NIH Adapts to COVID-19 Pandemic

With the severe disruption to research activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing strain at labs across the country, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has had to quickly address the situation for the workforce while also mobilizing to support research activities related to the virus and comorbidities.

Despite the extreme challenge of the situation, the NIH has remained accessible and extramural staff are working hard to share information with the research community, process grant applications, make awards, and continue operations while working remotely.

Recognizing that extramural research labs are operating at a significantly reduced level or closed entirely for the near future, the NIH is trying to be as flexible as possible with administrative requirements for applicants and recipients of NIH grants. The NIH is also able to grant accommodations for loss of research time, especially for early-career researchers. To provide the research community with a centralized information resource and updates on policies and procedures, NIH has implemented a new COVID-19 information webpage for applicants and grantees that is updated regularly and includes a comprehensive history of updates.

At the same time, the NIH has mobilized resources to respond to the immediate public health threat. In addition to making use of regularly appropriated funds, the NIH has received additional funds in the recent emergency supplemental bills related to COVID-19. Through these supplements, as of April 15, 2020 several NIH ICs have received a combined total of nearly $1.8 billion, with ~$1.5 billion of the total to NIAID. To get resources out to the community as expeditiously as possible, the NIH is using special competitive revision funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) and notices of special interest (NOSIs), often with rolling due dates. A complete list of FOAs and NOSIs are also compiled on the information webpage above.

Recognizing that extramural research labs are operating at a significantly reduced level or closed entirely for the near future, the NIH is trying to be as flexible as possible with administrative requirements for applicants and recipients of NIH grants.

This is obviously a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage members to keep in touch with their program officers and closely monitor the NIH information webpage for updates. The Endocrine Society meanwhile will continue to work with the Congress and NIH to ensure that endocrine research questions related to COVID-19 such as chronic disease comorbidities are appropriately prioritized and supported during this critical time.

 

 

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