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 Research Administrator of Grants Analyst if you have any questions regarding no-cost extensions not covered in the FAQ's below.

Examples of reasons a sponsor may accept:

  • Additional time is needed to assure completion of the approved project scope and objectives.
  • Delay in or lack of success in locating a graduate student with suitable capabilities.
  • Extensive delay in receipt of key equipment or supplies.
  •  Transfer of a key personnel, or time lost due to extended absence of a key project participant.

The PI/PD is responsible for preparing and submitting all no cost extension requests  to Research Administrative Services (RAS) through DocuSign.

When the sponsor requires prior approval, such requests are to be put in writing and submitted through DocuSign to RAS in advance of the change for RAS' submission to the authorized official at the sponsor for a decision. Requests for retroactive approval are to be avoided.  An authorized official from RAS must sign all requests to sponsors.

When Howard University has Expanded Authority--- sponsor has given Howard University expanded authority---- internal approval for the first no-cost extension for a project is sufficient.

If “internal” approval is sufficient, a brief memo requesting approval of the change and signed by the PI/PD and sent to RAS via DocuSign. After the decision is made by RAS concerning the request, this memo will be kept with the grant as internal documentation and processes the approved documents.

Please note that individual sponsor requirements vary. First-time requests are generally due to the sponsor thirty (30) to forty-five (45) 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 RAS to review and process your request.

 Requests should include a memo to RAS/letter to Sponsor through RAS, a budget for remaining funds, a project report and should note any changes in effort.