No-Cost Extensions

While sponsors expect Principal Investigators (PI) to complete projects by the stipulated end date, occasionally extra time is needed. A no-cost extension gives the PI extra time to complete the scope and objectives of the project without additional funds being provided by the sponsor. Although requests may not be made for the sole purpose of spending remaining funds, you may expend remaining funds during the no-cost extension period. In the event your request is not approved, costs incurred after the end date would not be allowable. Please contact your Grant Manager if you have any questions regarding no-cost extensions not covered in the FAQ's below.

Frequently Asked Questions


When should I request a no-cost extension?

Individual sponsor requirements vary. First-time requests are generally due to the sponsor thirty (30) days prior to the current end date of the project. Any subsequent extension requests, if permitted, are due to the sponsor sixty (60) days prior to the extended end date of the project. Please allow time for OSP to review and process your request.

How long of an extension can I request? [Back to form]

You should only request the actual amount of time needed to complete the project. Typically, requests range from one to twelve months.

Wouldn't I save time if I sent my request directly to the sponsor?

In some cases yes. However, many sponsors require that the Grant Manager countersign the request before submission. Also, by maintaining direct communication with the sponsor, your Grant Manager can immediately update FRS upon notification that the extension has been granted. Also, in some cases sponsor approval is not required. Therefore, all requests should be submitted through OSP.

What are valid reasons for requesting a no-cost extension?

Examples of reasons a sponsor may accept: [Back to form]

    • Additional time is needed to assure completion of the original approved project scope and objectives.
    • To repeat tests to obtain results lost in a campus building fire.
    • Lack of success in locating a graduate student with suitable capabilities.
    • Extensive delay in production or shipment of key equipment or supplies.
    • Transfer of a key project participant, or time lost due to illness/injury of a key project participant.

Under what conditions are sponsors likely to deny a request?

The request was made only for the purpose of using remaining funds. The request was received after the original end date. The terms and conditions of the award prohibit the extension.

How do I find out the end date of my project? [Back to form]

You can determine the end date by reviewing your award document or by looking at the "End Date" field on Screen 9 in FRS.


Who approves or denies my request for a no-cost extension?

Some sponsors will allow the Grant Manager to approve or deny requests following sponsor-defined guidelines, while others require OSP to submit the request for approval.

How will I know if my request has been approved?

You will receive notification via email from your Grant Manager. Occasionally, the sponsor will notify the PI directly. If that should occur, please contact OSP so that we can update the end date on your account.

After my no-cost extension request is approved, may I spend the funds remaining in my account?

Yes. Remaining funds may be used for project purposes provided liquidation occurs before the extended (new) end date.

May I request additional funds in my no-cost extension request?

No. Sponsors have a separate process for requesting additional funds. Contact Pre-Award Services at 486-4175 for information about requesting additional funds.

Can I submit a request for a second no-cost extension?

Yes. However, some federal sponsors will not consider a request for a second extension. When a second request is allowed, it usually requires direct review by the sponsor and a lead-time of approximately 60 days. For more information, consult the terms and conditions of your award agreement, sponsor guidelines, or contact OSP for guidance.