Research and Funding Opportunities Daily Update
Updated: June 26, 2020
Moving forward, updates will be provided on an ‘as needed basis’ so please check back frequently to get the latest updated agency information.
Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities
Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (6/26/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (6/19/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (6/11/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (6/5/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (5/29/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (5/22/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (5/15/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (5/8/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (4/30/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (4/23/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (4/16/2020)
- NIH COVID-19 Funding and Funding Opportunities – (4/13/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (4/9/2020)
- Special Edition RDS News COVID-19 Opportunities – (4/1/2020)
Internal Funding Opportunities
External Funding Opportunities
AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY (AHRQ)
Date Updates May 18, 2020 AHRQ has published a Funding Opportunity Announcement for up to $5M in new research awards to explore the healthcare system and provider response to COVID-19. Priority topics include quality and safety of the healthcare system response; the role of primary care and other health professionals; the impact on underserved or minority populations; and digital health innovations, including telehealth. Letters of intent are due June 1, 2020 with full applications due June 15, 2020. April 6, 2020 AHRQ has issued a notice to inform grantees of the agency’s intention to provide short-term administrative flexibilities for management of AHRQ grants. Like other federal agencies, AHRQ is adopting the administrative relief provisions outlined by OMB in memorandum M-20-17. These include extension of deadlines, no cost extensions, and allowability of salaries, among others. Full details are available here. March 31, 2020 AHRQ has released two Notices of Intent for upcoming funding opportunities designed to support studies evaluating health system and healthcare professional responsiveness to COVID-19. The agency plans to publish notices calling for both urgent revision supplements to existing AHRQ grants, and for novel high-impact studies to be funded through the R01 mechanism. Competitive revision supplements for existing projects (anticipated ~$2.5M in supplemental funds to be made available) should capitalize on the expertise of grant personnel and the institutional environment to expand the specific aims of the on-going research to develop high-impact new knowledge concerning COVID-19. It is anticipated RFPs will be released in April with an opening date of mid-May.
- o For new studies related to COVID-19, AHRQ is interested in critical research focused on evaluating topics such as innovations and challenges encountered in the rapid expansion of telemedicine in response to COVID-19, effects on quality, safety, and value of health system response to COVID-19, and the role of primary care practices and professionals during the COVID-19 epidemic. AHRQ is particularly interested in understanding how digital health innovations contributed to health system and healthcare professional innovation and challenges and solutions to meeting the needs of vulnerable populations including older adults, people living with multiple chronic conditions, in rural communities and uninsured and underinsured populations. AHRQ expects to dedicate $5 million to this program. The agency plans to release the Funding Opportunity Announcement for these grants in early May 2020, with an expected deadline in June 2020. The Notice of Intent for this initiative can be found here.
Date Updates June 17, 2020 CDC posted consolidated and updated guidance on testing for SARS-CoV-2, based on current knowledge of COVID-19. May 26, 2020 CDC posted health considerations guidance for institutions of higher education as schools move to reopen. May 18, 2020 CDC has posted guidance to provide healthcare systems with a framework to deliver non-COVID health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. April 7, 2020
- CDC will award approximately $560 million to states, localities, territories, and tribes using “existing networks to reach out to state and local jurisdictions to access this initial funding." A breakdown of funds funneled to states and jurisdictions can be viewed here.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Fund received $300 million in the COVID-19 emergency supplemental package. This fund was created in FY 2019 and had roughly $100 million in reserve funding prior to the emergency supplemental. This funding can be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to an infectious disease emergency, domestic or international. Money from this fund has previously been used to respond to an Ebola outbreak in the Congo. CDC has not yet posted specific opportunities; when postings are available, we will update this page.
Date Updates June 11, 2020 CMS released new recommendations providing guidance to health systems and patients, as the Trump Administration encourages healthcare providers and facilities to start re-opening. April 30, 2020 CMS issued another round of regulatory waivers and rule changes that focus on: expanding the healthcare workforce through new flexibilities; increasing hospital and health system capacity to serve COVID-19 patients under the CMS Hospitals Without Walls Initiative; increasing access to telehealth services for Medicare patients; expanding at-home and community-based testing to minimize transmission of the virus; and reducing some administrative burdens for providers during the pandemic. April 29, 2020 CMS has suspended its Advance Payment program to Part B suppliers and is reevaluating its Accelerated Payments program to Part A providers, including hospitals. CMS will no longer accept Advance Payment program applications and is reevaluating amounts paid to Part A providers under new and pending applications to the Accelerated Payments program. Additional information can be found at this fact sheet. April 27, 2020 CMS has released an updated summary of blanket waivers and flexibilities for healthcare providers. CMS and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) have released a toolkit to help navigate healthcare workforce challenges. The toolkit includes resources and best practices for healthcare workforce decision-making at the state, local, and provider level. April 15, 2020 CMS increased the payment amount to $100 per test for certain COVID-19 lab tests using high-throughput technologies for rapid diagnosis. April 8, 2020
CMS updated recommendations on delay of adult elective surgeries, non-essential surgeries, and non-essential medical and dental procedures.
April 6, 2020 CMS has released an updated summary of blanket waivers and flexibilities for healthcare providers. Also, CMS has released an updated video FAQ on coverage and payment for telehealth services. A list of covered services is linked here. Clinicians can bill for dates of service beginning on March 6, 2020. March 31, 2020
CMS sent a letter on behalf of Vice President Mike Pence to the nation’s hospitals to request that “hospitals report COVID-19 testing data to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in addition to daily reporting regarding bed capacity and supplies to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) COVID-19 Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity Module.”
March 29, 2020
CMS has released a series of FAQs on flexibilities, exemptions, waivers, and other changes regarding availability and use of telehealth services, coverage of prescription drugs, the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) increase, Medicare Provider Enrollment, and enforcing Open Payments deadlines.
CBC COVID-19 Response Award
Funding Opportunity Purpose: To support team Program Projects that engage investigators from all three CBC institutions (including Northwestern University, UChicago and UIC) to address SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 biomedical research. The projects must be directed to, but not exclusive to, viral detection, antiviral and vaccine approaches, and cellular responses to viral infection.
Congressional and Federal Updates
Date Updates June 22, 2020
House Democrats Announce $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Package
House Democrats announced they will introduce the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. While this legislation predates discussion of COVID-related stimulus legislation of a much greater scale and scope, the bill would allocate $30 billion for healthcare infrastructure modernization to upgrade hospitals to increase capacity and strengthen care, help community health centers respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure, support the Indian Health Service’s infrastructure and increase capacity of community-based care. Speaker Pelosi is planning to have the house pass the bill before the July Fourth recess. A summary fact sheet was released in advance of the full bill text.
June 11, 2020 This week, discussions around COVID-19 response efforts continued but at a slower pace in comparison to previous weeks. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) held a hearing titled “Evaluating the Federal Government’s Procurement and Distribution Strategies in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic”, where several Democrats criticized the Trump Administration’s delayed response to the pandemic. Noteworthy federal activities from this week include a rumored Executive Order (EO) limiting Optional Practical Training (OPT) and H-1B visas. The EO is expected to be released within the next week, with ongoing White House discussions likely wrapping up on June 11. Senator Alexander (R-TN) published a white paper on “Preparing for the Next Pandemic.” The white paper presents five recommendations to address future pandemics along with a series of questions. Responses to those questions are intended to elicit recommendations that Congress can consider and act on this year. Responses are requested by June 26th; here are links to the Press Release and White Paper. The recommendations and questions are grouped into the following topics:
- Tests, Treatments and Vaccines – Accelerate Research and Development
- Disease Surveillance – Expand Ability to Detect, Identify, Model, and Track Emerging Infectious Diseases
- Stockpiles, Distribution, and Surges – Rebuild and Maintain Federal and State Stockpiles and Improve Medical Supply Surge Capacity and Distribution
- Public Health Capabilities – Improve State and Local Capacity to Respond
- Who Is on the Flagpole? – Improve Coordination of Federal Agencies During a Public Health Emergency’
June 9, 2020 This past week, Congress held several hearings related to COVID-19, demonstrating continued interest in tackling both short-term and long-term challenges brought by the pandemic. It remains unclear when Congress will take up the next major piece of pandemic relief legislation, although there is an emerging bipartisan consensus to focus on relief for state and local governments. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has indicated it is unlikely that the Senate would take up any major relief legislation prior to the July 4 recess. Hearings of most relevance to the academic, science, and research communities included a House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) Appropriations Subcommittee hearing titled “COVID-19 Response”; a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing titled “COVID-19: Going Back to College Safely"; and a Senate Finance Committee hearing titled “COVID-19 and Beyond: Oversight of the FDA’s Foreign Drug Manufacturing Inspection Process”. A summary of each hearing can be found below at the links above.
DARPA encourages those with research project ideas related to COVID-19 to respond to the Office-wide broad agency announcements (BAAs) for both the Defense Sciences Office (DSO) and Biological Technology Office (BTO), which have open BAAs accepting submissions at any time. The DSO and BTO Office-wide BAAs can be found here. at https://www.darpa.mil/work-with-us/office-wide-broad-agency-announcements.
Department of Commerce’s (DOC)
Date Updates May 8, 2020 The Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Economic Development Administration (EDA) released guidelines for the $1.5 billion allocated to the agency through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to advance economic development in areas negatively impacted by COVID-19 EDA’S CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding will largely be provided through the EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program, which supports a broad array of development initiatives with potential to expand economic activity and recovery through funding for construction, non-construction (i.e. strategic development, infrastructure development strategies etc.), technical assistance, and planning. The agency will also provide support for additional regional assistance beyond EAA activities for qualified applicants, including innovation grants that are similar to EDA’s Build to Scale program (Formerly “Regional Innovation Strategies”). Contact information for Economic Development Representatives by state can be found here. EDA’s landing page for CARES Act Recovery Assistance, including links to the NOFO, FAQs, instructions for University Center grantees, and additional resources can be found here.
Date Updates June 25, 2020 The Basic Research Office published a statement on its website noting that DOD is committed to working with awardees to implement the flexibilities from the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Memorandum M-20-26, and Extension of Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations. DOD continues to recommend that grantees and proposers engage with their program officers, as each agency has different authorities and may implement these flexibilities differently.The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) intend to release a Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) solicitation for specific capabilities to support Operation Warp Speed, the interagency effort to quickly produce and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. The CSO outline interest in domestic manufacturing capabilities to produce aseptic fill and finish for critical vaccines and therapeutics that will allow for uninterrupted production during the entirety of the pandemic. BARDA and JPEO-CBRND anticipate releasing a solicitation no later than June 29, 2020 and recommend that potential proposers consistently check beta.sam.gov for updates. The special notice can be found at here under Notice ID W911QY-20-R-Natick-CSO. June 9, 2020 The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) released a Clean Sweep Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) seeking solution briefs on technologies or automated hardware to expedite decontamination and disinfection of enclosed spaces and mission-ready environments to limit the spread of disease or infection. Prototype solutions should address the following Areas of Interest (AoIs):
- Significantly reduce potential for spread of disease;
- Serve as a repeatable, automated, and industrial solution to be placed on ships or other mission-ready environments;
- Utilize technologies that will not damage infrastructure, electronics, and other mission-ready environment specifications; and
- Demonstrate use and efficacy in tailored spaces (I.e. sleeping quarters, surgical suites, transit spaces, and more).
- Proposed solutions should be readily available and commercially viable for the FDA review process within six to twelve months of award. Upon evaluation of solution briefs, proposers may be invited to provide a pitch and subsequently submit a full proposal. Solutions briefs are due June 14, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.
June 3, 2020 DOD has released its plan for reopening and returning to normal operations, titled “Pentagon Reservation Plan for Resilience and Aligning with National Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.” The plan includes five phases, with phases one through three (Restricted, Moderate, and Normal) aligning with previously released guidance from OPM and OMB. Given the wide geographic distribution of DOD offices and facilities, decisions for reopening will also be made in concert with Governors and mayors and be informed by State and local policies. Of relevance to Lewis-Burke clients, these developments will impact when and how DOD officials start taking in-person meetings at installations around the country such as the Air Force Research Laboratory. May 26, 2020 The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has issued a broad agency announcement IARPA-BAA-20-01 soliciting proposals for unclassified seedling projects across a range of topics that are relevant to COVID-19. These include:Detection and Sensing;Supply Chain Management and Integrity;Geo-spatio-temporal Monitoring and Mapping, with Privacy Protection;Information Discovery, Information Reliability, and Collaboration Tools; andModeling, Simulation, and Predictive Analytics.IARPA intends projects funded under this BAA will be limited in scope and duration, with the potential to lead to longer-term efforts funded through a separate BAA in the future. The BAA explicitly calls for proposals that envision revolutionary, not evolutionary, capabilities, and focus on research questions not currently being addressed by existing IARPA programs. In addition, IARPA will give priority to proposals that not only provide rapid capability against the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also enhanced warning and response capacity for future similar events.Awards will be funded in two phases, with Phase A focusing on an initial proof of concept and Phase B being a demonstration. Individual award funding will be less than $1 million for both phases and the performance period will not exceed one year. Proposals for the initial round of selections are due July 7, 2020. The BAA will remain open through May 20, 2021 in case IARPA decides to issue additional calls. May 21, 2020 It has been announced that Army Gen. Gustave Perna, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, will serve as chief operating officer of “Operation Warp Speed” an effort to catalyze the development, production, and distribution of a Coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year. The Department of Defense (DOD) will be partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), among other agencies, to leverage its distribution and research capabilities in the vaccine process. President Trump reported the operation is considering 14 vaccine candidates and likened the effort to the Manhattan project during WWII. Moncef Slaoui, former head of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, will also serve on the leadership team as chief scientist. DOD’s Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF), in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), announced a $138 million contract with ApiJect Systems America to produce prefilled syringes in preparation for a COVID-19 vaccine. The effort, known as “Project Jumpstart” will seek to develop a domestic supply chain to manufacture 100 million prefilled syringes by the end 2020 and 500 million syringes in 2021. May 14, 2020 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it is shifting some of its responsibilities for acquiring COVID-19 related supplies to the DOD’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). DLA will take over for FEMA to coordinate longer term purchasing of supplies, including PPE. In response to the transition, DLA extended the deadline for responses to its Request for Information (RFI) on COVID-19-related medical PPE to May 18. May 4, 2020 The U.S. Army’s Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) released a Request for Project Proposals to develop a Wearable Diagnostic for Detection of COVID-19 infection. MTEC seeks wearable devices that can conduct continuous physiological motoring without impacting the wearer’s daily activities that are focused on pre- and very early symptomatic detection of COVID-19 infection. Proposed projects must currently be in development or commercially available given the urgent need for development of rapid, accurate wearable diagnostics to identify and isolate pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases and track/prevent the spread of the virus. MTEC states up to $25 million will be available for up to 10 awards (no info on individual award amounts). Proposals are due by May 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM ET.
