University of Iowa

4f. Changes to the project

  1. If my percent of effort changes on a project do I need to get approval from the sponsor?
  2. What changes require prior approval from the sponsor?
  3. How do I change the principal investigator on a project?
  4. Can I request additional funds for my project?
  5. How can I extend the end date of my project?
  6. Can I spend the funds on other related work?

1. What do I need to do if my effort changes?

If any key personnel will withdraw from the project, be absent for more than three months, or reduce the level of effort devoted to the project by 25% or more than what was approved, notification and prior approval from the sponsor is required.  

Key personnel include the PI and any other individuals identified as such in the Notice of Grant Award.

2. What changes require prior approval from the sponsor?

The following items may require prior approval:
•    Change in scope or the objective of the project or program
•    Change in key personnel
•    Transfer of amounts that affect the amount of F&A applied to the project.
•    Transfer of funds allotted for training allowances.
•    Additions or changes to existing subaward recipients.
•    Changes in budget categories greater than 10% of the total budget.

To determine if prior approval is required, refer to the award document or sponsor policy/guidance, or for federal awards, the Research Terms and Conditions Prior Approval Matrix.

3. How do I change the principal investigator on a project?

Changing the principal investigator on an award requires prior approval from the sponsoring agency.  

The UI procedure to change a principal investigator can be found at: https://dsp.research.uiowa.edu/change-project-director-internal-procedure.

4. Can I request additional funds for my project?

It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to monitor how the funds are spent on the project.  The sponsoring agencies expect that the project will be completed with the funds allocated.  If there are circumstances that occur that are out of the control of the principal investigator that result in expenses being greater than budgeted, the principal investigator can request additional funding as soon as s/he is aware of the problem.  The request should include an explanation why the additional funds are needed and how they will be spent.  In no case should funds be expended in excess of the awarded amount prior to the approval of the supplemental funding.

There may be certain types of activities that certain agencies would consider funding as a supplement.  You are encouraged to work with you program officer and departmental administrator to learn about these opportunities.

5. How can I extend the end date of my project?

Most federal grants can be extended up to one year by the university by providing a notice to the sponsoring agency.  These extensions are not for the purpose of using up unspent funds but are to allow the principal investigator to complete the work on the project.  These extension requests should be sent to the Division of Sponsored Programs to review and submit to the sponsoring agency and should include the percent of effort the principal investigator intends on expending on the project during the extended period.  If additional no cost extensions are required, additional information and justification will be required as to why the project was not completed in the awarded time period and how the remaining funds will be expended.

6. Can I spend the funds on other related work?

No.  If the principal investigator would like to change or expand the scope of work for the project, approval from the sponsoring agency must first be received.  The principal investigator should submit a letter requesting the change in scope to the Division of Sponsored Programs.  Often times a revised budget will also be required to show how the remaining funds will be spent under the new scope of work.