U.S. research funding bends but does not break


As the COVID-19 virus made its way around the world, members of the American biomedical research community rushed to react, first to the need to transition to new ways to teach their classes and then
to close their research labs for as long as two months. In an effort to make the transition to the new reality of shuttered research labs, both the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) issued a series of policy announcements intended to ease the concerns of the members of their community.

Both agencies have pages of their websites dedicated to answering the concerns of grantees and those wishing to submit grants. The NIH page (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters/corona-virus.htm) addresses proposal submission and award management, human subjects and clinical trials, animal welfare, and peer review.

The NSF page (www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/coronavirus) includes general COVID-19–related information, information on deadline extension, information for grantees and applicants, and information for NSF panelists.

While the NIH is assuring the members of its community of a great deal of flexibility in helping labs get back up and running at the conclusion of the national emergency, everyone is encouraged to be aware of the recent announcements coming from their funders in response to this unprecedented situation.

About the Author:

Kevin M. Wilson serves as Director of Public Policy and Media Relations for The American Society for Cell Biology. He's worked as the Legislative Director for U.S. Congressman Robert Weygand (D-RI) and as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI). He has a BA in Politics and American Government from the Catholic University of America. Email: kwilson@ascb.org