving information, advice, and help, checklists, and links to funding opportunities (external and internal) for which you can apply during this time, for near-future research and beyond.

While all on-campus / on-site USC research must pause, we hope that remote research can thrive. We welcome ways to further facilitate your vital work for the coming weeks and beyond.  Please continue to interact remotely and virtually.  Let us keep the USC research community thriving by being safe at this key time.

Thank you.

Maja Matric
Interim Vice President of Research

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March 16, 2020 – COVID-19 Research Continuity Plan

USC is actively responding to daily updates about the COVID-19 emergency. We are also planning ahead toward next steps in all areas of campus life.  We ask that all researchers read this message carefully to inform their actions and plans in this rapidly changing situation that impacts our entire community.

We aim to continue USC research in forms that are safe for all involved. Remote research is requested from all for whom it is possible. Researchers are asked to actively work with their teams to coordinate and support remote work.

We acknowledge that a great deal of research, such as laboratory-based research and in-person human subjects research cannot be done remotely. All laboratories and units should defer whatever non-remote work they can defer. In addition, public health officials may require individual labs or units to shut down for a period of time, so all labs and units should be ready to suspend operations other than necessary maintenance and essential activities.

Because research at USC is highly diverse, we are working with the deans and schools to help the research community respond appropriately. We are asking that the following steps be applied University-wide:

· All researchers will carefully follow the guidance from the USC COVID-19 site (sites.usc.edu/coronavirus), including social distancing (6 foot radius), hand washing, not touching the face, self-care, and cleaning of workspaces, among others, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission while conducting research in all shared USC environments.

· PIs and other relevant research leads will work with each of their students, post docs, and staff members to develop a personalized plan that allows each of them to conduct research remotely to the fullest extent possible, e.g., performing data analysis, literature review, modeling and computation, writing manuscripts, grant and other applications, reviewing papers, and planning.  For those performing work on USC campus facilities, plans will be developed to observe continuous social distancing and minimal personnel.

·All research-active faculty members and other PIs are asked to develop a Research Continuity Plan in the light of COVID-19, outlining how their group will follow the guidelines above, and how they will slow research if necessary to only essential personnel.  Plans should clearly indicate what activities would be critical to maintaining the long-term capabilities of the research program if research were to cease due to external restrictions. Considerations of criticality include where discontinuation would generate loss of significant data, samples, or animal life; where equipment would not operate safely, where there would be a risk to the health and safety of study participants; and for COVID-19 or other critical clinical/research needs. Each school will provide guidelines and deadlines that are specific to their faculty members and the unique needs of their research programs. Lab/bench researchers will find this Laboratory Research Continuity Checklist helpful. We appreciate your prompt attention given the rapidly changing health landscape.

· Our 53 research cores have been asked to evaluate the support that they can provide at this time and to announce their plans on their web sites; a summary will also be provided on the Research COVID-19 site (research.usc.edu/coronavirus).

· When considering research that requires a physical presence in one of the USC facilities, researchers should conduct — at most — limited amounts of their essential, highest priority work as established by PIs in consultation with their chiefs, chairs or deans. We understand that there is some subjectivity in the definition of essential and high priority. The parameters cited above should be considered. For all non-human subjects research, these priority lab activities should be informed by the evolving situation, and by the Research Continuity Plans referenced above.

· With respect to human subjects research and clinical research, the only time direct contact with study participants will occur is when the risk of not having such contact carries a significant risk to participant health and safety. Thus, only studies with potential therapeutic benefit to participants will have direct participant contact until further notice. For all other studies, direct participant interaction will not occur until further notice. This applies to non-therapeutic trials, observational studies and all community-based non-interventional research. Only studies that offer significant therapeutic benefit will enroll new participants. All new studies that have not yet started should be postponed. Research that can be conducted virtually / remotely can proceed.  The Office of Protection of Human Subjects (OPRS) and the relevant school deans have issued guidance and will continue to issue guidance.

· Continuing to work physically in a laboratory should be at the discretion of the student, staff member or postdoctoral researcher. Unless their presence is required for an essential role, trainees who wish to exclusively work remotely should be allowed to do so, and PIs should work to facilitate those wishes.

· Research staff should contact their managers and follow information as provided by Human Resources Partners.

