No-Cost Extensions

A no-cost extension (NCE) of the expiration date of an awarded project can be requested if:

  • you have submitted a proposal to continue the project but have not yet been awarded the continuation and need time to bridge the gap, or
  • the anticipated progress of work has slowed and additional time is required to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work.

PI's should request a no-cost extension 2-4 weeks before the grant expires by emailing your Sponsored Projects Officer. However, if you are requesting a 2nd extension on an NSF award, NSF requires that a request be submitted via Research.gov at least 45 days before the end of the first extension, so you will need to get your information to OSP before 45 days.

PI's will want to be in close communication with any subrecipients 90 days prior to the expiration of the award to verify whether or not a no-cost extension is needed.  

1st Request for a No-Cost Extension: Under Expanded Authorities, the grantee (University of Utah) may extend, one time only and without additional funds, the final budget end date by up to 12 months beyond the project's original expiration date. Not all programs are subject to this rule advantage. For clarification on these exceptions, please contact your Sponsored Projects Officer.

Subsequent Requests for a No-Cost Extension: All requests beyond the first should be discussed with your Sponsored Projects Officer 2-4 weeks prior to the end of the first extension. (NOTE: NSF requires that a request be submitted via FastLane at least 45 days before the end of the first extension.)

With the exception of NSF, subsequent requests for a no-cost extension must take the form of a letter addressed to the sponsor's program official (with a notation to send a copy to the sponsors's grant specialist).

No-Cost Extension Request Instructions by Sponsor:

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

To activate a grantee (University) approved no-cost extension for an eligible NIH award, the PI will need to email his/her Sponsored Projects Officer and provide the award no., project title, and a justification (up to 2000 characters) for the increment of time needed (3, 6, 9 or 12 months). Your Sponsored Projects Officer will process the notification to NIH through eRA Commons. We suggest you request the maximum time available - unless you are absolutely sure you can make the new end date. Even if you have anticipated continuing funding - you can request more time than necessary and then end earlier should you receive the notice of the new award.  

Second requests require greater detail and cannot be made through eRA Commons and is therefore managed via email with the grants management specialist assigned to the project. PI's need to draft a letter with a detailed justification. The justification needs to include not only the reason for delays, but also a detailed discussion of remaining funds and how these funds will support the remaining tasks - in order to meet the original goals and objectives set forth in the proposal. Please also include a concise work plan for the tasks which remain and justify the need for additional time and demonstrate the ability to complete them without additional cost. Please also state what prevented you from completing the project and expending the funds during the allotted time.

After the letter is drafted, it should be emailed to your Sponsored Projects Officer (countersignature is required). He/she will review and submit it to the grants management specialist. Please keep in mind that it can take up to 3 months for a determination.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

If no funds remain on the project, neither a grantee-approved no-cost extension notification nor a no-cost extension request for NSF approval may be submitted. The status of all post-award requests submitted to NSF can be tracked on Research.gov by the PI and OSP.

For an initial 12-month no-cost extension (Grantee Authorized Extension), PI's must initiate the request 45-60 days prior to expiration by logging-in to Research.gov using your NSF Fastlane credentials. Once logged in:

  • Go to Awards and Reporting
  • select Notifications and Requests
  • select the Prepare New button
  • in the Prepare New section of the Notifications and Requests screen:
    • Step 1: Select Type of Change, select "No Cost Extensions"
    • Step 2: Select Notification / Request will auto adjust based on your selection in Step 1. Select the Go button
    • Step 3: Enter Award Number and click Prepare New
  • click the Prepare New button
  • under grantee notification type, select Grantee Approved No Cost Extension
  • in the Grantee-Approved No-Cost Extension screen, a Revised End Date and Justification are required.

Paste or type in your justification for the need for additional time. This one-time extension may not be exercised merely for the purpose of using the unliquidated balance so focus on tasks which remain and time needed.

  • After these sections are completed, select Save & Forward
  • You will be taken back to the Notifications & Requests landing page where you will see a confirmation message at the top of the screen confirming that the request has been forwarded.

"Save & Forward" will get it to your Sponsored Projects Officer who will either approve the justification and submit to NSF or return the justification to the PI to for revision and resubmission. NSF will not issue an amendment to the award as a result of the request. Your Sponsored Projects Officer will update the University records and you will be copied on the electronic transaction through PeopleSoft.

See the help system for more information on preparing a new notification or request on Research.gov.

For a second request (NSF Approved Extension), follow the instructions above. Your justification may need to include not only the reason for delays, but also a detailed discussion of remaining funds and how these funds will support the remaining tasks - in order to meet the original goals and objectives set forth in the proposal. Please include a concise work plan for the tasks which remain and justify the need for additional time and demonstrate the ability to complete without additional cost. OSP and the PI will be electronically notified of the disposition of this request by the cognizant NSF Program Officer. The second no-cost extension will continue to be subject to the approval of an NSF Grants Officer, and, if approved, will be in the form of an amendment to the grant specifying a new expiration date. PI's are cautioned not to make new commitments or incur new expenditures after the expiration date in anticipation of a no-cost extension.

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

Instructions by Sponsor

Establish a Preliminary Ext.