RAS to close July 3–6, plan research proposals accordingly

June 22, 2020

Dear PIs,

In order to give the MIT community a much-needed break, President Reif and Vice President for Human Resources Ramona Allen provided an extra day over the Independence Day holiday so that it extends from Friday, July 3, through Monday, July 6. I am writing to provide the research community with a friendly reminder that there are a number of federal grant deadlines during and shortly after the holiday break, including NIH, DOT/FAA, NSF, and NASA/ROSES.

Please be aware that no proposal waivers to the five-day rule will be accepted for solicitations due July 3–12 to ensure that Research Administration Services (RAS) staff will not be required to work over the holiday. I will be instructing them to disconnect from their MIT account at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 2, and not reconnect until Tuesday, July 7, at 8 a.m., so please plan your proposal submission accordingly. In addition, please let off-campus collaborators know about this plan, as late input from collaborators at other institutions is one of the most frequent justifications given for waiver requests. I urge PIs to submit proposals well in advance of deadlines. Federal grant submission portals have been less than fully reliable recently due to the increased number of proposal submissions at all agencies since the ramp-down.

Thank you for your cooperation. This action will send a tangible message to our staff regarding how much we value their contributions. Since the ramp-down in March, RAS has successfully submitted more than 1,000 proposals, which represents a shared success between our PIs and administrative staff.

Sincerely,

Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research