No-Cost Extension Procedures
No-cost extensions of non-federal awards will almost always require approval from the sponsor. If guidelines for extending the budget period are not included in the terms and conditions of the award, SPA will contact the sponsor on behalf of the principal investigator (see Procedures for Obtaining a No-cost Extension below).
Federal regulations provide a set of criteria for approving a one-time extension of the expiration date of a federal award for up to twelve months. These criteria are to be used by funding agencies when they retain the authority to issue no-cost extensions or by SPA when the authority is transferred to the University (under Federal Demonstration Partnership). The extension may be issued unless one or more of the following conditions/restrictions apply:
- The terms and conditions of the award prohibit the extension.
- The extension requires additional federal funds.
- The extension involves any change in the approved objectives or scope of the project.
Agency approval for extensions longer than twelve months must be requested. If the University approves a request for an extension of less than twelve months and the principal investigator subsequently wishes to lengthen that time period to a total of twelve months or longer, agency approval must be obtained.
Procedures for Obtaining a No-Cost Extension
The Letter of Request
The principal investigator must prepare a letter describing the need for an additional period of time to complete the project objectives. The letter must address programmatic issues and may describe justifiable delays, such as the loss of a skilled technician. The fact that there may be money remaining in the project's account is not sufficient reason for an extension. If the sponsor approval must be sought, the letter should be addressed to the sponsor grants officer but sent first to Sponsored Program Administration for an authorizing signature. If the University has been given the authority to approve the no-cost extension, the request should be addressed to the principal investigator's post-award officer in SPA.
The Timing of the Request
If sponsor approval must be sought, and if the sponsor is a federal agency, requests to extend a project period must be received by the agency at least 10 days before the expiration date of the grant, unless otherwise specified. The principal investigator will need to bring the letter to SPA for review and authorization before it is mailed to the sponsor. If the sponsor is a non-federal agency, the award document should be consulted for requirements regarding the timing of the request.