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Under certain circumstances, grant recipients may extend the final budget period of the previously approved project period one time for a period of up to 12 months beyond the original expiration date shown in the Notice of Award. Additional extensions may be authorized.

Guidance for grantees who want to extend the final budget period of a grant


Issued by: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Issue Date: April 01, 2020

No-Cost Extensions


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At NIH, generally all recipients may extend the final budget period of the previously approved project period one time for a period of up to 12 months beyond the original expiration date shown in the Notice of Award, if, as referenced in the NIH Grants Policy Statement:

  • No additional funds are required to be obligated by the NIH awarding office.
  • The project's originally approved scope will not change.
  • Any one of the following applies:
    • Additional time beyond the established expiration date is required to ensure adequate completion of the originally approved project.
    • Continuity of NIH 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.

The fact that funds remain at the expiration of the grant is not, in itself, sufficient justification for an extension without additional funds.

In extending the final budget period through this process, the recipient agrees to update all required certifications and assurances, including IRB (if applicable under the Revised Common Rule) and IACUC approvals, in accordance with applicable regulations and policies. All terms and conditions of the original award continue during the extension period.

Recipients need prior approval if any of the following situations apply:

  • They miss a deadline for a first extension.
  • They need a second or third extension.

First No-Cost Extension

The No-Cost Extension feature, accessed via eRA Commons, is an electronic means for a recipient organization to electronically submit a notification that they have exercised their one-time authority to extend without funds the final budget period of a project period of a grant. This extension can be up to 12 months in additional time. This assumes all internal review and approval processes at the recipient organization have already taken place.

Only the Signing Officials at the recipient organization can process the no-cost extension via eRA Commons.

  • Upon receipt of the notification, the budget and project period end dates are automatically updated to reflect the extension of the respective grant record. No separate action is needed by agency staff for this change to take effect.
  • An email notification is automatically sent to agency staff when the recipient submits the extension notification.

Missed Deadline for First Extension: send the extension request in writing to your grants management specialist.

Second or Third No-Cost Extension

A second or third extension must be submitted at least 30 days before the end of the project period. The request 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).

The request must 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;
  • If requesting a third extension provide compelling scientific justification that warrants a third and final extension.  Please be advised that NIAMS rarely approves a third extension;
  • 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;
  • PHS 2590 Form Page 2 Detailed Budget reflecting the proposed plans to use the remaining funds;
  • PHS 2590 Form Page 6 Checklist reflecting calculated F&A costs;
  • Budget Justification;
  • Level of effort of key personnel named in the NOA - Section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement requires a measurable level of effort of key personnel during an extension; and,
  • Updated certifications and assurances, including IRB (if applicable under the Revised Common Rule) and IACUC approvals;

Contact information for your grants management specialist can be found on the Notice of Grant Award, or through our Grants Management Contact Listing.

Last Updated: April 2020

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