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News and Updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information - March 13, 2020

For the most up-to-date information on the incident response. Please visit the CSUSM Corporation FAQs and the CSUSM Incident Response Status. These are continuously being updated as new information becomes available. 

The CSUSM Incident Response website also offers resources, helpful links, Campus Communications and information from the Chancellors Office.

Where can I find information and guidance from the federal awarding agencies?

Given that COVID-19 and the associated impacts continue to evolve, Principal Investigators/Project Directors (PI/PDs) are strongly encouraged to monitor announcements from funding agencies and sponsors for changes in policies, practices, procedures, deadlines, operating hours, communication methods, etc.

Visit the Council On Governmental Relations (COGR) website for FAQs and Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources webpage for aggregated responses and resources from the federal agencies.  

White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

  • March 19, 2020 Memo (M-20-17): Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

These flexibilities are applicable to NIH applicants and recipients where the entity is conducting research activities related to or affected by COVID-19. Affected entities are those that have been closed, or business activities have been hindered due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and/or illnesses. Entities that are affected will be asked to provide documentation to NIH describing the effects, and how long their facility and NIH related research, clinical practices, or instruction was and/or will be affected.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

NASA - Coronavirus information

Should I develop a contingency plan for my research study?

OSP encourages all investigators to develop a contingency plan and communicate it to your research teams. The plan should touch on the following, as applicable:

  • Continuing or halting data collection
  • Regularly communicating with the research team, study sites, and participants to ensure everyone is operating under the procedures
  • Identifying research priorities in the event CSUSM employees are not able to come to work
  • Managing research data in the event CSUSM closes
  • Arranging for the possibility of remote access to research files
  • Evaluate project tasks and resources needed to determine what can and cannot be performed at home during self-isolation
  • Can personnel salaries continue to be charged to the sponsored project? Personnel salaries may continue to be charged for employees that are still able to perform work on projects.

Where do I go for support services for my sponsored project?

PIs can work with school deans for immediate support services needed on your sponsored project.                    

Is the Office of Sponsored Projects Office (OSP) operating as usual?

To support social isolation efforts, OSP staff began working remote on March 17, 2020. Though we cannot meet with Principal Investigators (PI) in person, the work we began two (2) years to modernize our infrastructure and implement best practices us to remain operational off campus. Phone and web conferencing (Zoom and Teams) is fully functional and staff will respond to emails and calls made to our office lines.

OSP will no longer be accepting hardcopy documents (i.e. Direct Pays, Petty Cash, etc) for review and approval. If you need an approval signature from OSP, please email documents to your SPA or sponsoredprojects@csusm.edu.

I have questions about other project costs that are not addressed here. Who can help me?

Contact OGSR or your Sponsored Projects Analyst with questions.

What if I need to make a change to my funded research project?

  • Federal awards: OSP is required to request prior approval from federal award agencies whenever there is a change in the scope of work or key personnel. We must also request prior approval whenever the Principal Investigator/Project Director will be disengaged from the project for more than three months and/or experience a 25 percent reduction in time devoted to the project (2 CFR 200.308(c)). Some grants may be subject to more stringent prior approval requirements.

Please consult your specific award terms and conditions to determine when prior approvals are required. Even if your sponsor is sympathetic with the delay, it is generally necessary to modify any contracts to reflect revised deliverable schedules.

  • Subawards and subcontracts: Monitor all subrecipients to ensure they making adequate progress. If a subrecipient is unable to perform and/or meet deadlines, it may impact your performance as well. Please communicate with your sponsor and alert OSP regarding any such challenges.

Can I charge my project for costs related to remote work or telework (e.g., laptop, printer, office supplies, internet access, etc.)?

These type of expenses are generally considered facilities and administrative (F&A) costs and are not allowable as a direct cost to sponsored projects unless specifically approved by the sponsor. Refer to sponsor policy, guidance, and updates.

If the sponsor agency program officer, grants management or contracting officer is unavailable, or if the agency is closed, due to COVID-19, can project personnel continue to work and charge salary to the project?  

At this time, we expect that project personnel would be able to continue work until their period of performance and funding is exhausted. However, PIs are encouraged to monitor relevant websites for agency updates. If sponsor prior approvals are required, confer with your SPA regarding submission of approvals. The answer, and the level of risk regarding allowability of costs and project changes may vary depending on the type of request, whether the sponsor has an electronic system, etc.

 I have a progress report due and my study is impacted by a COVID-19 related delay. Should I report this in my progress report?

Yes. If your study is impacted refer to the sponsor’s requirements regarding where and how this should be included in your progress report. You may also confer with your sponsor Program Officer or SPA.

