To: Duke Faculty Engaged in Research
In an effort to keep you informed during these unprecedented times, I am writing to make you aware of recent announcements and resources related to research operations. These updates are also available on Duke’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research-Related Updates website.
Please continue to visit these pages, as well as the institution’s Coronavirus Response site, for important resources and updates. Moreover, your grant staff should be a good resource as they are updated weekly on the changing regulatory environment.
Duke leadership is very involved in national advocacy with federal agencies and national associations, and we are monitoring the rapidly changing environment for the latest guidance. To that end, we have asked grant managers to work with you to maintain documentation of certain issues that will be used in future reporting to sponsors and to support potential supplemental funding to offset the financial impacts of COVID-19 on your research.
Charging Effort to Awards
In accordance with institutional policy, all Duke faculty, staff, and students will continue to stay in a paid work (or academic/training status for students) status regardless of physical location or schedule and should record their normal hours and should be recorded at the current or planned levels. Most federal sponsors have issued statements allowing for the continued charging of salaries, regardless of the work schedule. We are hopeful that other sponsors/agencies will release similar guidance, including industry and foundation sources. Grant-funded individuals should follow the process below:
- If the individual is working remotely and contributing to the project, then salary should be charged to the grant.
- If an individual cannot contribute to their current project but can contribute to another sponsored project or institutional activity (including support of the clinical mission), the salary should be moved to that funding source.
- If an individual cannot perform job functions related to any university or sponsored project because of requirements to work remotely, their salary is allowable in accordance with university and sponsor regulations.
If the individual cannot work remotely but is still being charged to the grant (third bullet above), the PIs and GMs should document this via the Research Operations: COVID-19 Impact to Sponsored Program Operations form and ensure that it is retained in the department.
It is critical to document this in the event that other sponsors/agencies do not allow for the charging of salaries when effort in support of the grant is not possible or if this information is needed in the future in conversations with sponsors regarding COVID financial implications on grants, including potential administrative supplements.
Accepting New Awards
Given the current status of research operations and anticipated impacts to come, investigators and the institution must critically assess the ability to deliver on new awards received during this time. When new awards are received during this period, your grant manager will contact you to understand if:
- You will need access to Duke-owned or Duke-leased facilities, and/or Duke shared resources or service centers
- Immediate travel to a foreign site is required
- Collaborators are able to conduct their portion of the proposed work
- Necessary vended materials, supplies, or equipment can be obtained
Our major federal sponsors have been alerted to the current status of Duke’s research operations and the impact on studies across the institution, therefore notifying sponsors generally of Duke’s shut down is not necessary. However, if you need to discuss specific programmatic changes to your project with a program official, please do so. In the event a programmatic change results in the need to officially change the project scope, specific aims or budget, or where the sponsor requires an institutional official to endorse the action, please follow the COVID-19 notice to sponsors process.
COVID-19 Activities at Duke
Duke scholars are working to advance our understanding of COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, from basic science to translational medicine to clinical care — as well as to address concerns related to the pandemic from a variety of disciplines.
Planning COVID-19 Work
All proposed or current COVID-19-related research (including that in the social sciences, health policy, epidemiology, etc.) or activities (including product development/testing) must be entered on the COVID-19 Research/Activities Notification Form. The information captured in this form helps Duke report to the federal, state, and local governments about the COVID-19-related activities on campus, and also provides a path for institutional clearances for certain COVID-19-related research activities.
A consolidated list of COVID-19 related funding opportunities can be found inmyRESEARCHhome. Click on ‘COVID-19 FOAs’ in the quick links banner to view relevant internal and external funding announcements from various sponsors.
Institution-Wide COVID-19 Coordination
The Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) and the Duke Office of Research Initiatives (DORI) are leading an effort to coordinate all COVID-19 research activities which includes pathways for connecting faculty investigators (with other faculty, funding, resources, expertise, data, facilities).
COVID-19 Quick Links Banner in myRESEARCHhome
A consolidated list of important and frequently visited COVID-19-related links can now be found in the COVID-19 Quick Links Banner in myRESEARCHhome. Here you will find quick access to:
- A curated list of COVID-19 funding opportunities
- The link to register COVID-19 activities
- Instructions for Sponsor Notifications
- COVID-19 Research FAQs
- Ask a Question
Your cooperation and understanding through this extraordinary and challenging time are truly appreciated. Please reach out to your school research leaders or me with your questions and concerns, and continue to monitor coronavirus.research.duke.edu for updates on Duke research operations and the latest guidance from our sponsors.
Vice President for Research