Division of Research & Innovation


COVID-19 Research Guidelines

Resuming Research Safely

To ensure a systematic, careful and safe resumption of research activities on campus in accordance with university policies and guidance for reopening, the Division of Research & Innovation is launching a support program for resuming research safely. The primary goal is to prioritize the safety of faculty, research students/staff as well as research subjects. Faculty and research leaders who have any questions or require support relating to resuming research safely are encouraged to use guidelines posted below or can email research@memphis.edu. Dr. Dhaliwal is also available to discuss any aspect at 901.283.9988.

Research Guidelines

  • The Division of Research & Innovation Guidelines for Research Labs: Click Here
  • Human Subjects Research Restart Guidelines:Click Here
  • OMB Guidance: Click Here


Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQ

Research Development

Research Development is available to assist faculty and departments with any needs during this period. All trainings and consultation sessions will be moved to online only until otherwise advised by the University administration. Please do not hesitate to contact Cody Behles (cbehles@memphis.edu) or Teresa Franklin (tjfrnkln@memphis.edu) with any questions about finding funding, specific training needs or other questions regarding external funding opportunities.

Can I still get training on how to find funding, how to use SciENcv, and grantsmanship?
Yes, trainings will be announced on our website (Division of Research & Innovation) and 1-to-1 sessions are always available.

Can I have my proposal reviewed?
Yes, our office can provide review of narrative and budget justification review for faculty. Ideally, narratives will be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the deadline. The Office of Sponsored Programs still provides final check review to ensure all the parts of your proposal are included and accurate. All proposals to federal agencies should include a Cayuse record.

Can I get data to help inform my unit?
Yes, departmental data on proposals and awards will be made available upon request to chairs, administrators, or authorized individuals who need this information. Data visualizations are available on a limited basis and are first come first serve.

What do I do about travel for research?
Please follow guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control. At this time, the University of Memphis is limiting all non-essential travel. For more information on this, please review official communication from the University. Please check with your conference, institution, or other group about their current travel policy. If you need help creating a virtual meeting, please reach out to your departmental local support provider.

Office of Sponsored Programs

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is closely monitoring guidance from Federal awarding agencies. We are seeing a great deal of administrative and financial flexibility from sponsors, such as NIH and NSF. For example, many agencies are being flexible with granting no-cost time extensions and late submission of proposals. PIs are advised to document all instances where schedules are delayed or unmet, and to contact their program or contracting officers as soon as a delay is anticipated. OSP remains fully operational along with Cayuse support. We are ready to assist with any urgent matters, including expedited processing of COVID-19 related projects and contractual modifications necessary due to project delays. Please contact OSP at osp@memphis.edu for any questions or assistance.

Proposal Submissions

Can I still submit proposals through the Office of Sponsored Programs?
Yes, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) remains fully operational. Please continue to use Cayuse for proposal submissions. For general questions, email osp@memphis.edu. If you need assistance with Cayuse or other eRA systems, please contact cayusesupport@memphis.edu. As always, faculty should work closely with pre-award staff in their respective units in the preparation of proposals.

Can I still submit a proposal if the agency is closed?
Proposals may still be submitted, but they will likely remain in an electronic queue until the agency's staff can process them.

Award and Project Management

Do I need to request a no cost extension because of this?
Per OMB Guidance "Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),"on March 19, 2020: To the extent permitted by law, awarding agencies may extend awards which were active as of March 31, 2020 and scheduled to expire prior or up to December 31, 2020, automatically at no cost for a period of up to twelve (12) months. This will allow time for recipient assessments, the resumption of many individual projects, and a report on program progress and financial status to agency staff. Project-specific financial and performance reports will be due 90 days following the end date of the extension. Awarding agencies will examine the need to extend other project reporting as the need arises. https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/M-20-17.pdf

What happens if government employees get furloughed or are unavailable to perform their duties (e.g., issue prior approvals or process awards)?
If this happens, we expect that funding agencies will issue guidance. UofM's guidance and FAQs will be updated as additional information is received.

What if my contract timeline and deliverables are impacted?
Work with OSP to prepare contract modifications for Federal contracts and/or other sponsored programs with strict deliverable due dates and schedules that may be impacted by closures, availability of personnel, materials or equipment, etc.

Can research staff continue to be paid from grant-funded projects during COVID-19?
Most Federal agencies such as NSF and NIH will allow continuation of direct charging of salaries and benefits to currently active awards (under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances); which must be consistent with University policy regarding charging all funding sources, Federal and non-Federal.

What if I have additional or urgent questions for OSP during COVID-19?
OSP can be reached during normal business hours at osp@memphis.edu. We will acknowledge your inquiry within 24 hours. You can also contact the OSP Manager, Stephanie Thompson at sthmps24@memphis.edu. For face-to-face meetings, please schedule a Zoom meeting with OSP during the Zoom hours to be held every Tuesday/Thursday from 10 AM-NOON, or every Wednesday from 2-4 PM.

