Requests to modify the terms or conditions of your project (extensions, budget revisions, etc.) must be directed to and processed through Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Significant changes to a project may affect the administration of the grant or contract that funds it. Therefore it is very important to contact RSP, if any of the following project changes are needed.
If your project will not be completed by the project end date, you should consider requesting a no-cost extension. If granted, this action only extends the end date of your project; it does not provide additional funds. No-cost extensions are not granted for the mere purpose of spending left over funds. The PI/PD must meet all three of the following conditions for a no-cost extension:
- There is a programmatic need AND
- Funds remain in the project budget to complete the project AND
- The end of the project period is approaching (but has not been reached)
A request for a no-cost extension needs to include the following information:
- Length of extension requested and new termination date
- Review of progress to date
- Plan for use of funds during extension period
- Amount of projected unobligated balance and reason for it
Note: Because the sponsor retains the right to approve or disapprove of the request for an extension, the PI/PD should have a contingency plan if an extension is not granted.
In general, submissions for no-cost extensions should be received by the sponsor 45 days before the project’s end date. The amount of time prior to expiration for consideration of an extension varies widely between sponsors. Not submitting a request on time may jeopardize your eligibility for an extension. Check your funding agency's policy.
Usually, sponsors (especially federal) will only approve one extension for a maximum of 12 months. Therefore, you should consider requesting a 12 month extension even if you do not need 12 months to finish your project. On the other hand, some sponsors may consider approving only the amount of time you need, even if less than 12 months. Know the sponsor policy.
To request an extension PI/PDs need to send an email to RSP@UNI.EDU requesting the extension, she in turn will forward the extension request to the sponsor on behalf of the university. If your extension is granted, you will be notified by either the sponsor or by Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Until you receive notification of a no cost extension, your account will be placed in provisional status if it has expired. This means your department head must commit to take financial responsibility for expenses incurred.
Valid reasons for a no cost extension include, but are not limited to:
- Additional time is needed to assure completion of the original approved project scope and objectives
- Inability to recruit or retain staff suitable for assistance in the project
- Extensive delay in production or shipment of key equipment or supplies
- Transfer, illness, or injury of key project personnel
There are times when a second no cost extension can be requested; however most federal sponsors will not consider a request for a second extension. For more information, consult the terms and conditions of your award agreement, sponsor guidelines, or contact RSP at 3-3217.
There are two types of Budget Change Requests a PI/PD can request. The most typical request is to make a change in the major line items of an approved budget. Most sponsors realize budgets are prepared months in advance and are an estimate of actual expenses. Many contracts will allow a transfer between budget line items of up to 10% without permission from the sponsor as long as the total budget does not change. Major budget line items usually include salaries, benefits, travel, supplies, equipment and subcontracts. Budget changes which require prior approval from the sponsor are (1) any modifications greater than 10% in major line items and (2) requests for additional funding to complete a project.
Requests for additional funds must be approved from a sponsor prior to spending project funds. Budget changes which require sponsor approval will be completed with a contract amendment.
Prior approval is needed for:
- Change of previously approved scope-of-work (increase or decrease)
- Change of key personnel
- Absence of 3 months or 25% reduction in time of key personnel
- Transfer of F&A (indirect costs) to direct costs or vice versa
- Inclusion of costs requiring prior approval in the federal cost principles of OMB Circular A-21, as applicable
- Transfer of funds allotted for training to the budget major line times
- Subawards to collaborating partner organization when not previously approved by sponsor.
All modifications are processed through Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; contact RSP at 3-3217 or by email.
Since grants and contracts are made to the University and not to individuals, transferring a project to another institution requires negotiation between UNI and the new institution. Contact RSP at 3-3217 for more information.