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Federal Grants

Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP)

In 1986, five federal agencies began a demonstration project to eliminate unnecessary administrative burdens on sponsored research awards. The result of the project was an implementation of "expanded authorities" for selected institutions.

Our participation in the Federal Demonstration Partnership has reduced the number of situations demanding prior approval from the sponsoring institutions. The primary objective of the Federal Demonstration Partnership is to allow researchers to focus on research as opposed to administrative duties. The Office of Sponsored Projects can internally approve many changes that previously required the prior approval of the Sponsor, such as no-cost time extensions, pre-award costs of up to 90 days, rebudgeting to travel or equipment, rebudgeting Facilities and Administration Costs to direct costs, and automatic carryover of unobligated balances. In addition, many of the requirements for the non-competitive or continuation funding process were reduced significantly.

It should be noted that not all Federal sponsored research awards are covered by the terms of the FDP. For example, training grants funded by Health and Human Services (HHS) are generally not covered by the FDP. Neither the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) nor the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) participates in the FDP. Most federal agencies will state "Federal Demonstration Partnership" on the award notice, if the specific sponsored research award is included in the FDP. Also, each agency has exceptions to the general FDP terms and conditions and may have additional requirements. The following provides a summary of the general terms and conditions of the FDP. These summaries are intended as an easy reference. Please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects for additional information.

General Terms and Conditions

Allowable Costs and Prior Approvals

Costs charged to a sponsored research award under the FDP must meet the same standards as all other Federal sponsored research awards for allowability, allocability and reasonableness. The allowability of costs shall be determined in accordance with the requirements of the award and the applicable Federal Cost Principles. Cost transfer forms with documentation are still required to transfer charges between accounts. Please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects for questions on the allowability of a specific cost.

Project Relatedness

When the same person serves as Principal Investigator on two or more Federal awards or when two or more awards with different Principal Investigators involve interrelated theoretical approaches or study the same phenomena, the Principal Investigators may request that "relatedness" be established. If two or more awards are determined to be "related" then they may be treated as a program for purposes of allocating costs. A cost that is allocable to the program may be charged to any one of the awards that make up the program, in any proportion. To establish "relatedness," a written request must be sent to the Federal agency. Please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects for additional information on the procedure for establishing "relatedness."

Changes in Objectives or Scope

The written approval of the awarding agency is required for any changes in the phenomenon under study or changes in the objectives of the project. Actions that may be considered a change of scope include substitution of one animal model for another, any change from the approved use of animals or human subjects, applying new technology, transferring the performance of substantive programmatic work to a third party and change of key personnel whose expertise is critical to the approved project. The principal investigator should submit a letter to the agency official detailing the proposed change. The letter should be countersigned by the Office of Sponsored Projects.

Absence or Change of Principal Investigator

The prior approval of the awarding agency is required for any absence of the Principal Investigator for a period of 3 months or more. A substitute Principal Investigator may be named or the award will be relinquished.

Pre-Award Costs

The Office of Sponsored Projects has the authority to approve pre-award costs of up to 90 days prior to the effective date of an award. Please submit the a Pre-Award Request Form to the Office of Sponsored Projects. Prior written approval is required for any Pre-Award expenditure prior to 90 days of the effective date.

Extensions without Additional Funds

Upon request from the Principal Investigator and at least 30 days prior to the end date, the Office of Sponsored Projects can extend the expiration date of the sponsored research award for a period of up to 12 months. A sponsored research award may be no-cost extended only one time by the Office of Sponsored Projects. Additional extensions of time would need prior approval from the sponsor. Please send a No-Cost Extension Request Form to your OSP Sponsored Research Manager. The awarding agency will be notified by the Office of Sponsored Projects.

Equipment

The principal investigator may approve the acquisition of equipment not listed in approved sponsored research award budget, provided the cost of each item is less than $25,000. Any items over $25,000 necessitate the prior approval of the awarding agency. For items that don't require prior agency approval, please send a brief memo specifying the amounts to be rebudgeted to the OSP, Grant Manager. In addition, any "excess" Facilities and Administration Cost generated by the rebudgeting may be rebudgeted to direct cost categories if sponsor permits. For items over $25,000, please contact your OSP Sponsored Research Manager for assistance in requesting agency approval. No equipment can be purchased during the last 6 months of a grant or contract.

Foreign Travel

The principal investigator may approve foreign travel not requested in the approved budget. All travel must occur on U.S. Flag Air Carriers unless such service is unavailable.

Unobligated Balances/Carryover Funds (If Awarded Under FDP)

The Office of Sponsored Projects will automatically carryover any unobligated balance remaining at the end of the current budget period. The Office of Sponsored Projects shall notify the awarding agency by means of the required Financial Status Report. The ability to carryover any unexpended balance at the end of a competitive segment depends on the agency guidelines.

Last Updated: 12/16/10