A No-Cost Extension (NCE) is the extension of a project period without additional funding from the sponsor. If a project’s end date is approaching but the Principal Investigator (PI) identifies that the research needs to continue, a NCE allows the end date to be extended.
An NCE request is an amendment to the award agreement and must be formally submitted to the sponsor for official approval through your Grants Officer (GO) in Grants & Contracts Accounting (G&C). A request for a NCE should not be made by the PI directly to the sponsor.
- NOTE: Funds remaining in the account are not an acceptable justification for requesting an extension. Extensions may be requested only for programmatic reasons. However, sufficient funds must be available to support the project for the additional period, including the support of committed effort. Some sponsors may request information about the amount of funds remaining in the account and others may request a budget indicating how funds remaining at the end of the original project will be spent during the extension. Please consult the original award notice and your GO for sponsor-specific requirements.
Most federal agencies have delegated the authority for approving a NCE for grants to the grantee institution. This authority permits G&C to internally approve a one-time NCE, extending the end date of the project period up to an additional 12 months.
Procedure for Internal Approval
The PI must route an email, preferably through his/her department, to the appropriate GO requesting the NCE. The email should contain the following information:
- PI’s Name
- UND Award #
- Sponsor Name
- Sponsor Award #
- Award Title
- Current Expiration Date
- Requested End Date (up to 12 months)
- Justification for the Extension
- Amount of Anticipated Funds after Commitments
- Inclusion of Subaward Institutions to which UND will Execute an Amendment for an NCE, if any
NSF Awards Only
The NSF requires that notification of extensions be submitted via Research.gov. The PI or department administrator should initiate the notification procedure through Research.gov. Once the submit button is clicked, G&C is alerted that a notification is waiting to be processed. An email should also be sent to the appropriate GO to alert them of this request. Once the request has been processed, G&C will forward the notification to NSF via Research.gov.
Timing for NSF Requests
The agency mut be informed about the extension at least 45 days prior to the original expiration date of the award. To allow time for processing by your GO, all requests must be received in G&C ten (10) days prior to the sponsor deadline.
A second extension should be submitted at least 30 days before the end of the project period. The request usually requires Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official concurrence and should be emailed to the Grants Management Specialist identified in the most recent Notice of Award (NOA).
Depending on the sponsor, the request should include the following information:
- Detailed explanation of why the project could not be completed by the originally approved end date;
- Scientific rationale for continuing the project;
- A brief (not to exceed one page) progress report that communicates scientific progress made from submission of the last RPPR to present;
- Amount of Direct Costs and Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs remaining (estimated unobligated balance) in U.S. dollars;
- Budget Justification;
- Level of effort of key personnel named in the NOA – state whether it will remain the same or requesting a reduction; and
- Updated certifications and assurances, including IRB (if applicable under the Revised Common Rule) and IACUC approvals.
If a NCE request is still in the review stage with the sponsor, the project end date has passed and the PI would like to continue working on the project, a Risk Account Request must be submitted to the GO. The request must be received prior to the existing project end date.