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

Dear University of Iowa Researchers & Research Administrators,

This email is a follow-up to the March memo below (Documentation of Research Personnel Effort & COVID-19 Related Costs During Pandemic).  Specifically, it provides direction on how to track non-personnel COVID-19 related research costs in our General Ledger.

There are certain unanticipated costs to external sponsored research due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandated ramp down of research activities.  We have a responsibility to maintain adequate documentation of these costs.  As such, administrators should utilize the following unique Departmental Account (DACT) as a part of their MFK:  DACT 26843 (spelled COVID on a phone keypad).  To clarify, this DACT should be used for unexpected non-personnel research costs that would not have been incurred had we not experienced the COVID-19 pandemic.  Expenses which have already posted to the GL in the last several weeks should be retroactively reclassified to use this unique DACT (using WebCV through the applicable TDR).  The Workflow access request form for WebCV is at

Below are some examples of types of expenditures for which DACT 26843 should be used:

  • Costs related to the cancellation of events, travel, or other activities necessary and reasonable for the performance of the award
  • Cryopreservation of research animals
  • Maintenance costs for research animals placed on an IACUC-approved holding protocol
  • Converting in-person activity to a virtual setting (conferences/meetings/training)
  • Costs of restarting grant funded activities as pandemic nears end

Please direct WebCV questions to and all other questions to your Grant Accounting contact (  Thank you again for your efforts.

From: Grant Accounting Office - Grant Administrative Information <GAO-GRANT-ADMIN-INFO@LIST.UIOWA.EDU> On Behalf Of Huber, Chris R
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 6:24 AM
Subject: [GAO-GRANT-ADMIN-INFO] 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.

Publish Date: 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020