Please see information below about accessibility of the COVID Financial Tracker app for Research Administrators. A version of this announcement also went out to Departmental Operations Administrators this afternoon. Please follow the attached guidance to assist your investigators with submitting the relevant information for this important institutional effort.
Hopefully, you are aware faculty researchers have been asked to report estimated losses due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their sponsored projects. Specifically, they have been asked to report estimated losses associated with idle time personnel costs charged to their sponsored projects during the period of mid-March 2020 through September 30, 2020.
Up to this point, only faculty researchers have had the ability to report these estimates in the Financial Impact Tracker app that was implemented a few months ago. We are now making this app available to Research Administrators so that they may assist PIs in reporting the estimates.
Not only can Research Administrators (RAs) assist faculty with the personnel estimates, RAs are now being asked to complete the OTPS impacts for the PIs as well. It is critical that these estimated losses are reported at the individual project level for the following reasons:
- Many federal agencies sponsoring research have permitted flexibility in charging costs (i.e. idle time, lab shut down costs, and lab restart costs) associated with COVID-19 disruptions. With this flexibility is the requirement that we document and track these costs for our reports to sponsors and for subsequent audits and reviews.
- There is a strong advocacy component for this data. Quantification and documentation of the costs of lost progress may be used to justify requests for supplemental funding from sponsors and internal sources, as well as extensions of impacted programs, should such resources become available (see this supporting letter from our Vice President for Research, Melur Ramasubramanian). This aggregated data is also being used to communicate to national and state leadership the costs across academia of lost scientific progress due to the pandemic.
Research Administrators, after consulting with the PI, should enter the estimates for each sponsored project and pay period. Please see the attached instructions and FAQ for more details. When accessing the app, please do not use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as it is highly likely errors will occur. Instead, use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, or Safari if using a Mac.
Questions related to the app should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to your colleagues as necessary.
Thank you for your efforts and for partnering with faculty to ensure this critical information is properly documented.
Vonda T. Durrer
Sr. Director of Electronic Research Administration
VPR, Office of Sponsored Programs
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400195
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4195
1001 North Emmet Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Download the Training Document here
Download the FAQs here