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COVID-19 Office of Sponsored Programs Update Message

Dear University Community,

In the coming days, the priority of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is to balance safety with service. We will continue to adjust as needed in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and will keep you informed. At this time, our staff has transitioned to working remotely. Fortunately, most services provided by OSP can be performed through email and online conferencing methods, and we will strive to continue providing you with those services.

These are unprecedented times, and we expect the current situation to continue to evolve based on the latest information from public health experts. We are committed to keeping you updated. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out to OSP@uwosh.edu and a team member will connect with you. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Pre-Award Services

Although we are making every effort to continue conducting business as usual, please note that the time for the internal review process may be slightly delayed based on the volume of requests received. The standard time requested for internal review is five business days. We kindly ask individuals with upcoming grant deadlines to build extra time into their timelines to allow for internal review to be completed. Individuals can send their drafted grant proposals and budgets to OSP@uwosh.edu and attach the Internal Review Form (IRF) to your submission. Please contact OSP@uwosh.edu if you need assistance with your proposal, developing your budget, or have questions about the IRF.

Some federal agencies are revising their grant policies and offering administrative flexibilities. The Office of Sponsored Programs is collecting these updates as they become available and will post this information for our applicants and funded PIs in the Funding Agency COVID-19 Guidance document.

Post-Award Services

With the campus transitioning to an online/work from home format, services provided by the Grants Accountant will still be available but delayed. Many of our post-award services depend on federal and state websites and if those are operational, drawdowns and financial reports will still be able to be completed. Federal and State sponsors are sending us information regarding grant programs and if anything comes through that relates to the PI, we will be including you on that communication. If you have approaching deadlines for your grant or are concerned about grant closeout and finalizing progress reports, please reach out to the grants accountant to see what options are available with the sponsor.

There are some post-award services that rely on others within the campus in order to complete. These services include PTF, TTR, Direct Retros and Approving Expense Reports. Please send all forms electronically until we are back on campus. Also please allow extra time to process your requests as we are spread apart. Everyday questions regarding your grants and budgets are welcomed but again please allow extra time for a response.

Research Activities Update

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of campus to essential functions, on-site research activities must be approved by your dean or director. Research that can be conducted remotely may proceed and continue remotely until further notification.

Institutional Review Board (IRB):

Given the recommendations from CDC and Gov. Evers, investigators should limit personal contact and practice social distancing. Investigators should implement the following:

  • Postpone or eliminate in-person study-related visits to the campus or off-site locations
  • Replace in-person interviews, surveys or interventions with online delivery methods

We want to remind researchers about the requirement for IRB review of changes. If you wish to modify your study procedures, please submit an IRB Modification Request Form. If you change your methods to collect data during this time frame, please also remember to adjust your informed consent documents.

The IRB will continue to review protocols at this time. The IRB will meet through teleconference methods if a convened meeting is necessary. Please note that review times may be slightly delayed based on the volume of requests received and availability of committee members.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC):

The NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) recently issued guidance in NOT-OD-20-088 on flexibilities for IACUCs for assured institutions. In addition, USDA-APHIS has developed a list of frequently asked questions to share information about agency services and business continuity.

The IACUC has enacted its pandemic plan. Critical research and essential animal care functions which require limited staff to be on campus have been approved by the dean. Employees reporting to campus must be included on the essential personnel list. The IACUC will institute the following as social distancing measures to prevent the spread of disease:

  • Meetings will be held through teleconference or video conferencing and may be reduced to as few as one every six months
  • The IACUC will expand the use of designated member review in lieu of full committee review
  • Personnel reporting to campus will coordinate times and practice social distancing

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC):

The NIH Office of Science Policy issued guidance on Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidance for Research and IBC Requirements under the NIH Guidelines.

Critical research functions that require limited staff to be on campus may be maintained with the approval of your dean. Employees reporting to campus must be included on the essential personnel list. The IBC will continue to review protocols at this time through designated member review or full committee meetings. The IBC will institute the following as social distancing measures to prevent the spread of disease:

  • Convened full committee meetings will be held through teleconference or video conferencing methods.
  • In-person laboratory safety visits will be suspended at this time until the university returns to normal operations.

Additional Guidance from Federal Funding Agencies: Guidance is currently being developed by various funding agencies. OSP is monitoring these developments and will communicate new guidance through our website and e-mail as it becomes available.

Guidance From NSF on Coronavirus: NSF has established a webpage with guidance specific to their agency with information for awardee organizations, researchers and reviewers. If you have questions, please feel free to contact UW Oshkosh OSP for assistance.

Guidance From NIH on Coronavirus and FAQs: NIH has issued the following Notices with guidance for applicants, awardees and institutions. If you have additional questions, please contact UW Oshkosh Office of Sponsored Programs.

COVID-19 FAQs from USDA: