No-Cost Extensions

Updated November 18, 2014

At NIH, generally all grantees may extend the final budget period of the previously approved project period one time for a period of up to 12 months beyond the original expiration date shown in the Notice of Award, if, as referenced in the NIH Grants Policy Statement:

  • no additional funds are required to be obligated by the NIH awarding office
  • the project's originally approved scope will not change, and
  • any one of the following applies:
    1. Additional time beyond the established expiration date is required to ensure adequate completion of the originally approved project
    2. Continuity of NIH grant support is required while a competing continuation application is under review
    3. The extension is necessary to permit an orderly phase-out of a project that will not receive continued support

The fact that funds remain at the expiration of the grant is not, in itself, sufficient justification for an extension without additional funds.

In extending the final budget period through this process, the grantee agrees to update all required certifications and assurances, including those pertaining to human subjects and animal welfare, in accordance with applicable regulations and policies. All terms and conditions of the original award continue during the extension period.

Grantees need prior approval if any of the following situations apply:

  • They miss a deadline for a first extension.
  • They need a second or third extension.

First No-Cost Extension

The No-Cost Extension feature, accessed via eRA Commons, is an electronic means for a grantee organization to electronically submit a notification that they have exercised their one-time authority to extend without funds the final budget period of a project period of a grant. This extension can be up to 12 months in additional time. This assumes all internal review and approval processes at the grantee organization have already taken place.

Only the Signing Officials at the grantee organization can process the no-cost extension via eRA Commons.

  • Upon receipt of the notification, the budget and project period end dates are automatically updated to reflect the extension of the respective grant record. No separate action is needed by agency staff for this change to take effect.
  • An email notification is automatically sent to agency staff when the grantee submits the extension notification

Missed Deadline for First Extension: send the extension request in writing to your grants management specialist.

Second or Third Extension

A second or third extension must be submitted at least 30 days before the end of your project period. Include the following information:

  • The amount of funds remaining (estimated unobligated balance) in U.S. dollars.
  • A detailed budget reflecting your proposed plans to use the remaining funds during the extension.
  • Indicate the level of effort for Key Personnel during the extended period. In accordance with NIH grants policy, if the PI or any other person named on the Notice of Award reduces their time devoted to the project by 25% or more from the level that was approved at the time of initial competing year award, this information must include a request for approval and updated other support for that individual.
  • A scientific rationale for continuing the project.
  • Updated certifications and assurances, including IRB and IACUC approvals.
  • Explain in detail why you could not finish your project within the originally approved end date.
  • If requesting a third extension, explain how will finish your project in this final extension. If you can't finish your project by then, describe how you will proceed without the funds.
  • NIAMS rarely approves third extensions, and only with extraordinary scientific justification and approval from the Program Director. If approved, this would be the FINAL extension for the grant.
  • Make sure the institutional business official signs your request, or that the request originates from the business official's office if submitted by email. As Principal Investigator, you do not have to sign the request, but your institution must have your signature assurance on file.

Funding opportunity announcement PA-14-078 provides direction for the submission of electronic change of grantee applications through Grants.gov.

The signing official can submit a Relinquishing Statement electronically through eRA Commons.

The option to submit a paper change of grantee application or a paper Relinquishing Statement is still available.

Contact information for your grants management specialist can be found on the Notice of Grant Award, or at the following: Grants Management Contact Listing