No-Cost Extension Request Procedures

Page Updated: March 1st, 2017

In order to request a no-cost extension (NCE) for all sponsored projects, please use the following instructions to guide you through the process. Notably, a no-cost extension must be requested in advance of the end date of the award based on agency requirements. All materials should be routed through WISPER.

Step 1: Reviewing Commitments

With the exception of grant programs that have a specific minimum effort requirement (NIH K type awards), RSP no longer requires the update of effort commitments when requesting or receiving a no-cost extension. After a thorough analysis of sponsor polices and Federal regulations, it has been concluded that a no-cost extension simply provides additional time in which the originally proposed effort can take place. More information on this can be found here.

Normally, there is no need to adjust commitments during an NCE period. Very rarely, there might be instances when a commitment is necessary during the NCE period. Specific grant programs may require a specific minimum effort requirement, which should continue in the NCE period (note: at this time, RSP is aware of only a few grant programs that require a specific minimum effort requirement. NIH award types: K, R35, DP1). Before preparing the NCE request, review the terms and conditions of your award to determine if a specific commitment must continue.

  • For most awards:
    • When requesting a NCE you do not need to address effort commitments.
    • RSP will no longer adjust commitments in SFS during the no-cost extension period.
  • If a minimum commitment is a requirement of the award terms and conditions:
    • This should be mentioned in the Comments Tab of the WISPER record.
    • In these few instances, RSP will make the update to the commitment in SFS appropriately.
Step 2: Preparing & Routing the Request

The WISPER record should be completed including:

  • On the General Tab:
    • Document Type: No Cost Extension
    • Add the current MSN Award ID under Related Record
    • Proposed extension period entered as the start and end dates
    • Deadline for submission of the request to the Sponsor & the method entered in the Submission Instruction section
    • Protocol Responses and related approval numbers and dates
    • Budget amount can be blank
    • Answer the outgoing subawards question
  • On the Project Details:
    • All fields completed (excluding budget and commitment details), this is needed to prevent errors on the record.
    • You do not need to add in any commitment information. See above.
  • As an attachment:
    • Request letter (signed by PI)
  • PI signature is optional per Division requirements - please consult your Division
  • Division SUBMIT TO SPO function should be used

The following bulleted list must be addressed in the no-cost extension request. This information should be entered into the attached request letter. (Please use the below Letter Template)

Letter Template Download Letter Template
  • Agency award reference number and UW Madison Award ID (MSN#)
  • Principal investigator name and contact information
  • Project title
  • Current award period and proposed end date
  • Signatures (not required for email or electronic signature if available) from the principal investigator, Dean's office, and RSP

The letter/email should also include a clear justification statement, summary of progress to date, estimate of funds remaining and a confirmation of continued invoice schedule if necessary, and what they will be used on, and timetable for completion.

For NSF: Use the FastLane request tool to initiate the extension, but follow the guidance in the previous paragraph for what to enter in the justification section, especially the part about mentioning effort. A WISPER record is still required.

Provisional Extensions: After submission of a no cost extension request, should there be a wait for Sponsor response; RSP will assume the Sponsor will ultimately approve the request. Upon submission of the extension request, RSP will update the UW-Madison accounting system to allow expenses to continue to post. The actual project and award end dates will be updated upon Sponsor approval of the extension request.

When for any reason a request letter cannot be prepared before the PI, department and Dean’s office desire to extend the end date, a provisional extension request may be submitted.

  • Create the WISPER record per Step 2 above
  • The Division should "REQUEST ADVANCE ACCOUNT OF SPO" rather than "SUBMIT TO SPO." This indicates that the Division has not completed the process and the request letter is not yet ready.
    • Based on this "ADVANCE" division request, RSP will update the accounting system to allow expenditures to post
    • RSP will notify campus of this completion by sending a PROVISIONAL EXTENSION Award Email.

Note that ANY charges incurred after the end date of the project and before the Sponsor's final approval is received are the responsibility of the PI and the Department (just as expenses on an account-in-advance).

A detailed step by step process is available here.