OSP Handbook


Faculty and authorized professional research staff are encouraged to seek external financial support for specific projects undertaken to further the mission of the University in teaching, research and public service. Sponsored projects enhance and expand the educational opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students at the University, permit research, scholarly inquiry, and the development of new knowledge, contribute to the academic achievement and stature of the institution, and assist the University in fulfilling its responsibilities to the state and the nation.

The primary responsibility for the origination, development and preparation of proposals rests with the Principal Investigator (faculty member with rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor; or professional research staff with title of Director, Research Scientist/Engineer, and Senior Research Scientist/Engineer). All proposals are expected to be germane to the interests and expertise of the Principal Investigator and shall be consistent with and contribute to the mission of the University. While awards for successful projects are made to the University, the Principal Investigator is responsible for the management, execution, and completion of the project, including submission of all required reports. Information, assistance and technical support are provided to the Principal Investigator during the pre-award process by the Office of Sponsored Projects and during the post-award phase by the Contracts and Grants section of the Office of Accounting.

As a public institution, the University will not conduct proprietary research, develop exclusive or proprietary data for a sponsor, conduct any "work-for-hire", or permit a sponsor to direct or control research on campus. University facilities and equipment may not be used by a sponsor's employees or for the specific benefit of a sponsor. The purpose of University research is the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge; the University cannot assume the role of an advocate or a social action agency.

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Export Compliance

Federal regulations and sanctions promulgated and enforced by various federal agencies including the Department of Commerce - Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the Department of State -International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Department of Treasury — Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) prohibit the unlicensed export of specific technologies and items and payments to certain entities and individuals for reasons of national security or protection of trade. While most research conducted on U.S. college and university campuses is excluded from these regulations under the Fundamental Research Exclusion, university research involving specified technologies controlled under the EAR and/or ITAR, or transactions and exchanges with designated countries, individuals and entities may require the University to obtain prior approval in the form of a license from the appropriate agency before allowing foreign nationals to participate in controlled research, collaborate with a foreign company and/or share research—verbally or in writing—with persons who are not United States citizens or permanent residents. The consequences of violating these regulations can be quite severe, ranging from loss of research contracts to monetary and criminal penalties for the individual and/or organization violating these regulations.

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Publication of new knowledge developed under sponsored projects is a fundamental responsibility of the University. The University retains the right to publish all work done under sponsored projects and Principal Investigators are encouraged to use all appropriate channels to disseminate the results of their work. Publication delays of a reasonable period are allowed to permit filing of a patent application, to permit review for possible premature disclosure of patent application information and to review for inadvertent disclosure of a sponsor's confidential information. In all cases, the final decision to publish rests with the University.

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Cost of Research

The University expects external sponsors to pay the actual costs of conducting the sponsored project. These costs include both the direct and the facilities and administrative cost obligations incurred by the University in the conduct of a project. The direct costs, that is, those costs that are clearly identified with and benefit a specific research project, include salaries, fringe benefits, equipment, supplies, travel and other expenses. The facilities and administrative costs are those institutional research infrastructure costs that cannot be readily attributed to an individual project or monitored on an individual basis and include building and equipment use, operations, maintenance and utilities, general, departmental and sponsored projects administration, library, and capital improvements. Each sponsored project is expected to pay its proportional share of these research infrastructure costs. This payment is based on the facilities and administrative cost rate that is negotiated annually (or multiple years) between the University and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since the facilities and administrative cost rate is based on the level of existing facilities and administrative costs associated with research, the facilities and administrative cost income received by the University (and all other institutions of higher education) is a reimbursement for actual costs incurred. All research project budgets should include facilities and administrative costs as determined by this federally negotiated facilities and administrative cost rate. Exceptions to this policy may be considered if the sponsor has an established, written policy applicable to all potential proposers which deviates from these rates. All deviations are subject to UT Austin administrative approval in advance.

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Intellectual Property

The development, ownership, management, use and marketing of intellectual property developed at the University are governed by The Intellectual Property Policy of The University of Texas System.

