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It is very important at the proposal stage that you carefully plan out your budget, but that said, it is generally understood, that even with the best planning, changes to your budget post-award may be necessary. Whether or not changes are allowed and/or the types of changes that may be made, are entirely dependent on the specific terms and conditions of your award (as stated in your Notice of Award) as well as any relevant Sponsor and/or OU/OUS policies and regulations.

Since approximately 90% of funding at the UO is either federal or federal flow-through, a discussion on expanded authorities is appropriate. Expanded authorities provide flexibility within many federal grant programs for grantees to make changes in their project and budget without Sponsor approval. Unless specifically prohibited by the terms in your Notice of Award (NOA) or specific grant program guidance, the following items may usually be changed or re-budgeted without prior Sponsor approvals (again, check the terms in your NOA and Sponsor requirements). Please note that the percentages/numbers below are based on NIH programs. Other federal programs may have different numbers.All changes below must be approved and processed by your post-award SPA.

  • First time no-cost extension for up to 12 months without additional funds and no changes to scope of work. Meant to allow you to finish the scope of work. There should not be a zero balance at time of request.
  • Carry-over of unobligated balances (under 25% of total budget) from one budget period to the next if permitted by NOA.
  • Re-budgeting funds in or out of a budget category by less than 25 percent of the total costs of the award.
  • Transfer work to a third party through a sub-award agreement as long as UO retains a substantive role in the research.
  • Spend money up to 90 days before the grant's start date. (UO Pre-Award Spending: https://orsa.uoregon.edu/index.cfm?toplevcat=proposals&page=sp_preaward_spending)

While grantees can change/re-budget some items without Sponsor approval, the following require Sponsor approval (again, check the NOA):

  • Change in scope.
  • Re-budgeting funds in or out of a budget category by more than 25 percent of the total costs of the award.
  • Pre-award costs charged more than 90 days before the projected start date of a new or renewal award. Prior approval is not generally required for charging pre-award costs before the start date of a noncompeting grant. Pre-award costs are never guaranteed.
  • Transfer of the grant from one institution to another.
  • Change of PI.
  • Change in key personnel listed on the Notice of Award.
  • Addition of a new foreign site/subaward.
  • Carryover of unobligated balances if not authorized on the Notice of Award.
  • No-cost extension requests beyond 12 months after the end of the grant period.
  • Re-budgeting more than 25 percent of a budget period's total approved budget into alterations and renovations costs. Any alterations and renovations project exceeding $500,000.
  • Re-budgeting of funds from trainee costs to other budget categories.
  • Re-budgeting of salary/OPE for investigators who receive career development awards.
  • Capital expenditures (construction or acquisition of land or building) and transfer of funds between construction and non-construction work.
  • Note: Funds may not be transferred from an ARRA account to a non-ARRA account.

When re-budgeting, it is important to look at the cost itself. All costs direct charged to a grant must be allowable, allocable, reasonable, and consistently treated.

Allowable: Check the specific Sponsor requirements, program requirements, NOA terms and conditions and UO/OUS requirements. Is this cost allowed?
Allocable: Cost that can be identified specifically with a particular project or activity with a high degree of accuracy and incurred solely to advance the work under the sponsored agreement.
Reasonable: A cost is reasonable if the nature of the goods/services acquired, and the amount involved, are such that a prudent person would incur.
Consistency: Costs incurred for the same purpose, in like circumstances, are treated consistently within the institution.

The above provides a broad guide regarding what can or cannot be re-budgeted. Please contact your post-award Sponsored Project Administrator (SPA) for assistance. You can find your assigned SPA’s contact info at: http://orsa.uoregon.edu/index.cfm?topLevCat=orsa&page=orsa_campus_units