For Principal Investigators and Awardees

March 30, 2020

Principal Investigators and Awardees

Western SARE recognizes that there are questions and challenges arising due to the re-opening phase of COVID-19. Staff’s foremost concern is everyone’s health.  We will continue to meet the needs of agricultural stakeholders in our region while balancing the health and safety of our partners and clientele during this uncertain period. We hope that the following information will answer your questions about grant deadlines, invoices, grant reports, modifications to projects, and contact information. 

Grant Deadlines 

Western SARE has one open Call for Proposals, the Research and Education pre-proposal. The deadline remains May 22, 2020. Because it is a pre-proposal, many supporting documents are not required, which should reduce challenges you may be facing as institutions gradually re-open their normal operations. If you have questions or face a specific challenge, please contact wsare@montana.edu

At this time, we anticipate future Calls being released on schedule. 

Invoices 

At MSU, University of Wyoming, and USU, all submitted invoices are still being processed and paid. Continue to submit invoices. If you have a question, please contact the appropriate person 

Grant Reports 

At MSU, University of Wyoming, and USU, staff is requesting all reports to be submitted by your deadline. If you face a specific challenge, please contact the appropriate person.  

Invoices 

At MSU, University of Wyoming, and USU, all submitted invoices are being processed and paid. Continue to submit invoices. If you have a question, please contact the appropriate person (contact info below). 

If Western SARE funds have been used to pay for travel expenses (e.g., flights, hotels, registration fees) associated with attending a meeting, conference, or other travel related to your project, and the event or trip was cancelled or re-scheduled due to COVID-19, please do the following: 

  • If an event was cancelled and will NOT be re-scheduled, please request reimbursements for expenses.  If reimbursement(s) will not be issued or only partially, please document your requests for reimbursements and the vendors’ responses.  Keep these records internally along with your financial records. 
  • If an event will be re-scheduled but you will not be able to attend the future meeting date, please request reimbursements for expenses.  If reimbursement(s) will not be issued or only partially, please document your requests for reimbursements and the vendors’ response.  Keep these records internally along with your financial records. 
  • Any events that are re-scheduled must fall within your project period. If a re-scheduled event falls outside of your project period and you wish to attend, please contact Western SARE as soon as possible so that we can work out a solution, such as a no-cost extension of time for your project. 

Grant Activities

Please follow the research directives related to the COVID-19 indicated by your institution, whether pandemic precautions are still in place or they are gradually being lifted. 

  • If you need to modify your project methods and activities due to COVID-19, please complete a No Cost Extension form and contact the appropriate person.  Regarding the activities associated with Western SARE projects, we strongly suggest proceeding in the following way:  
  • Gradually resume face-to-face programming following the social distancing guidelines -a minimum of six feet apart is required for all face-to-face interactions; if ensuring this distance is not possible, interacting parties should wear a non-medical face mask or face covering.
  • If lab work is needed, please abide by the social distancing guidelines or alternate the presence of researchers at the lab to ensure social distancing. Laboratory members should properly and regularly disinfect all common surfaces.
  • For large group gatherings,  Western SARE is adhering to the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that organizers (whether groups or individuals), cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 or more people through May 25, 2020. 
  • If possible, you or your project team should still strive to serve clientele through phone calls, emails, websites, social media, news releases, radio, and other appropriate means.
  • If possible, please discuss remote work possibilities with your project team members to reduce their simultaneous presence in a confined space (office, lab, greenhouse, etc.).
  • We encourage Western SARE sponsored and associated travel be canceled through May 25, 2020.  

Contact Info 

If your award is with Montana State University: 

wsare@montana.edu 

If your award is with Utah State University:

 rhonda.miller@usu.edu  and wsarecontracts@usu.edu  

If your award is with the Professional Development Program: 

freeburn@uwyo.edu 

Thank you for your work! We wish you good health.