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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 is continuing to work 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

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 OSP staff 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 welcome.

Research Activities Update

As part of the implementation of the Titans Return: Fall Semester Recovery Plan, a Research and Creative Activities Working Group was tasked with developing a procedure to assist faculty and staff with maintaining a safe working environment for conducting research and creative activities. The working group recognized that it would be difficult to establish a set of research and creative activities guidelines to capture all of the challenges departments and units on campus are facing, and therefore decided to develop a form for faculty and staff to self-identify the safety practices they will follow.

All UW Oshkosh faculty, staff and students who will be 1) engaging in research and creative activity outside of classroom teaching activities and 2) using university-owned facilities or conducting research or creative activities at off-campus locations are required to complete the following form: Research and Creative Activity: Standard Operating Procedures Accommodation Form. The purpose of the form is to document safety measures to accommodate or supplement the university-wide standard operating procedures for physical distancing, face coverings, hygiene and disinfection.

We would also like to remind you of the availability of a Microsoft Outlook-based shared space reservation system that can be used to reserve academic units’ non-classroom laboratory, shop or studio spaces. Such a system will help limit the number of faculty/students occupying these spaces and, in the case of a positive COVID-19 test, assist with contact tracing. Academic department/unit leads are asked to submit a request to the helpdesk@uwosh.edu if they wish to request the establishment of a lab, shop or studio shared space reservation system.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact kercher@uwosh.edu or schillk@uwosh.edu.

Institutional Review Board (IRB):

The IRB has developed COVID-19 Guidance for Human Subjects Research which outlines the steps for resuming in-person human subjects research.  The guidance incorporates CDC COVID-19 information and the UW Oshkosh Titans Return Plan. Investigators are encouraged to limit personal contact and continue all or parts of their study online or using remote methods when possible.

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 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) issued guidance in NOT-OD-20-088 on flexibility 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 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.
  • Animal care staff will coordinate times for sharing spaces 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.

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 limited at this time based on risk level.

Additional Guidance from Federal Agencies:

Guidance has been released from various federal funding and regulatory 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: