No-Cost Extensions

If project work is ongoing and funds remain available to cover project expenses, requesting an extension of the project period may be appropriate. Considerations include funds available, timing, and approvals required.

No-cost Extension Request Form

No-cost extension sample letter

A "no-cost extension" means that the project end date is extended (changed to a later date) but no additional funds are added by the sponsor to cover the extension period. Unobligated funds from the current year must be available to cover project costs during the extension period.

Timing: Request a no-cost extension three to four weeks before the award expiration date. Make the request earlier if sponsor approval of the extension is required. Award terms usually state whether or not sponsor prior approval is required for a no-cost extension or modification of an agreement.

Justification: Appropriate reasons for an extension include: time for completion of original project objectives, continuity of support while a competing renewal application is under review, or time to complete the phase-out of a project that will not receive continued support.


  • Federal grants: Many grants from federal agencies allow UMB to approve, internally, ONE extension of up to 12 months. Ask for the full 12 months. Subsequent extensions require agency approval. The extension request must justify the extension. Use the agency's online form if available; otherwise, use the form (linked above) and submit the signed request to your SPA team.
    NIH:  eRA Commons Prior Approval instructions (video or transcript available)
    NSF:  No cost extension process for NSF
  • Clinical study agreements: Many clinical study agreements do not include an end date. The project period is set up in Quantum based on the estimated project dates in the routed proposal. If the award has no specified Term or end date, then the project dates can be extended while the study is active, with internal approval. Use the form (linked above) and submit the signed request to your SPA team.
  • Sponsor approval: Formal modification of the award document is required to extend the project dates for many awards, including subawards and corporate agreements. To request sponsor approval, the PI initiates a letter or email to the sponsor making and justifying the request. (A sample is linked at the top of this page.) Forward the PI's request to your SPA team for institutional official signature and submission to the sponsor. Follow the same process for a late (after-the-fact) request or to request a second no-cost extension for a federal grant.
  • Approved extension: If you receive approval documentation from the sponsor, forward it to your SPA team via email. The email to your SPA team should include the project, sponsor, PI, and new end date. SPA will request additional information if required. Once sponsor approval has been obtained, SPA will process and forward the information to Sponsored Projects Accounting and Compliance (SPAC) to update Quantum.

Extension of subawards issued by UMB: If desired by the UMB PI and after the project has been extended in Quantum, use the Subaward Request to initiate a no-cost extension of the subaward.