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Grants and Contract Changes

Policy: VIII.A.5

Issued: August 15, 1996

Owner: Office of Sponsored Programs

Latest Revision: December 20, 2018




This policy is currently under revision at the University. Although the statements herein reflect enforced policy guidance, please contact the "Owner" listed above if you have questions about how this policy applies to your office. The statements herein are to be used as general guidance until the policy has been revised and added to the University Policy Directory. Thank you.

1.0 Purpose

This policy covers budgetary and other grant change requests.  In both cases individual sponsor guidelines will govern the individual procedures for an award. 

2.0 Policy [Top]

2.1 Budgetary Changes

2.1.1 Purpose & Background 

This policy provides general information about budget category restrictions and outlines the procedures for requesting changes. Unanticipated rebudgeting requirements or changes are permitted within the sponsor's and University's limitations.
The University permits the principal investigator or project director to deviate from the approved budget if:

  • The rebudgeting is in accordance with sponsor and University requirements.
  • The rebudgeting will not change the scope of work, neither will it impede the progress of the project toward its stated objectives.

2.1.2 General Limitations on Rebudgeting 

Specific limitations may appear in the sponsor's award document and/or University's official "Notice of Award." Limitations under Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 2CFR200 and general sponsor requirements are outlined below:
For budget categories restricted by the sponsor, PRIOR APPROVAL is required before rebudgeting.  Restricted budget categories may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Domestic Travel exceeding the sponsor approved budget.
  • Special Purpose Equipment (property which has an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more and an expected life of one year or more).  EQUIPMENT FUNDS SPENT ON OR REBUDGETED TO OTHER LINE ITEM CATEGORIES REQUIRE AN ACCOMPANYING INCREASE IN INDIRECT COST.
  • General Purpose Equipment  (includes office equipment, air conditioning, reproduction/duplication equipment, etc.) requires approval according to sponsor regulations.  These costs are not typically allowable as a direct charge to a federal award. Automated data processing equipment may require both sponsor and State approval.
  • Foreign Travel  Any travel outside Canada or the United States, its territories and possessions requires prior approval.
  • Any increase or decrease in the total amount budgeted for Participant Support Costs.
  • Expenditures for patient care in excess of those included in the approved budget.
  • Expenditures for alteration and renovation costs in excess of the amount provided in the approved budget.

2.1.3 Limitation Concerning Indirect Costs in Rebudgeting 

Funds awarded and identified for indirect costs may be rebudgeted into direct costs during the budget period only if such action is permitted by the sponsor and endorsed by the University.
When the modified total direct costs (MTDC) base upon which indirect costs are calculated is increased by rebudgeting and no additional funds are provided by the sponsor, the principal investigator must reduce other direct costs to provide for additional indirect costs from the rebudgeting action.
The budget categories that are not included in this MTDC base are:

  • Patient Care Costs
  • Equipment
  • Subcontracts Over $25,000
  • Student Aid
  • Rental Costs of Off-Grounds Projects

2.2 Other Grant and Contract Changes

The following changes require an eSPAR form and a letter addressed to the sponsoring agency.  See also: Procedure 8-13, "Preparation of Grant and Contract Changes".

  • Change or absence of principal investigator (PI) for three months or more.
  • Substantial change in effort of PI or other key people.
  • Change of grantee institution.
  • Extensions of budget periods.
  • Change in scope of objectives.
  • Use of funds for any purpose disapproved or restricted as a condition of award.
  • Subgranting or subcontracting out any principal activities of the grant.
  • Changes in grant and contract terms and conditions (extension of the project period, changes in reporting requirements, etc.).

2.2.1 Processing Procedure

In order to request necessary prior approval for Rebudgeting and Other Grant and Contract Changes, the principal investigator/program director will:

  • Complete Grant and Contract Change Request, eSPAR form.
  • When sponsor approval is required, attach a letter of request addressed to the sponsor detailing the request and providing justification.
  • Submit eSPAR form with appropriate approvals to the Office of Sponsored Programs via


3.0 Definitions [Top]

4.0 References [Top]

See also: Procedure 8-13, "Preparation of Grant and Contract Changes".

5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]