UW Research

Award Changes


Many different types of award changes may need to occur throughout the life of an award.

Prior Approval

Sponsors may require prior approval before making certain changes to an award. Federal sponsors who grant expanded authorities may allow some changes without getting prior sponsor approval.

Examples of changes that may require prior sponsor approval include: extension of end date (aka no-cost extension or budget extension), a change of PI, lift funding restrictions, carry forward/carryover, programmatic changes, early termination or relinquishment, foreign national participation on specific Dept. of Energy Awards.

Review your award, sponsor guidance and additional instructions below based on the type of award change being requested.


Questions about award requirements?
Contact your department, school or unit Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) reviewer.

Budget Extensions / No-Cost Extension

A budget extension gives a Principal Investigator (PI) additional time on a project budget number without additional funding. It can be requested mid-project or towards the end of the project.

Sponsors may have limitations on the timing and notification of a budget extension. Review the award and sponsor regulations.

All extensions for awarded projects (even those already approved by sponsor) require compliance review and approval by OSP. Review the instructions for submitting a budget extension request.

Request a Budget Extension

Funding Changes

Funding changes on an award can occur for various reasons, either to increase or decrease the amount of an amount.

Deobligations or Funding Decrease

Sponsors typically issue a deobligation to reduce award amounts for the following situations:
Award will end early (e.g. early termination)

  • Budget period (aka mid project deobligation on incrementally awarded project)
  • Project period (aka deobligation during or after the project closeout) UW did not spend & draw down / invoice for the full award amount

What to do:

Forward the deobligation or revised award notification indicating reduced award amount to osp@uw.edu and include:

  • eGC1# in subject line
  • PI confirmation accepting award amount reduction
  • UW Budget number impacted
  • Revised budget reflecting reduced award (if not provided as part of the award modification).
  • GCA needs to know line items being impacted by reduction to complete process.

If an active subaward is affected, submit a subaward modification request.

Increase in Funding

There may be opportunities to add funding during the project, due to an expansion of the scope of work or the addition of new, related work. When you apply for supplemental funding, complete an eGC1 for the amount of the new funding.


Sometimes the approved budget is not consistent with actual project needs. Many sponsors allow reasonable budget revisions without prior approval. Review the award and sponsor guidance to ensure compliance with rebudgeting requirements. Some sponsors require prior approval for budget revisions.

When prior sponsor approval is required and the sponsor does not have an electronic system for concurrence submit a concurrence letter to osp@uw.edu, include the eGC1#, PI name in the subject line.

Note: NIH accepts email concurrences and NSF notifications can be done in Fastlane.

Lifting Funding Restrictions

Award terms and conditions may place restrictions on some or all of the funding before it can be spent. Some restrictions require prior sponsor approval before the restriction can be lifted. All restricted funding must be managed with internal controls at the UW.

When a sponsor restricts funds, OSP includes the restrictive language from the sponsor in a comment on the Funding Action (FA) to the PI, Department and Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA).

When GCA receives the FA to set up the UW budget they will either place an encumbrance on the restricted funds or place the restricted funds in a sub-budget.

Sample Funding Restrictions:

  • Human subjects research cannot happen until a copy of the IRB approval is provided to the sponsor
  • Research involving animal use cannot happen until a copy of the IACUC approval is provided to the sponsor
  • Sponsor requires additional documentation before they will issue a revised award to lift the funding restriction
  • Funds can only be used for specific named personnel in the award.
  • Funds are designated for a particular purpose (e.g. travel) and cannot be rebudgeted for something else without prior approval.
  • Renovations must have prior sponsor approval on the designs before funds can be used

Prior sponsor approval required to lift funding restrictions?

Review your award and comments on your FA to determine if prior approval from the sponsor is required to lift funding restrictions.
Submit prior approval requests to OSP via osp@uw.edu and include:

  • Sponsor award # and eGC1 #
  • Description of the request
  • Explanation of how requirements have been met to release the restriction
  • Supporting documentation that reflects requirement has been met (e.g. protocol approval)

After sponsor prior approval is obtained, OSP will send a Post-Award Change (PAC) to GCA. GCA will remove the encumbrance from the restricted funds or place the restricted amount from the sub-budget into the parent budget.

Prior Sponsor Approval NOT Required to Release Funding Restrictions?

The PI must communicate with GCA when conditions have been met that allow expenditure of those funds.

Subaward Changes

You may need to request a modification or changes to an outgoing subaward such as extending the end date, adding funding, changing milestones, etc.

Review guidance for requesting changes to your subaward.
Don’t forget you must also submit changes in the procurement system (Ariba) after you receive notification of a signed subaward modification for changes to:

  • Funding (Ariba needs to reflect cumulative total for entire BPO, reflecting the amount available for invoicing)
  • Period of performance

Programmatic Changes

Programmatic changes that require prior sponsor approval typically include changes to the scope of work, addition or removal of key personnel, change in the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals.

Significant changes to human subjects or vertebrate animal protocols may also require institutional review and approval.

Review your award and the sponsor requirements to ensure compliance with any programmatic changes.

Change of PI or Other Key Personnel

A change in PI or other key personnel typically requires prior sponsor approval. Review your notice of award and other sponsor guidelines before sending requests to OSP for review and submission to the sponsor. Verify PI/Key Personnel have not been debarred or suspended.

Submit a request to osp@uw.edu and include:

  • eGC1# in subject line
  • Explanation of the necessary change
  • Replacement PI/Personnel Biographical Sketch
  • Any budgetary or scope of work change as a result
  • Department chair concurrence

Human Subjects Research: Change of PI

When human subjects research is involved, the following actions must be promptly taken when (or just before) a PI is replaced or moves to another institution:

  • Submit a modification to the IRB reviewing the study.
  • Change the responsible party at ClinicalTrials.gov, if the study is a registered clinical trial.

Animal Subjects Research: Change of PI

When animal subjects research is involved, the following actions must be promptly taken when (or just before) a PI is replaced or moves to another institution:

  • Submit an amendment to the IACUC protocol(s).
  • Reach out to OAW with questions or for assistance transferring animals to another institution (oawrss@uw.edu).

Reduction in Effort of PI or Key Personnel

A significant reduction in effort (25% or more) for the PI or other key personnel usually requires prior sponsor approval. Reduction includes absence from the project for an extended period of time of 3 months or more.

Review your notice of award and other sponsor guidelines before sending requests to OSP for review and submission to the sponsor.

Submit a request to OSP via osp@uw.edu and include:

  • eGC1# in subject line
  • Explanation of necessary change
  • Any budgetary or scope of work change as a result

Carryover/Carry Forward

Carryover (aka Carry Forward) is when the balance of unused funds at the end of a Budget Period is transferred (or carried forward) into the following Budget Period. Some sponsors allow automatic carry forward of funds from year to year, others require prior approval.

Carryover requests that require prior approval must be coordinated through OSP.

  • Submit a concurrence letter to OSP along with the following information:
  • Amount of funds to be carried forward
  • Explanation of unobligated balance (why did the budget not match expenditures?)
  • Detailed budget of carryover amount (how are these funds going to be spent?)
  • Scientific justification (how will this carryover impact/benefit the award?)

GIM 2: Acceptance of Sponsored Program Awards and Fiscal Compliance on Sponsored Program Accounts (Budget Numbers)

Early Termination and Relinquishment

Early termination shortens the life of the project prior to completion. Relinquishments and award transfers mean returning funds back to the sponsor and giving up the UW’s right to the funding. Review guidance for early terminations and relinquishments.