· Meetings should be held online or by phone, including one-on-one meetings and formal lab or group meetings. Groups should use the available video conferencing and networking tools to continue to interact regularly to promote individual well-being and the progress of research.

· PIs should prepare for the eventuality that an individual in their group will test positive for COVID-19. Given the current projections, this is a likely scenario for many research groups. Laboratory spaces and offices used by an individual found to be COVID-19-positive will be closed, disinfected, and prepared for re-occupancy.   Environment Health & Safety has established guidelines to follow and will work with the appropriate department to ensure this is completed.

· Guidance regarding research involving animals has been provided and will continue to be provided by the Department of Animal Resources.

How long will this last?  Nobody currently has a good answer; we will evolve our guidelines based on the best input from the CDC and relevant public health officials.

Your school, the Office of Research, and the Environment Health & Safety Office are ready to answer questions from faculty and other research you develop your Research Continuity Plans.  We are providing contact information for all on the Research COVID-19 web site (research.usc.edu/coronavirus/#contacts) and all will be available for Zoom sessions.

We are not ceasing all in-person on-campus research at this time.  If it becomes necessary to do so, we will continue to provide support such as heating and cooling, essential equipment, animal facilities, and basic maintenance. Schools, the Office of Research, and Environmental Health and Safety will work together to determine how best to continue critical activities.

We realize that there are significant implications of these restrictions on the research process. The most important consideration is that we take care of our health and the health of those around us. The research continuity plans that each PI/research lead has put in place are intended to help protect the integrity of our research capabilities, ensure your academic progress, and enable full operations.

We will continue to monitor the situation, refine our plans in response to your questions and feedback, and update the Research COVID-19 site research.usc.edu/coronavirus.

We are grateful for your help in addressing this unprecedented challenge.

Maja Matric
Interim Vice President of Research

We are grateful for excellent examples from Stanford University

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More Information:

General
Contact Information
Research Personnel
Materials Procurement
Remote Research
OPRS, IRB, and Human Studies
DAR and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
Core Facilities
Environment Health & Safety (EH&S)

Department of Contracts & Grants (DCG) 
Office of Research Integrity
USC Stevens
USC Libraries
DC Office of Research Advancement
Federal Agency Guidance UPDATED 4/01
Non-Federal Agency Guidance
Conference/Symposium Travel
Government Closure

General

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation unfolds, USC is rapidly responding through its many units and services. Research, one of the University’s key missions, is impacted by the epidemic.  All activities of the Office of Research will continue, as advised by the circumstances. Any operation or event changes will be actively communicated and posted here and on the University’s COVID-19 website: usc.edu/coronavirus, the best resource for USC-relevant information about the COVID-19 situation; that website’s Research link points to this site.   For any general questions not covered below, please visit sites.usc.edu/coronavirus/faq.

All USC schools have Research-Business Continuity Plans that address the specific individual needs of their faculty, students, and staff. It is valuable to share those plans among the schools, to identify best practices for various scenarios. All research-active faculty members and other PIs were asked to develop a Research Continuity Plan in the light of COVID-19, outlining how their group will follow the guidelines above, and how on-campus research is reduced to only essential personnel. The details are given in the March 17 update above.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the USC Office of Research () if you cannot find research-relevant information and answers on the USC COVID-19 website, or if you have information and ideas you would like to contribute to improve communication.  We welcome your feedback.

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Contact Information

Core Facilities
Research continuity plan: contact department chair/division chief.
Core facility’s operations or status: contact the Core Facility Manager.

DC Office of Research Advancement
robyngil@usc.edu or 818-732-9350

Department of Animal Resources (DAR)
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

daradm@usc.edu or 323-442-1689

Department of Contracts & Grants (DCG)
Please visit the DCG Contact Directory for contact information.

Environment Health & Safety (EH&S)
ehs@usc.edu or 323-442-2200

Office for Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS)
jslayton@usc.edu or 213-821‑1155

