No-Cost Extensions

At least 60 days prior to the end date of the project, the principal investigator should determine if a no-cost extension is required. A no-cost extension is an extension of the period of performance beyond the expiration date to allow the principal investigator to complete the project. Usually, no additional costs are provided. A no-cost extension may be needed for the following reasons:

  • Additional time needed for the PI to assure completion of the original approved project’s scope and objectives.
  • Lack of success in locating and recruiting a graduate student with suitable capabilities.
  • Extensive delay in production or shipment of key equipment or supplies.
  • Transfer, illness, or injury of key project personnel.
  • Extended contract negotiations.
  • Agency funds only a partial amount of the proposed work due to budget constraints.
  • Subcontractor experiences delays in completing tasks which in turn delays deliverables.
  • Instrumentation downtime which delays testing/research.

The National Science Foundation requires requests for no cost extensions to be submitted 45 days before the project end date, other agencies require more time for submission of requests.

Policy

The principal investigator/project director is advised to contact the sponsor on an informal basis regarding requests for a no-cost extension. If a no-cost extension is requested, the Request for Budget or Program must be routed through the department chair; the center director, if applicable; and the dean of the college to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

Implementation  

The request for a no-cost extension, which must be submitted at least thirty (30) days prior, or 45 days for NSF extensions, to the expiration of the contract or grant, must include:

  • the rationale for no-cost extension;
  • work completed, and deliverables made as of the date of request;
  • funds expended and billed to sponsor as of the date of request;
  • the percent change in the budget;
  • work to be completed and deliverables to be made as of the date of the request;
  • funds remaining to complete work; and
  • duration (beginning and ending dates) of the contract or grant extension

After approval, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies will forward the request to the agency. The Office of Research will communicate the agency’s response to the principal investigator/project director.

For all project modifications, the agency requires justification for what necessitated the change and why. A request for modification may be denied by the chair, dean, or Office of Research if any of the following occurs: 

  • Lack of accurate and complete accounting information.
  • Insufficient backup documentation.
  • Lack of necessary and sufficient justification.
  • Lack of appropriate approvals.
  • Insufficient lead time per agency requirements. 

All work will terminate when the contract or grant expires unless approval of the no-cost extension is obtained from sponsor.

Updated March 2, 2012

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