Award Modifications and Extensions

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.  

The general process for requesting changes to your grant is for the PI to send an email to the Post Award Specialist which provides all relevant information about the requested change. RSP will review your request, follow up with you if there are questions and then make the formal request to the Sponsor.  

This page provides guidance on modifications including No Cost Extensions, Budget Changes, Scope of Work Changes, Change of PI/PD and moving a grant to a different institution. 

No Cost Extension

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:

  1. There is a programmatic need AND
  2. Funds remain in the project budget to complete the project AND
  3. The end of the project period is approaching (but has not been reached)

Note: Because the sponsor retains the right to approve or disapprove of the request, the PI/PD should have a contingency plan if an extension is not granted.

Requesting a No-Cost Extension

To request an extension PI/PDs need to send an email to the Post Award Specialist, Chelle Adkins requesting the extension. This request will then be forwarded 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.

A request for a no-cost extension needs to include the following information:

  1. Length of extension requested and new termination date
  2. Review of progress to date
  3. Plan for use of funds during extension period
  4. Amount of projected unobligated balance and reason for it

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. 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 the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 3-3217.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.

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


Budget Change Requests to Sponsor

There are two types of Budget Change Requests a PI/PD can request. 

  1. Change in Line Item: 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.
  2. Requests for additional funds:  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.

Scope of Work and Other Award Modification Requests

Prior approval is needed for:

All modifications are processed by the Post Award Specialist, Chelle Adkins at 3-4321.

Transfer of PI/PD and Grant/Contracts to other entities

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 the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 3-3217 for more information.