- UPDATED: The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Troop Support Medical Directorate extended the deadline to May 18, 2020 for its Request for Information (RFI) of April 8 to identify near-term specific products, potential sources, and availability and/or challenges to meeting Medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements to protect against COVID-19. DLA also seeks to identify alternatives or additional PPE items necessary to protect against viral contamination of COVID-19. See Announcement on April 8th for list of PPE items needed. New item needed: Human Remains Pouches
April 30, 2020 The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) released a Request for Information (RFI) for COVID-19 modeling and prediction analyses services. The goal of the RFI is to facilitate collaboration between a partnered laboratory and WRAIR investigators to provide immediate support to perform such analyses services. Potential analyses relevant to military health protection may include healthcare system predictions, epidemic spread predictions, clinical outcome predictions, resource allocation, and the impact of a range of non-pharmaceutical and _pharmaceutical interventions. Potential performers should have substantive publication-proven experience in prior epidemic virus forecasting and modeling, a history of publications of substantive modeling analyses specifically for COVID-19, extensive expertise in developing and implementing agent-based models which use notional/synthetic populations. Experience in applying modeling for advanced vaccine development is also a key capability. Responses to the RFI (Notice ID 0011485192) are due by May 4, 2020, at 1:00pm ET. April 28, 2020 At 3:00 PM ET April 29, 2020 the DOD Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) is hosting a webinar to small businesses on “Foreign Investment : Tools for Small Business”. This webinar will provide information on adversarial foreign investment, provide education about regulations in place to counter adversarial capital, and offer an overview of the tools available to industry to protect themselves. April 27, 2020 The National Center for Simulation (NCS) announced a scholarship to help students with tuition and educational expenses during the recovery phase of the COVID-19 crisis. The Modeling, Simulation & Training (MS&T) Community COVID-19 Response Scholarship program would offer at least $1,000 specifically for students pursuing a STEM degree that supports the MS&T industry, to lift the financial burden off students and their families who may be significantly impacted directly or indirectly by the economic fallout from COVID-19. Applications open May 4, with awards announced by August 15, 2020. The Department of Defense (DOD) has reprogrammed $113 million, allocated through the CARES Act, from the Defense Health Program to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This funding will go towards the Biological Technologies Office (BTO), Defense Sciences Office (DSO), and Information Innovation Office (I2O) to address efforts relevant to the COVID-19 response. These efforts include deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based models to screen for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved therapeutics that may be able to treat COVID-19, running trials to test a COVID-19 RNA vaccine, developing capabilities to detect and screen environments for the airborne COVID-19 virus, and addressing supply chain vulnerabilities to develop U.S.-based production capabilities for pharmaceuticals needed to treat COVID-19, among others. More information can be found here. The U.S. Army’s Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) anticipates potential upcoming solicitations in the following areas:
- Point-of-care diagnostics to rapidly identify infected individuals
- Predictive analytics that can forecast potential hot spots and empower decision makers’ response actions
April 16, 2020 The U.S. Army’s Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) released a Request for Project Proposals (RPP) on April 17 to rapidly develop and deploy the National Emergency Telecritical Care Network (NETCCN), a cloud-based, low-resource, stand-alone health information management system for the creation and coordination of flexible and extendable “virtual critical care wards.” The program is focused on preparation for COVID-19-related critical care capability shortages. The RPP focuses on enhanced development of integrated technologies and clinical workflows to establish and rapidly scale virtual wards and extend intensive care to traditional, non-traditional, and temporary healthcare facilities, specifically leveraging existing technologies that can be adapted from other use cases to establish NETCCN. The following existing technologies should be included in the RPP:
- Mobile communications capabilities including synchronous audio/video, asynchronous messaging, and access to continuous monitoring
- Clinician-facing web portal and/or mobile-based application (goal is availability on every device)
- Capability for basic documentation in real-time as well as data collection and reporting
- Cloud-based information storage including ability for later offloading via PDF or HL7
- Naval Depot Modernization and Sustainment
- Digital Logistics
- Deployable Systems Manufacturability
- Rapid Reconstitution of Communications and Compact Hardware Solutions
April 10, 2020 DOD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) released specific funding opportunities for its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) topic area: Emerging Viral Diseases and Respiratory Health. As with other CDMRP funding opportunities, proposals should highlight the relevance to military health, and applications will undergo the standard two-tier peer and programmatic review process:
- Investigator-Initiated Research Award: This award is designed to support research with the potential to yield highly impactful data that could lead to critical discoveries or major advancements” in Emerging Viral Diseases and/or Respiratory Health. Research projects should focus on basic laboratory research through translational research. CDMRP anticipates a total of $12 million available in funding for four awards. Pre-applications are due by May 28, 2020 at 5:00pm ET and applications are due by June 12, 2020 at 11:59pm ET. The full solicitation can be found here.
- Technology/Therapeutic Development Award: This product-driven award supports the translation of preclinical findings into products for clinical applications for Emerging Viral Diseases and/or Respiratory Health. Products should be tangible items, such as a pharmacologic agent or device or a knowledge-based product. CDMRP anticipates a total of $25 million available in funding for four awards. Pre-applications are due by May 28, 2020 at 5:00pm ET and applications are due by June 12, 2020 at 11:59pm ET. The full solicitation can be found here.
- Clinical Trial Award: This award supports the “rapid implementation” of clinical trials for Emerging Viral Diseases and/or Respiratory Health. Clinical trials may be designed to evaluate “new products, pharmacologic agents (drugs or biologics), devices, clinical guidance, and/or emerging approaches and technologies.” Projects may range from small proof-of-concept trials to large-scale trials. CDMRP anticipates a total of $30 million available in funding for five awards. Pre-applications are due by June 8, 2020 at 5:00pm ET and applications are due by June 22, 2020 by 11:59pm ET. The full solicitation can be found here.
- Medical Examination Gloves, Aprons, Face Masks (N95 Respirator), Face Shields, Hand Sanitizer, Surgical Masks, Swab Viral Transport Kits, Viral Transport Swabs, SWAB Nasopharyngeal and Medical Thermometers.
April 10, 2020 The Defense Pricing and Contracting office issued a memo describing procedures to reimburse defense contractors for providing paid leave to employees who can’t work during the pandemic mitigation period because they are unable to telework or access their government work sites. The memo implements Section 3610 of the CARES Act to allow agencies to reimburse contractors for paid leave and sick leave provided to employees or subcontractors to maintain a “ready state” during the national emergency. The memo is available here. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a memorandum providing guidance to the Intelligence Community (IC) on how to leverage flexibilities in the CARES Act to help their contractor employees continue to work and be compensated even if they are unable to access their government work sites. Intended to help contractors stay financially viable, maintain long-term health of the industrial base, and retain skilled and cleared contractors, the ODNI guidance implements provisions in Section 3610 of the CARES Act that authorize agencies to modify contracts when contract employees are restricted from work due to COVID-19-related health and safety concerns and encourages them to enable the maximum number of contractor personnel to convert to staying home in a “ready state” during the national emergency. ODNI said in the memo that it supports intelligence agency decisions to slip acquisition and development milestones, even if already required by approved documentation, if it is intended to limit staffing during the critical period for pandemic mitigation of March 27 through September 30, 2020. The memorandum can be found on the Lewis-Burke Associates website. April 8, 2020 The Department of the Air Force Acquisition COVID-19 Task Force (DAF ACT) established a Commercial Solution Opening (CSO) April 6 seeking innovative solutions for commercial technologies that can support the DAF ACT’s mission to “provide relief, resilience, recovery, and stability to the nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic ”. The CSO, a vehicle for future solicitations, is open to defense contractors, large and small businesses, and research institutions, with a focus on non-traditional organizations that do not typically work with the government. The Air Force will announce the initial Area of Interest for solution brief submissions in the next few days but expects to focus first on “Combating the Spread,” according to an Air Force webinar held April 7. DAF ACT Areas of Interest include the following COVID-19 related mission focus areas:
- Combating the Spread (predictive analytics, next hotspot, threat to current activities, decision support, etc.)
- Welfare of citizens (effects to transportation, movement of people and goods, education and development, physical training, regular HR functions, job transition, etc.)
- Readiness (continuing operations through the outbreak, coordinating with allies and partners, continuing long term projects, etc.)
- Logistics (security and protection, supply chain protection and assessment, etc.)
- Industrial base impacts (small businesses, payments, contracts, large system programs, protection and expansion of critical assets, etc.)
- Medical (telehealth, medical capacity and sustainment, medical supplies and equipment, etc.)
- Other solutions that support the national response to COVID-19
April 5, 2020 DOD issued guidance April 5 requiring, to the extent practical, the use of cloth face coverings for military Service members, DOD civilian employees, their family members, DOD contractors, and all other individuals on DOD property, installations, and facilities to reduce further risks of spread and safeguard national security capabilities. The memorandum encourages adherence to CDC guidelines, and is to take effective immediately. The latest DOD policies in combating COVID-19 can be found here. April 3, 2020 The Basic Research Office within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering announced a one-time Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Newton Award will be presented to individuals or teams of two investigators to develop a "transformative idea" to resolve challenges, advance frontiers, and set new paradigms in areas of immense potential benefit to the DOD and the nation. Proposed research does not have to be related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposals should aim to produce novel conceptual frameworks or theory-based approaches, and DOD requires that all supporting data be generated without the use of laboratory-based experimentation or instrumentation. DOD anticipates that a total of $500,000 will be available for up to 10 awards. Individual awards will be funded at up to $50,000 for a single investigator and $100,000 for a two-person team. Proposals are due by May 15, 2020 at 4:00 PM ET, and the six-month period of performance is expected to start on June 30, 2020. More information is available here.
- The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) announced that it is seeking white papers for an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) to support COVID-19 prototypes in two areas:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Re-Use and Decontamination
- Prototype PPE: N95 Equivalent Masks
March 31, 2020 The Army Futures Command’s (AFC) Army Applications Laboratory (AAL) has expressed significant interest in new technologies to support the Army’s COVID-19 response including innovative medical equipment, therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines. AAL has set up a webpage for organizations to schedule a brief phone call to discuss their ideas for technologies that support diagnosis, care, and the protection of healthcare providers, active duty service members, their families, and communities from COVID-19. AAL is a new organization under Army Futures Command headquarters that seeks to work with industry and outside partners to find technology solutions to further the Army’s modernization policies. The U.S. Army’s Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) released a pre-announcement on March 30 for a forthcoming Request for Project Proposals (RPP) to rapidly develop and deploy the National Emergency Telecritical Care Network (NETCCN), a cloud-based, low-resource, stand-alone health information management system for the creation and coordination of flexible and extendable “virtual critical care wards”, a program is focused on preparation for COVID-19-related critical care capability shortages. The RPP will focus on enhanced development of integrated technologies and clinical workflows to establish and rapidly scale virtual wards and extend intensive care to traditional and non-traditional and temporary healthcare facilities, specifically leveraging existing technologies that can be adapted from other use cases to establish NETCCN. These high acuity, virtual wards would bring high-quality critical care capability to nearly every bedside, be it healthcare facility, field hospital, or gymnasium. DOD anticipates total funding of $30 million to $37 million in FY 2020 and anticipates up to six awards under the program. March 26, 2020 The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition (ASN RDA) released a memo on engaging the research and development industrial base during COVID-19, urging Navy commands to leverage academia, small innovative research companies, large and small businesses, public-private venture companies, and startup companies engaged in research and development (R&D) and science and technology (S&T) to provide “immediate support for COVID-19. The memo also includes additional actions for the Navy to consider to sustain national R&D during COVID-19 response, including:
- Seeking approval for advance payments for Navy projects to ensure sufficient funding to continue research activities
- Initiating a Special Notice under the existing long-range Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) seeking submission of proof of concept and proof of prototype proposals up to $294,000
- Considering a Special Funding Opportunity Announcement for development of OnLine K-12 STEM products aimed at small/medium and for/non-profit entities
- Issuing an out-of-cycle solicitation for the SBIR/STTR programs for critical Navy needs including COVID-19 response activities
- Issuing flexibilities for University Affiliated Research Centers (UARC) and Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC)
- Funding of Navy basic research grants in 12 month increments
- Approving and expanding advance payments on research grants for salaries and benefits
March 25, 2020 DOD Office of Basic Research released an FAQ resource for DOD research proposers and awardees in response to OMB’s March 19 memo M-20-17. The FAQ states that DOD will allow grantees to “delay submission of financial, performance and other reports on currently-active award accounts up to three months beyond the normal due date.” Questions regarding other deliverables should be directed to the grant manager or program officer for an award. Additional information on travel expenses, salaries and benefits, no-cost extensions, and upcoming deadlines can also be found in the FAQs linked above. DOD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) released an FAQ resource for grant applicants and recipients. The FAQ states that there are currently no plans to modify existing application deadlines but encourages grant applicants to monitor grants.gov for any changes in due dates. March 23, 2020 DOD’s Project Vulcan released a “DIY Hack-a-Vent Innovation Challenge” to design and build a prototype ventilator in two weeks to support medical response to COVID-19. The challenge seeks ventilators that are low-cost, non-FDA approved, and have the ability to be “rapidly produced at local levels with widely available resources.” Project Vulcan will select three submissions that will be invited to produce a functioning prototype. Innovation proposals are due by March 25, 2020. More information on the Hack-a-Vent Innovation Challenge can be found here.
Department of Education (ED)
Date Updates June 25, 2020
ED published a notice establishing a deadline of August 1, 2020 for institutions of higher education that did not initially apply for their allocations from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to submit their applications.
