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Some external sponsors do not allow automatic carryover of unspent grant funds from one budget year to the next. If this is the case, a project with unspent funds at the end of a budget year, will need to request a carryover of funds to the next budget period. This written request is called a "Carryover Request" and must include the following:
- An appropriate scientific justification.
- A plan for the use of funds.
- A detailed categorical breakdown of the unspent funds, including F&A costs (if applicable).
- A copy of the final expenditure report or Financial Status Report (FSR). Keep in mind that the unobligated balance on this report should be equal to or greater than the carryover request.
- In many cases, if the dollar amount is significant (typically 25% of total current year costs), an explanation of why the funds were not fully expended in the prior year may need to be included.
The scope of the carryover request should be limited to the approved goals of the project, or clearly delineate where the request exceeds the approved goals of the research. Only refer to immediate needs in the current year to justify the need for the carryover (It is not acceptable to indicate they will need the funds in future budget periods). If the grantee has future needs, those needs should be addressed in future budget periods. It is also a good idea to present the implications for the grant project if the request is denied.
It is usually the sponsor’s policy for these requests to be reviewed by both program and grants management staff. The sponsor’s grants management specialist must analyze the financial status and spending history of the grantee, and the program officer must gauge the scientific need.
The following is the procedure for submitting carryover requests at the SMHS:
- Submit a written or email request to Grants Management.
- Grants Management will review this request and forward your request to the UND Research Development & Compliance Office.
- The UND Research Development & Compliance Office will review and sign the request and then send it to the sponsor.
- The sponsor will notify the UND Research Development & Compliance Office and the Principal Investigator (PI) of their decision.
Keep in mind that …
- If there is a pattern of not spending money or requesting carryovers, it may indicate to the sponsor that the grant is overfunded, the carryover is not necessary, and the future year commitments may need to be reduced.
- The carryover request needs to be reasonable.
- If the request includes duplication of funding already provided in the current-year support, i.e., overlap. If yes, the request can be denied.
- If the request will generate a recurring cost in future years the sponsor may ask the us to detail how the future year costs will be supported in subsequent budget years. We may also have to describe how we will pay for those future costs as the sponsor may not increase the future year committed amounts.
- If the request includes program expansion (change of scope), the sponsor may determine that the request must be reviewed administratively or it may even ask that we submit a new proposal as a competing supplement.
Below is a link to a sample carryover request letter:
Below is a link to a sample carryover request e-mail:
Sponsored projects contain a project start and end date that were provided at the time of the award. If the project end date needs to be extended due to reasonable circumstances, a request for a no-cost extension will need to go to the sponsor. A no-cost extension is an extension of a project end date without additional funding.
Here are some examples of reasonable circumstances that may require an end date extension:
- Additional time beyond the established expiration date is required to ensure adequate completion of the originally approved project.
- Continuity of sponsor grant support is required while a competing continuation application is under review.
- The extension is necessary to permit an orderly phase out of a project that will not receive continued support.
At the University of North Dakota, there is a procedure for requesting a no-cost extension. The request should start with the Grants Management office, and should include a written letter or an e-mail requesting a no-cost extension. This request should include:
- The UND project number
- The sponsor's award number
- The sponsor's contact information (name and e-mail address)
- The new estimated end date
- The current budget balance
- A narrative explaining why the extension is needed. This narrative should be written as if the request were going to the Program Officer.
- If subcontracts have been issued by UND, and require an extension, please indicate and provide the necessary information and justification similar to above.
This written request needs to be reviewed by Grants Management, UND Grants & Contracts Administration, and UND Research Development & Compliance Office. After review, UND Research Development & Compliance Office will sign the request. The coordination of this review will be handled by the Grants Management office.
Once all parties have reviewed the request and it has been signed, the Principal Investigator can forward this request to the sponsor. In the case of NIH and other various agencies, the UND Research Development & Compliance office will forward the request to the sponsor.
Should the request be approved, the sponsor will issue a formal amendment to the award notice containing the new end date as well as a revised final reporting schedule. These final reports will change based upon the revised end date.
There may be limitations on the sponsor’s ability to offer grant extensions; therefore, it is not guaranteed that the request for a no-cost extension will be approved.
The fact that funds remain at the expiration of the grant is not, in itself, sufficient justification for an extension without additional funds.
No-cost extension requests need to be done at least 30-days prior to the end date of the project!
