The Division of Sponsored Programs ( and Grant Accounting Office ( are operating remotely.  Please continue to contact our offices with questions related to proposals, externally funded awards, non-monetary agreements, and outgoing subawards.

Guidance on funding, sponsor notice and approvals, documenting financial and non-financial project activity

Notifying sponsors of research resumption/ramp-up

To determine if you need sponsor approval/notice related to resumption of your sponsored project, look to the following:

Your award notice (grant or contract)

General sponsor terms and conditions

Sponsor COVID-19 related updates.  Check the DSP website for COVID-19 related sponsor guidance.

Contact DSP if you have questions: (general questions)  (NIH grant questions) (grant questions – other than NIH) (contract questions)

If there is a change in scope, rebudgeting or other change that requires sponsor prior approval, contact DSP so that DSP can contact the sponsor to request prior approval.  

Notifying sponsors of COVID-19 related delays in research

Refer to sponsor policies related to no-cost extension and prior approval requirements. Check the DSP website for COVID-19 related sponsor guidance or you may contact DSP ( with questions. 

Notifying sponsoring companies of COVID-19 related delays

Whether and how you notify companies that are sponsoring your research about delays depends on your contract terms. For clinical trial studies notice is generally required. Please contact DSP ( with questions regarding notification content and process. 

Impact of COVID-19 related delays in research on project expenditures

Study related activities that are not affected by the delay can be charged as usual. For prior approval requirements related to a significant change in effort for the PI or other key personnel, look to your award notice (grant or contract) and the sponsor specific requirements. Check the DSP website for sponsor notices or contact DSP ( with questions.

Submitting project proposals or progress reports late 

Refer to your sponsor/agency specific guidance for updates and current policy. Check the DSP website for sponsor notices or contact DSP ( with questions.   Please note the 5-day UI routing deadline for proposals is still in effect.

Routing COVID-19 related research proposals, contracts, and non-monetary agreements

UI routing requirements apply to COVID-19 related proposals and agreements the same as for other research.   On the routing form indicate in the comments that it is COVID-19 related so that DSP can give appropriate priority to this work.

Referencing COVID-19 related delays in progress reports

If your study is impacted, refer to the sponsor’s requirements regarding where and how this should be included in your progress report. You may also contact DSP with questions: (NIH grant questions) (grant questions – other than NIH) (contract questions) (general questions)

Documenting Research Personnel Effort

Researchers and administrators are responsible for maintaining adequate documentation of research personnel efforts and other project costs during the ramp down of research activities as announced by the Vice President for Research on March 18, 2020. (See memo.) The Grant Accounting Office has prepared a Documentation of Research Personnel Effort & COVID-19 Related Costs During Pandemic form and information. Read memo and download form here

On May 12, 2020 the COVID-19 Research Personnel Documentation Application was placed into production. 

Web Application:   

User Guide:  

This application is to be used for documenting whether research personnel on Funds 500/510 are working remotely, on campus or are unable to work on their projects during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  It is populated with key data & information from our central systems (see user guide for specific load dates) and the expectation is that administrators will update it through the end of the pandemic period.   Please read the user guide for details on the reporting periods and the frequency of updates that are expected.  Although there are some limitations in this application, it will provide for one consistent online tool for campus to use to document information related to the interruption of operations during the ramp down and/or continuation of research activities.   

Refer to the pay practices update effective May 18, 2020, for additional information:   

Meaningful Work, Defined


For the purpose of charging salary to sponsored projects, “meaningful work” may be defined as activities performed, either on campus or remotely, that are directly beneficial to the project.  The PI or program director is in the best position to determine what work will help to move a project forward. 

Many off-campus activities can reasonably be attributed to a project, such as literature review, computer programming, calculations and simulations, data and image entry, coding and analysis, manuscript and report writing and editing, planning of experiments to be run when project personnel return to campus, project rumination, virtual interviews, team and collaborator discussions to accomplish related tasks, and online safety or other compliance training.

If you have additional questions about charging salaries to sponsored projects contact the Division of Sponsored Programs or the Grant Accounting Office.   

Continue to monitor the UI COVID-19 Update page as well as sponsor websites for updated guidance: 

Funding shortfalls before project completion

If your sponsored project runs out of funding before it's completed, there is no guarantee that supplemental funding will be available to cover a shortage of funds to complete a project. Please refer to the guidance pertaining to grants or contracts provided by your specific funding agency to determine if supplemental funding is available.  If research funding shortfalls cannot be resolved through a sponsor agency’s supplemental funding process, it is the responsibility of the PI and department to work with the College to identify alternative unrestricted funding.  There are no central University funds identified for this purpose.

As stated in the memo dated 03/30/20, we strongly recommend that you document research personnel efforts & other project costs during the ramp down using the template provided or other means.

Federal agency guidance on charging costs to sponsored projects during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency continues to be published at

Non-federal sponsor guidance is available here or by contacting the Division of Sponsored Programs (

Telework-related expenses

In instances where project personnel are able to work but remain in self-isolation at home, expenditures related to remote work or telework (e.g. laptop, printer, office supplies, Internet access, etc.) are considered as facilities and administrative (F&A) costs and generally are not allowable as a direct cost to sponsored projects unless specifically approved by the sponsor. Refer to the DSP website for agency guidance and updates.

Researchers and departmental administrators are responsible for maintaining adequate documentation of sponsored project activity during the ramp down and the resumption and ramp-up of sponsored project activity.   This includes maintaining documentation of your unit and project specific plans related to ramp-down and ramp-up activities and the effective dates of those changes.