Management of a sponsored award is a shared responsibility between the PI and multiple units on campus including Grants Fiscal Administration and OSP as agents of the grantee institution.
Most awards have very specific regulations that guide how budget and program changes are to be managed. However, in an effort to provide grantees with greater flexibility to manage project changes many federal agencies have waived certain cost-related and administrative prior approval requirements and provided the grantee (NIU) with the ability to approve such changes. The PI should always consult their GFA Grants Administrator for guidance whenever a financial project change (rebudgeting) is anticipated. Questions regarding non-financial post-award changes to an award (change of scope or absence of key personnel) should be discussed with the OSP Award Coordinator.
Program changes that require prior sponsor approval and all no cost extensions must be vetted via the Institutional Prior Approval System (IPAS). Upon final review, OSP will forward the proposed change to the agency for review. All prior approval requests must be approved by the agency before the proposed change can be implemented (hence, prior approval). Most agencies require at least thirty (30) days to review a request. Therefore, PIs are encouraged to initiate prior approval requests as soon as a possible change is planned. PROCEDURES >
IPAS Form - The Principal Investigator (PI) shall initiate the proposed change by completing the Institutional Prior Approval System (IPAS) action form and submit it to their Department Chair or Unit Director for review. This Department review is necessary to ensure that the Department is aware of the project change that may impact departmental resources or PI time.
eIPAS (in pilot) - Principal Investigators in the College of Liberal Arts and Studies (CLAS) may initiate the IPAS form electronically by completing the e-IPAS form. Once completed, the form will automatically route to the Department Chair, GFA, and OSP for review and approval.
Change in approved Scope of Work (SOW) or objectives of the project.
Change in a key person specified in the application or award document.
The absence for any continuous period of three months or more, or a 25 percent reduction in time (e.g. effort) devoted to the project, by the approved project director or principal investigator.
The need for additional federal funding. (OSP Research Development Specialists assist PIs in developing and submitting requests for supplemental funding.)
Subsequent no-cost extension of more than twelve (12) months. Additional Information >
Terms and conditions of awards vary considerably depending upon the funding mechanism, program type, and other factors. Therefore, there may be additional program or budget changes that will require prior sponsor approval before the change can become effective.
The PI should always consult their GFA Grant Administrator for guidance whenever a financial project change (rebudgeting) is anticipated. Questions regarding non-financial post-award changes to an award such as change of scope or absence of key personnel should be discussed with the OSP Award Coordinator.
OSP will obtain endorsement by the Authorized Institutional Official and submit the proposed change or notification (for no cost extensions) to the sponsor. This submission may occur via email or through a sponsor’s electronic system (e.g. Fastlane or eRA Commons). There are many factors to consider when navigating award changes. OSP, therefore requests that PIs do not initiate contact with the Sponsor Agency until consulting with GFA and OSP Staff. When appropriate, the PI is encouraged to contact their Program Officer to communicate notification or request of a change is forthcoming.
No Cost Extension requests should include the following elements within the justification:
Notifications and Requests for No-cost extensions through NSF should be initiated by the PI in FastLane. When the IPAS Action Form is reviewed and approved, OSP will submit the notification.
Notifications for No-cost extensions through NIH will be made via the eRA Commons and will be submitted by OSP when the IPAS Action Form is reviewed and approved.
In extending the final budget period of the project period through this process, the PI agrees to update all required certifications and assurances, including but not limited to those pertaining to human subjects and vertebrate animals, in accordance with applicable regulations and policies. PIs are further reminded that all terms and conditions of the award apply during the extension period.