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Office of Research Administration

COVID-19 Research Administration FAQs

Is the Office of Research Administration open and providing services?

Yes, ORA is continuing to provide services but with minimal staff on campus. We appreciate your patience as we adapt to working remotely. The main telephone number (601.266.4119) is monitored (but you might need to leave a message), and staff are responding to phone calls and email.

I am unable to meet a proposal deadline due to COVID-19.

Discuss your specific situation with your ORA Grants and Contracts Coordinator or Administrator. Some sponsors have existing policies that address special circumstances, some sponsors have extended their deadlines, and some are making accommodations on an individual basis.

Can I continue to pay people on my funded project?

All USM Human Resources and payroll policies apply to grant funded projects as well. If allowed under USM policy, and the sponsor also allows it, you may continue to pay people using the sponsored project as the source of funds. Contact ORA to discuss your specific situation.   

Do I need to keep activity records for people working on funded projects?

Yes, it is highly recommended. Besides the usual time approvals for USM purposes, you should have records showing what work was accomplished while working remotely. It is especially important for staff who are sometimes working and sometimes on administrative leave. USM’s “Remote Work Log” form can be used or adapted for this purpose. Contact your HR Partner if you need this form.

Salary charges are eating up my budget and I might not have enough funding to produce required deliverables.

Contact ORA to review the award agreement to determine contractual obligations and options, if any, for “force majeure” situations. Then we can determine next steps.

I am working from home. Can I charge supplies such as a laptop, printer, and paper to my grant?

These types of administrative costs are generally not allowable charges on a grant unless specifically approved by the sponsor.

How do I handle all the paper forms for expenses?

You can scan and email documents to the appropriate office. Or you can complete the paper form as usual, but keep in mind that it might take longer than usual since each office involved has to coordinate with staff working remotely.

I have a question that is not addressed here. Who do I contact?

Call the Office of Research Administration at 601.266.4119 or send an email to sponsoredprogramsFREEMississippi. Marcia Landen, Associate Vice President for Research, is also available at 601.266.4123 or marcia.landenFREEMississippi.