Office of Research Integrity
gracekri@usc.edu or 213-821 7297

Stevens Center for Innovation
dyerj@usc.edu or 213-821-6062

USC Libraries
nmlbio@usc.edu

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Research Personnel

Research personnel and environments are directly impacted by COVID-19.  Per the latest guidance, all on-campus / on-site research should have stopped as of Friday, March 20th, with the exception of very small numbers of essential personnel who were pre-approved by the department chair / division chief / research vice dean based on their submitted Research Continuity Plan. Students (any level) and postdocs cannot serve as essential personnel; the only exceptions involve critical clinical COVID-19 research or very minimal and occasional maintenance necessary to avoid significant loss of research function; approval must be obtained through the updated Research Continuity Plan process that includes student/postdoc agreement to participate, and approval by the school. The goal is to not have students or postdoctoral researchers on campus. All student and staff treatment in the context of research falls under the overall USC guidelines in the COVID-19 situation, given on sites.usc.edu/coronavirus.   Students who are on campus due to living arrangements should still only engage in remote research from their living areas, in accordance with most current recommendations indicated at sites.usc.edu/coronavirus. Any disagreements about conditions of participating in research should be referred to the relevant department chair / division chief, vice dean of research, or dean to resolve.

PIs should plan for disruptions in research personnel in the near future, beyond the immediate COVID-19 emergency.  Specifically, new research hires and visitors may choose not to travel to the US, California, or LA due to health concerns. Similarly, local research volunteers and K-12 students may minimize or terminate their involvement in research due to similar concerns. Researchers are urged to plan for research personnel shortages, develop cross-training for critical procedures and processes, and use “buddy systems” to cover critical research needs, among other mitigation strategies.

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Materials Procurement

It is expected that materials procurement will become difficult due to some international providers not being available/open, staff shortages, supply chain issues, and other challenges. Researchers are urged to conduct a materials/equipment inventory and plan ahead and order ahead, consider adding alternative vendors, and be prepared for procurement delays.

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Remote Research

All research should be conducted remotely as of Saturday, March 21st, per the instructions given in the memo from March 17, 2020. All researchers should take advantage of USC’s cloud storage and data sharing platforms; ITS provides unlimited storage on OneDrive and Google Drive for faculty, and all USC users with Shibboletth login can access those services and share data as needed and appropriate to their research.  ITS also provides USC Zoom communication, laptops, software (USC’s Office 365 license provides free software), paper/printer/scanner equipment, etc. For any questions or concerns, contact ITS at 213-740-5555 or consult@usc.edu.

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OPRS, IRB, and Human Studies

As of March 16, 2020, all human subjects and clinical research activities that require direct contact with study participants have been significantly curtailed. Only studies with “potential therapeutic benefit to participants will continue to proceed with direct participant contact until further notice.” All other studies with direct participant interaction must halt data collection and enrollment efforts until further notice. This applies to non-therapeutic trials, interview and observational studies and all community-based non-interventional research. As described below, studies with participant interaction may proceed so long as they are amended to virtual/remote data collection and enrollment efforts only.  All new already approved studies requiring direct participant interaction that have not yet begun enrolling should be postponed. New research that can be conducted virtually/remotely may proceed.

At the current time, the USC IRBs is continuing to review and approve research protocols, amendments, and continuing reviews that have been or will be submitted, including those submissions that require full board review. However, newly approved research may not begin enrolling participants unless doing so does not require direct participant interaction or, if enrolling participants where direct interaction is required, is only for a study with potential therapeutic benefits to participants.

An FAQ is available at oprs.usc.edu. For questions or concerns contact jslayton@usc.edu or 213-821‑1155.

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DAR and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Per the March 17, 2020 memo, by noon on Thursday, March 19th, all facility users or their PIs must provide a Research Continuity Plan and list of essential personnel to their department chair/division chief. For animal users, this must also be sent to DAR (glgonzal@usc.edu). To continue using animal facilities, your Research Continuity Plan must also include a decision tree (approved by the Principal Investigator) including possible actions to suspend certain studies and euthanize animals, suspend studies, and maintain animals for future use, or complete the studies with essential personnel only.

Essential ongoing studies should be completed as soon as possible. After March 20, 2020, only school-approved essential researchers (named in the Research Continuity Plan) and DAR staff members performing approved essential activities will have access to the animal facilities. If it is not possible for essential approved personnel to travel to campus, they must communicate this to DAR for possible assistance as soon as possible.

In the interest of public health, individuals who are not identified as essential will have electronic access to facilities blocked beginning March 21, 2020.

New experiments or studies are not allowed at this time. Therefore, new orders or imports of animals cannot be processed, effective immediately. The only exceptions will be research projects defined in Research Continuity Plans that are approved as essential at this time. DAR will hold animal orders until these approvals are obtained.

