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Post-Award Change Request Form

Instructions for Completion and Routing

  1. Review the award terms and conditions and the sponsor's policies for approval and documentation requirements. 
     
  2. Complete Section A of the Post-Award Change Request Form, providing PI and project information. 
     
  3. In Section B of the form, check the appropriate box(es) describing the type of request(s). For guidance, use this web page or the Help tips within the form itself, indicated by the question mark symbols Question Symbol.
  4. Provide the required documentation in Section C, or as an editable attachment. For guidance, refer to the Documentation Required for each change request type, presented on this web page and within the Help tips on the form.
     
  5. Refer to the Approvals Required sections for each of the respective change request types. 

    Either have the form signed by the parties required, or, alternatively, provide evidence of the required approvals (e.g., email) as an attachment to the "Project Team Request ORSP Action" activity in described below.

    Approvals by department chair/unit head and dean/director designees are acceptable. However, unless explicitly delegated, division directors may not sign on behalf of department chairs or unit heads.

    Note that PI approvals are always required (i.e., no designees are acceptable); when obtaining the PI's signature is not practicable, evidence of PI concurrence is required (e.g., an email). 
     

  6. Either the PI, the Primary Research Administrator or the Primary Post-Award Contact can submit the completed form along with any required or supplemental documentation to the relevant PAF in eRPM via the "Project Team Request ORSP Action" activity.

Note that schools, colleges, institutes and centers may require additional approval and documentation beyond that mandated by ORSP.

Note also that ORSP is unable to approve requests if required certifications or approvals (e.g., PEERRS, IRB, IACUC, FCOI, etc.) are expired or pending.

 

What is the purpose of the Post-Award Change Request Form?  To submit requests for changes to active, funded projects.

image of University of Michigan Post-Award Change Request Form

Who should use this form? Principal Investigators (PIs) and Project Teams

Who approves the request? Sometimes ORSP may have the authority to approve the requested change; other times, prior sponsor approval is necessary before ORSP can process the change.

How soon should this be submitted to ORSP? This form must be submitted to ORSP early enough to allow time for administrative processing and to secure sponsor approval in advance of the requested change.

What should I do first? Consult the terms and conditions and sponsor policies applicable to the award before completing this form. PIs and Project Teams bear the responsibility to administer funded projects in compliance with U-M and sponsor requirements. 

What if I have questions on interpreting award requirements or terms and conditions? Please feel free to contact your ORSP Project Representative to assist.

What types of changes does this form cover?

  1. Uniform Guidance Monitored Costs (formerly A-21) (Federal funds only)
  2. Award Reduction / De-obligation
  3. Carry Forward of Funds
  4. Cost Sharing Reduction
  5. Rebudgeting Requiring Sponsor Approval
  6. Retroactive Pre-Award Costs (Federal FDP/RTC funds only)
  7. Special Purpose Equipment not in Sponsor-approved Budget (Federal funds only)
  8. General Purpose Equipment (Federal funds only)
  9. Purchase of Equipment in Last 3 Months of a Project
  10. Disengagement of PI of 90 Days or More
  11. PI/Key Person Change *
  12. Reduction in Effort Requiring Approval
  13. Change in Scope
  14. Early Termination / Close Out
  15. No Cost Time Extension
  16. Transfer to New Department ID *
  17. Transfer to New Institution *
  18. and of course, "Other" (Please explain in form)

Descriptions of Specific Types of Requests

The following definitions do not supersede the terms and conditions that apply specifically to each award, nor does it supplant the PI's responsibility for sound and compliant grant management practices. They serve as a general guide to award management and in use of this ORSP Post-Award Change Request Form. It does

1. Uniform Guidance Monitored Costs (formerly A-21) (Federal Funds Only)

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The Uniform Guidance (UG), Subpart E, Cost Principles, (formerly A-21) requires that certain expenses be treated as Facilities and Administrative Costs (also known as F&A, indirect costs or overhead) and paid for through the recovery of indirect costs. Examples of these costs include clerical and administrative salaries, computing devices, hosting, subscriptions, books, membership dues, postage, office supplies, and telecommunications. In order to qualify as a direct charge on a sponsored project, costs normally considered F&A must be charged in a timely manner and must be consistent with established institutional policies and practices. U-M policy and procedure documents which costs can be charged directly to federally funded projects and which expenses may qualify as exceptions.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) a complete description of the items you wish to directly charge, providing quantity and unit price; (2) an explanation for why each item is necessary for the completion of the project and is related to the specific aims or objectives of the project; (3) a description of how each item is different from similar items normally provided by the department and treated as F&A costs; and (4) a revised budget.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. Sponsor approval may also be required.

