Expanded Authority Actions

Expanded authorities are the operating authorities provided to grantees under certain research grant mechanisms that waive the normally-required sponsor prior approval for specific actions. For example, a researcher may wish to extend the time allotted for performing the work without requesting any additional funds (called a "no-cost extension"). In some cases, prior approval of the funding agency is required for this action; in some cases it can be done without this explicit approval by "expanded authority." Specific examples by major funding agency are listed below; please consult with your Sponsored Projects Officer for details. Please note: All deadlines below are in calendar days.

National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • Pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the effective date of the award (i.e., if the PI knows he/she will receive the award, and the award falls under expanded authorities, the PI can accrue charges before the award start date, but only charges that are within 90 days of the start date. For example, if the effective date of the award is July 1, charges may be made against the grant if they occur within 90 days of July 1 (April 3 or later) if the award falls under expanded authorities).
  • A single no-cost extension of time up to 12 months. The request must be submitted to OSP 45 days prior to the expiration date of the project. The agency must be notified 10 days prior to the expiration date.
  • Acquisition of special purpose equipment below $25,000.
  • Re-budgeting of funds up to 25% (excluding trainee costs).
  • Additional domestic and foreign travel requests not originally included in the award (i.e., unless restricted by the Notice of Award, these are allowed to be considered approved).

National Science Foundation (NSF):

  • Pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the effective date of the award.
  • A single no-cost extension of time up to 12 months (6 months for awards issued prior to May 2, 1994). The request must be initiated via FastLane and routed to OSP for submission 45 days prior to the expiration date of the project. The agency must be notified 10 days prior to the expiration date.
  • Acquisition of special purpose equipment costing $1,000 or more.
  • Re-budgeting of funds in accordance with the applicable federal cost principles and the terms and conditions of the award (excluding participant or trainee support costs).
  • Domestic and foreign travel requests.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):

  • Pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the effective date of a new award. (Not allowable on fixed price or sole source awards.)
  • A single no-cost extension of time up to 12 months. The request must be submitted to OSP 45 days prior to the expiration date of the project. The agency must be notified within 10 days of the extension and prior to the expiration date of the project.
  • Acquisition of special purpose equipment below $5,000.
  • Re-budgeting of funds between line items up to 10%.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH):

  • Pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the effective date of the award.
  • A single no-cost extension of time up to 12 months. The request must be submitted to OSP 45 days prior to the expiration date of the project. The agency must be notified 10 days prior to the expiration date.
  • Acquisition of equipment necessary and reasonable to carry out the approved project activities.
  • Re-budgeting of funds in accordance with the applicable federal cost principles and the terms and conditions of the award.
  • Foreign travel requests.

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (USDA-CSREES):

NOTE: The only branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that allows Expanded Authority actions is the Cooperative State Research Service.

  • Pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the effective date of the award.
  • A first-time no-cost extension of time up to 12 months (subject to the 5 year limitation of funds clause or 3 year limitation for special grants awarded on or after 06/23/98). The request must be submitted to OSP 45 days prior to the expiration date of the project. The agency must be notified within 10 days of the approval.
  • Acquisition of special purpose equipment.
  • Re-budgeting of funds in accordance with the applicable federal cost principles and the terms and conditions of the award.
  • Domestic and foreign travel requests.
  • Carry forward unobligated balances to subsequent funding periods.

U.S. Department of Commerce-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

NOTE: The only branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce that allows expanded authority actions is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  • Pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the effective date of the award.
  • A single no-cost extension of time up to 12 months. (Must be authorized in the special terms and conditions of the award notice.) The request must be submitted to OSP 60 days prior to the expiration date of the project. The agency must be notified 30 days prior to the expiration date.
  • Re-budgeting of funds up to 10% of the total approved budget except for the following items: direct costs moved to indirect costs or vice versa, training or fellowship costs.

U.S. Department of Education (ED):

(Excluding Special Projects and Centers funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.)

  • Pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the effective date of the award (subject to the 5 year limitation of funds clause). This authority should exclude the support of grant staff during the 90 day period prior to the start date of the project period.
  • A single no-cost extension of time up to 12 months (subject to the 5 year limitation of funds clause). The request must be submitted to OSP 45 days prior to the expiration date of the project. The agency must be notified of the extension 10 days prior to the expiration date of the project and be given supporting justification for the extension.
  • Carryover of funds for grants in effect as of 08/27/97 and for new grants issued after that date. (Title VII Independent Living programs are excluded from this authority. Also, Title III Rehabilitation Long Term Training programs are required to carry forward funds consistent with the requirement that at least 75% of the total funds originally awarded for any given year be used for scholarships and stipends.) Carryover requests for budget periods ending prior to 08/ 27/97 must receive written approval from the funding agency before carryover will be permitted. All carryover funds must be expended before utilizing any new funds awarded.
  • Budget transfers among previously approved direct cost categories are authorized, provided that the scope and goals of the project are not changed. Note: Grants funded under the RSA long term training authority must continue to meet the requirement that 75% of federal funds be used for scholarships and stipends. Also, funds under the F&A cost category may not be transferred and must be renegotiated with the funding agency.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):

  • Pre-award costs (on research grants only) up to 90 days prior to the effective date of the award.
  • A single no-cost extension of time up to 12 months in the final year of the project. The request must be submitted to OSP at least 45 days prior to the expiration date of the project. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Contracting Officer must be notified within 10 days of the extension and prior to the expiration date of the project.
Grant Life Cycle step 1: Generate Your Idea Step 2: Find Funding Step 3: Develop Your Proposal Step 4: Submit Your Proposal Step 5: Manage Your Award step 6: Share Your Research