No-Cost Extensions for NIDA Grants and Cooperative Agreements

No-Cost Extensions Purpose and Background

The NIH Standard Terms of Award  provide the recipient with the authority to extend the final budget period of a previously approved project period one time without prior approval. Recipients must use the eRA Commons No-Cost Extension feature to electronically notify NIH that they are exercising their one-time authority to extend the final budget period of an award without funds. Extensions may be up to 12 months beyond the original project end date. This extension feature becomes available to the recipient 90 days before the project period end date.

  • In extending the final budget period of the project period through this process, the recipient 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. Recipients are reminded that all terms and conditions of the award apply during the extension period.
  • With the exception of grant programs that have an effort requirement, or where terms and conditions prohibit such reductions, NIDA will not require prior approval for the reduction in effort for Senior/Key personnel named in the NOA during the extension. The recipient is reminded that Senior/Key personnel named in the NOA must have a measurable level of effort during the extension.
  • Any additional project period extension beyond the initial extension of up to 12 months requires NIH prior approval.

Recipients who miss the time frame (90 days before project end date) to extend the grant in eRA Commons can request a No Cost Extension that will require prior approval electronically through the Prior Approval section in eRA Commons. Once the request is submitted, the eRA Commons will notify the Grants Management Specialist and Program Officer that the request has been received. Please note that the subsequent review and approval process remains the same.

Submitting Your No Cost Extension Request (2 options)

  1. Electronic submission of a no cost extension request is strongly encouraged through the eRA Commons (Prior Approval Module). Please see links under the ‘references’ section for information regarding submitting a change of no cost extension request electronically.
  2. Recipients can submit no cost extension requests to the grants specialist and program officer via email, from the authorized organization representative (AOR). The request must include the following information:
    • The amount of funds available to support the extension outlined in a revised budget sheet or presented in a tabular format.
    • A description of the project activities that require support during the extension period, including:
      • An explanation of why the project has not been completed.
      • A scientific rationale for continuing the project.
      • Detailed information on the progress completed since submission of the last RPPR.
      • Current IRB/IACUC approval dates (if applicable).

If your grant included Human Subjects research, please report that there have been no changes to your Inclusion Enrollment Record (IER) since submission of the last RPPR or prior approval extension request. If there have been changes, please update your enrollment in the Human Subjects System (HSS).

The request for no-cost extension must be submitted to NIDA grants management specialist and program official by your institution’s Authorized Organization Official (AOR).

Please note that a third no-cost extension is highly unusual and will be rarely considered.

These provisions for no-cost extension requests do not apply to fellowship awards.

Recipients are strongly encouraged to contact your grants management specialist and/or program official if you have questions. The telephone number and email address of your NIDA Grants Specialist and your NIDA Program Officer are available in the eRA Commons.

Please note that All Federal agencies are required by 31 U.S.C. §1552(a) to close fixed year appropriation accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. In order for the NIH to meet its obligation to close these accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30, recipients must report disbursements on the quarterly cash transaction report (using the FFR) no later than June 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. At the end of five years, the funds are cancelled and returned to the Treasury. This provision may limit or eliminate this authority to extend the final budget period when an entire project period is funded by a single award.


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