Information Related to the Management of Federal Awards during the COVID-19 Emergency

The Office of Research Services is fully operational during the current remote work period.

Understand and Document the Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Individual Awards

Penn-specific updates

Please check the Office of the Vice Provost for Research website for research-related announcements on COVID-19 operations, including the resumption of research:

Resumption of Research Hub

General Guidance

While federal agencies are issuing individual guidance on flexibility to awardees during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the following is generally applicable to most federal grants:

  • Salaries may continue to be charged to awards, consistent with Penn’s stated policy at this time, even if an individual paid on the award is unable to work during this time. To the maximum extent possible, individuals working on federal awards should perform telework activities that will support the aims of the grant.
  • Unusual charges resulting from the current emergency, such as cancellation fees from airlines or non-refundable airline tickets for grant-related travel and non-refundable hotel expenses for cancelled conferences, may be charged to the federal award.
  • NIH, NSF, and others are providing special funding opportunities for research related to COVID-19.
  • Most agencies, including NIH, are providing flexibility with proposal deadlines, reporting due dates, and no cost extensions.
  • Most agencies will require notification of disruptions to award activities, particularly when the disruption will result in a
    • change of PI or key personnel on the project
    • change of scope of the project/large rebudgeting within the project
    • need for additional time to complete the project goals
  • While these notifications will need to be made on a project-by-project basis, we encourage Investigators to wait to make notifications until they have a reasonably clear picture of what the impact will be for the specific award

Investigators may receive questions from federal agencies regarding the ability to accept new awards at this time. ORS is fully operational and able to review and accept awards, and to set up accounts for new awards. As long as there are award initiation activities in support of the project that are feasible under the current conditions, we should continue to accept new awards.  Examples of such activities include project planning, the development of data management structures, and the development of assessment tools, to name a few.

We will be adding additional information as it becomes available. Please follow guidance provided by your research sponsor. In the absence of such guidance, the principles of the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) continue to apply to the management of federal awards. ORS is happy to answer specific questions from the research community. Please reach out to Missy Peloso (

Agency-Specific Guidance

Below are useful links to federal agency updates and guidance for flexibilities and allowances for the interruption of normal activities as a result of COVID-19.