2. Award Reduction / Deobligation

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Occasionally a sponsor will reduce the amount of funds that have already been committed to a sponsored project. Project Teams must notify ORSP via this form whenever they receive notice from a sponsor that an active existing award is being reduced.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) the dollar amount or percent of the reduction; (2) a revised budget; (3) a revised scope of work, if appropriate, or an attestation that the scope of work will not change; and (4) the notice of award reduction from the sponsor.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee.

3. Carry Forward of Funds

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The ability to automatically carry forward unspent funds from one budget period to the next is typically limited to certain federally funded projects subject to the Federal-Wide Research Terms and Conditions (formerly known as the Federal Demonstration Partnership or FDP; see https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/rtc.jsp). For all other funded projects, it is more likely the case that prior sponsor approval will be required. Project Teams must therefore consult the specific requirements of the award in order to determine whether carry forward is allowed.

Documentation Required – All requests for prior approval must include: (1) documentation of sponsor approval, if such approval is required by the sponsor and has been obtained; (2) the current budget period end date; (3) the anticipated amount of the funds to be carried forward; and (4) revised budgets, if required by the sponsor.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. Sponsor approval may also be required; please consult the award terms and conditions.

4. Cost Sharing Reduction

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Whenever cost sharing has been approved and budgeted as part of a funded project (i.e., there is cost sharing reflected in the Project Grant Budget Status Report in M-Reports), the University is obligated to provide the cost sharing as part of the total costs of the funded project. Just like the sponsor's funds, the cost sharing is tracked and reported upon and is subject to audit.

Occasionally, however, the total costs required to accomplish the goals of a sponsored project might change from what was proposed and awarded, and the Project Team may wish to, therefore, reduce its cost sharing commitments. In such cases, the sponsor may need to be consulted to determine whether: (a) the reduction can be applied to the university's committed cost sharing; (b) the reduction must be applied proportionally to both the university's committed cost sharing and the sponsor's awarded funds; or (c) the sponsor's share of the total project cost must be reduced. Routing a Post-Award Change Request Form will alert ORSP to the need to determine whether the reduction in cost sharing is allowable and whether prior sponsor approval is required.

Note that a Post-Award Change Request is not required for reductions in voluntary uncommitted cost sharing because it is not considered part of the financial terms and conditions of the award.

Documentation Required –All requests must include: (1) the name and Department ID of the unit that is reducing its cost sharing commitment; (2) the new cost sharing amount; (3) a revised cost share budget; and (4) a revised scope of work, if appropriate, or an attestation that the scope of work will not change.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee; (3) individual authorized to make cost sharing commitments on behalf of the unit that is reducing cost sharing. Sponsor approval will likely also be required; please consult the award terms and conditions.

5. Rebudgeting Requiring Sponsor Approval

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The budget plan is the financial expression of the project or program as approved during the award process. After a grant or contract has been awarded, the PI may determine that the approved budget allocations are not consistent with actual project needs. S/he may request the formal reallocation of funds from one spending category to another that better reflects the project requirements. This process is called Rebudgeting.

For research grants incorporating standard Federal-Wide Research Terms and Conditions (formerly known as the Federal Demonstration Partnership or FDP; see https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/rtc.jsp), U-M has been delegated the authority to approve most rebudgeting requests. Federal cooperative agreements and contracts, however, may contain terms requiring prior approval for rebudgeting. Moreover, industry, foundation, and other non-federal sponsors have various policies for rebudgeting, and often require that U-M receives the sponsor's prior approval before rebudgeting. When the agreement is silent, PIs should use their best judgment in rebudgeting funds as necessary to meet the requirements of the project. Individual awards should be reviewed for specific guidance.

Documentation Required – For federally funded projects requiring prior sponsor approval, all requests must include: (1) a description of how budget revision will impact the scope of work, if at all; and (2) a revised budget. For non-federal projects, provide (3) sponsor approval as well.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. Sponsor prior approval is required (by definition).

6. Retroactive Pre-Award Costs (Federal FDP/RTC funds only)

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[If you are requesting approval for pre-award costs associated with a non-RTC award, use #18 "Other" instead.]

Following the issuance of a federal Project Award Notice (PAN), U-M may approve pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the effective date of an award subject to the Federal-Wide Research Terms and Conditions (RTC). (See https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/rtc.jsp.) Pre-award costs must be necessary for the effective and economical conduct of the project and the costs must be otherwise allowable in accordance with the anticipated terms of the award. If pre-award costs are associated with a request to establish a new project/grant, please use the eRPM Hardship Request functionality.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) an explanation of why retroactive pre-award costs are needed; and (2) the proposed effective date of the pre-award period.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee.

