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Use of Federal Funds to Support Research Impacted by COVID-19

Find important information for PIs and Research Administrators regarding allowances to charge federal funds for administrative, sick and vacation leave for research impacted by COVID-19.

UC Office of the President (UCOP)

UCOP Executive Order: On March 16, 2020, UC President Janet Napolitano issued an executive order that outlines expanded paid administrative leave (up to 128 hours) to address the extraordinary demands placed on UC employees due to impacts related to COVID-19 on themselves and their family members.

COVID-19-Related Leave for Academic Appointees: Guidance for Supervisors (March 17, 2020 – Original Issuance / March 20, 2020 – Second Issuance): Academic Personnel - Paid Administrative Leave Conditions and General Provisions during the Executive Order 

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

OMB Memorandum: On March 20, 2020, the federal OMB issue a memorandum (specifically items #6 and #7) providing federal agencies with additional flexibilities for grants to allow for COVID-19-related reimbursements, such as allowing administrative leave, other sick leave and vacation accruals to be charged against federal grants during the current COVID-19 crisis.

The OMB memorandum expands the scope of recipients that can receive administrative relief to address the loss of operational capacity and increased costs due to the COVID-19 crisis. Many of the operational impacts and costs are unknowable at this point, as they will depend on the spread of the coronavirus and response dictated by public health needs. This memorandum provides short-term relief for administrative, financial management and audit requirements (2 CFR Part 200) without compromising Federal financial assistance accountability requirements.

The memo authorizes federal awarding agencies to take the action in the following areas: 

  1. Flexibility with SAM registration
  2. Flexibility with application deadlines
  3. Waiver for Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) Publication
  4. No-cost extensions on expiring awards
  5. Abbreviated non-competitive continuation requests
  6. Allowability of salaries and other project activities.
  7. Allowability of Costs not Normally Chargeable to Awards
  8. Prior approval requirement waivers
  9. Exemption of certain procurement requirements
  10. Extension of financial, performance, and other reporting
  11. Extension of currently approved indirect cost rates
  12. Extension of closeout
  13. Extension of Single Audit submission

Important Note:  Refer to agency specific implementation of these flexibilities as variances with agencies are expected and continue to be communicated and updated. Please contact your C&G Officer for specific guidance.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

For more information and guidance from the Office of Research Affairs (ORA) related to COVID-19 and its impact on research, please visit: COVID-19 Research Continuity.