June 22, 2020 ED published an interim final rule outlining student eligibility for CARES Act emergency funding, offered under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The interim rule, which was likely issued in response to pending lawsuits, reiterates the Department’s on-going position that student eligibility for Title IV aid is required for HEERF student grants. A press release announcing the rule provides additional details. ED released Supplemental Frequently Asked Questions under Section 18004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This document addresses questions on the deadline to spend Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) funds, the use of HEERF funds during summer and fall terms, and the use of CARES Act funds for scholarships, among other questions. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it will extend the Main Street Lending Program to nonprofits, including institutions of higher education. Limitations on participation include participation based having less than 15,000 employees and an endowment of less than $3 billion, among other limitations. Recently, ED updated its May 15 guidance, which extended previous flexibilities for distance learning and accreditation through December 31, 2020. The June 16 guidance updates the timeframe for relief from Return of Title IV Funds requirements. The guidance provides further details on implementation of CARES Act flexibilities related to Federal Work-Study (FWS) and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) funds, as well as additional information on Return of Title IV determinations, Leave of Absence calculation, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), and TEACH grants. The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is holding its first FREE, fully virtual leadership development event this summer. The Smithsonian K-12 STEM Education Action Planning Institute (API) will run from July 28-30 and will tackle the challenge of ensuring science/STEM education remains a priority in classrooms and communities during COVID-19 and beyond. The API is open to educators, parents, community members, and industry stakeholders dedicated to ensuring continuity in K-12 STEM education for all students. ED’s Office of Educational Technology has an overview of federal funding available to support digital learning. ED recently announced a new higher education discretionary grant program, the Reimagine Workforce Preparation (RWP) Grant Program which is funded through the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF), authorized by the CARES Act. The Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant competition is open to a State Workforce Board, which may award subgrants to institutions of higher education. Grants may be used to develop and implement short-term education and training programs and/or career pathways programs (Absolute Priority 1). Grants may also be used to support the development of small business incubators located on the campuses of, or developed in association with, institutions of higher education (Absolute Priority 2). June 17, 2020 ED announced its proposed interim final rule outlining which students are eligible to receive CARES Act emergency funding, offered under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). It is anticipated the final rule will be published June 17, 2020. This interim rule, likely issued in response to pending lawsuits, reiterates the Department’s ongoing position that student eligibility for Title IV aid is required for CARES student grants. This means “foreign nationals and most other non-citizens would not be eligible, as well as those who: (1) are dual-enrolled in secondary school; (2) do not meet academic progress standards; (3) are in default on a federal student loan or owe any refund relating to a federal student grant; (4) are without a high school diploma, GED certification, or recognized equivalent or exception; or (5) are in programs that are not Title IV-eligible programs. June 11, 2020 ED is accepting comments on its reporting requirements for foreign institutions of higher education (IHE) under the CARES Act, which permits foreign institutions to provide distance education during emergencies and allows foreign institutions to enter into written agreements with U.S. IHEs. Comments are due by August 10, 2020. Additional information is available here. June 10, 2020 ED released a FAQ document outlining COVID related grant flexibilities and guidance associated with ED’s non-CARES Act postsecondary grant programs under Title III, IV, V, and VII of the Higher Education Act, such as TRIO Grants and Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) programs. ED will soon release an Interim Final Rule on the CARES Act emergency financial aid grants to students. The rule is intended to help institutions “appropriately determine which individuals attending their institution are eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act.” The guidance may confirm that international students, DACA recipients, and undocumented students, among others, are not eligible for CARES Act emergency student aid. A prepublication notice announcing that the rule will be issued is available. June 9, 20202 Department of Education published a new FAQ document to address questions for states related to the Maintenance-of-Effort requirements applicable to ED’s CARES Act program funds, including the higher education funding requirements associated with state acceptance of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds. May 26, 2020 ED posted a statement regarding the CARES Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Guidance previously released limited student funding provided by HEERF to those eligible to receive Title IV aid, precluding international students and DACA students, among others. This new update notes that earlier guidance regarding Title IV eligibility for student emergency grants under the CARES Act does not apply to the HEERF institutional funds. An institution can use its HEERF institutional funds to support non-Title IV eligible students, though not in the form of direct emergency grants. ED announced its intention to extend its information collection request to include the certification and agreement that institutions of higher education are required to submit in order to receive institutional and student federal aid allocated from the CARES Act. The public comment period will be open for 60 days following the publication of ED’s notice in the federal register on May 27, 2020. Additional information regarding the information collection request for the CARES Act Institutional Aid Certification and Agreement is available here. Additional information regarding the information collection request for the CARES Act Student Aid Certification and Agreement is available here. May 18, 2020 The Department of Education posted additional guidance to extend previous flexibilities for distance learning and accreditation through December 31, 2020. This information included further details on implementation of CARES Act flexibilities related to Federal Work-Study (FWS) and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) funds, as well as additional information on Return of Title IV determinations, Leave of Absence calculation, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), and TEACH grants. It is anticipated additional guidance is still pending from ED offering further details on student grant aid through the CARES Act. May 14, 2020 ED’s Office of Civil Rights has posted a question and answer document outlining an institution of higher education’s obligations under Federal civil rights laws during the COVID-19 emergency, including details on an institution’s obligations to continue to meet Federal disability laws and investigate sexual harassment complaints during periods of virtual or distance learning. May 8, 2020
On May 6, ED announced, through the Federal Student Aid office, the initial reporting instructions for the CARES Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) aid received by institutions of higher education. The guidance states, “The Department will provide instructions for providing the required information to the Secretary in the near future. In the meantime, each HEERF participating institution must post the information listed below on the institution’s primary website.” The detailed information required includes the total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received, the total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students, among other information.
April 30, 2020
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released details on the CARES Act-funded Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund’s specific allocations for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), other designated Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and low-resourced institutions serving over 50 percent needy students. These new allocations of funding are on top of the general institutional and student grants funds already announced by ED, but do not have the same requirement to expend at least 50 percent of this new allocation on student grants. Application deadline is August 1, 2020.
April 28, 2020 The Secretary of Education announced grant competitions for $307.5 million in discretionary funds provided in the CARES Act. This funding will support two competitions for state entities, $180 million for the “Rethink K-12 School Models Grant,” to meet needs of State educational agencies (SEAs), and “$127.5 million for the Reimagining Workforce Preparation Grant (ESF-RWP). These ESF-RWP Grants are designed to expand short-term postsecondary programs and work-based learning programs in order to get Americans back to work and help small businesses return to being our country’s engines for economic growth. April 27, 2020 Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has called on wealthy institutions, or those with large endowments, to forgo federal emergency grant support and urged Congress to restrict taxpayer funds going to wealthy institutions. April 15, 2020 Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that funding for the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, authorized by the CARES Act, is now available. GEER grants are awarded by formula to Governors and are available to support local educational agencies (LEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other education related entities with emergency assistance to address the impact that the coronavirus pandemic. April 10, 2020 Department of Education to Release CARES Emergency Student Funding The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced plans for how it would distribute emergency student funding provided in the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund as authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Of the amount allocated to an institution, at least 50 percent must be reserved to provide students with emergency financial aid grants. The April 9 announcement of available grant funding focuses only on the grant portion to be distributed directly to students, with ED noting, "Institutions will receive allocations and guidance for the institutional share of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund in the coming weeks." In a cover letter sent to institutions, ED notes that "each institution may develop its own system and process for determining how to allocate these funds, which may include distributing the funds to all students or only to students who demonstrate significant need." ED provided additional details noting that to receive funds, institutions must download a certification document, review the document, have a campus leader sign, and submit through www.grants.gov. Submission of a certification form will trigger a release of funds in ED’s grants management system, G5. Funds will be available for draw down in 24-72 hours, starting Wednesday, April 15. ED emphasizes that these funds are only to provide cash to students; institutions are not permitted to use these funds to reimburse themselves for refunds (these include refunds for room and board, purchase of technology, and expenses already incurred). The certification form also states that institutions “should be mindful of each student’s particular socioeconomic circumstances in the staging and administration of these grants.” Congress has provided greater flexibility for the institutional portion of CARES Act funding, for which ED will outline the uses and methods by which institutions can use those funds for reimbursement. ED intends to hold a follow-up call, which will address questions about the institutional portion. Many institutions have noted that the current www.grants.gov system was not appropriately set up for the certification forms to be uploaded. At the time of this writing, ED has provided limited guidance and has noted the technical challenges they are having with www.grants.gov. When completing the certification form institutions should list only the allocation for the emergency student amount. ED has communicated that a “wet signature” is not necessary and the form can be completed by someone who has authority to receive funding on behalf of the institution. A letter from ED to institutions, the certification form, additional directions for applying for the funds, institutional allotments, and the methodology for calculating allocations is available here. April 3, 2020 ED released guidance providing additional regulatory flexibilities to institutions in several policy areas including verification, need analysis, and distance education. Previous guidance applied only to students enrolled in terms that ended on or before June 1, 2020; the updated guidance extends many of these flexibilities through June 30, 2020. One highlight of the new guidance that will be significant as aid from the CARES Act begins to flow to students relates to need analysis. The guidance states, “Any aid (in the form of grants or low interest loans) received by victims of an emergency from a federal or state entity for the purpose of providing financial relief is not counted as income for calculating a family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under the Federal Methodology or as estimated financial assistance for packaging purposes.” Updated guidance is available here.
May 26, 2020 DOE has delayed the 2020 Solar Decathlon Build Challenge due to the coronavirus. The challenge was set to take place in June 2020 and is now delayed to April 16-18, 2021. The competition will no longer take place on the National Mall in Washington, DC, but will be moved to DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, where it will coincide with the Solar Decathlon 2021 Design Challenge competition. April 28, 2020
DOE launched a National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory (NVBL) to open up DOE national laboratory user facilities and specialized instrumentation to academic researchers and industry to address COVID-19. The NVBL lists all relevant DOE capabilities, such as light and neutron sources, nanoscale science centers, sequencing and bio-characterization facilities, and high performance computer facilities to help respond to COVID-19. Examples include developing innovations in testing capabilities, identifying new targets for medical therapeutics, providing epidemiological and logistical support, and addressing supply chain bottlenecks.
April 6, 2020 ARPA-E offered additional guidance for awardees to continue ongoing projects as well as provide administrative/financial relief for award recipients. The guidance recognizes the need for flexibility for researchers given limited access to facilities, and disrupted supply chains as a result of the COVID crisis. ARPA-E specifically details:
- Flexibility with SAM registration;
- Flexibility with application deadlines;
- No-cost extensions;
- Continuation requests;
- Allowability of salaries and other project activities;
- Allowability of costs not normally chargeable to awards;
- Exemption from certain procurement requirements;
- Extension of financial, performance, and other reporting;
- Extension of closeout reports; and
- Extension of single audit submissions.
March 29, 2020 DOE plans to release new guidance for grantees the week of March 30 that directly addresses guidance in OMB Memo M-20-11, "Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)." The updated guidance should address all issues related to DOE’s financial assistance awards, including allowable costs for supporting graduate students and postdocs. March 26, 2020 DOE is taking steps to address COVID-19 and is soliciting ideas about how the Department and the National Laboratories might contribute resources for science and technology efforts and collaborations. The Department is encouraging the scientific community and others to consider research questions that underpin COVID-19 response and is requesting input on strategic, priority research directions that may be undertaken using DOE user facilities, computational resources, and enabling infrastructure. More information is available in a Dear Colleague Letter on the DOE website here.
Date Updates June 22, 2020 HHS has allocated approximately $110 billion of a total $175 billion provided by Congress for healthcare provider relief. Details are available here. HHS announced two webcasts to learn more about the application process for the expected $15 billion for eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers through the HHS Provider Relief Fund. To register for the June 23 webcast and to register for the June 25 webcast click on these embedded links. June 11, 2020 HHS has allocated approximately $110 billion of a total $175 billion provided by Congress for healthcare provider relief. The announcement outlined the following specific allocations: Awards of approximately $15 billion to Medicaid and CHIP providers who were not eligible for funding under the $50 billion general allocation. Providers must have billed their state Medicaid/CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans between January 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020 to be eligible for this funding. Eligible providers must submit revenue information to HHS through the provider portal to receive payments of at least 2 percent of their reported gross revenues from patient care. Awards of $10 billion to safety-net hospitals. Eligible hospitals must have: a Medicare Disproportionate Payment Percentage (DPP) of 20.2 percent or more; average uncompensated care of at least $25,000 per bed; and profitability of three percent or less, as reported to CMS. Eligible hospitals will receive payments of between $5 million and $50 million. Awards of $12 billion to hospitals in COVID-19 “hot spots” based on capacity and the number of COVID-19 cases. HHS plans to allocate an additional $10 billion for this purpose. To be considered for this additional funding, hospitals must submit updated information on COVID-19 admissions and capacity to HHS by 9:00PM EDT June 15, 2020. June 9, 2020 HHS has posted guidance on required data elements pertaining to COVID-19 testing. When submitting data to the CDC, labs must now include the type of test, patient zip code, and demographic information (race, ethnicity, age, sex). May 26, 2020 The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has allocated approximately $75 billion of a total $175 billion provided by Congress for healthcare provider relief. Funding has been allocated as follows: $4.8 billion was automatically distributed to skilled nursing facilities with more than six beds. Each eligible facility received $50,000, plus an additional $2,500 per bed. Additional information on distributions is available here. Additionally, the total funding for healthcare provider relief provided:
- $50 billion in relief funding to hospitals and healthcare providers to help mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lost revenue from cancelled elective procedures. $30 billion was automatically distributed to providers based on their share of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019. $20 billion will be distributed to Medicare providers and facilities based on their share of 2018 net patient revenue.
- $10 billion to rural health clinics and hospitals based on operating expenses.
- $12 billion to hospitals in COVID-19 hot spots, based on capacity and the number of COVID-19 cases. Additional funding may be allocated for this purpose.
- $400 million for Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities based on operating expenses.
- An unspecified amount to reimburse providers at Medicare rates for providing treatment and care to uninsured COVID-19 patients on or after February 4. Additional information on registration and reimbursement is available here.
- HHS has also stated that a portion of the remaining funding will be used to provide separate funding to certain providers, such as dentists and providers that solely take Medicaid. No further details have been announced.
April 16, 2020
- S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) maintains information about their response to COVID-19 on their website. Notable announcements include:
- USCIS affirms it has flexibility to excuse a nonimmigrant’s failure to file an extension of stay (EOS) or change of status (COS) application if the delay was due to the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as noted on their special situations page. Nonetheless, USCIS encourages all nonimmigrants to file timely EOS and COS applications and petitions to mitigate the immigration consequences of COVID-19, which they continue to accept and process.
- Petitioners should expect a delay in data entry and receipt notice generation for fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions until at least May 1, 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. Nonetheless, the specified filing window on registration selection notices will not change. More information can be found here.
April 10, 2020 The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has started distributing an initial $30 billion in relief funding to hospitals and healthcare providers to help mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lost revenue from cancelled elective procedures. Funding will be automatically disbursed to all healthcare facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019; no application or request for funding is required. Healthcare providers receiving funding must agree not to collect out-of-pocket payments for services provided to COVID-19 patients that would be greater than the cost to in-network patients (i.e. surprise medical bills). Within 30 days of receiving the payment, providers must sign an attestation signifying agreement to HHS’ terms and conditions, which will be available starting next week at https://www.hhs.gov/provider-relief/index.html. This funding represents the first disbursement of a total $100 billion for provider relief included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. HHS has stated that in allocating the remaining $70 billion, the focus is on targeting distribution towards providers in areas particularly impacted by COVID-19, providers in rural areas, providers with lower shares of Medicare reimbursements (such as children’s hospitals), providers who primarily serve the Medicaid population, and providers requesting reimbursement for treatment of uninsured individuals. Providers can estimate their payments by multiplying their 2019 Medicare FFS reimbursements by 0.062 (the approximate ratio of available funding to total 2019 Medicare FFS reimbursement made). March 29, 2020 ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES – OFFICE OF HEAD START The Office of Head Start (OHS) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance on additional flexibilities that can be applied to Head Start programs impacted by COVID-19. More information on programmatic changes can be found here. March 26, 2020
- Federal agency partners in the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise (PHEMCE) are leveraging the existing Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) TechWatch program to engage with industry, academia, and other stakeholders to accelerate technologies related to the novel coronavirus. Traditionally, TechWatch is a virtual meeting with BARDA scientific, technical, and contracting staff, as well as representatives from other interested federal agencies. For CoronaWatch, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Agriculture, among others, will be contacted to participate as relevant and needed. There are specific submission options for therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, and other products through CoronaWatch. Additional information on CoronaWatch, as well as submission instructions, are available here.
