Sponsored Programs and Research Services

No-Cost Extension Procedure


A No-Cost Extension (NCE) extends the project end date of a sponsored Project ID (“account”) without additional funding. An NCE request is generally from 1 to 12 months past the current end date for a Project ID. An NCE is not utilized when a project has future, pending funding.


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 existing 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. An NCE request may require the University to receive prior approval from the Sponsor (external) while some can be made with only University (internal) approval. The level of approval, external or internal, depends upon the type of grant or contract and the Sponsor’s specific policies for that mechanism. Sponsored Programs and Research Services (SPRS) will determine if an NCE request requires Sponsor approval.

During the NCE period, all compliance approvals (e.g., human or animal subjects) must remain current unless that phase of research is completed.

Upon receipt of a completed and signed IPAF, SPRS will review the request and determine if the Sponsor must be contacted. SPRS will submit this request to all Federal or Federal flow-through Sponsors. For non-Federal projects, SPRS will determine which party (PI or SPRS) will contact the Sponsor. In all cases, the request will be coordinated with the PI who may have to provide additional justification (see below). Until Sponsor approval is received, the NCE request will not be processed and spending should not occur past the existing end date.

Note: Click here to view the process for NCE for NSF awards.

  1. Request
    1. Obtain an Internal Prior Approval Form (IPAF). Select “No-Cost Extension” and complete form.
    2. Justification. Examples of reasons likely acceptable to sponsor and/or SPRS:
      1. Additional time is needed to assure completion of the original approved project scope and objectives.
      2. Lack of success in locating a graduate student with suitable capabilities which caused a late start.
      3. Extensive delay in production or shipment of key equipment or supplies.
      4. Additional time is needed to either collect final data or analyze collected data for publication.

        Note: Sponsors are likely to a deny a request that:
        • Was made only for the purpose of using remaining funds.
        • Was received by the Sponsor after the original end date.
        • Is prohibited by the terms and conditions of the award.
    3. Obtain the required signatures:
      1. Principal Investigator
    4. Submit to SPRS via fax or email (as a scanned PDF file).
  2. SPRS Review
    1. Verify all necessary signatures have been received
    2. Review adequacy of justification.
    3. Determine whether NCE requires Sponsor approval by considering:
      1. Sponsor guidelines
      2. Specific award guidelines
      3. Federal guidelines (if Federal)
    4. If Sponsor approval is required, SPRS will make this request with assistance from PI (skip to Step f).
    5. If Sponsor approval is not required, SPRS will make final approval decision
      1. If approved: proceed to #3 below.
      2. If not approved: inform PI. If desired, the PI may submit a new request.
    6. Await reply from Sponsor.
      1. If approved: proceed to #3 below.
      2. If not approved: inform PI. If desired, the PI may submit a new request.
  3. If Approved (via Internal or External approval), SPRS Will
    1. Issue a revised internal Notice of Award (NOA) that reflects the changed end date.
    2. Change the end date in PeopleSoft.
    3. Disseminate NOA. This will be the official indication that the transaction has been processed.