The following frequently asked questions address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the conduct of research, research operations, and sponsored projects at MIT. This webpage will be updated as new information is received. The FAQs are organized by major category and can be accessed by clicking the links below:
- Availability of Services
- Allowable Costs/Charges/Effort on Sponsored Projects
- Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)
- Proposal Deadlines
- Research-related Questions
- Research-related Travel
Please note that many federal agencies have started to publish agency-specific FAQs. Please see the COVID-19 Sponsor Specific Guidance page for links to the most recent agency communications.
The Department of Facilities will remain available to campus during COVID-19 and will coordinate all essential services with consideration for the health and safety of the entire MIT community. See their Facilities Service Updates COVID-19 page for the latest updates regarding campus services.
The Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies providing them with the flexibility to grant administrative relief to recipients of federal funding on March 19. Agency guidance is evolving and being updated regularly. Please check the COVID-19 Sponsor Specific Guidance page for links to the most recent agency guidance.
Please continue to follow the MIT Travel Policies and general cost principles described in the Uniform Guidance.
MIT is open for business, and pay and benefits will continue uninterrupted during this period of social distancing when MIT is open but all non-essential staff are working remotely, as per Massachusetts COVID-19 Order No. 13.
Agency guidance is evolving and being updated regularly; see the COVID-19 Sponsor Specific Guidance page for links to the latest agency guidance In general, all salaries should continue to be charged to the appropriate sponsored project. See updated pay policies in response to COVID-19
Staff who are not able to work because they are sick will be paid consistent with MIT’s sick leave policy. Individuals should record their sick time using the sick time tracking tool. (requires Touchstone)
Trip cancellation insurance is typically unallowable on sponsored awards. We are monitoring guidance the federal government may issue related to travel. If you need to travel in the coming months to conduct business for a sponsored project, and you want to purchase trip cancellation insurance, you should reach out to your assigned Contract Administrator to request prior approval from the sponsor.
These types of expenses are not allowable as a direct cost unless specifically approved by the sponsor. You may wish to talk with your supervisor about your needs in order to work from home.
MIT Policy does not currently allow for the use or shipping of equipment or research materials to residences, however, given the extraordinary circumstances presented at this time, the Offices of VPR, EHS and VPF have developed a process to review and process reasonable requests. Please review the Equipment Use in Residence Guidance on the EHS website and, if you believe your needs fall within the guidelines, for the procedures for making a request.
During this period of social distancing and de-densification of the physical campus, all charges related to ongoing research efforts that would normally take place on campus should continue to be charged as on-campus for the purpose of F&A calculation, regardless of the location of the activity.
During this period of social distancing and de-densification of the physical campus, faculty and other summer appointments should be made to either on-campus or off-campus depending on where the work would normally have been done. Work which would normally have been done on-campus or at the LNS Bates facility would be considered on-campus work and summer appointments should be made to on-campus. Work which would normally be done at Haystack Observatory, CERN, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, or other off-campus facilities would be considered off-campus work and summer appointments should be made to off-campus.
MIT’s policy on travel restrictions related to COVID-19 can be found here. These policies will be updated as the situation evolves. The Vice President for Finance has also developed a COVID-19 FAQs resource on canceling and expensing travel and events. (requires Touchstone)
Most federal agencies have issued extensions to proposal submission deadlines due to COVID-19, though some are on a limited basis. Links to the most up-to-date agency guidance are available on the COVID-19 Sponsor Specific Guidance page.
Known federal agency specific information can be found on the COVID-19 Impact on Sponsored Programs. This page will be updated as additional is made available.
For programmatic issues affecting your study, we recommend you speak with your agency program officer or other sponsor contact. If delays persist, they may need to be reported in future progress reports, or you may need a no cost extension to complete your study. Please coordinate any such requests with your Contract Administrator.
The Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) has a pandemic response as part of our overall disaster plan. Our veterinarians and veterinary and animal technicians are considered essential employees and will be expected to come in during a disaster. Whenever there is a possibility that there will be a significant loss of staff or limited access to animals, the DCM identifies staff who would be willing and able to come to or stay in the facility, and work is limited to life supporting procedures only; changeouts and other husbandry procedures that are deemed non-essential to the support of life are delayed as determined by the DCM. Additional DCM FAQs (requires Touchstone) are also available on the DCM website.
MIT’s Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects has created a detailed FAQ resource for research involving human subjects.
In addition, on 3/16/20, NIH released Guidance for NIH-funded Clinical Trials and Human Subjects Studies Affected by COVID-19.
MIT Environment, Health, and Safety Office will continue to provide support for services on campus and for individuals working remotely. Please see the EHS COVID-19 FAQs for specific guidance, or contact EHS, firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-452-3477, for additional questions or concerns.