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Award Changes

Awards have very specific requirements that guide how budget and program changes are to be managed. 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. Your SPA Grants and Contracts Associate can help navigate these requirements and the policy for managing award changes.

Institutional Prior Approval System (IPAS)

Program changes that require prior sponsor approval or notification are reviewed via the Institutional Prior Approval System (IPAS). Upon final review, SPA will forward the proposed change to the agency.

Changes requiring prior approval 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. PIs are encouraged to initiate prior approval requests as soon as a possible change is planned.

Changes requiring agency notification will be made by SPA upon final IPAS review.


Pending a new prior approval system, please contact Sue Gossman regarding project changes at 815-753-6062 or

Tips for justifying a 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; and
  • Confirmation of current compliance protocols, where appropriate.

Notifications and Requests for No-Cost Extensions through NSF should be initiated by the PI in FastLane.

Notifications for No-Cost Extensions through NIH will be made via the eRA Commons and will be submitted by SPA.

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.