Requesting a No-Cost Extension

A no‐cost extension is an extension of the period of performance for an award without additional funding from the agency/sponsor. Federal awarding agencies are authorized to waive administrative ‘prior written approvals’ for a one‐time extension of the expiration date of the award for up to 12 months. For one‐time extensions, the grantee must notify the federal awarding agency in writing with the supporting reasons and revised expiration date prior to the expiration date specified in the original award. This one-time extension may not be exercised merely for using unobligated balances. A no‐cost extension must be requested in advance of the end date of an award, generally 30‐120 days in advance of the end date of an award.

Requirements for No‐Cost Extensions:

  • A no‐cost extension must be requested prior to the end date of the award.
  • There must be a scientific rationale for the extension request. Extensions are appropriate if the work on the project is not yet complete. Scientific rationale must be kept on file in the grant record even if we are processing a one‐time grantee approved extension.
  • The Principal Investigator’s (PI) should exercise due diligence to assure that sufficient funds are available to achieve the scientific aims and complete the work of the project by the end of the extension period (see agency/sponsor guidelines—sponsors will not accept extension notifications or requests if no funds remain on the project).
  • The PI’s administrator must include the new project end date, justification, and confirmation if PI or other Key Personnel effort will change because of the No‐Cost Extension in their request to URA.
  • Prior approval is required for any extension beyond the first extension and for any award whose terms state that agency approval is required for an extension. Requests for an extension should be prepared in a Departmental or Divisional letterhead.
    • All letters must be endorsed by URA prior to being sent to the agency/sponsor.
    • The letter is from the PI to the agency/sponsor citing the new proposed end date and scientific rationale for extension.
    • The letter should include information on funds available to achieve the scientific rationale for the extension. The Unit/Department Administrator should exercise due diligence to assure any balanced information cited in the letter of request is accurate according to the records of the University.
    • Include additional information as required by the agency/sponsor.
  • All original terms of the award remain in effect during a no‐cost extension period.
    • The division/department requirements regarding approval for cost sharing must be followed.
    • The PI(s) should continue the current committed level of effort. A request for ‘Change in Effort’ must be made to the agency/sponsor if the PI’s effort will change from current committed effort by more than 25%; refer to agency/sponsor guidelines as requirements may vary.

Institutional Endorsement: Request for no‐cost extensions must be routed to URA for review and institutional endorsement prior to submission to the agency/sponsor. Awards with agency submission portals (e.g. Commons, FastLane) will be processed through the system by the LBC Grant Specialist.

Award Terms: All original terms of the award remain in effect during a no‐cost extension period. All certifications and assurances must be up to date. All protocols must be up to date and active during the no cost extension period. Always check agency guidelines and the terms of the agreement for specific instructions.

The LBC’s Grant Specialists will provide financial and technical post-award support for all grants, manage award modifications, interface with URA on behalf of the PI, and assist the PI with the submission of a no-cost extension.

To learn more about submitting a no-cost extension, please contact your assigned Grant Specialist or the SSD Local Business Center at and the LBC Grant Specialist assigned to your accounts will get in touch with you within two business days.

Related links:

University Research Administration (URA) –