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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 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)

The University can extend the final budget period of a project when the following conditions are met:

  • If no additional funds are required by the NIH
  • If there will be no change in the project's original scope
  • When there is less than 90 days remaining before the project period ends

In order to justify an extension, one of the following criteria must be applicable:

  • Additional time beyond the established expiration date is required to ensure adequate completion of the originally approved project
  • Continuity of grant is required while a competing continuation application is under review
  • Extension is necessary to permit an orderly phase-out of a project that will not receive continued support

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 number, project title, and 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.  Upon notification, the NIH will revise the project period and provide an acknowledgement to the University.

NIH 2nd and 3rd Requests

To submit a COVID-19 affected 2nd no-cost extension:

Recipients should notify the funding IC via the prior approval module in eRA, including the justification, number of months of the extension and the unobligated balance on the award.  A blank document may be uploaded in the Progress Report and Budget Document Fields. These documents are not required for no-cost extension requests related to COVID-19.


For non-COVID related delays:

Second and third requests, or projects not eligible for an automatic no cost extension, 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.

A second or third extension must be submitted at least 30 days before the end of the project period.

The request requires Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official concurrence and should be emailed to the Grants Management Specialist identified in the most recent Notice of Award (NOA).

PI's will need to draft an email request and forward it to their SPO to finalize and send to the GMS. The subject line should stated "2nd NCE Request" and include the NIH award number. The request must include the following information:

  • Detailed explanation of why the project could not be completed by the originally approved end date;
  • The revised end date being requested;
  • Scientific rationale for continuing the project;
  • If requesting a third extension provide compelling scientific justification that warrants a third and final extension.  Please be advised that NIAMS rarely approves a third extension;
  • A brief (not to exceed one page) progress report that communicates scientific progress made from submission of the last RPPR to present;
  • Amount of Direct Costs and Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs remaining (estimated unobligated balance) in U.S. dollars;
  • PHS 2590 Form Page 2 Detailed Budget reflecting the proposed plans to use the remaining funds;
  • PHS 2590 Form Page 6 Checklist reflecting calculated F&A costs;
  • Budget Justification;
  • Level of effort of key personnel named in the NOA - Section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement requires a measurable level of effort of key personnel during an extension; and,
  • Updated certifications and assurances, including IRB (if applicable under the Revised Common Rule) and IACUC approvals;

Contact information for your grants management specialist can be found on the Notice of Grant Award, or through our Grants Management Contact Listing.

Please keep in mind that it can take up to 3 months for a determination. Departments have the option of initiating a preliminary extension while waiting for this formal 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 by the PI and OSP.

For an initial 12-month no-cost extension (Grantee Authorized Extension), PI's must initiate the request at least 10 days prior to expiration by logging-in to 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

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.




Last Updated: 11/30/22