- The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released an Easy Broad Agency Announcement (EZBAA) on February 5 seeking proposals for the development of novel COVID-19 diagnostics. The solicitation notes that “the diagnostics must utilize platforms already cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with a viable plan to meet requirements for the FDA to consider Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) within 12 weeks of an award.” Information is available here. The most recent version of the BAA, updated on March 9, is available here.
Date Updates June 3, 2020
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is preparing some domestic offices to reopen and resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4.
May 26, 2020 Further Immigration Restrictions Expected – Update on Optional Practice Training Program (OPT) Discussions emanating from the White House around the elimination or restriction of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program continue. The OPT program allows international students to work in the U.S. after graduation while remaining on their student visas. The proposed restrictions from the White House are framed as a way to assist U.S. citizens looking for work during a time of significant labor dislocations caused by the pandemic. Restricting the OPT program has been a regulatory goal for the current Administration for several years. The business community, in addition to the higher education community, have pushed back against the proposed restrictions. The restriction, potentially in the form of a limited suspension of the program with exceptions for some fields, could be included in an executive order in the coming days or May 14, 2020 ED posted a statement regarding the CARES Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Guidance previously released limited student funding provided by HEERF to those eligible to receive Title IV aid, precluding international students and DACA students, among others. This new update notes that earlier guidance regarding Title IV eligibility for student emergency grants under the CARES Act does not apply to the HEERF institutional funds. An institution can use its HEERF institutional funds to support non-Title IV eligible students, though not in the form of direct emergency grants. ED announced its intention to extend its information collection request to include the certification and agreement that institutions of higher education are required to submit in order to receive institutional and student federal aid allocated from the CARES Act. The public comment period will be open for 60 days following the publication of ED’s notice in the federal register on May 27, 2020. Additional information regarding the information collection request for the CARES Act Institutional Aid Certification and Agreement is available here. Additional information regarding the information collection request for the CARES Act Student Aid Certification and Agreement is available here. May 4, 2020 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a notice that the agency will extend flexibility for 60 calendar days for responses to Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, and other documents if the issuance date is between March 1 and July 1, 2020. April 16, 2020 DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently released an expanded list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response. The list is advisory and highlights areas where CISA believes employees should go into work despite stay-at-home orders. March 23, 2020 The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) recently announced efforts to develop a COVID-19 Master Question List (MQL) with information on the status of current news and relevant research related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including critical gaps in knowledge of importance to first responders. These efforts are being led by S&T’s new Probabilistic Analysis of National Threats, Hazards and Risks (PANTHR) Program and Hazard Awareness & Characterization Technology Center. In addition to identifying gaps in knowledge, these teams will also look to develop research solutions in some cases. Although a majority of this research will likely be conducted internally at DHS and through existing partners, there is a good chance MQL topics could be included in future DHS S&T funding opportunities. Additional information can be found here.
Date Updates June 25, 2020 DOL Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has posted an employer resource, Guidance for Returning to Work. April 16, 2020 DOL Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has posted new interim guidance for employers on good faith efforts to ensure health standards during the pandemic. OSHA also issued new guidance for manufacturing industry workforce. March 23, 2020 The DOL Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released guidance and resources for employers related to workplace safety and COVID-19 prevention.
Date Updates March 31, 2020 The DOJ Office of Justice Programs (OJP), consisting of several extramural funding offices, including the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has announced a two-week extension on submission deadlines scheduled before April 1. OJP also offered guidance for solicitations that require “executed agreements” or signed notices from decision-making authorities with research entities that certify their support for data collection as part of a research activity, agreements which are especially important to NIJ grants. Under the new guidance, OJP strongly encourages signed agreements if possible, but notes that they will not be required in forthcoming applications. Awardees will have to obtain signed agreements by January 1, 2021; funds will be withheld until such agreements can be submitted.
Date Update June 25, 2020 The Department of State Global Engagement Center (GEC) released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), with funding appropriated in the CARES Act, to address Pandemic Propaganda and Disinformation in Africa. GEC is specifically seeking proposals for activities that address the following in Kenya, Nigeria, and certain countries in the Sahel region:
- Proactively Address Harmful COVID-19 – Related Propaganda and Disinformation from Malign State and Non-State Actors Targeting the United States and its Partners
- Strengthen Influencers’ Capacity to Recognize and Counter COVID-19 Related Propaganda and Disinformation
Date Updates June 17, 2020 EDA announced its intention to launch a new funding opportunity as a part of their response to COVID-19, which is currently called the Coronavirus Entrepreneurship & Innovation Challenge. Details have not been finalized, but the program would allocate approximately $25 million for a competition to address unique innovation and entrepreneurship-related challenges and opportunities associated with the pandemic, including providing support for the commercialization of new technologies to address COVID-19 and creative efforts to promote innovation activities under current conditions. A timetable for launch of the Coronavirus Entrepreneurship & Innovation Challenge has yet to be set. The announcement was made during a webinar on EDA and the CARES Act. Register to view a recording of the webinar.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Date Updates June 22, 2020 FEMA released its COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season. The guidance outlines FEMA’s plans to adapt response and recovery efforts and the anticipated risks for the upcoming Hurricane Season. This guidance will be helpful to emergency managers in at-risk states for information on any changes to FEMA emergency procedure. FEMA plans to continue working with State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) entities to make plans and decisions at the lowest level possible to ensure efficient use of resources. Among the changes to FEMA’s plan of operations is incr3eased use of remote disaster operations to reduce personnel deployment. Some replacement efforts include increased communications through social media and virtual town halls, increasing IT support to deployed personnel and coordination through virtual mobilization centers. Information on planned webinars can be found here. Here is information on a dates for webinars. April 15, 2020 FEMA released an opportunity for organizations to sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government. FEMA requests specific items in the following categories: Diagnostics and Testing; RNA Extraction Kits; Disinfection Consumables/Biohazardous Waste Management; Medical Equipment; and Personal Protective Equipment. All items must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and all prevailing Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) standards. Offerors are to submit a price quote for consideration by the agency by September 25, 2020.
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)
Date Updates April 14, 2020 The FDA issued emergency authorization around the sterilization of N95 respirators in hospital settings. FDA previously issued guidance clarifying approved uses of face masks, N95 respirators, surgical masks, and related products. March 23, 2020 The FDA issued guidance offering flexibilities to grantees on salaries, travel, conference registration fees, FDA-supported meetings, post-award financial reporting, and closeout that may have been impacted by COVID-19. Specific details on the flexibilities offered are available here.
Foundation for Food and Agriculture
Date Updates April 30, 2020 FFAR is funding five additional Vet Fellowships to conduct pandemic and zoonotic research. As part of these additional fellowships, FFAR has waived the matching requirement and extended the deadline through May 6, 2020.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Date Updates June 11, 2020 HRSA has announced new flexibilities for 340B entities. HRSA stated on its COVID-19 resource page: “HRSA understands that many 340B stakeholders are concerned about the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The circumstances surrounding this public health emergency may warrant additional flexibilities, especially to affected 340B covered entities.” Flexibilities include use of abbreviated patient records for eligibility determination and guidance for volunteer care providers. May 21, 2020 HRSA has announced that it is waiving interest and extending the opportunity for administrative forbearance on health professions student loan and nurse faculty loan programs through September 30, 2020. May 14, 2020 The Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) will soon publish opportunities totaling $15 million in funding to support telehealth education and training of the health workforce. This funding will be distributed through existing HRSA grant programs, including the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program, the Centers of Excellence (COE) program, the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), and the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) program. April 27, 2020 HRSA has announced new guidance for healthcare providers and facilities on filing reimbursement claims for COVID-19 care provided to uninsured patients. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will reimburse healthcare providers at Medicare rates for testing uninsured patients for COVID-19 and treating uninsured patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Healthcare providers who have conducted COVID-19 testing or treated uninsured COIVD-19 patients on or after February 4 can request claims reimbursement. The sign-up period begins on April 27 and HRSA will begin accepting claims on May 6.
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Date Updates May 14, 2020 IMLS has announced a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for museums and libraries. The IMLS CARES ACT Grants for Museums and Libraries support their communities immediate and future needs caused by the pandemic. Projects may focus on preserving jobs, training staff, addressing the digital divide, planning for reopening, or providing technical support and capacity building for digital inclusion and engagement. Applicants are encouraged to prioritize services for high-need communities. Institutions of higher education, including public and nonprofit universities, are eligible to apply. The NOFO deadline is June 12, 2020, with awards anticipated for August 2020. A webinar for this opportunity will be held on May 14, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. IMLS hosted a Small Business Administration (SBA) webinar on May 12 to discuss Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) issues most relevant to museums and libraries. The on-demand webinar addresses PPP issues pertaining to eligibility, payroll costs, and forgiveness calculations, as well as questions concerning unique business organizational structures. April 15, 2020 The IMLS announced plans to award $30 million in emergency relief grants through State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) throughout all U.S. states and territories. Awards will be used to “expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services to citizens to address digital inclusion efforts and related technical support, using the following types of data to prioritize efforts:
- Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Unemployment; and
- Broadband availability
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Date Updates May 8, 2020 The IRS has issued guidance on the taxability of student grants under CARES and the receipt of Economic Impact Payments by international students. In “FAQs: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act”, the IRS notes that the emergency financial aid grants to students provided through their institutions under CARES should be treated as a "qualified disaster relief payment" and therefore is not subject to taxation. FAQ’s on the taxability of emergency student aid grants under CARES is available here and information on potential incorrect payments to international students is available here (specifically questions 11 and 41). April 10, 2020 The IRS announced it will extend the tax filing deadline until July 15, 2020 for all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers, with the current payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. The notice expands this deadline for additional returns, tax payments, and other actions. The IRS also announced new guidance on net operating losses as revised under the CARES Act.
Date Updates April 30, 2020 NASA announced on April 30 a Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge that will address COVID-related issues using NASA’s open source data in an all-virtual, global hackathon. Specifically, the challenge will take place May 30-31 and focus on four key themes: Learning about the virus and its spread using Space-based data; Local response/change and solution; Impacts of COVID-19 on the Earth system/Earth system response, and; Economic opportunity, impact, and recovery during and following COVID-19. The competition will match participants with subject matter experts from NASA or other relevant government agencies. Registration and more information. March 23, 2020 A virtual town hall was held on March 20 for SMD’s stakeholders in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Relevant points of interest include: Points of interest have been summarized below and a recording of the event with slides can be found here: at https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/virtual-townhall-2020.
- Work on missions currently in development (Phases A, B, and C) will continue remotely. Missions undergoing testing and integration are likely to experience greater repercussions. In the latter group, NASA will continue work to the extent practicable using smaller teams. Dr. Zurbuchen noted this will impact the James Webb Space Telescope, but that NASA remains committed to launching the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover this summer as scheduled.
- Funding for individual investigator awards will be impacted. NASA is making modifications to ROSES 2020 program elements and will announce future modifications on NSPRIES. At this point, SMD has determined the following opportunities will be affected:
- Step-1 due dates for the “Emerging Worlds”, “Solar System Observations”, and “Yearly Opportunities for Research in Planetary Defense” program elements will be postponed.
- Step-2 due dates for the “Applied Information Systems Research” and “Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research” are now shifted to April 17, 2020.
- May change all Step-1 deadlines in the next 30 days to mandatory Notices of Intent.
- Will no-cost extend or re-phase existing awards on a case-by-case basis.
- Will exercise leniency in enforcing solicitation deadlines with accommodations made on a case-by-case basis.
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight the urgent need for research related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. NCATS is calling for applications for Administrative Supplements, Collaborative Innovation Awards, and Competitive Revisions under this NOSI.
The NOSI details NCATS research priorities for COVID-19, including “use of informatics solutions to diagnose cases and the use of CTSA-supported core resources to facilitate research on COVID-19 and advance the translation of research findings into diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.” Full details, including more information on research topics , award mechanisms and deadlines, can be found here.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Date Updates April 8, 2020 NEA has posted the agency’s CARES Act funded grant competition to help arts organizations endure financial impacts from COVID-19. NEA received $75 million through the CARES Act. Applicants must be previous NEA awardees from the past four years. Applications are due April 22 via the grants.gov portal and must also be submitted to the Endowment’s application portal between April 27th and May 4th. Details on this program can be found here. April 6, 2020 NEA has announced that its “Challenge American” grant application deadline has been cancelled to allow the endowment to prepare for distribution of funding from the CARES Act. NEA states that “Challenge America” applicants should apply for Grants for Arts Projects, with a deadline of July 9, 2020. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org." March 25, 2020 NEA’s FAQ’s in response to COVID-19, which has been updated with additional information for grantees, can be found here. Important Updates
- Research Awards application deadline extension. The Research Awards application deadline has been extended to help applicants dealing with the effects of COVID-19. See the Research Awards guidelines for more information.
- Budget Revisions. You may transfer among direct cost line items in your budget without prior written approval from us. This means if your approved budget included salaries/wages or artist fees in your budget, you can direct your grant award money toward those costs. You must maintain documentation of all costs charged to the award.
- Allowability of Costs not Normally Chargeable to Awards. If your organization incurs costs related to the cancellation of events, travel, or other activities necessary and reasonable for the performance of the award due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may charge these costs to your award. Awardees are required to maintain appropriate records and cost documentation to substantiate the charging of any cancellation or other fees related to interruption of operations or services. If you have contracts with artists or other vendors, you must adhere to terms of the contract’s cancellation clause(s), as appropriate.