Our IACUC protocols are in electronic format and we are able to hold virtual IACUC meetings. Therefore, we do not anticipate any disruption of IACUC activities and protocols will be approved as normal. However, new studies will not be able to commence until the emergency conditions are over.

We plan to continue online training but are suspending all in-person animal training at this time.

During all of your work in animal housing and research facilities you must strictly follow all 6-foot radius social distancing, hand sanitation, and other health prevention guidelines communicated throughout the University and its COVID-19 web site (sites.usc.edu/coronavirus). We will continue to provide personal protective equipment, hand washing sinks, and alcohol-based hand sanitation stations throughout our facilities.

This information will be posted on our web site (dar.usc.edu) for your future reference.

Thank you for your assistance with this emergency response. Please contact DAR at daradm@med.usc.edu or 323-442-1689 if you have any questions.

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Core Facilities

By noon on Thursday, March 19th, all researchers using USC cores must provide an accurate list of essential personnel to their department chairs / division chiefs, and also to the core directors/managers for the cores they use. After March 20, 2020, only those school-approved essential personnel will be allowed into your core facilities, and only to perform essential tasks that cannot be postponed.  We are depending on you to help us so everyone is informed as to who the essential personnel are as others will not be allowed into core facilities.  Additionally, all core facilities are observing social distance rules (6-foot radius around each person), which may involve phasing of facility use in some cases.

If you have questions about the Research Continuity Plan, please contact your department chair / division chief. If you have questions about a core facility’s operations or status, please contact the core facility manager.

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Environment Health & Safety (EH&S)

EH&S has a business continuity plan and will continue critical operations such as IBC and RSC protocol review and approvals on campus or remotely if needed. If there is any disruption to radioactive materials deliveries from our vendors, we will notify the labs ordering them as soon as we are notified. For questions or concerns contact ehs@usc.edu or 323-442-2200.

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Department of Contracts & Grants (DCG)

DCG continues to be available to faculty and research administrators for proposal submissions, award negotiations and executions and post-award actions. DCG continues to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 on federal research funding.  As information and FAQs are released by sponsors, DCG will post to the Office of Research COVID-19 website. We are also distributing key information via our DCG NewsFlash listserv. DCG Officers are working and can be reached via email and/or office phone;  please visit the DCG Contact Directory for contact information.

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Office of Research Integrity

The Office continues to be available to the USC community to receive and remotely discuss any concerns regarding ongoing research practices. For questions or concerns contact gracekri@usc.edu or 213-821 7297.

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USC Stevens

Staff will continue to work with USC faculty and staff on all intellectual property matters, including disclosures and patents. For any questions or concerns, please contact Jennifer Dyer at dyerj@usc.edu or 213-821-6062.

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USC Libraries

As part of USC Libraries’ COVID-19 responses, our offices on both HSC and UPC will be closed starting Monday March 16.  However, the USC Libraries Bioinformatics Services will continue to deliver the quality bioinformatics support you have come to expect during this period of time as we will be working from home.  While the in-person consultation will not be available, all of your questions and requests will be addressed in a timely manner via emails and online platforms such as the Zoom.  All our bioinformatics computing resources will be operating as usual to support your sequencing data analysis needs.

1. For general inquiries and requests, email nmlbio@usc.edu
2. For consultation request: https://uschsl.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_di1fbQJYL4QsxXD
3. For NGS data analysis request: https://uschsl.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8GHy25wi20UsL2Z
4. Whenever necessary, Zoom meeting will be arranged between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

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DC Office of Research Advancement

DC Office staff continues to work with USC faculty and staff to prepare proposal submissions remotely as needed, as long as the university is open. For any questions or concerns contact robyngil@usc.edu or 818-732-9350.

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Federal Agency Guidance

Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)

3/9 – Due to the COVID-19 response, any white papers or full proposals submissions, other than those that are in support of COVID-19, will be put into a queue. The latest BARDA Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is amendment 14.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

3/23 – Information for CDC Applicants and Recipients of CDC Funding

3/23 – Flexibilities Available to Applicants and Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance Affected by COVID-19

3/23 – General Funding and Grants Frequently Asked Questions

Council on Governmental Relations

For general information, visit COGR’s FAQs and Resources on COVID-19’s Impact to Federal Awards.

