COVID-19 FAQs for Applicants and Awardees

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is aware that many labs and clinical studies have been impacted by the recent response to COVID-19. It is the CF Foundation's intention to work with funding applicants and CF Foundation-funded investigators to minimize the effects of the pandemic on research that is critical to advancing the mission of the Foundation.

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We have generated a brief collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help address some of the most pressing issues facing the research community. In addition, we hosted a COVID-19 town hall for researchers on June 2, 2020, to discuss the impact of the disease on their work and provide guidance on what steps the Foundation is taking to mitigate disruptions.

Please check back periodically for updates as the response to COVID-19 evolves. If you have any issues that are not addressed in this video or list, do not hesitate to reach out to your program officer or program administrator listed in your award letter or the Grants Office (grants@cff.org).

Grant Applicants

How does COVID-19 impact my application's review?

Peer review will continue to take place with the same level of rigor that occurs during non-public health emergency periods. The CF Foundation has transitioned all in-person review meetings to online meetings during this time.

I have been unable to collect preliminary data due to COVID-19. Will that negatively impact the review of my application?

A majority of the laboratories and research study sites supported by the CF Foundation have been partially or fully closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We fully anticipate that applicants may lack robust preliminary data. Therefore, reviewers are being instructed to take this into consideration during the review process.

Will the CF Foundation accept late letters of intent (LOI) and applications for new awards from applicants affected by COVID-19?

The CF Foundation will consider exceptions to LOI and application deadlines on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org) as soon as you become aware of a delay to discuss available options. In your email subject line, please include “Deadline Extension Request” and the RFA name.

Would the CF Foundation be interested in research about the novel coronavirus and cystic fibrosis?

Yes, projects relevant to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and cystic fibrosis may be submitted through the basic science research grantpilot and feasibility awardclinical research award, and clinical pilot and feasibility award mechanisms during normal submission cycles. If you have specific questions, please contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org)

Awardees

Will the CF Foundation provide additional funding to awardees impacted by COVID-19?

The CF Foundation will consider supplemental funding for awards with an original project end date between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. All basic science and clinical research mechanisms are eligible. Applicants must submit a letter of appeal to be considered for supplemental funding. All decisions on supplemental funding will be made in the CF Foundation's sole discretion. Please direct questions to your program officer or grant administrator listed on your letter of award.

Is there a deadline to apply for supplemental funding?

Awardees seeking supplemental funding must submit their letter of appeal by November 16, 2021. Approvals will be granted on a rolling basis.

I have recently been awarded a CF Foundation grant but due to COVID-19 will be unable to start on the original start date. Can I request a delayed start date? 

The CF Foundation understands that many institutions have closed labs and facilities or limited participation in clinical studies, so initiation of projects may be delayed with written approval from the CF Foundation. Please email the program administrator listed on your award letter or contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org) to request a delayed start date. In your email subject line, please include “Start Date Revision Request” and the award number.

Due to my institutional shutdown, I am not able to submit deliverables to the CF Foundation or obtain institutional sign-off. How should this be handled? 

Awardees should contact the program administrator listed on their award letter or contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org) to discuss which deliverables cannot be submitted and what the tentative timeline may be for having them submitted.

If work is stopped or disrupted because of COVID-19, how will the CF Foundation assess progress at the time of a progress report submission? 

The CF Foundation understands that COVID-19 has the potential to impact research it supports and is committed to working with awardees during this time. If possible, please submit your progress reports as scheduled and include an update on the work disruption. The CF Foundation will work with awardees to adjust the final award period if the Foundation determines additional time is necessary to complete the work due to COVID-19. If you have specific questions, please reach out to the program officer listed on your award letter or contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org).

I am conducting a CF Foundation-funded clinical study. COVID-19 is likely to impact my study design and/or my ability to enroll patients in the study. How should I proceed?

Please reach out to the program officer listed on your award letter or contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org) in order to discuss your specific situation.

What if my project ends outside of the timeline for eligibility or if my project is currently in a no-cost extension?

Please reach out to the program officer listed on your award letter or contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org) in order to discuss your specific situation.

Will the CF Foundation allow project extensions due to delays related to COVID-19?

Awardees in their final year of funding should submit a no-cost extension request to the CF Foundation Grants Office within 90 days of the project end date. First time extensions for projects ending between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 that are determined to be necessary by the CF Foundation due to COVID-19 will be approved for a maximum of 12 months. If you have any other questions or need additional information, please contact the program administrator listed on your award letter or contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org).

Due to COVID-19, I will no longer be able to complete my project and would like to close out my award. What is the process for doing this?

Please contact the program administrator listed on your award letter or contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org) to receive administrative guidance and to obtain the appropriate closeout forms.

Will the CF Foundation continue to make scheduled payments on awards?

Yes. At this time, the CF Foundation intends to continue to make payments according to the payment schedule outlined in your award letter as long as deliverables have been submitted and approved. Awardees should contact the program administrator listed on their award letter or contact the Grants Office (grants@cff.org) if they encounter issues or have questions with submitting deliverables.

Can personnel costs continue to be charged to the CF Foundation award during COVID-19?

Salaries for faculty and staff listed on CF Foundation awards who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 may continue to be charged to the awards at the same or reduced rate of that indicated on the CF Foundation-approved award budget, so long as the awardee institution's policy allows for such charges regardless of funding source. The CF Foundation may request documentation to confirm the requirements of the institutional policy.

Can trainees and fellows who receive stipends rather than salaries continue to receive stipend payments if they are unable to work as a result of COVID-19?

Institutions affected by COVID-19 may continue to provide stipend payments from CF Foundation awards in accordance with the CF Foundation-approved award budget to fellows and trainees who may be unable to work as a result of COVID-19.

My grant has funds budgeted for travel, but due to institutional policies, I will no longer be able to travel. Can I re-budget those funds?

Yes, awardees may re-budget funds allocated for travel with written approval from the CF Foundation. Please direct your questions on the re-budgeting process to your grant administrator or grants@cff.org.

I booked travel on my CF Foundation grant that has been cancelled as a result of COVID-19. Can I submit my non-refundable travel and cancellation fees on my report of expenditures?

The CF Foundation will allow non-refundable ticket prices, change fees, and cancellation fees on the report of expenditures, but asks that awardee institutions take the following steps prior to expensing these amounts:

  • First, please call the airline and ask to cancel the booked travel and request a refund for the amount of the ticket without any cancellation fees.
  • If the airline is unwilling to provide a refund, please request a travel credit in the amount of the cancelled ticket without a change or cancellation fee.
  • For any cancelled ticket, the CF Foundation will allow the unrefunded ticket price and non-waived change or cancellation fees on the report of expenditures provided the awardee institution agrees to apply any travel credit toward future CF Foundation-related travel. Otherwise, the awardee institution agrees to refund the CF Foundation for the amount of any credit used for non-CF Foundation-related travel.
  • Institutions must document those costs charged to a grant that are non-refundable and maintain such documentation in accordance with record retention requirements, making them available to the Foundation upon request.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Grants and Contracts Office at 301-841-2614 or grants@cff.org.

Last updated August 26, 2021.

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