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COVID-19 Impact on CSUBIOTECH Programming

CSUBIOTECH Grants & Awards


CSUBIOTECH recognizes that there have been dramatic impacts on the ability for faculty and students to carry out research on their campuses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost all faculty research laboratories have been closed since mid-March, and those few that have remained active or restarted research activity have been operating under restrictions that have slowed student involvement and overall productivity.

In recognition of these impacts, CSUBIOTECH is working to remain as flexible as possible in allowing changes to grants and awards to help faculty and student grantees utilize their CSUBIOTECH funding. Specific processes are listed in the sections below. If your situation is not discussed please contact the following CSUBIOTECH staff for assistance - Christine Montgomery ([email protected]) for student based programs and James Schmitt ([email protected]) for faculty based programs.

CSUBIOTECH has also concucted an online survey of CSU faculty and students and the impacts COVID-19 has had on their labs and academic progress.  Please read the results and recommendations from that data in this document (click here). 


  • CSU I-Corps Summer Sprint
    • CSU I-Corps Summer Sprint has been reformatted into a virtual workshop – August Sprint. We will offer the same content, virtually, over two weeks instead of the five day in-person workshop. 
  • Howell-CSUPERB Scholarships
    • 2020 Howell-CSUBIOTECH Scholar final reports are now being collected. CSUBIOTECH understands COVID-19 interruptions have impacted awardee’s ability to complete their projects. For awardee final reports, please answer the questions to the best of your ability in light of these disruptions. Click here to access the final report system for the 2020 Howell-CSUBIOTECH awards.
  • Presidents' Commission Scholarships
    • For PCS awards, we are allowing scholars flexibility this year. Awardees and mentors can decide to complete the summer research project as proposed or you can postpone your project to start anytime during Academic Year 2020-21 and/or Summer 2021. If you decide to spread out your work during the fall or spring terms, we understand you may not be working on your project “full time." CSUBIOTECH will delay issuing the scholarship and faculty funding to campus to coincide with your planned research activity.
  • Seed Grants
    • Currently Active CSUPERB Seed Grants – CSUBIOTECH is expecting that Seed Grants in the middle of their period of performance will need to request no-cost extensions in order to complete all of their aims. Because faculty will learn more about the extent of the COVID-19 impacts on their research over the summer/fall of 2020, CSUBIOTECH recommends they wait to request extensions until 4-6 weeks prior to the end date of the award. Once you determine how much additional time is needed, complete the Grant Change Request Form with the accompanying justification and submit to [email protected]. The justification should include:
      • Reason the project cannot be completed within the original 18-month grant period
      • What parts of the project plan remain incomplete
      • Whether the extension will require a significant change in the original project plan
      • How the extension will affect the timeline/milestones
      • What impacts the extension will have on the project budget. Full budget adjustment requests should be submitted using the Budget Adjustment Request Form found in the Post-Award Grant Changes section of the CSUBIOTECH Grants Administration web page.
    • Seed Grants awarded in the Spring 2020 round of funding – Grantees in the Spring 2020 round of funding should refer to their letters of award which state – “Since the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting research activities system-wide, we will allow new grantees to start their CSUBIOTECH NI grant funding at any point between June 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Please contact James Schmitt (Program Administrator, [email protected]) with your preferred grant start date no later than March 31, 2021. You will have 18 months from the start date to complete your project (award end date). These general fund dollars should be spent in and carried forward between the fiscal years your grant is active. Funds are to be spent by the award end date; however, as the COVID-19 situation evolves, we expect plans might change and PIs will need flexibility. Please contact CSUBIOTECH or use forms available at our grants administration website to request post-award grant changes.”
  • Symposium Awards
    • Both the Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award and Glenn Nagel Undergraduate Student Research Award have a cash prize and travel grant component. The travel component of the award is subject to the limitation that the student must be enrolled on a CSU campus or on an academic break (winter, summer, spring break) in order to utilize the award. Awardees select the meeting of their choice and can change that at will if their first choice has been cancelled or delayed.
    • No impacts are anticipated for the Andreoli Faculty Service Award, the CSU Biotechnology Faculty Research Award and the Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Award. These three programs issue either a cash prize for the recipient to spend from their department (with no end date) or a direct cash prize to the recipient themselves.
  • Faculty and Student Travel Grants
    • For CSUBIOTECH-supported travel impacted by the outbreak, we will consider changes to conferences attended, data collection plans, or field studies, when the abstract or proposed work remains mostly the same as the one originally approved by the travel grant review committees. Some changes are expected since applicants may be further along in their research or the author list may evolve with time and delays.

    • Funds can be used to pay for virtual conferences that replaced the originally proposed meeting, and the balance of grant funds after paying for the virtual meeting can be used for additional virtual and in-person meetings through the end of the academic year in which the originally proposed meeting was held. Additional meetings must be related to the originally proposed work/abstract in the awardees proposal. Awards made for Travel Grants in the Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 rounds can continue to use residual funds to attend virtual and in-person meetings and conferences through December 31, 2022 but with the same requirement that the purpose of attending the meeting is related to the originally proposed research and the employment/enrollment restriction discussed below.

      CSUBIOTECH will also consider extensions of time in which the travel grant can be used. This comes with a caveat: grant recipients must still be employed by or enrolled at a CSU campus when the award is ultimately used. When you are notified of a conference cancellation or travel restrictions, contact CSUBIOTECH when you have made new plans to use your travel grant. Send CSUBIOTECH ([email protected]) an email outlining your new travel plans, as well as a statement regarding how the abstract for the new meeting or work plans relate to your original travel grant proposal. CSUBIOTECH will send an email response to all requests.

      If your meeting is cancelled and you do not plan to use your travel grant for a different meeting or data collection, please notify CSUBIOTECH as soon as possible.

      Awardees are not restricted from applying to future travel grant rounds, even if their current award travel has been delayed. The review criteria that “All other things being equal, preference will be given to applicants who have not won a previous CSUBIOTECH travel award in the last two years" will still apply to all CSUBIOTECH travel grant RFP's.