What if I am or my staff/trainees/students are unable to continue working in the lab on my grant because Duke requires only staff supporting critical operations to remain or report to work?

Compensation in remote work environment situations

In accordance with institutional policy, all Duke faculty, staff, and students will continue to stay in a paid work (or academic/training status for students) status regardless of physical location or schedule and should record their normal hours. For individuals engaged in research, effort should be recorded at the current or planned levels. Pay distribution should reflect the effort recorded. The NIH, DoD, and NSF have issued statements allowing for the continued charging of salaries, regardless of the work schedule. We expect that other sponsors/agencies will release similar guidance, but as they have yet to issue statements, individuals and projects with other sponsored funding should be aware of the critical importance of documenting effort expended during this time; this includes industry and foundation sources.

Individuals should make every effort during this time to maintain documentation of effort expended in support of the grant remotely versus effort booked without the ability to perform work on the grant, in the event that other sponsors/agencies do not allow for the charging of salaries when effort in support of the grant is not possible.


  • If the individual is working remotely and contributing to the project, then salary can be charged to the grant.
  • If an individual cannot contribute to their current project but can contribute to another sponsored project or institutional activity (including support of the clinical mission), the salary must be moved to that funding source.
  • If an individual cannot perform job functions related to any university or sponsored project because of requirements to work remotely, their salary is allowable in accordance with university and sponsor regulations.

While we await further guidance, projects should charge salaries and fringes to all sponsors where the sponsor has yet to release guidance. They may need to be removed based on future sponsor guidance, therefore PIs and GMs should complete the related form Sponsored Projects Worksheet: Tracking COVID-19 Related Idle Project Effort and ensure that it is retained in the department.