COGR has issued a Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19’s Impact on Federal Awards (Version 1.1) and Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19’s Impact on Federal Awards (Version 2.0) representing their best assessment of an evolving situation based on already established policies and regulations.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

3/19 – DARPA has posted a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for DARPA Performers.

Department of Defense (DOD)

OMB issued Memorandum 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. Based on the OMB Memorandum, please find answers to Frequently Asked Questions by grantees and proposers about research and development awards at the DOD.

Department of Energy (DOE)

3/30 – DOE has posted PF 2020-20 COVID-19 Guidance for Financial Assistance Actions.

3/13 – As the DOE continues to monitor and examine the ongoing developments of the COVID-10 outbreak in the U.S. and internationally, they’ve provided an update regarding associated disruptions that may have impacts on the research community.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

3/14 – HHS has issued a memorandum provides guidance on managing potential contract administration issues related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Department of Justice (DOJ)

3/21 – The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides the following Guidance to Award Recipients Impacted by COVID-19: Short Term Relief for Various Administrative, Financial Management, and Audit Requirements on short term relief for various administrative, financial management, and audit requirements.

3/16 – OJP has issued OJP Grantee Update #1 COVID-19 Impacts that until further notice, pursuant to OMB Memorandum M-20-15, dated March 15, 2020, the Department of Justice is moving to a posture of maximum telework in the National Capital Region. Office of Justice Programs (OJP) staff will work remotely and will be available to assist grantees, stakeholders, and the public during this period. Likewise, all OJP systems and services will be available.

Department of the Air Force (DAF)

3/26 – The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) has issued a notice regarding Guidance on No Cost Extensions.

3/17 – The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) has issued a notice regarding Potential Contract Impacts due to Coronavirus.

Department of the Navy (DON)

ADDED 4/01! The Office of Naval Research (ONR) supports the administrative relief authorized in M-20-17 and has posted FAQs for Current and Prospective Awardees Impacted by Novel COVID-19 Related to the DoD-wide Supplemental Terms & Conditions for the COVID-19 Crisis.

Health and Human Services (HHS)

For funding opportunities, visit Virus-Related Research Resources.

3/26 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a notice is to alert the community of Flexibilities Available to Applicants and Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance Affected by COVID-19.

3/26 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a notice to provide a second extension to the 2020 application due date for PAR-20-091 “Revision Applications – FSMA Human Foods Preventive Controls Implementation Expansion Supplement to RFA-FD-18-001 (U18 Clinical Trials Not Allowed).”

3/23 – Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) COVID-19 Grantee Frequently Asked Questions

3/18 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a guidance on Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during COVID-19 Pandemic.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

3/25 – NASA has posted a FAQ on Grants and Research during the COVID-19 Epidemic.

3/24 – NASA has issued a memo on Preserving Readiness of the Space Industrial Base and Mission Operational Readiness due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation.

3/20 – NASA has posted guidance and extensions on COVID-19 Impact to NASA SBIR/STTR Program.

3/17 – In a new NASA Administrator March 17 Statement on Agency Response to Coronavirus, NASA leadership has decided to elevate all centers and facilities to Stage 3 of NASA’s Response Framework. Effective immediately, all employees and contractors will move to mandatory telework until further notice.

3/10 – As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, NASA remains open but is taking precautions such as increasing telework opportunities according to an Assistant Administrator for Procurement Message.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

For funding opportunities, visit Virus-Related Research Resources.

The NIH is committed to working with researchers and institutions to do all they can to ensure NIH-funded research continues. For the latest information, visit COVID-19: Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients and NIH Extramural Response to Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies and Applicant/Recipient COVID-19 Update History.

NIH has posted a notice to alert the community of Flexibilities Available to Applicants and Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance to assist with managing administrative, financial management and audit requirements. Also see their FAQ on Flexibilities.

3/26 – NIH has posted an update on their NIH Late Application Policy Due to Public Health Emergency for United States for 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

3/26 – Dr. Mike Lauer, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, has provided a video Update on COVID-19 Flexibilities for the Research Community.

3/17 – Dr. Mike Lauer, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, has provided a video update for applicants and recipients of federal funding on flexibilities.

3/16 – NIH has posted a notice to inform institutions of Flexibilities for Activities of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees that are applicable to implementing a pandemic plan for animal care and use programs.

3/16 – NIH has posted a notice to provide guidance outlining the flexibilities available to recipients conducting NIH-funded Clinical Trials and Human Subjects Studies that are impacted by the declared public health emergency for COVID-19.

