Managing Your Award

Do You Need Help Managing Your Grant?

  • For help in managing your current grant, please call the Office of Contracts and Grants, at x5203.
  • For help with program-related issues, such as no-cost extensions, modifications to your grant, managing your current grant, or other questions regarding the implementation of your grant, please call the Office of Contracts and Grants, at x5203.

Request to Extend or Modify Award

During the grant period, the Principal Investigator (PI) may need to modify his/her grant. For example, after an award has been made, the PI may need to adjust the level of effort that he or she is allocating to the grant.

When the PI notifies the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) that he or she needs to modify an award, the OCG staff will follow this process:

  1. The PI will be asked these questions:
  2. Will this modification create a change in the scope of work?
  3. Why does this modification need to occur?
  4. How will it affect the delivery of the project?
  5. The OCG staff will review the grant’s terms and conditions, the uniform administrative requirements (A-110) and the cost principles (A-21) to determine if prior approval is required from the agency.
  6. If prior approval from the agency is required, the official request will be sent from OCG. With OCG’s help, the PI will draft the request and provide a revised budget and budget justification. OCG’s staff will review the request and officially submit it to the agency. 
  7. Once the agency has responded to the request, OCG will forward the response to the PI. If the request was approved, OCG will revise the budget accordingly. 

Requesting a No-Cost Extension

Periodically, a PI will require additional time on the grant to complete the tasks outlined in the proposal. In general, no-cost extensions should be requested at least 30 days before the end of the grant period. If the PI would like to request a no-cost extension, he or she should contact OCG. 

When a PI requests a no-cost extension, the OCG will follow this process:

  1. OCG staff will ask the following questions to determine if a no-cost extension is appropriate:
  2. Why is a no-cost extension required? (for example, research was delayed because equipment was not available, or the student working on the project left and the PI had to hire a replacement, etc.)
  3. How much time does the PI require, and what will be the new grant end date?
  4. With the help of the OCG staff, the PI will draft a request for a no-cost extension to be sent to the funding agency. OCG will submit the request to the agency.
  5. Once the agency has responded, OCG will forward the response to the PI. If the request was approved, OCG will modify the grant end date in the financial system. 

Please note that an extension cannot be requested for the sole purpose of spending unexpended grant funds.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants

NSF provides the OCG with the authority to approve the first no-cost extension request for an NSF grant. Such a request is called a “Grantee Approved No-Cost Extension” and must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the grant end date.

Subsequent no-cost extension requests are submitted to the NSF program officer, who makes the decision. A subsequent request is called an “NSF Approved No-Cost Extension” and must be submitted at least 45 days prior to the grant end date.

All no-cost extension requests to the NSF require several steps. The request is initiated by the PI, who logs into FastLane and prepares the appropriate request online. He or she then submits the request. After submission, FastLane notifies OCG to review and approve the request.

Unallowable Costs

Please contact the Office of Contracts and Grants prior to making a purchase if you need help determining whether or not a cost is allowable or unallowable.

Examples of Unallowable Costs:

  • Entertainment (including amusement, diversion, social activities, and any costs directly associated with such costs such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Alumni/ae activities
  • Commencement/Convocation costs
  • Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions
  • Costs of goods or services for personal use of the institution's employees regardless of whether the cost is reported as taxable income to the employee
  • Costs of membership in any civic or community organization or country club or social or dining club organization; professional memberships are often unallowable on federal grants, too
  • Costs incurred either before the start of the project period or after the expiration of the project period

Please also refer to USF's Travel Policy for additional unallowable costs as designated by the University.