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COVID-19: Impact on NIH Applicants and Recipients

In the wake of COVID-19, the National Institute of Health, (the “NIH”), like so many others, has reacted with a response center for those that are applying for and receiving NIH funding.

The NIH’s COVID-19 response page provides guidance for both applicants and recipients. To date, they have issued a number of notices with guidance on proposal submission and award management.

  • Notice NOT-OD-20-091 – NIH Late Application Policy Due to Public Health Emergency for the United States for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    All grant applications with a due date between March 9, 2020, and May 1, 2020, will be accepted by the NIH until May 1, 2020, without the applicant requesting advance permission for a late filing or a cover letter justifying the late filing. The NIH has indicated they will be “highly accommodating” of applications that are late but are filed by May 1, 2020.
  • Notice NOT-OD-20-083 – General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Proposal Submission and Award Management Related to COVID-19 Notice
    The NIH published a General Notice to address general questions surrounding proposal submissions and award management as related to COVID-19. The FAQs cover topics including the potential impact on research projects, project-related travel, NIH-funded conferences and travel for conference canceled as well as travel related to research work, scientific gatherings and review panels at NIH, instances where researchers are quarantined and they are unable to access essential materials needed to complete an NIH proposal deadline, and academic researchers receiving NIH funding whose university is asking all university staff to stay home.
  • For further questions, please contact a member of Withum’s Life Sciences Group here.
  • Notice NOT-OD-20-086 – Flexibilities Available to Applicants and Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance Affected by COVID-19
    Together with the Office of Management and Budget (OBM) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the NIH worked to identify flexibilities to applicants and recipients who are performing activities related to or that have been affected by COVID-19. “Affected entities” have been identified as “those that have been closed, or business activities have been hindered due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and/or illnesses.” Affected entities will be asked to provide documentation to NIH describing the effects, and how long their facility and NIH related research, clinical practices, or instruction was and/or will be affected. The administrative flexibilities the NIH is offering as a response to COVID-19 relate to pre-award costs, extensions of post-award financial and other reporting (with notification), prior approval requirement waivers, and cost-related flexibilities/expenditures of award funds including salaries, travel, conference registration fees, NIH-Supported meetings and conferences, the extension of closeout and extension of single audit submission. It should be noted that the NIH issued a separate notice related to late application flexibilities.

For the complete listing of notices, click here.

Life Sciences Services

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