In addition to the above FAQs, OSP has compiled the below additional information and links to sponsor-specific guidance.

Agency Guidance and Other Resources

Council on Governmental Relations (COGR):
FAQs Regarding COVID-19's Impact on Federal Awards

Department of Energy (DOE)
DOE Travel Guidance during COVID-19
Accommodating Interruptions from COVID-19

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Coronavirus Information

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
FAQs for COVID-19

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Flexibilities Available to Applicants and Recipients Affected by COVID-19
FAQs on COVID-19 Flexibilities for Applicants and Recipients
NIH Late Application Policy Due to COVID-19
FAQs on Proposal Submission and Award Management Related to COVID-19
NIH Guidance on Travel and Meetings
NIH Extramural Response to Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies
Guidance for NIH-funded Clinical Trials and Human Subjects Studies Affected by COVID-19

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Coronavirus Information
FAQs about COVID-19 for NSF Proposers and Awardees
NSF Guidance for Major Facilities and Contracts Regarding COVID-19

U.S. Army
U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity

USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture
NIFA Deadline Extensions due to COVID-19


Research Compliance

How does a research get help from Research Compliance during this time?
Research Compliance is actively engaged with our research community for the duration of this pandemic. For IRB, Financial Conflict of Interest, Export Controls, Research Misconduct and research data concerns, please continue to contact us. For the promptest response to your questions, please contact us at: researchcompliance@memphis.edu.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

What does an Investigator need to consider?
The Institutional Review Board is continuously reviewing modifications to protocols as may be required due to the pandemic changing procedures and timelines.

Your human subjects protocols may need to be delayed due to following CDC guidelines for social distancing.

If your research continues and you are not keeping social distancing, you may be elevating the risks to your subjects associated with their participation in your research. This elevated risk requires modification to your protocol, and must be reviewed and approved by the IRB immediately.

Continue to submit all new protocols, modifications, closures, and event reporting through CayuseIRB.

For the most prompt response, please submit questions to researchcompliance@memphis.edu.

Export Controls

What does a foreign national or traveler need to know?
Export Controls continues to process visa certifications. Review of foreign travel will resume when it is allowable.

For the promptest response, submit questions to researchcompliance@memphis.edu.

Financial Conflict of Interest

What do investigators need to know?
With the Executive Vice President for Research's recent solicitation for disclosure, we have a backlog of submissions for review. Processing is taking place in the order received. If there is prioritization needed for funding situations, please do not hesitate to make us aware.

For the promptest response, please submit questions to researchcompliance@memphis.edu.


FedEx Institute of Technology

The FedEx Institute of Technology remains open to assist researchers, corporate clients and the Memphis tech community. Our staff members are available to assist you Monday-Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Please contact us at 901.678.1596 or fedex@memphis.edu to schedule and conduct a meeting via telephone or BlueJeans/Zoom/Skype for Business video conferencing. Being mindful of the current situation, we are practicing "social distancing" to minimize interpersonal contact and deter face-to-face meetings. For questions specifically related to training or cluster research projects, contact Raminder Lotay at rslotay@memphis.edu or Mary Ann Dawson at mdawson@memphis.edu. For outreach with the local tech community (including meetups, hackathons, etc.) that have partnered with the Institute, contact Claudio Donndelinger at claudio.d@memphis.edu.

Budgetary Inquiries for Grants

I received funding (e.g. FIT Development Grant, Gap Funding, etc.) to conduct my research project, however the situation surrounding COVID-19 response may interrupt or delay the work being performed. Will an extension be granted to utilize the funds beyond the deadline?
Answer: The nature of these funds is such that they must be spent by the designated deadline so extensions are unlikely and unused funds have to be re-designated to other research needs. Please do your very best and consider alternate solutions (e.g. hiring additional students, ordering products from another vendor, etc.) to assist with the research project being completed on time.

Training Programs/Meetups/Events

How are training programs being delivered?
Given the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the FedEx Institute of Technology has transitioned all of its emerging technologies training programs to virtual sessions. To learn more, contact Rami Lotay at rslotay@memphis.edu.

Will the cost of a training remain the same?
Costs associated with training remains consistent, as they relate to the costs for instructors and facilitation vendors.

Do I receive a certificate upon completion of the training?
Yes, you will receive a certificate of completion once training is complete. An electronic certificate will be sent to the email address listed/used for registration.

Will meetups be hosted at the FedEx Institute of Technology, or can meetups be held here?
While the building itself is open to faculty and staff, we are currently not hosting any events, as outlined by recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.

Can you help me move my meeting online?
If you're a member of faculty or staff, the University of Memphis Information Technology Services has the information you need at memphis.edu/umtech. If you want to engage the Institute with virtual meetups, presentations/talks, hackathons, etc., contact us today - we are ready to help with your virtual needs fedex@memphis.edu.

I still have a question...
We can help! Contact us at fedex@memphis.edu.


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