Date Updates April 6, 2020 The NEH Office of Digital Humanities is offering virtual outreach to university instructors to assist in the switch to online learning. Details are available here. March 31, 2020 NEH has provided an FAQ summary for NEH Applicants and Grantees Impacted by the Coronavirus which addresses questions related to the CARES Act. The FAQ notes: NEH plans to announce funding opportunities for eligible organizations seeking support for at-risk humanities positions and projects at cultural nonprofits that have been impacted by the coronavirus. More information will be announced on our website and through social media by April 30, 2020. March 26, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic may impact funded projects as planned activities may be postponed or cancelled. Please contact your project office and grant management specialist through eGMS Reach so NEH staff can help you explore options related to extensions, budget revisions, and scope changes. The NEH Office of Grant Management will confer with program staff and formally convey approved changes to your award through eGMS Reach. Updates to NEH policy can be found here.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Date Updates April 30, 2020 On April 30, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) released two funding mechanisms to provide expedited funding mechanisms for research on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Areas of high priority include, but are not limited to, studies to understand critical aspects of viral infection/replication, studies to understand critical aspects of viral transmission, development and testing of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic candidates, and studies to inform the development of vaccination strategies for at-risk populations. March 25, 2020 The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) regarding the Availability of Emergency Competitive Revisions for Research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This Notice (along with the Notice released on March 25 by NIGMS – _see below) replaces the original NOSI released February 6 by NIAID and NIGMS that will expire on April 8. The NOSI details NIAID’s research priorities and the urgent need for projects focused on viral natural history, pathogenicity, transmission, and projects developing medical countermeasures and suitable animal models for pre-clinical testing of vaccines and therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. NIAID is calling for applications for Administrative Supplements and through the Emergency Competitive Revision mechanisms.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to address the urgent need for research on the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19). NIGMS is solicitating competitive revisions that address three specific research priorities:
- Incorporation of data related to SARS-CoV-2 into ongoing research efforts to develop predictive models for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other related infectious agents;
- Repurposing or modification of diagnostic tools currently under development to enable rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection (SBIR/STTR grants only).
- Rapid development of potential therapeutic agents for COVID-19 (SBIR/STTR only)
Investigators interested in submitting proposals in response to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to contact relevant NIGMS staff prior to submission. Full details are can be found here as well as on the NIGMS blog.
Date Updates June 25, 2020 NIH will hold two pre-application webinars covering the RADx-UP funding opportunities below on Friday, June 26 from 2 – 4 pm ET and on Wednesday, July 1 from 3 – 5 pm ET. Click here to register and learn more about these webinars. Questions may be pre-submitted at RADxInfo@nih.gov. June 22, 2020 The Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) public-private partnership is a program dedicated to accelerating the development of promising treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHBLI) is very integrated into the ACTIV framework under the therapeutics clinical and clinical trial capacity working groups. At this time there are two planned OTA (Other Transaction Authority) research opportunities for extramural researchers through NHLBI for ACTIV that are described below. On April 29, NHLBI released the OTA-20-011 research opportunity seeking applications for multicentered phase 2 and 3 randomized, controlled clinical trials of host-targeting strategies to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 disease. An additional OTA research opportunity is in progress to study cohort and other longitudinal studies for community-based interventions. NHLBI’s site will be monitored for additional updates regarding this opportunity. June 17, 2020 The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative released the funding opportunity announcements for the RADx – Underserved Populations (RADx-UP. There are four different funding opportunities, three competitive revisions that require active NIH grants, and one U54 for a coordinating and data collection center. Further details regarding each opportunity can be found in the chart below. June 11, 2020
New NIH Research and Funding OpportunitiesOn Thursday, June 18 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm (ET), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will host a pre-application webinar for the previously announced Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) RFA-CA-20-038 and RFA-CA-20-039 that are part of NCI’s Serological Sciences Network. Participants planning to attend should email any questions by June 16, 2020 to Serology_Network@mail.nih.gov.
June 11, 2020 NIH has created a new central site for its current guidance related to Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding on the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, NIH has released NOT-OD-20-123 providing information on Special Exceptions to the NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Post-Submission Materials Policy during the COVID-19 Pandemic. June 9, 2020 National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently released a Notice of Intent to Publish for research that will “determine the role and impact of digital health interventions to address secondary health effects of social, behavioral, and economic changes following the COVID-19 pandemic.” This is a funding opportunity for new R01 grants and researchers will be required to partner with digital health experts and/or existing digital health platforms to prepare and submit applications. NIMH expects to publish the full funding opportunity on June 20 with an estimated first application due date of July 20. The anticipated budget for each award will be up to $750K in direct costs per year for up to three years. May 26, 2020
As previously reported, the National Cancer Institute released a Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence. NCI expects to publish the final Funding Opportunity Announcement on June 10, with the first due date on July 20.
May 18, 2020 NCI/NIAID – Serological Sciences Network for SARS-CoV-2 NCI announced a collaboration between NCI and NIAID and is now requesting input on the topic of research approaches and priorities related to SARS-CoV-2 serology. Comments are welcome on any of the following topics:
- Research about the relationship between immunity, recent infection, antibody production, and other immunological markers, including:
- The role and value of animal models andin vitro assays for determining the relationship between antibody production and immunity to SARS-CoV-2.
- The types and titers of antibodies important for immune protection and the mechanism of such protection.
- Whether cross-reacting antibodies from prior infection by other coronaviruses confer immunity.
- Whether antibodies to coronaviridae can cause immunopathogenesis (e.g. ADE).
- Genetic or other host factors that could predict antibody production and innate or adaptive immunity.
- Specific virologic factors that mediate the generation of effective host immunity, especially humoral immunity vs. cell-mediated immunity.
- Clinical utilization of serological testing, including:
- Design strategies for clinical trials and population-based observational studies optimally addressing the most critical research questions, including biospecimen sampling/biobanking considerations, safety and ethical considerations.
- Characteristics and performance standards needed for serological testing, whether for seroprevalence surveys or point-of-care tests.
- Approaches to rapidly increase capacity for high-quality serology testing in the U.S. by leveraging existing infrastructure, especially in underserved communities.
- How to use and interpret serological testing results safely, effectively, and equitably.
May 14, 2020 The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors announced a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) concept based on a collaboration between NCI and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The purpose of this concept clearance is to mobilize collaborative efforts to rapidly expand national testing capacity. The proposed serological sciences network for SARS-CoV-2 would contain five components. The Frederick National Lab (FNL) Serology Lab would serve as the core lab, mainly validating serological tests for SARS-CoV-2. Capacity Building Centers will be funded to focus on developing and expanding serological testing capacity and practices in the community. Serological Centers of Excellence and Serological Sciences Projects will be funded to understand the mechanisms driving serological, humoral, and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 viral infection to inform the development of novel serological tests. Lastly, the National Coordinating Center at the Frederick National Lab will manage, coordinate, and provide communication across the Serological Sciences Network for SARS-CoV-2. There will be a preference for a cancer relevant component when funding the centers of excellence and the serological sciences projects.
- Funding for the Capacity Building Centers will be provided via a contract mechanism. NCI anticipates awarding between four and eight academic and/or private sector organizations with funding up to $3 million in total costs per year for each site for up to five years.
- Funding for the Serological Centers of Excellence will be funded through the Specialized Center – Cooperative Agreements (U54) mechanism. An estimated four to eight centers will be funded for awards up to $2 million in total costs per year for up to five years.
- Funding for the Serological Sciences Projects will be funded through the Research Project – Cooperative Agreements (U01) mechanism. An estimated five to ten investigators will be awarded with grants up to $500,000 in total costs per year for up to five years.
May 8, 2020 The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has posted the following new funding opportunity. LOI’s will be accepted for deadlines on May 15, June 15, July 15 and August 15 and will be batched for review. The second opportunity is a Notice of Special Interest for Supplements or Revisions to existing National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) existing awards. May 4, 2020
COVID-19 Update: NIH Common Fund Special Interest WebinarThe National Institutes of Health Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) - The Common Fund will host a technical assistance webinar to answer prospective applicants' questions on May 6 at 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, 2020 allocated the NIH Common Fund $30 million to support efforts that prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally. With guided oversight by OSC, The Common Fund will allocate funding to increase research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Research within the realms of behavioral/social science, health disparities, and novel therapeutics, that align with the mission of an emergency response to provide critical expertise, resources or activities are included. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from April 15, 2020 through June 19, 2020. To join the meeting online, click this webinar link and enter meeting password 6HMnbnWVy24. To join by phone, dial: (650) 479-3208 and enter access code 626 171 878.
April 13, 2020 NIH COVID-19 Funding and Funding Opportunities April 6, 2020 NIH has created a central site for its current guidance; the update history for information found on the guidance site can be found here. NIH leadership is emphasizing flexibility and has indicated they will be sending regular updates to the research community through the NIH Extramural Nexus newsletter. March 30, 2020 FUNDING OPPORTUNITY – ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPLEMENT The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) released a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) for administrative supplements to “provide support to conduct worker-based training to prevent and reduce exposure of hospital employees, emergency first responders, and other workers who are at risk of exposure to Coronavirus through their work duties “through the NIEHS Superfund Worker Training Program (WTP)”. Awardees in this new NIEHS WTP Coronavirus Bio-Safety Training Initiative should develop health and safety training programs for workers at high risk for accepting or being closely exposed to COVID-19 patients, as well as hazardous waste and bodily fluid, through air transport, medical treatment, environmental services, waste handling, and/or clean up. Applicants for these supplements must be active grantees of existing NIEHS WTPs (specific programs are listed in the NOSI), and applications are due on April 24, 2020. Additional details about this initiative can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-ES-20-014.html March 26, 2020 NIH released a notice that all grant applications due between March 9, 2020 and May 1, 2020 will be accepted through May 1, 2020. This announcement applies to all relevant funding opportunity announcements, including those that indicate no late applications will be accepted. Institutions no longer need to request advance permission to submit late applications and a cover letter justifying the late submission is not required due to this declared emergency. For funding opportunity announcements that expire prior to May 1, 2020, NIH will extend the expiration date for 90 days to accommodate the submission of late applications. Under this new guidance, NIH anticipates, but cannot guarantee, that all late applications submitted by May 1, 2020 will be reviewed in the council round to which they were submitted. The full details are provided here.
Notice of Special Opportunities - Updated: 6/22/2020
The following contains updated COVID-19 research related Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) and other funding opportunities released by NIH Institutes and Centers. Please see each NOT for information on eligibility and which RFP or PAR it is linked to. INSTITUTE OPPORTUNITY NUMBER DEADLINE SUMMARY National Institute on Aging PAR-20-234 Monthly through February 2021, see solicitation This FOA is soliciting applications to implement investigator-initiated multi-site clinical trials (all phases) of interventions focused on specific aging-related issues to reducing the impact of COVID-19 in at-risk older adult populations. Specifically, the FOA is interested in methods to reduce transmission, risk, morbidity, mortality, severity, and complications of the disease. National Institute Health, Office of the Director NOT-OD-20-107 June 22, 2020 This NOSI encourages eligible ECHO cohort grantees to apply for this supplement aimed at fostering time-sensitive ECHO-wide Cohort science related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ECHO Program’s mission is to enhance the health of children for generations to come. Understanding the effects of a broad array of early environmental exposures on child health and development, including issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a priority for the NIH. National Institute Health, Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund) RFA-RM-20-020 September 30, 2020 Soliciting applications responsive only to the COVID-19 public health emergency through funds from the CARES Act. The NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award Program supports research proposing groundbreaking, innovative, and original research to create new and improved clinical approaches and develop transformative technology. This award will support 5 to 10 Transformative Research Awards focused on any relevant area of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 research. NIH Common Fund NOT-RM-20-01 Rolling until June 19, 2020 Research is needed to better understand the transmission, pathology, and morbidity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19. National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) NOT-TR-20-029 Rolling, expires November 11, 2020 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight the urgent need for research on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). NIDCR will place a high priority on topics that would be of immediate and high impact to protect and ensure the safety of personnel and patients in dental practices. These topics include prevention of SARS-COV-2 transmission and improvements in the detection and diagnosis of COVID-19; as well as acquisition of a more robust understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Further, topics addressing influence and interaction of sex (a biological variable) and gender (a social construct), race and ethnicity, and those addressing questions about risk, prevention, and health outcomes are also of interest. NCATS NOT-TR-20-016 Rolling through January 25, 2022 This NOSI highlights the urgent need for research on the COVID-19. NCATS is especially interested in research in the use of microphysiological systems or tissue chips in collecting and examining data on the risks and outcomes for COVID-19 infection, and advance the translation of research findings into diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.A multi-organ on chip approach is strongly encouraged though not required. Please document access to a BSL-3 facility or include scientific justification for use of alternative facilities, for example using an engineered a COVID-19 pseudovirus that expresses the key surface Spike protein, which mediates its entry into cells. National Center for Complementary and Integrat NOT-AT-20-012ive Health (NCCIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) NOT-AT-20-012 Rolling basis through August 17, 2020 This NCCIH NOSI announces funds for Administrative Supplements or Urgent Competitive Revisions to promote research on the effects of natural products alone or in combination with other complementary and integrative health approaches on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). NCCIH is particularly interested in projects focusing on the therapeutic and/or mechanistic effects on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 of natural product–based complementary remedies including, but not limited to: herbal therapies, vitamins, supplements, probiotics, microbial therapies, and Chinese medicine herbal preparations. Only existing awardees of NCCIH are eligible to apply. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) NOT-AT-20-012 Rolling basis through August 17, 2020 The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) announces the availability of Administrative Supplements or Urgent Competitive Revisions to promote research on the effects of natural products alone or in combination with other complementary and integrative health approaches on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Of NCCIH is particularly interested in projects focusing on the therapeutic and/or mechanistic effects on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 of natural product–based complementary remedies including, but not limited to: herbal therapies, vitamins, supplements, probiotics, microbial therapies, and Chinese medicine herbal preparations. NCCIH, NIA, NIAAA NOT-AT-20-011 Rolling through October 6, 2020 Topics of specific interest for this NOSI include research on stress management strategies, including mind and body approaches, that individuals may engage in remotely to address stressors related to social distancing, as well as to address recovery and recurrence of symptoms during and after COVID-19 infections. National Cancer Institute (NCI) RFA-CA-20-038 Webinar is now available. National Cancer Institute (NCI) RFA-CA-20-039 Webinar is now available. National Cancer Institute (NCI) S20-119 July 16, 2020 This contract opportunity is soliciting for Capacity Building Centers that will serve within the Serological Sciences Network for SARS-CoV-2 to focus on developing and expanding serological testing capacity and practices in the community. To view the full solicitation, you must contact Heather Sewell at NCIFSSN@nih.gov. