Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Administering Contracts and Grants under COVID-19 Conditions

FAQs on Contract and Grant Funding from VCR: COVID-19 Resources for UC Berkeley Researchers

Q: What if I or any of the employees in my research group are unable to come to work due to COVID-19 related reasons?

A: As of March 17, 2020 all UC employees are eligible to receive a one-time allotment of up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave to be used no later than December 31, 2020, based on certain conditions. Managers and supervisors are asked to grant their employees permission for these requests and to be flexible as their staff adjust to the current situation. Please review details and special guidance for supervisors and managers as well as COVID-19 related leave for academic appointees and refer to resources provided by UC Berkeley People and Culture. You can track COVID-19 related paid administrative leave in CalTime as “CV19-Admin Leave with Pay.” President Napolitano’s March 16 Executive Order is available on the Berkeley People and Culture website.

Q: Does this mean that I can charge my sponsored research contracts and grants for this leave?

A: Yes. As a recipient of federal awards, UC can charge salaries and benefits to such awards if it does so in a manner that is consistent across all funding sources, federal and non-federal. President Napolitano’s order is one of UC’s institutional policies that is used as a basis for charging sponsored contracts and grants. This approach is supported by costing policy guidance recently issued by the federal Office of Management and Budget. This guidance must be implemented by federal sponsors, so please check the UC Berkeley SPO COVID-19 Guidance for further information on a particular agency.

Q: What happens when the 128 hours of paid administrative leave is expended?

A: The UC system is continuing to evaluate the support of the projects and research staff through what the federal sponsors have recognized as unexpected and extraordinary circumstances. President Napolitano’s order is the current systemwide response.

Q: Even if I can support members of my research team through paid administrative and other leave, these charges will have an impact on the direct-charge portion of my project’s budget. Will the agencies provide additional funding?

A: Certain agencies, like NIH, have expressly recognized the hardship that the COVID-19 situation will create for projects. Its leaders expect to review requests for supplemental funding on a case-by-case basis. Other agencies, like the NSA, have stated that remote work will not be eligible for funding. Check the SPO COVID-19 Guidance for further information on your project’s funder and contact your agency program manager/grant officer to request supplemental funding.

For updates to COVID-19 guidance, see: