No-cost extensions

Click here to access the No-Cost Extensions section of the Post-Award Sponsored Projects Guide on page 33.

No-Cost Extensions

The award agreement issued by the sponsor establishes a project timeline, creates a schedule for the submission of reports and other deliverables, and states a project end-date. If a project will not be completed by the end-date indicated on the agreement, then an extension request must be completed by the Principal Investigator. If an extension is not requested, the University could be in breach of the agreement, which increases the risk of nonpayment or the potential for a lawsuit.

A no-cost extension offers an additional period of performance to complete the project and file reports, without the provision of additional funding by the sponsor. Requests for extensions must be submitted far enough in advance to allow processing prior to the original termination date of the project. The procedures used to request a no-cost extension vary depending upon the type of award and the sponsor.


For most Federally-funded grants, but not contracts, UMBC is permitted to approve a single, i.e., once during the life of a grant, no- cost extension. The no-cost extension is for a period not to exceed 12 months beyond the termination date of the grant. Since not all Federal sponsors have delegated the authority to institutions to grant no-cost extensions, Principal Investigators should work with OSP when making an extension request.


Every request for a no-cost extension, regardless of the funding agency, must be submitted to OSP prior to the termination date of the award and must provide the following information:

  • Summary of progress-to-date regarding the work of the project
  • Summary of the work to be completed during the extension period
  • Justification for the extension, including a description of why the project could not be finished in the planned amount of time
  • An estimate of the funds remaining in the project (both direct and F&A)
  • A description regarding the manner in which those funds will be spent during the extension


For sponsors other than Federal agencies, contact OSP to determine if extensions are allowed.

Reminder About No-Cost Extensions

Sponsoring agencies do not permit no-cost extensions solely for the purpose of spending the funds remaining in an award. All no-cost extensions require genuine programmatic justification.