During the life of the award, PIs may need to implement changes to their projects to revise the budget or scope of work to accommodate the changes made to the project after the proposal stage. Many of these changes require approval from the sponsor and/or SDSU Research Foundation before any revisions can be implemented.
- Changes That May Require Prior Sponsor Approval or Formal Notification: The following guidelines are for federally-funded projects but also may be applicable to other types of grants and contracts. PIs are encouraged to contact their SR grant specialist in advance if any of the following changes are necessary. Specific sponsor approval requirements for each individual fund are outlined on the award analysis available in PI Profile. Requests for sponsor approvals should be prepared and signed jointly by the SR grant specialist and the PI and submitted to the federal sponsor agency 30 days in advance of the requested effective date of the change.
- Rebudgeting: Changes in a project's sponsor-approved budget must be approved by SDSU Research Foundation and may also, in certain situations, require prior consent of the funding source. If a budget change is necessary, the PI prepares a Budget Adjustment Request form, including justification, and forwards the form to the SR grant specialist. If the sponsor agency’s approval is required, SDSU Research Foundation submits a request to reallocate funds to the sponsor based upon the justifications provided by the PI. Budget Adjustment Request forms may be obtained from SDSU Research Foundation’s web site at Commonly Used Post-Award forms.
- Changes in Objectives or Scope: The sponsor agency expects the scope of work to be carried out as prescribed in the proposal with minimal changes in methodology, approach or other aspects of the project objectives. Any changes that significantly alter the scope of work, direction, or other areas that constitute a significant change from the objectives of proposed plan require sponsor approval.
- Change of Key Personnel: Any changes to key personnel specified in the application or named on the notice of award, whose expertise is critical to the success of the project, require prior approval.
- PI Effort: If the PI anticipates withdrawing from the project or being disengaged from the day-to-day supervision of the project for a period of three months or more, prior sponsor approval is required. Prior sponsor approval is also required if the PI reduces her/his effort devoted to the project by 25 percent or more.
- New Subagreements: Prior approval is required prior to issuing any subagreements not included in the award budget and scope of work. (See Section 2. G. 5. e Subaward Procedures.)
- Participant Support Costs: The transfer of funds budgeted for participant support costs to other categories of expense requires prior approval by the federal sponsor agency. (See Section 2.G.6.e Participant Support Costs)
- Administrative and Clerical Salaries: Creating a new line item or increasing an approved budget category for clerical and administrative salaries. (See Section 2.G.6.d Administrative and Clerical Salaries)
- Significant Rebudgeting: Significant rebudgeting occurs when expenditures in a direct cost budget category increase or decrease by more than 25 percent of the total costs awarded. For example, if the award budget for total costs is $200,000, prior approval may be required for any rebudgeting that would increase or decrease the budget category by $50,000.
- Carryover of Unobligated Balances: Prior sponsor approval may be required to carry over funds remaining at the end of a budget period to the subsequent budget period. PIs are required to provide justification for amounts greater than 25 percent of the current year’s total budget (including any prior year carryover) in their non-competing renewal applications.
- No-Cost Extension: If additional time is needed beyond the original project end date to complete the proposed scope of work, a 12-month extension without additional funds is normally granted. The fact that funds remain at the end of a project is not sufficient justification for an extension. The project is required to update all required certifications, including conflict of interest, financial disclosures, human subjects and animal welfare to cover the additional time period. PIs should contact their SRA grant specialist at least 60 days prior to the end date of the award if they anticipate the need for a no-cost extension. Sponsor agencies typically require the request to be made no later than 30 days before the end date of the award.
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