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Research Funding

US government allows grant funding flexibility during coronavirus outbreak

by Andrea Widener
March 28, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 12

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Scientists affected by the COVID-19 outbreak will get flexibility with their grant funding and reporting requirements, according to guidelines issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) earlier this month. The guidelines allow agencies to extend a large number of requirements, including grant deadlines and due dates for financial or performance reports. Salaries covered by grants can continue to be paid, and some costs that are not normally covered will also be allowed, including canceled travel or meeting expenses. The OMB is also allowing no-cost extension of expiring grants. With many universities closed and labs shut down, some agencies had already issued their own advice. For example, the National Institutes of Health put out a FAQ document for its grantees specifically related to COVID-19 closures or cancellations, as did the National Science Foundation. Both encourage scientists to reach out to their program officer with any specific questions or requests.


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