3/13 – Are you testing or implementing your institution’s pandemic response plan for the first time? Do you have questions about flexibilities provided by the PHS Policy that may be helpful during a pandemic? NIH is hosting a special OLAW Webinar on March 19: Pandemic Contingency Planning and Its Impact on Animal Care.

3/10 – NIH has posted a notice to address General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Proposal Submission and Award Management that may arise in relation to COVID-19.

3/9 – It is likely that the emergency declaration will adversely affect some NIH applicants’ and recipients’ ability to submit applications in a timely manner. Learn about NIH’s Late Application Policy.

3/9 – NIH hosts a large number of scientific meetings and symposia so they’ve issued a guidance on Travel and Meetings Hosted by NIH during the outbreak.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

For funding opportunities, visit Virus-Related Research Resources.

For the latest NSF information visit Coronavirus Information. Proposers are advised that there has been an Impact on Existing Deadline Dates for some solicitations or Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs). Additional solicitations or DCLs may be added to the list, so proposers are strongly encouraged to check NSF’s website regularly.

ADDED 4/01! NSF has issued a revision to their 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.

3/23 – NSF has issued a guidance to implement flexibilities authorized by OMB Memorandum M-20-17 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. Learn more at NSF OMB Implementation.

3/23 – NSF has posted a Letter to Community Regarding COVID-19.

3/16 & 17 – The following links address questions associated with the NSF proposal and award process that may arise in relation to COVID-19. Learn more at FAQ – March 16 and FAQ – March 17.

3/9 – NSF has issued a statement that they are taking the following steps to reduce risks for travel, merit review panels and NSF-sponsored meetings while preserving their core mission.

3/9 – Considering inquiries received from managing organizations and contractors, NSF has issued guidance to entities managing major facilities under cooperative agreements or contracts issued by the Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support (DACS).

3/5 – NSF is working closely with the research community to bolster our national response to COVID-19. Learn more about NSF Supporting Research to Address Coronavirus Disease.

3/4 – NSF has released a document that addresses Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Proposal Submission and Award Management in relation to COVID-19. Proposers and awardees are strongly encouraged to monitor this website for updates.

National Security Agency (NSA)

3/19 – Notice to Contractors Regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Update – Re-Release with Downgraded Classification

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

3/20 – OMB has issued Managing Federal Contract Performance Issues Associated with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This memorandum identifies steps to help ensure Federal contractors safety while maintaining continued contract performance in support of agency missions, wherever possible and consistent with the precautions issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

3/19 – OMB has issued an Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations memorandum which provides similar administrative relief listed in M-20-11 to an expanded scope of recipients affected by the loss of operational capacity and increased costs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

3/9 – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued an Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) memorandum without compromising Federal financial assistance accountability requirements.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) works closely with a number of federal agencies to provide updated information to Federal agencies and employees. They’ve shared a number of guidances on HR flexibilities and authorities related to COVID-19.

Coronavirus Fact Sheet containing additional guidance and answers to frequently asked questions regarding evacuation payments during a pandemic health crisis.

3/7 – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Additional Guidance and Questions and Answers (PDF file) for Federal agencies regarding COVID-19 and human resources policies.

3/3 – Preliminary Guidance to Agencies during Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Guidance on telework and Federal mission resilience, workplace safety, domestic travel and international travel for Federal employees, and visitor access to Federal offices and buildings.

2/7 – Human Resources Flexibilities Available for Federal Employees Impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus  – Guidance on human resources flexibilities and authorities, including leave and other paid time off, work schedule flexibilities, and hiring and pay flexibilities.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

3/24 – COVID-19 Information for SAMHSA Discretionary Grant Recipients

3/24 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to COVID-19 for SAMHSA Grant Recipients

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

ADDED 3/31! OMB Memorandum M-20-17 provides administrative relief to recipients affected by the loss of operational capacity and increased costs due to the COVID-19 crisis. USAID has issued a memorandum authorizing COVID 19 flexibilities pursuant to OMB Memorandum M-20-17.

3/12 – USAID has issued the following guidance Information From the Office of Acquisition and Assistance in the Bureau for Management of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA)

3/26 – USAMRAA has posted COVID-19 FAQs for Grant Applicants and Recipients.