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) RFA-CA-20-038 July 22, 2020 This FOA is to establish Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence with the goal of identifying and advancing research opportunities to characterize the immune responses elicited by SARS-CoV-2 viral infection; understanding the mechanisms driving the serological, humoral and cellular immune responses; determining host, genetic, and environmental modifiers of the immune response; determining the serological correlates of disease pathogenesis and protection against future infection; defining access, communication, and implementation barriers related to SARS-CoV-2 serological testing. U54 Centers will be part of a Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet). Other components of the Network will include Serological Sciences Research Projects (U01), the FNLCR Serology Laboratory, Serological Capacity Building Centers (CBC) and a Serological Sciences Network Coordinating Center (SSNCC) which will be managed through Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research (FNLCR), a Federally Funded Research and Development Center. It may also include SBIR grants and other grants and contracts related to serology associated with SARS-CoV-2. All components are expected to collaborate across the entire Network, sharing data, results, and reagents. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) RFA-CA-20-039 July 22, 2020 Companion to RFA-CA-20-038 (above) soliciting U01 research project applications which solicits multi-component U54 Center applications. Successful applicants from both FOAs will become members of the Serological Sciences Network. NCI NOT-CA-20-054 Funded awards only NCI anticipates that in infrequent cases, NCI-funded investigators will have novel insights and research proposals of immediate relevance to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. In those cases, but only for the duration of the present crisis, NCI would consider requests from its funded grantees and cooperative agreement awardees to engage in limited COVID-19 related research using part of their existing NCI-funded resources under specific conditions. NCI NOT-CA-20-042 Rolling through June 25, 2020 This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) highlights the urgent need for research on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the effects of its causative agent, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), on cancer, and vice versa. Topics of specific interest to NCI include: understanding the basic mechanisms of interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and cancer cells, co-morbidities of cancer and SARS-CoV-2 infection (especially in disparately affected patient populations), and the impacts on treatment and clinical outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infected persons in the context of cancer. NCI NOT-CA-20-043 Rolling through June 25, 2020 The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is issuing this NOSI to highlight the urgent need for the development of prophylactic, therapeutic and diagnostic for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). To accelerate the development of promising technologies, the NCI encourages applications from small businesses with NCI-funded active SBIR/STTR awards for technologies that have a strong potential to be adapted/repurposed for use as a prophylactic, therapeutic or diagnostic tool for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute OTA-20-011 Rolling 15th of the month May – August 2020 Seeking applications for multicentered phase 2 and 3 randomized, controlled clinical trials of host-targeting strategies to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 disease. Also seeking applications from experienced Data and Clinical Coordinating Centers with an established network or consortium of Clinical Centers to serve as the Administrative Coordinating Center for the Network of Networks Platform. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) NOT-HL-20-782 Rolling from May 1, through October 5, 2020 There is urgent need for early phase clinical trials to evaluate new or existing interventions that may prevent or treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). NIAAA NOT-AA-20-011 Rolling through April 15, 2021 Research is needed to understand the potentially complex relationships between alcohol consumption and COVID-19 related-outcomes to enhance the nation’s response to the current pandemic. The outcomes include overt pathophysiology and the impact of social and policy measures on COVID-19 outcomes. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) NOT-AA-20-051 See specific announcement for deadline information. Research is needed to improve understanding and available control measures for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. These include: Critical aspects of viral infection, replication, pathogenesis and transmission; evolution and emergency of SARS-CoV-2 viruses; development of sensitive, specific and rapid clinical diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2; development of therapeutic candidates; identification and evaluation of the innate, cellular and humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) PAR-20-178 Rolling from April 30, 2020 through April 30, 2021. R01 mechanism to provide expedited funding for research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research NOT-DE-20-022 (see other related announcements in this notice). June 1, 2020 and November 2, 2020 NIDCR will place a high priority on topics that would be of immediate and high impact to protect and ensure the safety of personnel and patients in dental practices including prevention of SARS-COV-2 transmission and improvements in the detection and diagnosis of COVID-19; as well as acquisition of a more robust understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Topics addressing influence and interaction of sex (a biological variable) and gender (a social construct), race and ethnicity, and those addressing questions about risk, prevention, and health outcomes are also of interest. NIAID PAR-20-177 R01 mechanism to provide expedited funding for research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). R01 mechanism to provide expedited funding for research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). NIBIB Revisions and Supplements: NOT-EB-20-008 Rolling through November 10, 2020 This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) highlights the urgent need for accelerating the development, translation, and commercialization of technologies to address Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The NIBIB is seeking applications from current grantees to develop life-saving technologies that can be ready for commercialization within one to two years. NIBIB NEW R01, R21 and R03 Grants: NOT-EB-20-007 SEE NOTICE This NOSI highlights the urgent need for accelerating the development, translation, and commercialization of technologies to address Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The NIBIB is seeking applications from current grantees to develop life-saving technologies that can be ready for commercialization within one to two years. NIBIB NEW SBIR/STTR Grants: NOT-EB-20-006 SEE NOTICE This NOSI highlights the urgent need for accelerating the development, translation, and commercialization of technologies to address Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The NIBIB is seeking applications to develop life-saving technologies that can be ready for commercialization within one to two years. National Institute Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) NOT-DC-20-008 October 5th, 2020 through September 8th, 2022 There is a paucity of data on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the sensory and communicative functions within the scientific mission areas of NIDCD. NIDCD invites applications for research on COVID-19 in relation to NIDCD’s scientific programs of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech and language (HBTSVSL). Given the early stage of COVID-19 research, it is critical that there is a strong premise for research proposals submitted in response to this NOSI. When appropriate, NIDCD encourages multi-disciplinary approaches to move the research beyond in vitro and animal models. Applicants responding to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to consider utilizing existing disaster research tools and COVID-19 surveys, if appropriate, which are available at https://dr2.nlm.nih.gov. Additionally, researchers funded under this NOSI who develop novel survey instruments, will be required to share these item by depositing them at NIHCOVID19Measures@nih.gov NIDDK NOT-DK-20-020 JUNE 1, 2020 This NOSI is issued in response to the urgent need for research on how coinfection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), might affect HIV-associated comorbidities, coinfections, and complications (CCCs) within its mission. For this funding opportunity announcement, NIDDK is interested in studies to elucidate if COVID-19 might provoke or exacerbate noncommunicable gastrointestinal, liver, kidney/urological and metabolic/endocrine diseases in people with HIV (PWH) or worsen the consequences of viral hepatitis coinfection. Conversely, it is also important to elucidate whether people with HIV (PWH) with CCCs within the mission of NIDDK have different COVID-19 outcomes. Studies are expected to align with the HIV/AIDS research priorities outlined by the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) in NOT-OD-20-018 UPDATE: NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities and Guidelines for Determining HIV/AIDS Funding. NIEHS NOT-ES-20-015 SEE NOTICE NIEHS is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to address the urgent need for mission-relevant research to understand the impact of environmental exposures on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its causative agent, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2). NIEHS is particularly interested in applications that will provide insight into the role of environmental exposures in pathogenicity, transmission, individual susceptibility, or prevention and intervention strategies. NIGMS NOT-GM-20-027 May 5, 2020 This NOSI requests applications for Competitive Revisions to active U24 awards for eligible organizations to rapidly provide pilot or supplementary funds to researchers studying the development of predictive models for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and outcomes of possible COVID-19 public health intervention measures in order to accelerate such research. National Institute of Mental Health NOT-MH-20-053 Rolling through December 15th, 2020 This NOSI is to support research to address secondary health effects of the social, behavioral, and economic changes, particularly among populations who experience health disparities and vulnerable populations through the use of digital health assessments and interventions to yield measurable near-term impact. Applications for this supplement/revision must be made to an existing NIH current award (see notice). National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) PAR-20-237 December 2, 2020 This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages applications to implement and evaluate community interventions testing 1) the impacts of mitigation strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission in NIH-designated health disparity populations and other vulnerable groups; and 2) already implemented, new, or adapted interventions to address the adverse psychosocial, behavioral, and socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic on the health of these groups. National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) NOT-MD-20-022 Rolling through December 15th, 2020 Research is needed to test community interventions focused on the prevention (or slowing) of COVID-19 transmission, evaluate local and state policies and programs intended to mitigate COVID-19 exposure and improve adherence, and reduce the negative impact of the multifaceted consequences on the health of populations who experience health disparities and other vulnerable groups. This work may include leveraging and scaling existing resources (e.g., health education materials, technology, social media, mass media, social support networks, social services). In domains and populations in which the evidence base is limited, the development, testing, and implementation of novel or adapted interventions to address the negative health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (including the unintended health consequences of population-level interventions) may also be needed to address the unique needs of populations. Applications for this supplement/revision must be made to an existing NIH current award (see notice). NIMDH NOT-MD-20-019 Rolling Basis: May 1, 2020-May 1, 2021 This NOSI highlights the urgent need for research on the impact of the novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic causing COVID-19 disease outbreaks and the resulting disruptions on individual and social wellbeing, health services use, and health outcomes for NIH-designated health disparity populations. NIMH NOT-MH-20-047 Rolling through April 15, 2021 This NOSI highlights interest in research to strengthen the mental health response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to future public health emergencies, including pandemics. NIMH is especially interested in research to provide an evidence base for how a disrupted workforce may adequately respond/adapt to and maintain services or provide additional care for new or increasing mental health needs, as well as to learn about the effects of the virus and public health measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 that may have an impact on mental health. Research addressing the intersection of COVID-19, mental health, and HIV treatment and prevention are also of interest to NIMH. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) NOT-NS-20-0151 Rolling through April 14, 2021 To improve understanding of the neurological consequences of infection of SARS-CoV-2 and of COVID-19, addressing the biology, pathophysiology, prevention, diagnosis, sequelae, or treatment of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus on neurological systems. National Library of Medicine (NLM) NOT-LM-20-011 June 16, 2020 Seeking research methods for mining clinical data that can be used to identify or predict presence of COVID-19 in biomedical phenotype data and public heath surveillance methods that mine genomic, viromic, health data,environmental data, and other pertinent sources. NLM NOT-LM-20-010 June 1, 2020 Seeking research methods for mining clinical data that can be used to identify or predict presence of COVID-19 in biomedical phenotype data and public heath surveillance methods that mine genomic, viromic, health data, environmental data, and other pertinent sources. Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR) NOT-OD-20-097 Rolling through March 31, 2021 This NOSI highlights the urgent need for social, behavioral, economic, health communication, and epidemiologic research relevant to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19, and encourages urgent competitive supplements and administrative supplements to existing longitudinal studies that address key social and behavioral questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include adherence to and transmission mitigation from various containment and mitigation efforts; social, behavioral, and economic impacts from these containment and mitigation efforts; and downstream health impacts resulting from these social, behavioral, and economic impacts, including differences in risk and resiliency based on gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other social determinants of health.
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
Funding amount: Varies
Application deadline: Varies by activity code – see announcement
NCATS issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to solicit research proposals on the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes COVID-19. With this NOSI, NCATS is specifically interested in supporting research that repurposes existing drugs or biologics that have already begun or completed a Phase I clinical trial. Additional information, including details on specific types of studies NCATS seeks to support along with different award mechanisms it will use to fund these projects, is available here.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) “to highlight the urgent need for research on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and on biological effects of its causative agent, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Topics of specific interest to NHLBI include host response, associations with heart, lung, and blood (HLB) diseases, potential impacts on transfusion safety, and clinical outcomes of 13 infected individuals.” Investigators can apply for both Administrative Supplements and Urgent Competitive Revisions through this NOSI.
Applications in response to this NOSI must be submitted using one of the following target opportunities or subsequent reissued equivalent.
- PA-18-591 – Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)
- PA-18-935 Urgent Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Urgent Supplement – Clinical Trial Optional)
- Investigators planning to submit an application in response to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to contact and discuss their proposed research/aims with Program staff listed on this NOSI well in advance of the grant receipt date to better determine appropriateness and interest of the NHLBI. Deadlines are on-going through October 6, 2020
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) - Updated: 4/27/2020
April 27, 2020 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) released a strategic plan outlining the Institute’s priorities for COVID-19 related research in fiscal years (FY) 2020-2024. The plan describes NIAID’s research mission as it relates to COVID-19 and the causative agent of the disease, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). NIAID’s four strategic research priority pillars include:
- Improve knowledge and understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
- Characterize basic virology and immunological response to infection
- Understand disease dynamics and natural history
- Develop relevant animal models of disease
- Develop diagnostics and assays to identify and isolate COVID-19 cases
- Speed the development and evaluation of diagnostic platforms and approaches
- Develop assays to bolster understanding of infection and disease incidence
- Characterize and test potential therapeutics and treatments for COVID-19
- Identify therapeutic candidates
- Conduct treatment studies to advance therapeutic development
- Develop effective vaccines to combat SARS-CoV-2
- Use reagent development and adjuvant characterization and development to spur vaccine development
April 5, 2020 The emergency funding package included $826 million for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), intended to be used primarily for vaccine research and development. NIAID is currently using two mechanisms to award funding to investigators for work within this scope: non-competitive administrative supplements and, for the first time, competitive Urgent Awards. More information about these two opportunities, as well as a list of NIAID’s research priorities related to COVID-19, can be found here. Information on specific recently released NIAID RFPs will be posted here: Here are the three most recently updated opportunities:
- RFA-AI-20-028 Partnerships for Countermeasures against Select Pathogens (R01 Clinical Trials Not Allowed)Deadline date: June 29, 2020Funding Amount: anticipated at $10.5M for 10-15 awardsThe purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit research applications for milestone-driven projects focused on preclinical development of lead candidate therapeutics, vaccines and related countermeasures against select NIAID Emerging Infectious Diseases/Pathogens. Applications must include a Product Development Strategy attachment and demonstrate substantive investment by at least one industrial participant.
- PAR-20-139 Investigator Initiated Extended Clinical Trial (R01 Clinical Trial Required)Deadline date: May 13, 2020Funding amount: Budgets are not limited but must reflect project needsThis Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications for implementation of investigator-initiated clinical trials requiring an extended project period of 6 or 7 years. The trials can be any phase, must be hypothesis-driven, and related to the research mission of one of the participating NIH Institutes/Centers (IC). Consultation with IC staff is strongly encouraged prior to the submission of the clinical trial implementation application. This FOA is not intended for support of clinical trials that do not require an extended project period of 6 or 7 years.
- PA-20-135 Emergency Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Awards (Emergency Supplement - Clinical Trial Optional)Deadline date: See NOSIFunding amount: See NOSIThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) hereby notify the applicant community that funds may be available for applications based on a presidentially declared disaster under the Stafford Act, a public health emergency declared by the Secretary, HHS, or other local, regional or national disaster. Applications in response to Emergency Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) will be routed directly to the NIH awarding component signed on to the Emergency NOSI. Only applications submitted in response to an Emergency NOSI published by an NIH Institute/Center (IC) will be allowed to apply to this FOA.
Other NIH Agencies
Elsewhere at NIH, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) received $10 million in funding in the emergency supplemental package, but no details are available yet on how this funding will be awarded. We also anticipate that, in the coming weeks and months, additional Institutes and Centers will be issuing opportunities for administrative supplements for research on COVID-19 that is related to their underlying programmatic priorities. We will share such at information as it becomes available.