7. Special Purpose Equipment Not In Sponsor-Approved Budget (Federal funds only)

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If you are requesting approval for equipment costs associated with a non-federal award, use #5 "Rebudgeting Requiring Prior Sponsor Approval" box instead.] For research grants incorporating standard Federal-Wide Research Terms and Conditions (https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/rtc.jsp), U-M has been delegated authority in several instances to approve the purchase of equipment costing that was not in the original sponsor-approved budget. Grants by NIH, which may consider such a purchase to constitute a change in scope and U.S. Department of Energy, are exceptions that may require U-M to first seek prior sponsor approval. Individual award terms and conditions should be reviewed for specific guidance.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) a description of the equipment to be purchased; (2) an estimate of the cost; (3) a description of the intended use of the equipment, referencing the specific aims or goals of the project; and (4) a description of how the purchase will impact the scope of work, if at all.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. In limited cases, prior sponsor approval will also be required; please consult the award terms and conditions.

8. General Purpose Equipment (Federal Funds Only)

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General-purpose equipment is defined as equipment that is not limited in use only to research, medical, scientific, or other technical activities.

Examples of general purpose equipment include office equipment and furnishings, computers, air conditioning equipment, reproduction and printing equipment, facsimile machines, refrigerators, and freezers. Expenditures for general-purpose equipment on federal funds are unallowable unless the equipment is primarily used for the actual conduct of the research.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) a description of the general-purpose equipment; (2) an estimate of the cost; and (3) a description of the intended use of the equipment, with a particular emphasis on how it will exclusively benefit the funded project.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee.

9. Purchase of Equipment in Last 3 Months of a Project

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Purchase of equipment in the last three months of a project requires prior U-M approval even if the sponsor-approved budget included funds for the equipment. Extraordinary justification will be necessary for such purchases, except in cases where a renewal award is imminent.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) a description of the equipment; (2) an estimate of the cost; (3) an indication of whether the equipment is in the sponsor-approved budget; and (4) a description of why the equipment is necessary to complete the project.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee.

10. Disengagement of PI of 90 Days or More

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Sponsors reasonably expect that the PI will be physically present at the location where their funded project is carried out to manage the award and ensure that objectives and timelines are met. Most sponsors want to be notified when a PI will be disengaged for short periods of time; federal sponsors, in particular, require advance notification when a PI will be disengaged for a period of time extending 90 days or more (e.g., a sabbatical). Individual awards should be reviewed for specific guidance.

Documentation Required – In cases where sponsor approval is required, the request must include: (1) the dates during which the PI will be disengaged; and a (2) a plan detailing how the sponsored project will be carried out in the PI's disengagement if one exists.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. Sponsor approval is almost always required; please consult the award terms and conditions.

11. PI/Key Person Change *

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Naming a new PI to lead a funded project almost always requires the prior approval of the sponsor. Depending on the sponsor and the terms and conditions of the award, changes to other Key Personnel may also require prior sponsor approval. Individual awards should be reviewed for specific guidance, but at a minimum, all PI changes must be routed through ORSP regardless of sponsor requirements.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) a justification related to the project, including any proposed changes in scope; (2) the effective date of the proposed change; (3) any budget changes resulting from the proposed change; (4) a biographical sketch of the new PI or Key Person, if ORSP is required to submit it to the sponsor; (5) other sources of support of any new individuals proposed [federal projects only]; and (6) sponsor approval [non-federal projects only].

Approvals Required – (1) current Principal Investigator; (2) the proposed new Principal Investigator, if changing; (3) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee; and (4) Dean/Director or designee if requesting a new PI (note that a change to a non-PI Key Person does not need Dean/Director approval). Sponsor approval is almost always required; please consult the award terms and conditions.

12. Reduction in Effort Requiring Approval

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Reducing the level of effort that a PI or Key Person intends to commit to a funded project may require the prior approval of the sponsor. (Note that for federally funded projects, a reduction of effort of 25% or more from the level that was approved at the time of the competing year award requires prior sponsor approval.) Individual awards should be reviewed for specific guidance.

Documentation Required – In cases where prior sponsor approval is required, use this form to request approval and include: (1) the most recent sponsor-approved level of effort; (2) the new level of effort being requested; (3) a justification related to the project; (4) either an attestation that the goals or specific aims of the project can still be met with the reduced effort or a description of proposed changes to the goals or specific aims; and (5) the effective date of the proposed change

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. Sponsor approval may be required for non-federal awards and federal awards not subject to the Federal-Wide Research Terms and Conditions (formerly known as the Federal Demonstration Partnership or FDP; see https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/rtc.jsp). Sponsor approval is required for federal awards subject to the Federal-Wide Research Terms and Conditions when the change in effort is equal to or greater than 25%.

