No Cost Extensions

A no-cost extension extends the project period beyond the original project end date. As the phrase “no cost” suggests, there is no additional funding provided by the sponsor. 

Requests for extensions are appropriate if additional time beyond the original project end date is required to ensure adequate completion of the original scope of work and there are sufficient funds remaining to cover the extended effort.  The fact that funds will remain at the expiration date is not in itself justification for an extension.

Requests for no-cost extensions should be completed through PARS and include: 

  • a brief reason for the extension including the reason(s) the project was not completed within the original period of performance;
  • brief summary of work to be accomplished during the extension period;
  • if the request is considered late by the sponsor, a reason for the late submission;
  • the new requested end date; and
  • a plan for the use of unobligated funds.

Approvals Required:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Office of Research Administration (ORA)

ORA approval is required for all no-cost extension requests.  Some federal sponsors have delegated to the University of Maine the authority, under grant awards, to approve a one-time, no-cost extension not to exceed 12 months.  If authorized, a no-cost extension request should be made at least 30 days in advance of the project end date.  ORA will notify the sponsor of the approved extension.  If the sponsor has not delegated this authority, ORA will submit a written request to the sponsor.

By submission of a no-cost extension request Principal Investigator’s certify that all compliance approvals pertaining to the project are current and all technical or progress reports have been submitted to the sponsor.  All terms and conditions of the original award continue during the extension period.

Plan ahead.  Sponsor required lead-time range by sponsor, with most requiring at least 30 days in advance of the project end date.  Agency specific guidance will be available in your award terms and conditions.  Additional guidance is also available on the ORA website under FAQs.