University-wide guidance on use of COVID-19 Project

April 8, 2020

University Finance has established a project to be used for specific activity related to COVID-19. The purpose of this project is to provide visibility to unplanned COVID-19 expenses for identification of related budget variances, tax reporting, and potential stimulus funding applications. The project number is PJ107293 (COVID-19).

Guidelines for Usage:

  • Use for extraordinary or incremental expenses, such as supplies and extra laptops, that are directly related to keeping the faculty, staff, and students safe and operations functioning.
  • Can be used for expenses that will be funded by university funds (YD) or gifts; not for use with sponsored funds.
  • Please continue to put charges directly to your regular cost centers and COA combinations – just replace the project with PJ107293.
  • You do not need to change payroll costing allocations to use the new COVID-19 project segment (you can if you choose to, but School of Medicine has been asked not to). The HR Innovation and Strategic Support team is writing a report for the university to calculate the total COVID-19-related incremental pay based on the guidance given in the memo from Vice President Lindner (ex: cost of people staying home and not working, OT or hazard pay differentials). The university will be able to track the salary spending that way.

We recognize that departments cannot specifically allocate every single variance that will occur. People need to use their judgment in categorizing these expenses.


  • New gifts established to support the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another (research, student support, community response, etc.) will be assigned a special alternative purpose code by the Gift Accounting team in the Controller’s Office.
  • The project used for gift revenue will be determined by collaboration between Gift Accounting and the responsible department. (This will be a project number other than PJ107293.)
  • Expenses meeting the criteria in “Guidelines for Usage” above can be charged to both a Gift and PJ107293. The gift does not have to be one designated for COVID-19, but as always departments are responsible for ensuring all expenses appropriately meet any and all gift restrictions.

Sponsored Awards:

  • New grants and contracts established to perform research or other services related to COVID-19 are expected to be assigned a specific identifier by the Office of Sponsored Projects.
  • Non-COVID awards experiencing disruptions stemming from the virus:
    • The federal government released guidance on March 19, 2020 – linked here.
    • On March 27, the OSP Newsflash publication announced that the guidance at Research Continuity - Sponsored Award FAQs was recently updated.
    • Regular expenses (including any allowable disruption costs) should continue to be charged to the sponsored COA combination (Grant + FD02/FD28) with the Grant’s default project (NOT the COVID-19 project).
    • Unallowable disruption costs must be charged to university funds (NOT a cost-sharing account) and should use PJ107293.

University-funded Research:

Departments may request other standalone projects to capture programmatic research activities specifically focused on COVID-19 only when all of the following criteria apply:

  • The activities do not constitute extraordinary or incremental expenses, such as supplies and extra laptops, that are directly related to keeping the faculty, staff, and students safe and operations functioning.
  • The activities do not reflect incremental costs or disruptions to sponsored projects (allowable or unallowable).
  • The costs are not funded by gifts or grants.

Such university-funded research efforts should NOT be booked to PJ107293.

Questions should be directed as follows:
  • School of Medicine – YSM Controller’s Office at
  • Budget variances and GA funding – your budget analyst
  • Allowability of expenses to sponsored awards – Office of Sponsored Projects at or your OSP Grant Accountant
  • Gift setup and accounting for contributions – Controller’s Office – Gift Accounting at
  • General accounting questions – Controller’s Office – General Accounting at