My project is funded by a subaward from another institution. Do I need to notify that pass-through entity regarding COVID-19 related delays or project changes?

The answer depends on your subaward terms and the underlying regulations (e.g., federal regulations) that may apply to your project. Please confer with your SPA for guidance and questions regarding notification content and process.

Are travel cancellation costs due to COVID-19 allowable as direct charges to sponsored projects?

Every effort should be made to obtain a full or partial refund from the vendor (airline, hotel, conference organizer, car rental, etc.) and any refunds should be credited to the same project that the purchase was made. If costs cannot be refunded, they may remain charged to the project if allowable by the sponsor.  If the sponsor disallows these costs, CSUSM Corporation, in consultation with the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, will work with PIs to determine how to cover the costs.

What about travel costs to conferences or for research purposes that were not charged to a sponsored project?

Travel expenses that have been incurred using a stateside chartfield string can be reimbursed and should include the COVID19 Cancellation Memo and include the class code in the chartfield string as advised by Partners in Campus Business Operations (class code 25601 – Emergency Ops Ctr Coronavirus).  See the CSUSM Corporation FAQs for travel expenses incurred on a CSUSM Corp project. 

Federal Agency-Specific Travel Regulations – A federal agency’s specific policies supersede the UG regulations and any award specific terms and conditions would supersede agency regulations.  Below are some links to some of the federal agencies regulations on travel:

How should I handle airline credits for travel where rescheduling is unknown?

PIs and their departments are responsible for tracking credits provided by airlines. 

What about future travel after May 31?

Booking travel is suspended until May 31, but if the travel prohibition is limited, you may immediately (with no penalty) submit a travel authorization.

What Other information is available from federal agencies? 

OMB LETTER TO Executive Departments and Agencies, dated March 9th, 2020

COGR Resources and Guidance

FAQs Regarding COVID-19’s Impact on Federal Awards (V.1). COGR’s FAQs were created to provide our membership guidance on a variety of issues relating to the administration of federal awards that are arising due to the continually evolving situation around the COVID-19 pandemic.

COGR continues to update their web page on Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources


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Regarding Government Shutdown

January 29th, 2019

As many of you are aware, a continuing resolution was signed by the President on January 25th, which keeps the government operating through February 15th.  OSP will continue to provide updates as we receive them. Please feel free to contact your SPA should you have any questions.

January 23, 2019

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) is closely monitoring the Government Shutdown. While parts of the federal government (such as DHHS) are fully funded for the entire Fiscal Year ’19, other agencies are not.

Information in this guidance applies only to those agencies affected by the partial shutdown, NIH for example, should not be affected.

We will keep you posted as we learn more.

Billing Uploads

January 23, 2019

In an effort to align existing processes related to approving expenses that post to sponsored projects, going forward, review and approval by the PI and OSP will be required prior to submitting any financial transfer requests (FTR), billing requests, and salary adjustments resulting in a bill to CSUSM Corporation. Submitting any of these requests to accounting without the proper approvals may cause delays.  Please plan accordingly and remember that accounting deadlines remain unchanged. Contact your Sponsored Project Analyst (SPA) with any questions.

CSUSM Corporation ProCard Updates

January 23, 2019

Beginning in January, 2019, ProCard reconciliation packets for Corporation ProCards will need to be submitted using the CSUSM Corporation ProCard Reconciliation Form.  This will begin with the late January 2019 reconciliation (for purchases made after December 26, 2018).

Please be aware, this form is different than the Stateside Reconciliation Form found on CSUSM’s Procurement website. 

  • Effective January 1, 2019, you may not use a Corporation ProCard to make purchases against a non-Corporation (SMURS) chartfield string.  If you need a ProCard for making stateside and/or Foundation purchases, please visit the CSUSM Procurement site to request a stateside card.
  • The CSUSM Corporation ProCard Manual has been updated. Please take some time to review this update as all cardholders are required to ensure they have read and understand the current ProCard Manual; the Manual can be found at the CSUSM Corporation’s ProCard web page

New Scholarship Form

Scholarship payments to students using sponsored project funds now require the review/approval by OSP using a Scholarship Request Form. The information required on the form is essentially the same information that is currently being provided. The change to note is the review/approval by OSP before routing to Financial Aid for processing. Once OSP approves the request, we will, as courtesy, forward the request to Financial Aid who will then process the disbursement. 

PLEASE NOTE:  The announcement recently made through PCBO about a change in single transaction and monthly spend limits does not apply to Corporation cardholders.  There were no changes made in this regard for the Corporation ProCard program.