Duke Research
Date:     Thursday, May 7, 2020
To:         Duke faculty engaged in research
Re:         Update on idle effort tracking related to COVID-19
Dear Colleagues,
In my April 2nd memo to the Duke research community, I highlighted the importance of tracking project effort impacted by limited access to needed facilities and resources, hindering the ability to carry out project activities (“idle effort”). Through recent discussions with our sponsors, peers, and advocacy groups, it has become increasingly clear that detailed effort records (individual-by-individual, grant-by-grant) will be critical for your research program and the institution to document project delays in case of audit or if sponsors request information related to such delays. This documentation will also be required to support any requests for project extensions or funding supplements necessary to accomplish project goals. If you have been able to meet project aims/deliverables as originally planned on all of your projects (no idle effort), simply send an email to your grants administrator stating there is no idle effort to report. This will satisfy the documentation requirement.
Important points to remember when tracking and reporting idle effort:
  1. Effort must be tracked for all project staff paid on all projects that were active on or after March 17 (when the curtailment commenced).
  2. Effort must be documented for all externally sponsored (all sponsor types, including subawards to Duke) and internally funded projects (fund codes beginning with 153 or 453).
  3. Idle effort should be tracked contemporaneously. Idle effort for March and April should be provided to your grant manager by May 15. This process will continue monthly until we have returned to normal operations at Duke.
To report idle effort, you can log into myRESEARCHhome, click on “go to research dashboard” in the top banner. From there, click on the “idle effort collection” button at the top of the dashboard. All of the projects for which you are PI will be displayed here, and you can follow the prompts for recording idle effort on your projects.
Please visit research.duke.edu/covid-19-tracking-effort for additional details, including FAQs and instructions for reporting idle effort. Please reach out to your grants administrator or ORA/ORS if you have questions or need advice. Thank you for your continued cooperation and patience during these extraordinary times.
Lawrence Carin
Vice President for Research
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