No-Cost Extensions for NIDA Grants and Cooperative Agreements

No-Cost Extensions Purpose and Background

The NIH Standard Terms of Award  provide the recipient the authority to extend the final budget period of a previously approved project period one time for a period of up to 12 months beyond the original completion date down in the NoA. Recipients must use the eRA Commons No-Cost Extension feature to electronically notify NIH that they are exercising their one-time authority to extend without funds the completion date of an award. Extensions may be up to 12 months beyond the final budget period 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 measureable level of effort during the extension.
  • 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.
  • Any additional project period extension beyond the initial extension of up to 12 months requires NIH prior approval.

Recipients who miss the time frame to extend the grant in eRA Commons can request a No Cost Extension requiring a prior approval electronically through the Prior Approval section in eRA Commons. Once the request is submitted, the system will send a notification to the Grants Management Specialist, Program Officer and IC Central Box so they can review the request. 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.
    • A description of the project activities that require support during the extension period, including:
      • An explanation of why you could not finish your project on time.
      • A scientific rational for continuing the project.
      • Detailed information on the progress completed since submission of the last RPPR. 

If your grant included Human Subjects research, please report that there have been no changes to your Inclusion/Enrollment report since submission of the last RPPR or prior approval extension request. If there have been changes then please include a completed “Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report” with your request (PDF, 967KB).

The request for no-cost extension must be submitted to NIDA grants management specialist and program official by your organization’s signing official (SO).

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

The 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 a question. The telephone number and email address of your NIDA Program Officer and your NIDA Grants Specialist are available in the eRA Commons, on your Notice of Award, and are also available here, at NIH NED.