Intellectual property is any invention, creation, discovery, scientific or technological development, computer software, or other forms of expression of an idea arising from the activities of personnel covered by System policy. The System policy does not apply to faculty-authored written or visual work, except computer software, produced in the author's professional field, and such faculty- authored work is owned by the creator.

When intellectual property results from work at the University that the creator believes may be of value, the creator must disclose such intellectual property to the University's Intellectual Property Committee. Additional information regarding the process of invention disclosure is available through the Committee.

Negotiations with sponsors relating to intellectual property matters are the responsibility of the Office of Sponsored Projects in consultation with the Office of Technology Licensing and Intellectual Property and the University of Texas System as appropriate. Licensing agreements for the technology is handled by the Office of Technology Licensing and Intellectual Property.

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Research Integrity

Scholars and research personnel of the University are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards for all research and scholarly work. It is the responsibility of every research investigator to maintain the integrity of research projects by keeping accurate, permanent, and auditable records of all experimental protocols, data, and findings. Misconduct in science and other scholarly activities is absolutely incompatible with the standards of the University and all allegations of such behavior will be handled promptly. The University's policy regarding research integrity may be found at the following site: http://www.policies.utexas.edu/policies/misconduct-science-and-other-scholarly-activities.

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Conflict of Interest

This policy is established to comply with the regulations of the Public Health Service (PHS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the responsibility of The University of Texas at Austin, to promote objectivity in research by requiring that an employee of The University who applies for grants or cooperative agreements from the federal government for research or other educational activities or otherwise submits a proposal for sponsored research funding from any entity insures that there is no reasonable expectation that the design, conduct, and reporting of research will be biased by any Significant Financial Interest of an Investigator responsible for the research or other educational activity. Based upon federal regulations and The University's objective to maintain a research environment that promotes faithful attention to high ethical standards, this policy relating to conflicts of interest is to be administered in conjunction with Texas laws setting forth standards of conduct, Texas Government Code, Chapter 572, and the Code of Ethics of The University of Texas System, Part One, Chapter III , Section 4, Regent's Rules and Regulations (see Attachment One to HOP § 5.11).

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Office of Sponsored Projects

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) serves as the coordinating office for externally funded research projects submitted by The University of Texas at Austin. The goal of the OSP is to assist faculty and professional research staff in their efforts to secure external funding.

The OSP staff provides technical assistance to Principal Investigators during proposal preparation (budget, special instructions, etc.), serves as an information source for and monitors compliance with applicable University and sponsor policies and requirements, handles all administrative matters with sponsors, including contract negotiations, and serves as a liaison with the Sponsored Projects Award Administration (SPAA) section of the OSP during the post-award phases of a project. The staff reviews proposals before submission to the sponsor and advises the Principal Investigators of any omissions, necessary corrections or other items that might strengthen the presentation to the funding agency.

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General Information

Assistant Vice President for Research & Director
Renee K. Gonzales

Campus/Overnight Delivery Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Office of Sponsored Projects
North Office Building - Suite 5.300 101 E. 27th
Campus Mail Code A9000
Austin, Texas 78712-1532

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Office of Sponsored Projects, Suite 5.300
101 E. 27th Street, Stop A9000
Austin, TX 78712-1532

Web Page URL

Telephone Number

Fax Number

Areas of Assistance

  • Application kits, materials, and program and proposal submission guidelines;
  • Research opportunity announcements and potential sponsor directories;
  • Proposal check-in;
  • Compliance with Animal Welfare, Human Subjects, Radiation/Radioisotopes; Infectious Agents, Human Blood or Extreme Toxins; and Recombinant DNA requirements;
  • Budget review;
  • Industrial negotiations, model contracts;
  • Subcontract/subrecipient agreement award preparation;
  • Intellectual property policies;
  • Award notices and processing;
  • Special programs, such as - The Welch Foundation; - The NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow (PFF) program; - Advanced Research Program (ARP) and Advanced Technology Program (ATP) administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. See a more detailed list of key areas of responsibility below.