Here is a link to a sample no-cost extension letter:
Here is a link to a sample no-cost extension e-mail:
Transferring An Award
A grant is always awarded to the PI’s institution. Therefore, before a grant can be transferred to a new institution the grant must be:
- Relinquished from the PI's Current Institution
- Applied for from the PI's New Institution
If you have a faculty member with a current grant award leaving UND
1. If the faculty member has an NIH grant award that he/she would like to take with them to their new institution, he/she needs to request prior approval for the transfer of the legal and administrative responsibility from one institution to another before the expiration date of the approved project period. A request for a change of grantee organization must include submission of a Relinquishing Statement and a Final Invention Statement and Certification from UND.*
The UND Grants & Contracts Administration office must complete the NIH Relinquishing Statement. The Relinquishing Statement provides NIH and the new institution an estimated unexpended balance, as well as a list of equipment costing $5,000 or more which will be transferring to the new institution with the grant. NIH can not award a grant to the new institution until UND has relinquished it. Therefore, it is important to complete the Relinquishing Statement as soon as possible after a faculty member has left UND - if not before.
The faculty member must complete the Final Invention Statement and Certification form.
If the faculty member has a non-NIH grant award that he/she would like to take with them to their new institution, the faculty member will need to be in contact with the sponsor's program officer as different awarding agencies require different relinquishing documentation. The award document may also discuss the relinquishing requirements, so make sure that you review this document as well.
Whether the faculty member has an NIH grant award or not, the sponsor as well as the new institution will need an estimated unexpended balance as well as a relinquishing statement or form from UND.
2. Once the relinquishing documentation has been completed, it must be approved and signed by the faculty member leaving UND, as well as the UND Research Development & Compliance Office. These signatures insure that the faculty member and UND have reviewed the documentation and have agreed that this grant award should be transferred to the faculty member's new institution. Since the grant is always awarded to the PI’s institution, UND is not obligated to transfer the award to the faculty member's new institution.
3. Once the relinquishing documentation has been reviewed and signed, it needs to be sent to the sponsor as well as the faculty member's new institution. The sponsor uses this documentation to remove UND as the awardee, and the new institution uses this documentation to prepare a new proposal to the sponsor (if this is required).
4. You may receive a confirmation from the sponsor stating that the award has been relinquished from UND. This documentation needs to be filed in the Grants & Contracts Administration Office.
If you have a faculty member with a current grant award coming to UND
1. You will need to get the name of the contact person at the PI’s former institution. This contact person is usually a Grant or Contract Officer, or someone in the Sponsored Project Office.
2. You will need to contact the former institution to obtain the estimated dollars to be transferred for current budget year. If the faculty member is transferring an NIH award, this estimated funding will be shown on the NIH Relinquishing Statement submitted by the former institution. If the faculty member is transferring a non-NIH award, the former institution will need to provide us with some other documentation such as a budget or other formal document.
Once we have the estimated dollars to be transferred for the current budget year, the new faculty member can work with the Grants Management office to develop a UND budget and budget justification (see below for tips on completing the current year budget).
3. You will need to contact the former institution to obtain a copy of the most recent award notice for the award to be transferred to UND. This award notice may indicate the total dollars allocated for succeeding years of the current project period, as well as the name of the current program officer and grant officer.
4. Once you have gathered the most recent award notice and put together a budget and budget justification, if the award to be transferred is an NIH award, the new faculty member will need to work with Grants Management to complete a proposal which will be submitted from UND. This proposal is done via Grants.gov, and is done so NIH can award the project to UND. Once the proposal is completed, it needs to be routed through the proper channels just like a regular proposal. If the award to be transferred is a non-NIH award, the new faculty member needs to contact the sponsor to see if a new proposal is to be sent from UND, or what their requirements are.
5. UND should receive a new award document or some other form of notification that the award has been transferred from the former institution to UND. This documentation needs to be filed in the Grants & Contracts Administration Office.
Tips on completing the budget for the current budget period
You will need to talk with the sponsor's grant officer to determine how the sponsor wants the direct costs and facilities and administrative costs allocated on the award transferred to UND:
- Some sponsors request that you back out UND's F&A Costs (Indirect Costs) out of the TOTAL DOLLARS transferred. The remainder is the direct costs available for the current budget period.
- Some sponsors request that you allocate the direct dollars available ONLY, adding UND's F&A Costs (Indirect Costs) to that amount.
It is important to check with the sponsor BEFORE the new faculty member starts to work on the budget and budget justification.
Once you have determined the total direct costs available for the first budget period, you must allocate that amount WITHIN THE MONTHS REMAINING IN THE CURRENT BUDGET PERIOD. If the budget form has start and end dates, be sure to enter these months in the “Start” and “End” date boxes shown on the form.
For succeeding years of the grant, budget the DIRECT costs originally awarded, adding UND's F&A Costs (Indirect Costs) to that.
If the original application was an NIH modular application, on the modular budget form put the remaining direct cost dollar amount in the “Initial Budget Period” EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT AN EVEN MODULE. Complete the remainder of the form with the direct cost dollars awarded in the original NIH Notice of Grant Award (NOGA).
* For more information on transferring an NIH award to a new institution, the following is an excerpt from the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Subpart A: 188.8.131.52: