Covid-19 Impact Reporting

Page Updated: Monday, August 14, 2023 1:06:29 PM CDT

The COVID-19 Impact Reporting Tool makes it easy for you to partner with Research & Sponsored Programs to communicate the impacts COVID-19 has had on your research projects. Many sponsors, both federal and nonfederal, have expressed their commitment to working with recipients during this public health emergency. Several federal sponsors have implemented a number of flexibilities, given the potential impacts that the pandemic may have on a research project. These flexibilities require us to notify the sponsor of impacts due to COVID-19. Impacts may include, but are not limited to:

  • Delays in award notice
  • Delays in collaborative efforts
  • Delays to animal subject studies
  • Delays to human subject studies
  • Delays in hiring project staff
  • Unable to access UW-Madison facilities
  • Travel restrictions affected project progress

Please use this tool to communicate with RSP when you have notified a sponsor of an impact or if you would like assistance with notifying a sponsor. If you need to request a no-cost extension, please follow our current process, which can be found here. RSP will enter this impact into the tool upon submission of the NCE request. Additionally, to determine whether or not official communication is required, you may want to check with your program officer to determine if there is information they would like you to convey now versus within an eventual program report.

Launch COVID-19 Impact Reporting Tool

Visit RSP’s COVID-19 Updates page for more information regarding flexibilities and expectations of various sponsors. See NIH-specific information.

We have prepared a template for sponsor correspondence. The template is not required but may be useful.

Open Sponsor Correspondence Template

We anticipate that gathering this information may help our institution:

  • Facilitate potential grant-by-grant reporting to sponsors (e.g., financial, programmatic, administrative, compliance)
  • Assist in understanding implications on project aims, budget, timeline, etc., as well as implications on what resources might be needed for eventual ramp-up
  • Provide timely assistance to the research community with regard to administrative support
  • Respond to evolving compliance and regulatory guidance
  • Provide information to senior leadership, Board of Regents, and others regarding the COVID-19 impact on our research enterprise

Thank you for your assistance in gathering this information. Please contact with questions.

The National Institutes of Health have expressed their commitment to working with recipients during this public health emergency. They have released information for applicant and recipients, including a substantial set of FAQs. NIH has implemented a number of flexibilities, given the potential impacts that the pandemic may have on a research project. Because of these types of impacts, it may be necessary to request a no-cost extension, consider a change of scope, or take other action.

NIH Foreign Component Information

The NIH focused one of its FAQS on postdocs who have returned home to a foreign country and are working remotely. Although the FAQ refers to postdocs, we believe that it may apply to others (e.g., graduate assistants) performing work in a foreign country. The FAQ reads:

  1. If a post-doc on an active NIH grant must return home, to a foreign country, and work remotely due to COVID-19, must this be reported to NIH as a foreign component?

For post-docs that are required to work on their originally approved work remotely from a foreign country due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, where no grant funds are going to a foreign entity, NIH has determined that this scenario does not constitute the performance of a significant scientific element or segment of the project outside the US, as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement definition of a foreign component.

The NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 1.2 contains a definition of foreign component:

The performance of any significant scientific element or segment of a project outside of the United States, either by the recipient or by a researcher employed by a foreign organization, whether or not grant funds are expended. Activities that would meet this definition include, but are not limited to, (1) the involvement of human subjects or animals, (2) extensive foreign travel by recipient project staff for the purpose of data collection, surveying, sampling, and similar activities, or (3) any activity of the recipient that may have an impact on U.S. foreign policy through involvement in the affairs or environment of a foreign country. Examples of other grant-related activities that may be significant are:

  • collaborations with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to result in co-authorship;
  • use of facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site; or receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity

Foreign travel for consultation is not considered a foreign component. (See Grants to Foreign Organizations, International Organizations, and Domestic Grants with Foreign Components chapter in IIB).

Faculty or staff work has the potential to be considered a foreign component. Therefore, if a faculty or staff member is working on an NIH grant from a foreign country, please contact RSP for further assistance.