Documentation of Research Personnel Effort & COVID-19 Related Costs During Pandemic


TO:                University of Iowa Researchers & Research Administrators
FROM:          Selina Martin, University Controller
                      Angie Klein, Interim Director of Grant Accounting
                      Wendy Beaver, Director of Sponsored Programs

RE:               Documentation of Research Personnel Effort & COVID-19 Related Costs During Pandemic

DATE:          March 30, 2020

The purpose of this memo is to notify researchers and administrators of their responsibility to maintain adequate documentation of research personnel efforts & other project costs during the ramp down of research activities as announced by the Vice President for Research on March 18th (see

We understand that you may already have tools and resources to track research personnel – whether they are working remotely or are unable to work on their projects. If so, please continue this documentation in a timely manner. If you do not currently have a tool for documenting/tracking, we strongly encourage you to use the attached Excel template. Please customize the spreadsheet for your unique project and maintain the information going forward. It is critical to document research progress, personnel efforts & any other project costs related to the interruption of operations or services during the ramp down and/or continuation of research activities for several reasons:

• It will be necessary in the event Federal or other sponsoring agencies do not allow for the charging of salaries when work in support of a project is not possible.
• It will be useful if supplemental funding is made available by a sponsor in the future.

Federal agency guidance on charging costs to sponsored projects during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency continues to be published at Non-federal sponsor guidance is available here or by contacting the Division of Sponsored Programs ( Please refer to the guidance pertaining to grants or contracts provided by your specific funding agency to determine what is allowed for your project. The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) will be reassessing their guidance to federal agencies within 90 days of March 19th.

Please contact us with any questions and thank you for all your efforts during this unprecedented time.

FileResearch Continuity Documentation

Publish Date: 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020