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National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at NIH - Letter to NCCIH Grantees

April 16, 2020

Dear NCCIH Grantees:

We know that for most of you the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted your ability to conduct your research. You should know that it is our intention to ensure the ultimate success of your currently funded research project.

We understand that for many of you this will mean you need additional flexibilities and/or resources over time in order to achieve success. We also understand that a one-size-fits-all approach towards providing you with these resources will not be the answer. In cooperation with our colleagues across NIH, we are developing a suite of diverse mechanisms and approaches that we hope will address your unique research challenges. Some of these approaches have already been announced (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters/corona-virus.htm; please check this webpage often for updates), while others are still in development. Determining which of these approaches will best help you accomplish the goals of your currently funded research project will depend upon your specific situation. 

Over the next several months, NCCIH staff, including our program directors and clinical and regulatory affairs team, will be available to discuss your challenges and help you determine the approach that will work best for you.

We have already received a number of inquiries regarding administrative supplements, one of the tools that we have to address shortfalls in resources. While we will plan on using administrative supplements when absolutely necessary, it is clear that for many of you, supplement requests in the next 2-3 months may be premature. We, therefore, recommend that investigators hold off on submitting COVID-19-related administrative supplement requests until the full impact of the pandemic on your research is clear, you have had a chance to discuss the various options with the relevant NCCIH staff, and it is determined that an administrative supplement is necessary and the best option for your project.

There are two possible exceptions to this recommendation:

supplements to existing projects that will allow investigators to immediately address scientific questions of direct relevance to the COVID-19 epidemic
supplements to existing projects that are needed to address immediate, mission-critical needs over the next 3 months.
Investigators who believe they meet these exceptions should raise these issues with their program directors prior to submitting their requests. Unless otherwise announced, these requests will be due by May 1, 2020. Finally, for those with grants that will end in the next few months, investigators should work with their institutions to process a no-cost extension initially, and NCCIH will evaluate subsequent requests for additional flexibilities and/or resources during the extension period.

The whole NCCIH team hopes that you are safe and healthy, and we look forward to working with you to ensure continued progress toward achieving our shared and important scientific mission.

Best wishes,

Helene Langevin, M.D.

Director

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

National Institutes of Health