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Key Areas of Responsibility for OSP

Assist the University research community in processing research proposals to outside funding sources

  • Review of sponsor guidelines
  • Review of compliance issues
  • Representations and Certifications
  • Review budget
  • Negotiate Revised Budget
  • Additional budget detail

Serve as liaison between University and sponsor

  • Check status of pending proposals
  • Notify principal investigator if additional technical information is requested by sponsor

Receive and negotiate incoming awards

  • Read and review terms and conditions of incoming awards
  • Contact sponsor and negotiate unacceptable terms
  • Notify principal investigator of special terms and conditions and obtain approval
    of final document.
  • Enter award information into The University of Texas Electronic Proposal System and Electronic Database
  • Generate notice of award to the Contracts and Grants Section of the Office of Accounting
  • Prepare and negotiate subcontracts to outside entities
  • Initiate requests for pre-award costs, credit and authorization to spend available funds to facilitate continuity of research.
  • Assist in the management of complex projects (e.g., projects requiring internal subcontracts or split accounts)

Serve as liaison between principal investigator and sponsor 

  • Assist with routine requests to sponsor (no cost extensions, rebudgeting requests, leave of absence of principal investigator, etc.)
  • Remind principal investigators of specific requirements for submission of progress reports for non-competing award
  • Assist principal investigator transferring to another institution with the transfer of active research projects
  • Assist in the submission of final reports to sponsor by notifying the principal investigator of delinquent reports

Serve as the repository for information pertaining to research funding 

  • Provide monthly report of proposals and awards to colleges and organized research units
  • Provide annual report of proposals and awards to the Vice President for Research
  • Provide annual report of faculty awards to the Office of the Provost
  • Prepare and disseminate information to faculty, departments, organized research unit, etc as requested.

Liaison with federal agencies for surplus research equipment Serve as the Security Officer for the University.

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UT Facts for Sponsored Projects

When applications requestOSP provides the following response
Address for all Official Correspondence The University of Texas at Austin
Office of Sponsored Projects
3925 West Braker Lane
Building 156, Suite 3.340, MC: A9000
Austin TX  78759-5316
Type of OrganizationState Related Institution of Higher Education
Congressional District25th
Texas Senatorial District14th
Texas House of Representatives District49th
Authorized University Official for all Proposals and CertificationsRenee K. Gonzales, MPA, CRA
Assistant VP for Research & Director
Office of Sponsored Projects

Courtney Frazier Swaney, MPA, CRA
Associate Director
Office of Sponsored Projects

Elena V. Mota, BA, CRA
Assistant Director
Office of Sponsored Projects

Christian Pfeiffer Flores, MPA, CRA
Assistant Director
Office of Sponsored Projects
Officials Authorized to Sign Listed AgreementsIndustrial Affiliates Programs:
Daniel T. Jaffe, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research

All Other Documents:
Renee K. Gonzales, MPA, CRA
Assistant VP for Research & Director
Office of Sponsored Projects

Courtney Frazier Swaney, MPA, CRA
Associate Director
Office of Sponsored Projects

David Ivey, JD
Associate Director
Office of Sponsored Projects

Christian Pfeiffer Flores, MPA, CRA
Assistant Director
Office of Sponsored Projects

Mark Featherston, MPA, CRA
Assistant Director
Office of Sponsored Projects
Financial ContactOffice of Sponsored Projects
phone: 512-471-6424
fax: 512-232-6649
Principal InvestigatorFaculty Name (or investigator to serve as project correspondent if there are co-investigators)
Employer ID Number746000203
DUNS Number170230239
Contractor Establishment Code78-764-557B
Cage Code9B981
NAICS Code Number611310
NIH Human Subjects Assurance NumberFWA# 00002030
NIH Animal Welfare Assurance NumberA4107-01
Cognizant Agency/AuditsDepartment of Health & Human Services
Division of Cost Allocation
Central States Field Office
1301 Young Street, Room 732
Dallas, TX 75202 Phone: 214- 767-3261
Contract Administration OfficeOffice of Naval Research
140 Sylvester Road
Bldg. 140, Room 130
San Diego, CA 92106-3521Phone: 619-221-5482
Fax: 619-221-5615
ONR Purchase Approval DateNovember 3, 2016
ONR Purchase Expiration DateJuly 31, 2019
ONR Property Control System ApprovalSystem deemed COMPLIANT by ONR (PDF)
Date of Last Negotiation of Indirect Cost AgreementAugust 31, 2014
CASB-DS-2-filingMay 2015
A-133/2 CFR 200 Annual Statewide Single Audit ReportAudit Certification Letter FY 16-17 (PDF)
Statewide Single Audit Report FY 17 (PDF)

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University Resources

General information about the University which you may wish to incorporate into your proposal's resources and environment section may be found at the site listed below. This site includes information about the University's library system as well as financial and computing resources: http://www.utexas.edu.