- Research about the relationship between immunity, recent infection, antibody production, and other immunological markers, including:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Date Updates June 9, 2020 NOAA has made available several datasets that can be utilized to model the impact of various environmental parameters on infectious disease, including COVID-19.
Date Updates June 22, 2020 On June 17, NSF updated its chart of deadline extensions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include both solicitations and Dear Colleague Letter extensions. If a program is not included in this chart, PIs should assume the deadline has not changed, but can contact the program director with any individual concerns or issues. June 11, 2020 On June 9, NSF issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) titled “IUCRC Program Policy Flexibility in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Situation.” The DCL offers guidance for IUCRCs with active NSF grants on how to manage challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, especially related to industry membership commitments. The DCL will be updated as needed and the current guidance is applicable through December 31, 2020. NSF Deadline Extension Computing Research Association (CRA) and the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) announced a five-day extension of the deadline for applications to the new Computing Innovation Fellows (CIFellows) Program. The extension of the deadline to June 17, 2020 is “in recognition of the unrest and protests across the nation.” CISE hosted a webinar to describe the new program on May 26. Additional information on the CIFellows program and a recording of the webinar can be found here. June 9, 2020 Recently it was noted that the NSF Environmental Research and Education (ERE) Advisory Committee that the Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) program expects to add sub-tracks related to COVID-19 to the existing Communities and Mobility and Resilience to Natural Disasters tracks. The Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate leads this program and CISE Assistant Director Margaret Martonosi noted that NSF is likely to move back the July 1 deadline for CIVIC. June 3, 2020 On May 29, NSF archived the COVID-19 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) (NSF 20-052). Following thousands of inquiries to NSF staff on COVID-19 related research ideas, NSF has made over 500 RAPID awards. Given the short-term focus of the RAPID mechanism, “NSF now seeks to enable broader-scope projects that build on the knowledge already acquired, and that sustain greater collaboration and coordination activities.” NSF encourages new COVID-19 research proposals to be submitted through existing funding opportunities. Interested researchers are advised to contact the relevant program officer before submitting a proposal. The SBIR/STTR DCL “Request for SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposals Addressing COVID-19 (NSF 20-065)” has also been archived, but the SBIR/STTR program continues to welcome new projects focused on COVID-19. Additional information is included in the FAQs. May 27, 2020 The 2020 NSF Proposal and Award Policy and Procedures Guide will go into effect as planned on June 1. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NSF is delaying until October 1 implementation of the new requirement to use NSF-approved formats for the biographical sketch and current and pending support sections of proposals. Other new requirements and changes will continue to go into effect June 1. On May 22, the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE) announced a new Computing Innovation Fellows (CIFellows) Program, targeting recent and soon-to-be PhD graduates in CISE research areas whose academic job search was impacted by COVID-19. The CIFellows program, which will be operated by the Computing Research Association (CRA) and the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), will offer two-year postdoctoral opportunities in computing and activities to support career development. Awards will cover an annual salary of $75,000 and are open to all researchers whose work falls under the umbrella of CISE-supported disciplines. Recording of a webinar announcement with program details will be available by 5:00 pm EDT Thursday May 28th, 2020. May 14, 2020 NSF Virtual Office Hours: Certain NSF Directorates and Divisions have held or are holding office hours for their research community.
- The Division of Environmental Biology within the Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO) will hold office hours the second Monday of each month, 1-2 pm EST.
- The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences within BIO will hold office hours the second Wednesday of the month.
- Slides from the early-April BIO-wide office hours are available here.
- The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) within BIO will host its office hours on May 21 at 1-2PM (EST).
- The Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) within the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) held virtual office hours in early April. More information, including slides is available here. The next EAR virtual office hours will be held on May 21 at 3-4:30PM (EST). More information here.
- A presentation on the NSF response to coronavirus from the Directorate for Engineering Advisory Committee meeting held on April 7 is available here.
- The Division of Chemistry within the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences announced office hours to be held on May 15 at 4-5PM (EST). Details available here.
April 28, 2020 The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) restating the opportunity to apply for funding supplements to active CISE awards for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). This DCL aims to address the disruption to undergraduates caused by COVID-19 and reminds the CISE research community of the opportunity to provide additional ways to engage undergraduates who are US citizens and permanent residents in research pathways. April 8, 2020 On April 9, the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) within the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) will offer virtual office hours “to share information about NSF’s current operations and provide guidance to the earth sciences community. This will also allow the community to ask questions, share concerns, or offer suggestions on how EAR can do more to address the impact of COVID-19 on the research community.” Office hours will be offered April 9 from 11 AM to Noon (ET). More information is available here. March 30, 2020 On March 27, NSF released an updated list of programs with extended deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. March 26, 2020 The NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) announced a series of four scheduled virtual office hours the week of March 30th to discuss “how BIO and NSF can mitigate the longer-term harm of COVID-19 on U.S. research and training”. These office hours will enable the BIO community to have the opportunity to share concerns, ask questions, or suggest additional actions NSF can take to address the coronavirus emergency. Details on the BIO-wide office hours are available here. March 25, 2020 On March 25, NSF released a Dear Colleague Letter: Request for SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposals Addressing COVID-19. NSF invites U.S.-based businesses to submit Phase I SBIR/STTR proposals focused on “the development and deployment of new technologies, products, processes and services” that have the potential to help respond to COVID-19. The DCL highlights the following areas of research: artificial intelligence, digital health, diagnostics, distributed ledger, environmental technologies, medical devices, pharmaceutical technologies, disinfection and sterilization, and filtration and separations. March 23, 2020 On March 23, NSF Director France Córdova released a letter to the NSF community regarding COVID-19 stating that NSF is “committed to providing the greatest available flexibilities to support your health and safety as well as your work.” The letter is available here. March 5, 2020 A useful list of Frequently Asked Questions to NSF can be found here. This list includes information on how to submit applications to programs outlined in the Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on March 5.
- NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on March 5 inviting supplemental funding requests and RAPID proposals for research utilizing data or software approaches to research on COVID-19 related challenges. NSF is also accepting proposals for use of NSF advanced cyberinfrastructure to conduct COVID-19 related research. More information is available here.
- NSF released a Dear Colleague Letter on March 4 for proposals “to conduct non-medical, nonclinical-care research that can be used immediately to explore how to model and understand the spread of COVID-19, to inform and educate about the science of virus transmission and prevention, and to encourage the development of processes and actions to address this global challenge.” The solicitation invites researchers to submit proposals through the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism. The Dear Colleague Letter is available here.
North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC)
The North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) announced that Project Vulcan released another call, separate from the DoD COVID-19 Innovation Challenge call for “innovative capabilities that addresses the challenges presented by COVID-19, as well as its resulting impacts on public safety and national security processes, systems, and resources.” Project Vulcan is a collaboration between Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L), the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the DOD Information Analysis Centers, and the National Defense University” and “incorporates online and offline engagement opportunities to broadly connect SOF operators and acquisition professionals with counterparts in the high tech community.”
Proposed innovations and solutions for COVID-19 will be shared with a “wide network of government personnel” involved with combatting COVID-19. Responses are due as soon as possible and no later than March 31, 2020. NCMBC’s announcement and more information on applying can be found here. Note: Applicants must fill out a “scout card” summary describing solutions/capabilities. New members of the Vulcan network can request access here.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Date Updates June 22, 2020
OMB issued Memorandum M-20-26 extending certain administrative flexibilities for recipients of federal grants. This guidance extends provisions included in three earlier memoranda issued in March and April that provided administrative, financial, and audit requirement flexibilities to assist grantee institutions during pandemic related disruptions and closures.
Due to uncertainties associated with reopening and ramping up efforts, M-20-26 provides an extension of the allowability of salaries and other project activities, allowing grantee institutions to continue to charge salaries and benefits to active federal awards, through September 30, 2020. In addition, M-20-26 provides an extension of the extension of single audit submission provision through December 31, 2020. Agencies may allow grant recipients that have not yet filed their single audits with due dates from March 30-June 30, 2020 to delay submission up to six months.
April 16, 2020 OMB released Memorandum M-20-21 to provide guidance for federal departments and agencies on how to distribute and rapidly execute supplemental funding and economic relief mechanisms provided in response to COVID-19 through recent legislation. As stated in a webinar April 16, OMB senior policy analysts emphasized that the OMBs goal is to have no additional reporting requirements for recipients of COVID-19 relief funds. gov will be the primary authoritative source for all COVID-19 related reporting. The Administration is committed to minimizing recipient burden, and will leverage existing financial reporting requirements for most awards. Agencies will be expected to incorporate reporting of performance on objectives for COVID-19 relief funding, such as loans, loan guarantees, and other awards, into their existing mission performance plans. April 15, 2020
OMB recently released Memorandum M-20-21 to provide guidance for federal departments and agencies on how to distribute and rapidly execute supplemental funding and economic relief mechanisms provided in response to COVID-19 through recent legislation. The memo directs agencies to use existing financial transparency and accountability mechanisms, and to consider ways to use data and evidence to achieve program objectives; rapidly issue awards and fund programs to meet critical needs; and provide clear, accurate public reporting on awards. Agencies will be expected to incorporate reporting of performance on objectives for COVID-19 relief funding, such as loans, loan guarantees, and other awards, into their existing mission performance plans. The memo directs agencies to consider whether they can meet existing reporting deadlines on awards and financial assistance programs in light of the surge in funding and requests.
April 9, 2020
On April 9, OMB released Memorandum M-20-20 to allow federal awarding agencies to repurpose federal assistance awards and grants, in whole or in part, to support COVID-19 response. The exception follows Administration direction that all federal departments and agencies should marshal all legally available resources to combat the crisis. Under the exception, medical equipment, medical devices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased with federal grants as well as resources such as labor, supplies, and contract services funded through federal grants may be donated to hospitals, medical centers, and other local entities serving the public for COVID-19 response. The full memo can be found here.
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Date Updates April 28, 2020 PCORI is soliciting applications to a special engagement award opportunity, “Supporting Engagement in and Dissemination of PCOR/CER in the Context of COVID-19.” PCORI intends to award $21 million to research support projects that encourage the integration of community and healthcare stakeholders into patient-centered outcomes research/comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) on COVID-19. On May 5th, PCORI intends to issue a Request for Applications (RFA), deadline May 26, 2020, on high-impact research studies that “(1) strengthen the understanding of different approaches to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, communities, healthcare providers, and healthcare systems; and (2) provide evidence to inform clinical and public health responses, decision making, and planning.” April 16, 2020 PCORI announced three funding opportunities related to COVID-19 research, engagement, and dissemination and implementation. Under these solicitations, current PCORI grantees can apply for funding enhancements to existing awards for work addressing both the original topic and a current important issue related to COVID-19. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. April 16, 2020 PCORI released an FAQ detailing flexibilities and policies regarding applications and award management during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Date Updates April 16, 2020 Funding Lapses for Small Business Administration Loan Program as Congressional Negotiations Continue As of April 16th, the Small Business Administration (SBA) officially ran out of money for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) initiative, created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide forgivable loans to eligible small businesses and non-profits. There is bipartisan consensus to replenish PPP funds, but there has been a prolonged impasse over whether the next support measure should narrowly focus on shoring up PPP, a position backed by Republican leadership, or the Democrat’s position that SBA funding be complemented by additional funds for hospitals, local governments, and other entities. Congressional leaders are expected to continue to negotiate with the White House on a suitable interim package to supplement CARES Act investments before turning to more future comprehensive stimulus legislation. Due to the Congressional Recess through at least May 4th, we will continue to provide updates on this situation as available.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Date Updates April 16, 2020 SAMHSA released an FAQ for current grantees on award management flexibilities during the COVID-19 epidemic, including reporting flexibilities, no cost extensions, budget modifications, and more.
U.S. Army’s Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC)
Date Updates March 26, 2020 The U.S. Army’s Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) released a request for Project Proposals (RPP) focused on developing prototypes for therapeutics that can treat COVID-19. Funding amount: up to $20M for 5 awards Deadline: April 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm (NOON) ET Specifically, MTEC is seeking “treatments with potential application to the prevention of COVID-19 infection” and “therapeutics that can be administered in a non-hospital environment”. MTEC anticipates eight-month projects starting at the proof-of-concept or laboratory validation stage (Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or 4) and ending with prototype demonstration (TRL 6). DOD anticipates a total of $20 million for 5 awards, with potential for follow-on funding for the manufacturing and clinical testing of therapeutics. White papers are due by April 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm ET. It is anticipated additional RPPs may be released related to topics described in MTEC’s pre-announcement, including:
- Point-of-care diagnostic that provides rapid and accurate determination on exposure to COVID-19.
- Prophylactic(s)/Therapeutic(s) that can prevent and/or treat in a rapid manner (few hours to 2 days) potentially in a non-hospital environment. Repurposing FDA-approved drugs/biologics for prevention/treatment of COVID-19 or testing of drugs/biologics that have already demonstrated safety in humans for the prevention/treatment of COVID-19 are preferred.
- Disease predictive modeling that provides early warning through data capture from several different streams of data to include social media and artificial intelligence (AI) parameter decision tools that would provide actionable information to medical service providers and command structures.
- Patient monitoring, tracking, and management system for in-home or non-hospital environment patient tele-health services to include interface into the Cerner electronic health record.
March 23, 2020 The U.S. Army’s Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) released a preannouncement for a potential Request for Project Proposals (RPP) focused on the “development of prototypes aimed to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19).” MTEC seeks technologies that are deployable as soon as possible and no later than December 31, 2020. MTEC’s potential areas of interests for the upcoming RPPs include:
- “Point-of-care diagnostic that provides rapid and accurate determination on exposure to COVID-19.
- Prophylactic(s)/Therapeutic(s) that can prevent and/or treat in a rapid manner (few hours to 2 days) potentially in a non-hospital environment. Repurposing FDA approved drugs/biologics for prevention/treatment of COVID-19 or testing of drugs/biologics that have already demonstrated safety in humans for the prevention/treatment of COVID-19 are preferred.
- Disease predictive modeling that provides early warning through data capture from several different streams of data to include social media and artificial intelligence (AI) parameter decision tools that would provide actionable information to medical service providers and command structures.
