No‐Cost Extensions (NCEs)
How do I request a no‐cost extension for my grant?
If your grant is under expanded authorities (in general, the following AHRQ grant activity codes are included under expanded authorities: F31, F32, K01, K02, K08, K18, K99, P20, R00, R01, R03, R13, R18, R21, R33, R24, R25, R36), the grantee institution has the authority to automatically extend the final budget period end date one time for a period of up to 12 months. Effective on August 1, 2020, AHRQ grant recipients may, and effective October 1, 2020, AHRQ grantee recipients must, use the No-Cost Extension feature in the eRA Commons to execute this extension. Read Notice NOT-HS-20-012.
This action must be taken before the final budget period expires, using the No-Cost Extension (NCE) feature in the eRA Commons. Accessible from the eRA Commons “Status” screen, the link for the No-Cost Extension feature appears 90 days before the final budget period end date and closes at 11:59 p.m. on the final budget period end date. In extending the final budget period end date of the grant through the eRA Commons, the grantee agrees to update all required certifications, including human subjects and animal welfare, in accordance with applicable regulations and policies. An interim progress report and an interim FFR, reflecting programmatic progress and financial expenditures, respectively, through the original project end date, will be required to be submitted to the AHRQ GMS named on the most recent NOA no later than 90 days from the original project end date.
Grantees may not extend a project end date previously extended by AHRQ. Once the eRA Commons link is closed, a NCE becomes a prior approval request and must be submitted for consideration to the AHRQ Grants Management Specialist named on the most recent Notice of Award. Any additional final budget period end date extension beyond the one-time extension of up to 12 months requires AHRQ prior approval.
If your grant is NOT under expanded authorities (e.g. K12, P01, P30, P50, T32, U01, U13, U18, U19, and UC1, or any award for which the terms and conditions indicate either that the award is not under expanded authorities or that the award may not use the no-cost extension option under expanded authorities), the grantee institution must submit a written prior approval request, endorsed by an authorized institutional official, to the Grants Management Specialist named on the most recent Notice of Award. The request is to include a statement of why the extension is needed, the requested duration of the extension (not to exceed 12 months), research objectives to be completed during the extension period, and a detailed budget page and budget justification for the use of unobligated funds anticipated to remain at the end of the current budget period. No additional funds will be awarded for an extension. If the extension is approved, AHRQ will issue a revised Notice of Award reflecting the new project end date.
Whether under expanded authorities or not, an extension may only be made when no additional funds are required to be obligated by the awarding agency, there will be no change in the originally approved project scope or objective, and more time is needed to complete the research. The fact that funds remain at the expiration date of the project is not in and of itself sufficient justification for an extension. Conversely, if grant funds have been fully expended, an extension should not be requested/approved.
Please note that a request for a second no-cost extension can only be considered by AHRQ if the grantee can demonstrate that unusual circumstances occurred that prevented the project from being completed during the original extension period. An extension is considered a second extension even if the first extension was less than 12 months long.
Contact the assigned AHRQ Grants Management Specialist for details of what information needs to be included in a prior approval request for a second no-cost extension, which will include at a minimum: an explanation of the unusual circumstances warranting consideration of the request; strong programmatic justification of why it is crucial for the project to be extended further; progress to date; research objectives still to be completed; requested duration of second extension (not to exceed 12 months); the estimated unobligated balance expected to remain at the end of the first NCE, and a detailed budget and budget justification for use of these funds.