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The Award Lifecycle

Award Changes

Roles and Responsibilities in Award Management

Management of a sponsored award is a shared responsibility between the PI and multiple units on campus including Sponsored Programs Administration as agents of the grantee institution.

Changes on Awards  

Most awards have very specific regulations that guide how budget and program changes are to be managed. However, in an effort to provide grantees with greater flexibility to manage project changes many federal agencies have waived certain cost-related and administrative prior approval requirements and provided the grantee (NIU) with the ability to approve such changes. The PI should always consult their SPA Grants Administrator for guidance whenever a financial project change (rebudgeting) is anticipated. Questions regarding non-financial post-award changes to an award (change of scope or absence of key personnel) should be discussed with the SPA Award Coordinator.

Institutional Prior Approval System (IPAS)

Program changes that require prior sponsor approval and all no cost extensions must be vetted via the Institutional Prior Approval System (IPAS). Upon final review, SPA will forward the proposed change to the agency for review.  All prior approval requests must be approved by the agency before the proposed change can be implemented (hence, prior approval). Most agencies require at least thirty (30) days to review a request. Therefore, PIs are encouraged to initiate prior approval requests as soon as a possible change is planned.  PROCEDURES >

Types of Post-Award Changes

Changes Generally Requiring Only Internal NIU Approval

  • Initial No-cost Extension of up to 12 months
  • Carryforward of Funds to the next Budget Period
  • Rebudget between Cost Categories

Changes Always Requiring Prior Agency Approval

Change in approved Scope of Work (SOW) or objectives of the project.

Change in a key person specified in the application or award document.

The absence for any continuous period of three months or more, or a 25 percent reduction in time (e.g. effort) devoted to the project, by the approved project director or principal investigator.

The need for additional federal funding. (SPA Research Development Specialists assist PIs in developing and submitting requests for supplemental funding.)

Subsequent no-cost extension of more than twelve (12) months. Additional Information >

No Cost Extension

No Cost Extension requests should include the following elements within the justification:

  • Detail the delays behind why the project will not be completed on time;
  • What has been/will be done to remedy these delays;
  • What tasks of the scope of work will completed over the next year;
  • Available budget balance and explanation for how funds will be used during the extension period;
  • Confirmation of current compliance protocols, where appropriate.

Notifications and Requests for No-cost extensions through NSF should be initiated by the PI in FastLane.  When the IPAS Action Form is reviewed and approved, SPA will submit the notification. 

Notifications for No-cost extensions through NIH will be made via the eRA Commons and will be submitted by SPA when the IPAS Action Form is reviewed and approved. 

In extending the final budget period of the project period through this process, the PI agrees to update all required certifications and assurances, including but not limited to those pertaining to human subjects and vertebrate animals, in accordance with applicable regulations and policies. PIs are further reminded that all terms and conditions of the award apply during the extension period.