- Patient monitoring, tracking, and management system for in-home or non-hospital environment patient tele-health services to include interface into the Cerner electronic health record.”There is currently no funding commitment at this time, but “MTEC believes that there may be tens of millions of dollars available for combating COVID-19 programs with a likelihood of follow-on funding.” Responses are required no later than 15 days after the official RPP release date. MTEC’s preannouncement can be found here, and we will continue to monitor for formal release of opportunities.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Date Updates June 17, 2020 USAID’s Bureau for Management Office of Acquisition and Assistance established a webpage with resources for implementation partners to respond to COVID-19. Frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 implementing partner guidance are also available. USAID established a COVID-19 Learning Lab for sharing of tools, approaches and lessons for monitoring, evaluation, and learning from implementation of programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see link or email COVID19_PartnerResourceCenter@USAID.gov. June 11, 2020 USAID issued interim guidance regarding the use of USAID funds to procure essential medical supplies necessary for implementing partners to proceed with critical programs. Implementing partners may now use USAID’s funding to procure “Covered Material” without further approvals for: (1) the protection of, and use by, staff under both acquisition and assistance awards, from USAID; or (2) for the safe and effective continuity of USAID-funded programs, including the protection of beneficiaries. See the full interim policy guidance on Covered Material and FAQs for additional information. May 14, 2020 USAID has issued updated guidance in its Memorandum authorizing COVID 19 flexibilities pursuant to OMB Memorandum M-20-17. The information includes USAID guidance on administrative relief to recipients affected by the loss of operational capacity and increased costs due to the COVID-19 crisis. April 28, 2020 USAID has announced $274 million in emergency health and humanitarian funding to address COVID-19 since February. Activities supported by this funding include direct and indirect support to countries impacted by COVID-19 by providing heightened risk-communications and engagement with local communities; the prevention and control of infection in health facilities, including through the provision of personal protective equipment and other critical commodities; increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacity; the management of COVID-19 cases; screening at points of entry; and global and regional coordination. As these funds have been directed to multilateral institutions and to USAID missions for deployment by in-country partners, we do not anticipate any direct extramural funding opportunities for U.S.-based institutions. USAID has established an inbox (Covid19_Concepts@USAID.gov) for prospective partners to submit unsolicited proposals. Additional information is available here
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Date Updates April 28, 2020 NIFA has reopened its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) opportunity until May 21 to solicit innovative proposals relevant to COVID-19. USDA encourages proposals relevant to the following topics: Animal Production and Protection; Food Science and Nutrition; Rural Development; and Small and Mid-Size Farms. Submissions relevant to COVID-19 should include “COVID-19 Rapid Response in the title. Answers to other questions can be found in the NIFA FAQ document. April 16, 2020 On April 16, the Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Dr. Scott Angle, and members of his staff held a webinar on FAQs relating to COVID-19. Presenters stressed that NIFA is routinely updating guidance, extending deadlines, and accepting proposals for COVID-19 research. Topics covered included no cost-extensions; information on salaries and project activities; allowability of costs due to COVID-19 impact on research; and procurement requirements, among others. Slides from the webinar can be found here. April 15, 2020 USDA’s office of Rural Development (RD) released a solicitation for its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Loans and Grants. This $50 million solicitation includes the $25 million in funds appropriated by the CARES act to support DLT awards. DLT awards support for the use of “telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video equipment, and related advanced technologies by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents”. These grants are intended to “increase rural access to education, training and health care resources.” Non-profits, and state and local government units, including universities and Cooperative Extension services, are eligible for these awards. Awards require a 15 percent cost-match. While not required, applicants are encouraged to identify specific ways in which their application addresses COVID-19. Applications should be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 pm ET on July 13, 2020. April 10, 2020 The National Institute of Food and Agriculture NIFA released updated guidance for the implementation of the Office of Management and Budget’s March 19 Memo: "Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations.” The guidance can be found here. The Director of NIFA, Dr. Scott Angle will host a webinar on April 16 from 2-3 PM EST to address COVID-19 efforts. Please register here; questions can be submitted to Dr. Angle’s Chief of Staff, at email@example.com. April 6, 2020 The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has released an updated FAQ document providing information beyond the OMB guidance for administrative relief. Among other responses, NIFA is prepared to offer both No-Cost Extensions (NCE) and supplemental funding to researchers whose experiments are disrupted by COVID-19. The document also includes guidance for researchers who would like to submit proposals relevant to COVID-19. NIFA has also released its guidance responding directly to the OMB memo on research relief, including specifics on extensions and salaries and other costs, which can be found here.
Date Updates June 9, 2020
On June 5, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010). The bill provides flexibilities by giving recipients more time to spend Payment Protection Program (PPP) funds and lowers the threshold on how much of the funding needs to be spent on payroll.
May 26, 2020 President Trump announced via a new proclamation (effective May 26th) an expansion of the limitation on entry of certain foreign aliens to the U.S. due to foreign COVID outbreaks to include immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present within Brazil during the 14-day period preceding the entry or attempted entry into the United States. April 27, 2020 President Trump Announces Immigration Proclamation President Trump issued a proclamation suspending entry for certain new immigrants for 60 days who do not meet the following criteria: no approved immigrant visa valid as of April 23, no official travel document (such as a passport) by the time they seek entry or admission. The proclamation exempts several categories such as health care workers and individuals conducting medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19 and their family members. Of note, the proclamation does not impact applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence, or nonimmigrants, such as students, exchange visitors, H-1B workers, etc. Unfortunately for foreign students and scholars, routine visa and consular services at U.S. embassies and consulates remain suspended, as per the Department of State announcement on March 20, 2020. April 16, 2020 On April 16, President Trump announced the release of Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, the Administration’s three-phase plan to reopen the U.S. economy and resume activities. The Trump Administration acknowledged state and local governments will be responsible for implementing procedures to resume activities, tailored to each jurisdiction’s health circumstances. The plan, which assumes reopening activities will not occur until a 14-day downward trajectory of symptoms and COVID-19 cases as well as sufficiently available testing and hospital crisis care, offers a blueprint for phasing in allowable activities and continued health precautions for individuals and employers. March 23, 2020 White House Calls on Tech Community to create new Machine Readable COVID-19 Dataset: On March 16, the Allen Institute for AI, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), Microsoft, and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health released the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) of scholarly literature about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Coronavirus group. Requested by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the dataset represents the most extensive machine-readable Coronavirus literature collection available for data and text mining to date. The COVID-19 resources is available on the Allen Institute’s website. The White House OSTP also issued a call to action to artificial intelligence experts to develop new text and data mining techniques that can help the science community answer high priority scientific questions related to COVID-19. Researchers should submit the text and data mining tools and insights they develop in response to this call to action via the Kaggle platform. Through Kaggle, a machine learning and data science community owned by Google Cloud, these tools will be openly available for researchers. The OSTP call to action is available here.
Date Updates June 17, 2020 The WBG has published its flagship report Global Economic Prospects for June 2020. The report describes both the immediate and near-term outlook for the impact of the pandemic and the long-term damage it has dealt to prospects for growth. In addition, the report highlights the necessity to strengthen health services and put in place targeted measures to stimulate worldwide economic growth. May 26, 2020 The WBG announced that it has funded and started implementing projects in 100 developing countries through its emergency support effort to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the WBG Board approved the deployment of up to $160 billion for a 15-month period to help countries protect impoverished individuals, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. The regional development banks have also made an additional $80 billion available to be deployed over the same period. April 27, 2020 The World Bank Group (WBG) has begun implementing proposals in 64 developing countries through its emergency support effort to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and expects to be operating in 100 countries by the end of April. The WBG Board approved deployment of up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses,and bolster economic recovery. The regional development banks have made an additional $80 billion available to be deployed over the same period.More information about active and planned investments in the World Bank pipeline can be found here.
Date Update April 28, 2020 The WHO issued a scientific brief warning against the issuance of “immunity passports” to people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies, noting that there is no scientific evidence that those who have been infected are protected from second infection. Several countries are considering the use of such passports as the basis for allowing individuals to reenter the workforce. The WHO initiated a global platform to accelerate cooperation on developing vaccine for COVID-19 and to share research, treatment protocols and medicines worldwide on a virtual summit on April 24. Governments and philanthropies (including the Gates Foundation) pledged $7.5 billion to the accelerator, though the United States did not participate. The WHO has created several global research platformsfor data sharing of international scientific findings and knowledge of COVID-19. April 16, 2020 The WHO has created several platforms for data sharing of international scientific findings and knowledge of COVID-19. Resources include: a database of COVID-19 related peer reviewed literature; an international registry of COVID-19 clinical trials; data sharing platforms that include data from ongoing COVID-19 clinical investigations; and an application with “landscape analysis” of 133+ experimental therapeutics for COVID-19. The WHO has other additional resources available, several of which may also be useful to the research community: COVID-19 Daily Reports. Strategic Preparedness Response Plan for COVID-19. March 23, 2020 To enable international COVID-19 clinical, epidemiological, and virology research and to facilitate systematic data collection, tabulation, aggregation, and analysis, WHO experts developed standard protocols and forms for early COVID-19 investigations that can be used across different global settings. Further, the WHO is encouraging countries and interested research centers to share data collected using these protocols to enable a global effort to further refine clinical recommendations and inform outbreak-related guidance. More information is available here.
- ACL released new guidance for grantees, regarding the Centers for Independent Living CARES Act Annual Program Report Instructions and Instrument. The “FAQ: COVID-19 Response Program Reporting Guidance for OAA Title III Programs Older Americans Act – State Program Report (SPR)” document was also recently updated.
- C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute
Funding amount: $100-500K each; total funding available $5.8MApplication deadline: May 1, 2020(C3.ai DTI) was announced. Managed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the University of California, Berkeley, the consortium also involves C3.ai, Microsoft Corporation, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC. C3.ai DTI aims to use artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced computing to research solutions for COVID-19. The Institute has announced an initial call for proposals titled, AI Techniques to Mitigate Pandemic, which brings together health and AI research.
- LifeArc, an independent UK Medical Charity, has made £10M available to identify therapeutics that can be rapidly deployed to treat COVID-19. This call is open to academic teams or companies located anywhere in the world. Full details of the call and how to apply can be found here. Applications are due by 6 April 2020. Questions regarding the call should be addressed directly to LifeArc via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced measures to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain Requests for Evidence (RFE), Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID), Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR), and Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIT). For an RFE, NOID, NOIR, or NOIT with an issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision between March 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020, USCIS will consider any response received within 60 calendar days of the response due date before any action is taken.
- UN-Water, the mechanism that coordinates efforts at the United Nations and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues, has compiled water and sanitation-related resources related to stopping the transmission of COVID-19. The resources provided by several UN-Water Members and Partners identify the ways water and sanitation are key to stopping the virus. With over 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Africa, this resource is enabling message campaigns and interventions by international organizations and bilateral aid agencies designed to improve access to handwashing and to measure how improved sanitation can slow the spread of new COVID-19 infections. More information is available here.
- The EdTech Hub, mEducation Alliance, and Global Innovation Exchange have launched a call for technology-focused ideas to respond to the learning emergency caused by COVID-19 school closures in low and middle-income countries. The group is interested in technology enabled initiatives that focus on innovative distance learning and education content for students in math and literacy as well as support for teachers and school education leaders. This opportunity seeks to identify deployable solutions or early-stage ideas that can benefit from exposure to a network of international partners. Finalists will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to attract potential investment and obtain advice from leaders in the fields to bring their ideas to those who can benefit from them.
- The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) issued a call for proposals inviting organizations and partnerships worldwide to apply for funding to speed up development, scale-up manufacturing capacity, and expand the geographical footprint of production of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. This call will support development of vaccines which could be available for licensure in 12-18 months or less, and which may be available for wide-spread global deployment. CEPI anticipates that vaccines funded under this opportunity will be procured and distributed through global mechanisms under discussion as a part of the WHO’s COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, announced earlier this month. This opportunity is open until at least June 30, 2020, with applications reviewed on a 2-week rolling basis.The International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) announced a call for proposals from academics and researchers that will utilize the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance database to better understand the COVID-19 “infodemic” and to further elevate the fight against mis/disinformation. All accepted proposals will gain access to the database, which includes over 5,000 fact checks published by 88 organizations and has become the most comprehensive and active COVID-19 misinformation. Those demonstrating funding need can be awarded up to $10,000 in support. Deadline for proposals is May 29.
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – USPTO has launched two new programs to support innovations to address COVID-19. The first is the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program, which will provide priority consideration and exemption of certain additional fees for patents for inventions related to the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, subject to FDA approval. Eligibility is limited and includes small businesses with less than 500 employees, universities, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Requests for prioritization will be received beginning July 13, 2020 and ending when USPTO has accepted 500 requests. The second initiative, Patents 4 Partnerships, is a new online marketplace for patent owners to list patents and published applications that are available for licensing in fields that address COVID-19. The goal is to better connect in-demand intellectual property with industries interested in scaling the ideas. USPTO is considering expanding this platform to other technologies, including Artificial Intelligence.
- US Census Bureau In April, the US Census Bureau launched two experimental surveys to capture data on social and economic trends for households and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Small Business Pulse Survey includes a limited number of questions on topics such as location closings, changes in employment, disruptions in the supply chain, the use of federal assistance programs, and expectations concerning future operations. Data is published weekly on Thursdays.The Household Pulse Survey collects data from individuals on their experiences in terms of employment status, spending patterns, food security, housing, physical and mental health, access to health care, and educational disruption. Data is released weekly. A webinar on the Household Pulse Survey was held June 10th; webinar materials will be posted here shortly.
- US Census Bureau guidance on counting college students is now available. ( June 22, 2020)
Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham sent a letter to university presidents recently requesting assistance in ensuring a complete and accurate count of the off-campus students enrolled and noting that local Census Bureau staff would be reaching out to institutions beginning June 16 to discuss the collection of basic information about students who live off-campus, including local address information. The Census press release explains this information allows the Census Bureau to count the students where they would have been staying on April 1, 2020, even if they went home early due to a school closure or shift to distance learning.
- Presidential Proclamation on Immigration Spares OPT On June 22, President Trump issued “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.” The proclamation is an extension and expansion of previous presidential proclamations restricting immigration. While the proclamation impacts visas important to higher education and research (H-1B, H-4, and some J-1 visas), it does not impact the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, as was initially feared. Please review the proclamation for information on its’ impact on individual visa types and see the fact sheet for information on the President’s plans to put American workers first as the economy is restored.
- Congress Plans to Advance FY 2021 Appropriations Bills in July Congress is gearing up to advance fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations bills after the July 4th holiday. Both the House and the Senate have released ambitious plans to advance all, if not most, of the 12 appropriations bills by the end of July. Congress sees FY 2021 appropriations bills as helping address the COVID-19 pandemic, stimulate the economy, and provide stable funding to critical federal agencies. The House and Senate are likely to include additional funding and guidance associated with COVID-19 response and recovery in the appropriations bills. Despite the ambitious plans, advancing appropriations bills may be further delayed if Congress takes up another coronavirus stimulus package in July. In addition, regardless of the outcome for FY 2021 appropriations bills, Congress will still rely on a Continuing Resolution that would fund federal agencies and programs at FY 2020 levels until at least the November elections.