NIAMS Guidance for new COVID-19 Research and Supplemental Funding
NIAMS is taking several approaches noted below to support new research and ensure the continuity of our research efforts in response to COVID-19.
New Research Funding for COVID-19: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, NIAMS participates in several NIH wide programs that highlight the urgent need for research on SARS-CoV-2. This includes the RADx-UP Program and the INCLUDE Project, described in greater detail below.
Supplemental Funding COVID-19: NIAMS understands that many of its grantees may require supplemental funding to help mitigate the disruptions and negative impacts they have experienced during this public health emergency. Here are some of the options available:
NIAMS grant recipients are still able to submit requests for administrative supplements to existing awards at any time utilizing the parent announcement, PA-18-591. However, NIAMS does not currently have funding specifically available for research supplements directly related to COVID-19.
NIAMS recommends that institutions hold off on submitting COVID-19-related administrative supplement requests until such time as;
- the full impact of the pandemic on the grant’s research plans and progress is clear, and
- recipients have had the chance to discuss the various options (including the use of rebudgeting and the use of carryover funds) with their program officer and grants management specialist and have agreed that an administrative supplement is the best option for their project.
New Programs for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-2019 Response
In addition to administrative supplements, NIAMS offers funding opportunities through NIH wide competitive revision and administrative supplement programs. These include:
- RADx-UP Program- NIH created the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Program to develop, validate, improve, and implement testing and to accelerate research and develop technologies for rapid testing at the point of care. NIAMS is participating in the following NOSIs and FOAs under this program:
- Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Emergency Competitive Revisions for Social, Ethical, and Behavioral Implications (SEBI) Research on COVID-19 Testing among Underserved and/or Vulnerable Populations (NOT-OD-20-119)- These are Emergency Competitive Revisions to active eligible grants and cooperative agreements addressing the social, ethical, and behavioral factors likely to influence access and uptake of COVID-19 testing in underserved and/or vulnerable populations.
- Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Emergency Competitive Revisions for Community-Engaged Research on COVID-19 Testing among Underserved and/or Vulnerable Populations (NOT-OD-20-120)- This Testing Research Projects NOSI will support supplements to individual NIH research awards that include community collaborations or partnerships to support COVID-19 testing (or have the capacity to ramp up quickly) to reach underserved and/or COVID-19 vulnerable populations.
- Emergency Awards: RADx-UP Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC) (U24 Clinical Trial Optional)- This emergency cooperative agreement FOA from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides an expedited funding mechanism as part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) initiative, a consortium of community-engaged research projects to understand factors that have led to disproportionate burden of the pandemic on the underserved and/or vulnerable populations so that interventions can be implemented to decrease these disparities. This FOA seeks to fund a single Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC) as an integral part of the consortium.
- INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Project- NIH has issued several NOSIs to highlight the urgent need for research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in individuals with Down syndrome in conjunction with the INCLUDE Project. NIAMS is specifically participating in the following NOSI(s):
- Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) regarding the Availability of Urgent Competitive Revisions and Administrative Supplements for Research on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Individuals with Down Syndrome for the INCLUDE Project (NOT-OD-20-129).
- Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship Awards to Support Training in Research Related to Down Syndrome as Part of the INCLUDE Project (NOT-OD-20-020).
NIAMS GUIDANCE REGARDING COVID-19 Flexibilities for Trainees and Other Early-Career Researchers
Regarding the impact on early career investigators, fellows, junior faculty, and trainees, NIAMS agrees that the pandemic and shutdown of labs has posed several unique challenges to these investigators whose research career is essentially on hold. In addressing these concerns, NIH and NIAMS has made a concerted effort to make sure that faculty members in their early careers have maximum flexibility to continue their research on NIH grants.
Some of these flexibilities include:
For Phased awards (e.g. K22, K99) and other training, fellowship and career development awards where extensions are usually limited, NIH will consider extensions that are made by request from the Principal Investigator and the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Each of these extension requests made to NIAMS will be considered on a case by case basis.
This also applies to circumstances when NIAMS K99 recipients are not able to transition to an R00 award due to COVID-19. NIAMS will consider extensions for obtaining faculty positions. Requests should be made for up to 12 months with each increment.
Please contact NIAMS staff if you need to stop or reduce research activities on a K award to provide clinical care to COVID-19 patients to discuss your options. You may be able to reduce effort, request an extension or take a leave of absence.
For Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) Fellowship awards, fellows may submit extension requests for consideration when the effects of COVID-19 have altered their planned course of training. The requests must include a description of how COVID-19 affected the fellowship award and provide an outline of how much additional time is needed. These requests should also be signed by the fellow, the Authorized Organization Representative, and the fellowship sponsor.
For T32 awards, please consult with NIAMS staff if you have difficulty filling spots, unused funds or need to cancel a program. Since needs and circumstances vary, NIAMS will consider requests on a case by case basis.
NIH routinely updates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that specifically address Training, Fellowship and Career Development Awards which can be found our NIH’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding Page.
For questions on COVID-19 funding, please email NIAMS_COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.