As the full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to unfold, scientists and researchers at the School of Social Work stand ready for an ambitious and accelerated period of research to understand the critical needs of our most vulnerable communities during a health crisis.

These research findings will be invaluable in developing scientifically sound action plans when future pandemics or other widespread societal crises occur. Research opportunities and resources on the academic, state and national level are quickly being developed and made available for social work scientists and their partners across the UW.

This page includes links to organizations and research opportunities specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have an idea for a research project specific to the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact Rona Levy, Associate Dean of Research, UW School of Social Work.

COVID-19 research updates

No-cost extension for UW research studies 
Faculty may be able to extend their grant for up to one year if they have encountered difficulties continuing their research. This action, called a no-cost extension (NCE), must be taken before the original funding period ends. Given the obstacles created by the pandemic, some faculty may want to consider this option.

The first step is to contact your project officer or funding source contact. The School needs an approval letter from your sponsor explaining why you are requesting an extension and the proposed extension date. If your project is federally funded, apply through the eRA Commons website. The link for accessing the NCE is available 90 days before the project ends and will be removed at midnight on the project end date. If you have additional questions, please contact Rona Levy.

UW HSD makes changes in research guidelines
Effective August 2020, there are some changes in how the UW Human Subjects Division identifies the human subjects research allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes draw upon improved knowledge about how to effectively manage the risk of COVID-19 infection. The new and more direct risk-based approach retains the easiest-to-apply existing categories of allowed research but supplements them with a COVID relative-risk self-assessment tool to use with all other research. Contact the UW Human Subjects Division at if you have any questions.

NIH announcements and resources
Here are the latest policy announcements and resources developed by NIH in response to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Please bookmark the COVID-19 Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Fudning page and check it regularly for updated policy announcements and FAQs. We encourage you to contact your program official or grants management specialist for any questions and concerns not addressed on the central website, and to notify them of any significant issues regarding your studies or protocols.

New NIH resource to analyze COVID-19 literature: The COVID-19 portfolio tool
In the past few months, the scientific community has ramped up research in response to the SARS CoV 2 pandemic; dozens of peer-reviewed articles and preprints on this topic are being added to the literature every day (Figure 1). This rapidly expanding effort has created challenges for scientists and the medical community who need to analyze thousands of scholarly articles for insights on the virus.

Cyber safety and COVID-19
The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has introduced new cybersecurity risks both at NIH and across the globe. As targeted phishing attacks prey on our desire to access trustworthy information and many of us make a shift toward remote work, we all need to be vigilant and take accountability for cyber safety. Here are some key tips to stay safe and avoid scams.

Security of our virtual peer-review meetings
CSR will conduct all summer peer review meetings using one of three platforms – 1) video; 2) telephone; 3) web-based discussion. A majority will take place using the Zoom video platform. We want to provide information about how we are maintaining the security and confidentiality of our review meetings.

Roundup of new COVID-19 fesources for NIH applicants and recipients: Part 2
We continue to add new resources to our COVID-19: Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding webpage. We hope they are helpful in helping you navigate this unprecedented situation. Here is a summary of what’s new since the last Nexus. 

Human subjects research
Effective May 22, some temporarily-halted human subjects research may now resume, or begin. See this page for a description of the research that is now allowed.

COVID-19 research: Coordination of reviews
The HSD will coordinate IRB reviews, external IRB authorizations, and determinations with the mandatory review of the ITHS COVID-19 Research Review Work Group. This applies to all new Zipline applications and modification requests involving interactions with UW Medicine COVID-19 patients, their biospecimens, and/or their medical records information.

Impacts to proposals with outgoing sub-awards
We recognize that there is a quick turn-around time for responding to COVID-19 related opportunities and that many other proposals have been impacted by COVID-19. We also understand that you may not receive all of the required subrecipient documents in time to include them in these proposals. If any of the subrecipient documents cannot be obtained in final form to meet the GIM 19 deadline, please seek GIM 19 waiver approval as soon as you are aware of the delay.

Ongoing projects impacted by COVID-19
If the UW portion of a project is impacted by COVID-19, consider reaching out to your subrecipients to determine if they are also impacted. If your subrecipients inform you that their performance is impacted by COVID-19:

NIH notice of special interest on mental health research
The NIH has issued a notice of special Interest regarding the availability of administrative supplements and urgent competitive revisions for mental health research on the 2019 novel coronavirus.