Continuing the Project


A Principal Investigator has the choice of three options for extending a sponsored project award beyond the original date stipulated in the Notice of Award. The three options are:

  • Apply for a no cost extension
  • Apply for a noncompeting continuation
  • Apply for a competing continuation

In many cases the sponsor or sponsor's terms of the award will determine which option is most appropriate. Each option also has financial implications for the researcher's award and Dartmouth College. These three options are described in the section following.

Non-Competing Continuation

If a sponsored project award has been approved for funding for more than one year, the Principal Investigator must complete a noncompeting continuation application annually. This application usually includes a report on the work completed to-date, a financial report, plans for the next award cycle's work, and a budget plan. Non-competing continuations imply that the sponsor recognizes the research as on-going and assumes that, as long as the research is going well and funding is available, the project will be funded for multiple years. Noncompeting continuations do not compete with new projects for a sponsor's funds. With a sponsor's approval, funds may also be carried over from project year to project year. Noncompeting continuations imply additional funding will be added to the total sponsored research award.

Competing Continuation

A competing continuation requests additional funds from a sponsor to continue the work of a previously funded project. Competing continuations compete with new applications for a sponsor's funds. If funds are not awarded to continue the project, and no additional funding from other sources is available, the project must be completed by the date indicated in the original Notice of Award.

No Cost Extension (NCE)

No-cost extensions are requests to extend the termination date of a sponsored project award without additional funds. The Principal Investigator must have prior approval before the award is allowed to continue past the termination date stated in the Notice of Award.

In situations where additional time is required to complete the award, the Department Grant Manager will need to send to their Sponsored Research Manager a No-Cost Extension Request Form that has been approved by the Principal Investigator on those sponsored project awards that have been awarded under the Federal Demonstration Partnership/Expanded Authorities. The Sponsored Research Manager can approve these first No-Cost Extension Requests that are under the Federal Demonstration Partnership/Expanded Authorities. The Sponsored Research Manager will send the sponsor a notification of our No-Cost Extension approval.

If the sponsor requires their prior approval or it is a second No-Cost Extension Request on a Federal Demonstration Partnership/Expanded Authorities award, a letter needs to be typed up by the department formally requesting a No-Cost Extension, the letter will need to provide the following:

  • Explain the reasons for needing the additional time, plus length of extension (maximum amount you can request at one time is up to one year).
  • Current balance (Direct Costs and Indirects Costs).
  • Budget breakdown of how remaining funds will be spent during the No-Cost Extension Period.
  • The letter needs to be approved by the Principal Investigator and either the Assistant Director, Post Award or Operations Manager in the Office of Sponsored Projects.
  • The Sponsored Research Manager is responsible for sending the request letter to the sponsor.
  • No-Cost Extension Requests should always be submitted at least 30 days before the current end date of the sponsored research award.