3/25 – USAMRAA has issued a Supplemental Guidance on Administrative Flexibilities for Grants and Cooperative Agreements in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

3/18 – Due to the disruptions arising from the national response to COVID-19, NIFA is extending some of their deadlines. NIFA will continue to monitor the situation and post updates to this guidance on their web site.

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Non-Federal Agency Guidance

American Heart Association

3/17 – AHA– An Update from American Heart Association| COVID-19

Annie E. Casey Foundation

3/19 – Casey – An Email To Our Partners | COVID-19

3/20 – Casey – Supporting Partners and Staff: Our Response to COVID-19

Arnold Ventures

3/17 – Arnold – An Update from Arnold Ventures to Our Grantees | COVID-19

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

3/19 – CZI – A Message to Our Grant Partners | COVID-19

Council on Foundations

3/19 – A Call to Action: Philanthropy’s Commitment During COVID-19

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

3/19 – Packard – A Message to Our Grantee Partners on the Foundation’s COVID-19 Grantmaking Response

Ford Foundation

3/16 – Ford – A Message of Support for Our Grantees | COVID-19

Harrington Discovery Institute

3/27 – Due to COVID-19, Harrington Discovery Institute is extending the deadline for the 2021 Harrington Scholar-Innovator call for letters of intent (LOI) to Friday, April 10.

3/27 – Due to COVID-19, Harrington Discovery Institute is extending the deadline for the 2020 ADDF-Harrington call for letters of intent (LOI) to Monday, May 18.

John Templeton Foundation

3/19 – Templeton – A Message to Our Grantees and Applicants on COVID-19

Kresge Foundation

3/19 – Kresge – A Message to Our Grantees and Partners During COVID-19

MacArthur Foundation

3/18 – MacArthur – Our Commitment to Grantee Partners | COVID-19

3/16 – MacArthur – An Email to Partners | COVID-19

PhRMA Foundation

3/19 – PhRMA– A Message to Our Partners| COVID-19

Rockefeller Foundation

3/20 – Rockefeller – An Email to Partners | COVID-19

RRF Foundation for Aging

3/17 – RFF – A Note to RRF Grantees | COVID-19

V Foundation

3/25 – V Foundation Policy-Administrative Flexibilities due to COVID-19 Disruptions

Wellcome Trust

3/19 – Wellcome Trust Response to COVID-19

William T. Grant Foundation

3/18 – William T. Grant Foundation Message to Grantees on COVID-19

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Conference/Symposium Travel

Travel restrictions will have a serious impact on scientific meetings in the coming months. Please follow the latest travel information via the general USC COVID-19 website. At this time, USC business travel has been stopped; in general, all travel should be booked via USC Concur, and all travel reimbursements must be processed via USC Concur. Federal agency updates on research travel will also be reflected on our COVID-19 website.

Travel Guidance: Pending further guidance from federal sponsors, below is information regarding the allowability of travel costs associated with travel cancelled as a result of Coronavirus related cancellations or CDC travel restrictions (see CDC Level 3 Countries). 
Situation
Type of Expense
 
Can the Expense be Charged to my Sponsored Project?
A project-related conference is cancelled
Non-refundable cancellation costs for flight and/or hotel
 
Eligible to be charged to the award, as allowable, allocable, and reasonable
 
A project related conference hosted by my federal sponsor is cancelled
Non-refundable cancellation costs for flight and/or hotel
 
Eligible to be charged to the award, as allowable, allocable, and reasonable
 
A project related conference is held in a restricted country, according to CDC Level 3 Countries
Non-refundable cancellation costs for flight, hotel and/or registration.
Eligible to be charged to the award, as allowable, allocable, and reasonable
A project related conference is held, but the USC participant decides not to attend.
Non-refundable cancellation costs for flight, hotel and/or registration.
Prior approval from the sponsor is required.

Please note: If an airline and/or hotel offer credits in lieu of a refund, the costs associated with the flight and/or hotel cannot be direct charged to a sponsored project.

Authorized approvers must ensure any change or cancellation fees charged to sponsored funds are reasonable and allowable, consistent with the award terms and conditions.Travelers should retain documentation of their cancellation request with the vendors.

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Government Closure

If the government closes, federally-funded research will likely be in the same situation as in other recent closures; federal agencies will not be reachable during closure. We will share any federal updates on the Office of Research COVID-19 website.

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