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No Cost Time Extensions

Campus Contracts and Grants

Operating Memo 96-1

No-Cost Time Extensions for Awards from Federal, State, and Nonprofit Organizations

Principal Investigators (PIs) are expected to complete a project within the original period of performance. However, unexpected circumstances can arise which justify a need for additional time. A No-Cost Time Extension should be requested only when the original scope of work cannot be completed within the project period and no additional funds will be required for completion. No-Cost Time Extensions should not be requested nor will they be approved simply because the PI expects funds will remain at the end of the project or to explore new avenues of research. This latter situation constitutes a change in the scope of work. Except as outlined below, sponsors must approve requests for No-Cost Time Extensions.

Federal agencies issuing awards under the terms and conditions of the Federal Demonstration Project (FDP) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) have delegated the authority to approve No-Cost Time Extensions to the campus. If the award specifically states that it was issued under the FDP or is sponsored by the NEH, and it does not contain any restrictions on time extensions, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) can approve a single extension for a period of up to twelve (12) months. Sponsors must approve all other time extension requests.

All requests must be forwarded to the OR. If the campus has authority to approve it, OR will notify the sponsor of the time extension. If the campus does not have this authority, OR must sign the request before it is forwarded to the sponsor for approval. The request should be in the form of a letter and addressed to either the Director of Sponsored Programs (when the OR can approve the request) or the sponsor's Program Officer (when sponsor approval is required). The letter should contain the following information:

  1. The reason(s) why the work cannot be completed within the original project period, a brief summary of the progress made to date, and the work which still remains.
  2. The length of additional time required to complete the project. For most sponsors the maximum amount of time per request cannot exceed 12 months. For awards where the campus can approve the extension, the maximum is 12 months, and the OR can only approve one extension. Sponsor approval is always required for subsequent extensions.
  3. An estimate of the funds expected to remain unobligated on the original date of expiration, and a summary budget on how these funds will be used.

Once the request is forwarded to the OR it will be reviewed to ensure the above criteria are met. If the request is complete and the OR has the authority to approve it, it will be signed by the Director of Sponsored Programs and the sponsor will be notified that an extension has been approved. If the sponsor must approve the request, it will be signed by the Director of Sponsored

Programs and returned to the department/unit for mailing. If the OR is to forward the request, be sure to include the full name and address of the person who is to receive it.

To minimize the possibility of a break in funding, PIs should forward requests to the OR at least 45 days prior to the award's expiration date. If the request can be locally approved, this will allow adequate time to notify the sponsor. If the request has to be approved by the sponsor, this amount of time should be enough for them to process it. Please note that all requests received after the project expiration date have to be approved by the sponsor, even if the campus could have originally approved it.

If you have questions about No-Cost Time Extensions and who can approve them, please call Sponsored Programs (754-7700) and ask for the assistant assigned to your department or unit.   (This contact information updated 9/1/09.)  

Note: The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) mentioned in the memo is now called the Office of Research (OR)