Sponsored Projects Administration

Budget Extension

Account Financial Reports

Principal investigators and research administrators can access easy-to-understand account reports on all active sponsored projects via the Web Department Financial System (Web DFS).

WebDFS provides up-to-date information about all of a PI’s sponsored projects. Reports include summary budget and expenditure data for the life of the project; current period expenditures, including detail for payroll; encumbrances (salary and operating); and pending transactions.

Note: Because the new report queries the Web Department Financial System (Web DFS), pending transactions are only available if they have been entered through Web DFS. The new reports do not reflect accounting data that are tracked by department-specific accounting systems.

Researchers enter through the UGA self-service page which is accessed with MyID.

Departmental grants administrators enter through the Web DFS Accounting website.

  • Sign on to WebDFS with your IMS ID.
  • From the main menu, select Account Reports under the Reports option.
  • To print the Grants report for restricted accounts, select “Restricted Account Status Report.”

No-Cost Extensions (NCE)

If you cannot complete your project aims within the specified project period, many sponsors will allow you to extend your project. We refer to this as a no-cost extension (NCE). A NCE extends the original project period, allowing the completion of project aims without additional funds being provided by the Sponsor. You must have a scientific, project-related reason to extend your project end date. Extensions may not be obtained for the sole purpose of spending remaining funds.

Your award document should indicate the process for obtaining a NCE. If your award does not provide a NCE option, please contact your Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) team who will guide you through the process. Sponsors have different procedures for implementing a NCE.

If your request for a NCE is under Expanded Authorities (meaning that your award specifically mentions Expanded Authorities or is under Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) terms  (FDP matrix) or Federal Research Terms and Conditions (RTC), please complete the No-Cost Extension Request Form and forward it to your SPA team.

If your request for a NCE is not under Expanded Authorities, the No-Cost Extension Request form and letter to Sponsor (page 3 of the form) are required. As you complete the form, the letter will be generated for you. Please complete the form, sign the letter, and forward to your (SPA) team to be countersigned by an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). The letter will then be forwarded to the Sponsor for review and approval.

Rebudgeting

There is wide variability among projects regarding a PI’s ability to rebudget without prior sponsor approval. If prior sponsor approval is required, please route all revised budgets through your SPA team.

Your SPA team will work with you and the project sponsor to obtain and document approved budget revisions.

Change in Scope

A change in scope almost always requires prior sponsor approval, unless special permission is given within the award agreement. Any modification of project aims or deliverables constitutes a scope change. Frequently, budget changes cause changes in project scope, so SPA will likely raise the question in such a situation.

Please work with your SPA team to secure and document the necessary sponsor approvals.

PI Transfer

If a UGA PI transfers to another institution, SPA requires a letter signed by the PI and the Department Chair authorizing the transfer of any awards. This letter must include a list of current awards and pending proposals, agency name, grant or proposal number, agency contact name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and amount of current budget period for any award. This letter should also include any relevant information on award cost sharing and/or subcontracts.

The University of Georgia will then authorize the relinquishment of the award and the funds are returned to the sponsor. Next, the sponsor will transfer the award to the PI’s new institution and the new institution will assume administration. The general process is similar for all grant transfers, but agency-specific instructions and requirements must be considered. Issues related to equipment purchased on an award should first be addressed to department heads, as equipment is considered property of the State of Georgia.

PI Change

If a PI can’t or won’t continue in this role for a funded project, prior approval will be required from the sponsor before another PI can be substituted.

Please work with your SPA team to obtain and document approval for a change in PI. SPA will then initiate the status change within the UGA project accounting system.

Budgetary Carry-forward

If a project is incrementally funded (typically one year at a time), it is generally the case that the funds from a previous increment can be utilized within all subsequent increment periods.

However, this is not universal. Some project increments are mandated to be discrete units, tracked and accounted for separately. The funds from these previous increments will not be available during successive increments. In these cases it is sometimes possible to acquire approval for carry-forward, to allow one or more increments to remain available for more than one funding period.

Please work with your SPA team to request, document, and process these carry-forward requests.

Progress / Final Reports

Project sponsors often require that interim and final progress reports be submitted to them on a specific schedule. This reporting schedule is typically defined within the project’s award documents. The PI is responsible for adhering to this reporting schedule and maintaining records of all reports.

To assure compliance with sponsor requirements, SPA requires evidence on file that the final progress report was submitted to the sponsor; see Final Report Policy for Funded Projects and Financial Reporting and Closeout.

Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Publications

To advance science and improve human health, NIH makes the peer-reviewed articles it funds publicly available on PubMed Central. The NIH public access policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication. Manuscripts are to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. That means PIs – whether or not they are an author of these publications – are responsible for the submissions.  See detailed instructions on How and When to Comply.

FAQs

Individual Sponsor requirements vary. For specific information regarding your project, refer to the terms and conditions included in your notice of award. First-time requests are generally due to the Sponsor at least thirty (30) days prior to the current end date of the project. In order to allow SPA sufficient time to review and approve the request, and submit request to sponsor, we ask that you submit the request to our office at least forty-five (45) days in advance of the current end date of the project.

You should request the actual amount of time needed to complete the project. Most Sponsors will not allow more than twelve (12) months per request. We suggest twelve (12) months, but no less than six (6) months.

No. The extension request can be submitted in two (2) ways.

  1. If the project is funded with Expanded Authorities, the No-Cost Extension form must be initiated by the PI and submitted to OSP for review and approval. Once approved by SPA, we will notify the Sponsor of the extension.
  2. If the project is not funded under Expanded Authorities, the No-Cost Extension form must be initiated by the PI and submitted to SPA for review and approval and a letter of request will be submitted to the Sponsor. The letter of request is generated as you complete the No-Cost Extension form. This letter must be routed through SPA for review and approval prior to submission to the Sponsor.
  • Additional time is needed to assure completion of the original project scope
  • Delay in hiring appropriate personnel
  • Extensive delay in production or shipment of key equipment or supplies
  • Time lost due to transfer, illness or injury of key personnel
  • Completing reports and/or analysis

SPA does not monitor Dean approvals on no-cost extension requests unless there is a change in PI effort. However, you should notify your Dean’s office to determine departmental requirements for these requests.

If SPA is authorized to approve the request (as a result of Expanded Authorities), we will send you a copy of the approved NCE Request Form. If SPA is not authorized to approve the request, we will notify you when we receive the Sponsor’s decision. If the Sponsor sends the decision notification directly to your attention, please forward a copy to SPA so that we can update your account information. In some cases, a contract amendment signed by the sponsor and SPA is necessary to finalize an extension, and the template letter we have provided for you is designed to meet this requirement.

Some Sponsors may not consider a request for a second extension. Requests for a second no-cost extension usually require more detailed justification and direct review by the Sponsor. Consult the terms and conditions of your award, Sponsor guidelines and contact your SPA team for guidance.

We will require the completed no-cost extension request form, in addition to the electronic submission information. The form is needed in order to update the COI, compliance and effort certification of the PIs/Co-PIs.