COVID-19: Important Info on Research-Related Activities

March 16, 2020
Image of lab test tubes

Please visit OSP's website for the most current COVID-19 information for sponsored projects.  

To the Harvard Research Community,

This morning we are providing significant updates to reflect the shift to ramping down on-site research as well as additional updates from NIH and NSF.

We have updated the Sponsored FAQs on the OSP website, updated the COVID-19 Travel Guidance, and added a Resource Page that lists the key websites, internal and external, that address most of the information available at this time.

As we all are witnessing, the situation and therefore our guidance is shifting daily so please stay up-to-date by visiting the websites and reading emails. We will continue to provide updates as information shifts.

The key changes and notes are:

  • Compensation should continue to be charged to awards whether individuals can or cannot contribute to the project. This may not continue indefinitely but for both NIH and NSF it is applicable for up to 30 days, consistent with the university’s current published policy. For now assume that it is any 30 days, per individual, when work cannot be performed (please read the FAQs).
  • All cancelled travel and related costs may be charged to sponsored awards.
  • Documentation is critical, be sure to identify COVID-19 related incremental costs and salary unrelated to effort, and maintain that documentation.

As already noted, we expect additional changes and will send updates as they are available.

Please do not hesitate to ask any questions. Schools have local channels but we are glad to triage questions through OSP, Christyne Anderson is the primary contact for COVID-19 questions.

School contacts:



Sarah T. Axelrod
Assistant Vice President, Office for Sponsored Programs
Harvard University | Office for Sponsored Programs
1033 Massachusetts Avenue, 5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
Ph: 617.496.2513