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Post-Award Changes

During the performance of a project, it may be necessary to make changes to the project that was originally proposed to the sponsor.  Such changes may relate to the budget, personnel or scope of work.  Depending on the terms and conditions of an award, project changes may be able to be approved internally, but when necessary SPA will seek sponsor approval for project changes.  See Post Award Changes section for additional guidance. 

Budgetary Changes

During the performance of an award, the PI may find it necessary to move funds from one budget category to another (i.e. “re-budget”) to complete the sponsor approved scope of work.  If a re-budget is necessary, PI’s should contact their Grant and Contract Accounting Officer for review and determination whether the request can be approved internally or whether sponsor approval is needed.  Grant and Contract Accounting will forward to Sponsored Programs all re-budget requests that require sponsor approval.  Sponsored Programs will work with the PI to gather information and send a formal re-budget request to the sponsor.  

No-Cost Time Extensions

A no-cost extension is an extension of the period of performance without receipt of additional funds.  Funding agencies will generally allow no-cost time extensions on projects.  Depending on its policy, an agency may allow NDSU to approve a time extension, or the granting agency itself may need to approve the time extension. Some agencies also require that extension requests be submitted a specified amount of time in advance of the award expiration date. Consult your grant agreement or grant agency policy to verify eligibility of a project for an extension and for additional instructions.  Requests for no-cost extensions should be routed to Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA).  SPA will make the formal request for the extension to the sponsor.

To request a no-cost time extension on an award, complete and e-mail a No-Cost Time Extension Request Form located on the SPA Forms page to SPA will review and request agency approval when necessary.

There are some variations to the above procedure:

1. The National Science Foundation (NSF) uses an electronic submission process called All extension requests for NSF grants should be initiated on this system and are required to be submitted 45 days prior to the grant end date. Once initiated, the extension will be sent electronically to the NDSU Office of Sponsored Programs Administration for review and submission to the NSF.  

2. If the grant is from USDA/NIFA, submit the requested information to Ona Vig in the NDSU Ag Administration Budget Office. (This variation is only for PI’s located under the College of Food Systems and Natural Resources, the Ag Experiment Station or Extension.) 

3. The Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) requires requests to be submitted by the PI. In order to maintain compliance with NDSU policy that requires SPA to submit all requests for extensions to sponsors, the PI should submit a letter to SPA identifying the need for an extension of their APUC project.  SPA will put the letter on SPA letterhead and route for signatures.  Once fully signed, the letter will be submitted to APUC with a copy to the PI.  The letter request should include all pertinent details such as the APUC grant number, NDSU award number, title of the project, current and new end dates, and reason/justification for the extension.  The letter should be e-mailed to  Requests may only be for 6 months and should be submitted near the end of the project or when the reminder for the final report is received.

4. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture requires requests for an extension to be submitted on its Extension of Grant Agreement form.  This form should be completed and e-mailed to  SPA will review the request and submit it to the sponsor.  Contact Shelly Sandstrom to request a copy of this form.

As a general guideline, requests for a no-cost extension should be submitted at least 30 days prior to an award's end date, unless the sponsor, such as NSF, requires an earlier submission.  Justification for the request should reference the remaining work to be completed in accordance with the approved work plan, and provide sufficient detail to support the need for additional time to complete the work.  Having funds remaining at the end of the expiration date is not an acceptable justification.  Questions regarding no-cost time extensions on awards should be directed to Shelly Sandstrom, phone 231.7258.

Institution Transfers and PI/Key Personnel Changes

When a PI or key personnel on an award will be transferring departments, leaving NDSU, or will no longer be involved in the activities under the award, appropriate steps need to be taken in terms of award disposition.  There is a Disposition of Grants form on SPA’s Forms website that will need to be completed.  It is important that this form be completed as soon as possible after notification that a PI or key personnel will be transferring departments or leaving NDSU or the project, as the responsibility for continuation, management and/or transfer/relinquishment of the award rests on NDSU as the named recipient.  NDSU also has the responsibility to work with a sponsor to obtain any necessary approvals for changes to an award necessitated by the departure of a PI and/or transfer of an award. 

Depending on the circumstances, the most common disposition results include:

  • The award stays at NDSU and a replacement PI or key personnel is/are named
  • The award is transferred to a new NDSU Department
  • The award is transferred to a new institution

Often awards need to remain at NDSU due to sponsor limitations, or the timing of the PI leaving NDSU.  If, for instance, a PI leaves NDSU in the final 12 months of a project, it may be more practical to leave the award at NDSU and issue a subaward to the former PI at their new institution.  This eliminates the long delays that are often experienced when NDSU has to relinquish an award and the sponsor has to reissue it to a new institution.  It is often less burdensome on a sponsor to simply approve a replacement PI at NDSU and to approve a subaward to the new institution.  Also, it is possible to have a different outcome for multiple awards to the same PI.  That is, one award may be transferred in its entirety, one may be transferred but have a subaward back to NDSU, one may stay at NDSU under a replacement PI with a subaward to the former PI, and one may simply stay in full under a replacement PI. 

Please contact SPA at with any questions, or to discuss specifics of award disposition.

Other Changes

Any post-award change request that is not addressed above should be directed to Sponsored Programs staff.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 10:22:46 AM
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