13. Change in Scope

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U-M is almost always required to seek approval from the sponsor when the scope or research objectives of a funded project change. Individual awards should be reviewed for specific guidance. Actions likely to be considered a change in scope include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • change in the goals or specific aims approved at the time of award;
  • substitution of one animal model for another;
  • any change from the approved use of animals or human subjects;
  • shifting the emphasis of the research from one disease area to another;
  • transferring the performance of substantive programmatic work to a third party by contract or any other means;
  • significant re-budgeting (i.e., when the cumulative amount of transfers among direct cost categories for the current budget period exceeds 25% of the total award, or $250,000, whichever is less).

Documentation Required – Any request for approval must include: (1) a description of the scope change requested; (2) a justification for why the scope change is necessary; and (3) an explanation of how the scope change will impact the timeline, budget and project deliverables.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. Sponsor approval is almost always required; please consult the award terms and conditions.

14. Early Termination / Close Out

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In certain instances, a project may be terminated prior to the original expiration date. Possible reasons for early termination include: the PI has expended all of the awarded funding in compliance with the award terms and conditions, and has submitted all project deliverables; the PI is leaving U-M and the project will not be transferred or assigned a new PI; and the sponsor has requested an early termination. Award agreements typically include a clause for how an early termination situation will be handled, so individual awards should be reviewed for specific guidance. Generally, sponsor-initiated notices will be sent to ORSP, in which case ORSP will inform the PI and Sponsored Programs Office. This form should be used when the PI either wants to initiate an early termination or receives an early termination request from the sponsor. In the latter case, the sponsor's notice should be provided to ORSP.
Important: In the event of early termination, all required reports (e.g., financial, technical, property and patent), must still be provided to the sponsor. Departments should also be mindful of whether an early termination may negatively impact the sponsor's willingness or contractual requirement to make final payment on outstanding invoices.

Documentation Required – All requests must include (1) the requested effective date of early termination or closeout; and (2) the reason for requesting early termination, if initiated by the PI, or the sponsor's notice of termination, if initiated by the sponsor.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. Sponsor approval is almost always required; please consult the award terms and conditions.

15. No Cost Time Extension

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Requests for extensions are appropriate if additional time beyond the established expiration date is required to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work within the funds already made available. The fact that funds will remain at the expiration date is not in itself justification for an extension.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) a justification; (2) an estimate of sponsor funds that will remain unspent as of the current expiration date; (3) the new requested end date; and (4) an indication of how the balance will be used during the extension [federal funds only].

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; and (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee. Sponsor approval is almost always required for non-federal awards and federal awards not subject to the Federal-wide Research Terms and Conditions (formerly known as the Federal Demonstration Partnership or FDP; see https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/rtc.jsp); please consult the award terms and conditions. For federal awards that are subject to the Federal-wide Research Terms and Conditions, sponsor approval is only required for a second or later extension.

16. Transfer to New Department ID *

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Check this box if the PI of an active award is transferring to a new department and wishes to have the management of the award moved to the new department as well. The Department Heads and Deans for both the relinquishing and receiving departments must indicate their support of the transfer by signing this form.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) the new department name and ID number; (2) the effective date of the requested transfer; and (3) contact information of the Primary Research Administrator in both the current and new department.

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; (2) Dept. Chairs/Unit Heads or designees of current and new departments/units; and (3) Deans/Directors or designees of current and new schools/colleges, if also transferring to a new school or college.

17. Transfer to New Institution *

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Typically the result of a PI leaving U-M, check this box to request that an active award be transferred to a new institution. The approval of the appropriate Department/Unit Heads and Deans/Directors indicates their willingness to relinquish the award. Upon receipt of the form, ORSP will contact the PI for any additional information necessary to request sponsor approval of the award transfer.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) contact information of the office equivalent to ORSP at the new institution; (2) the effective date of the transfer; and (3) sponsor approval if already obtained from the sponsor [non-federal projects only].

Approvals Required – (1) Principal Investigator; (2) Dept. Chair/Unit Head or designee; and (3) Dean/Director. Sponsor approval is required.

18. Other

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Check this box to request any other post-award changes not listed above and describe the change in Section C or in an editable attachment to the "Request ORSP Action" activity. Requests that do not require formal ORSP, Sponsored Programs or sponsor approval may be submitted using the "Request ORSP Action: activity without attaching this form.

Documentation Required – All requests must include: (1) a description of the post-award change being requested; and (2) documentation as appropriate Consult your ORSP Project Representative for further guidance.

Approvals Required – Consult your ORSP Project Representative for approval requirements.


*Dean/Director signature(s) may also be required

References and Resources

Questions?

  • Questions regarding this update should be addressed to Craig Reynolds, ORSP Associate Director, at 734-647-9887 or creyno@umich.edu