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Proposals to external funding sources for sponsored projects must be submitted through the Office of Sponsored Projects and awards received must be processed by the OSP when one or more of the following criteria are met. Most frequently these proposals involve research projects but any program requesting support by an external sponsor that satisfies these criteria shall be submitted through the OSP.

  • A specific program of work or research is proposed to or required by the sponsor;
  • The sponsor requires an authorized institutional signature;
  • The sponsor requires or expects one or more progress reports, a final report, financial reports and/or a formal accounting of how the funds were expended;
  • There are intellectual property, confidentiality and/or publication conditions associated with the receipt of funds.

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Gifts to Support Research

The University is pleased to accept unrestricted gifts of funds to support the general research of a Principal Investigator. When unrestricted funds are provided by a donor to the University without any terms, conditions or other obligations, the funds are not subject to facilities and administrative costs charges. The original gift award letter from the donor and the accompanying check should be forwarded to the University Development Office (http://giving.utexas.edu) upon receipt for processing. You may direct questions to Mark W. Blount, Director of Corporate Relations (512) 475-9674 or to Gail Giebink, Director, Foundation Relations (512) 475-9628.

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Other Gifts

Solicitation of philanthropic gifts from foundations, individuals or other sources for non-research activities and the processing of non-cash gifts of equipment and other items of use in research programs are coordinated through UT Austin's Development Office. Any Principal Investigator-initiated proposal for equipment in response to a program announcement or Request for Proposal should be processed through OSP, just like other sponsored projects.

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Services and Resources Available

The Office of Sponsored Projects goal is to assist Principal Investigators in their efforts to secure external funding. This is accomplished by providing the following services and resources to faculty and professional research staff:

  • UT Austin internal Proposal Review Forms, facilities and administrative cost rate agreements, IRS determination letters proving our non-profit status, and other required certifications;
  • standard guidelines and application materials for major funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health; and assistance in obtaining other sponsor materials;
  • information about and interpretation of special procedures or policies related to sponsor requirements
  • assistance in development of cover letters and special sponsor-required assurances and certifications;
  • Intellectual Property Policy information and guidance;
  • The Commerce Business Daily (available at UT Austin General Library) provides daily reports on the Federal government's purchases, sales, and contracts as well as Requests For Proposals (RFPs) announcements;
  • The Regional Foundation Library (RFL) is a non-circulating resource library located in Room 4.110 of the Lake Austin Centre (3001 Lake Austin Blvd.). The purpose of the RFL is to provide the most current and comprehensive information available on private and corporate philanthropy and grantsmanship. Contact the RFL at 471-5041 for further information.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal to a foundation:

  • coordinate your efforts with UT Austin Development Office's Foundations and Corporations Development Officer prior to submitting a proposal to the OSP. The Development staff may have additional information about foundation guidelines that will assist in preparing the proposal.

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Persons Authorized To Be Principal Investigators or Co-Principal Investigators
What is the definition of a Principal Investigator (PI)?

A principal investigator (PI) is the lead scientist for a particular well-defined science or other academic project who takes direct responsibility for completion of a funded project, directing the research and reporting directly to the sponsor.

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Is everyone working at UT authorized to be a PI or Co-PI?

No, employment at the University does not confer automatic PI or Co-PI status for everyone.

When the University accepts a grant or contract from an external sponsor, the University assumes responsibility for the proper performance of the stated project, for the fiscal management of the funds received, and for accountability to the sponsor. Since the institutional responsibility for meeting these obligations is vested in the PI, only individuals in the categories shown below are deemed qualified and are authorized to be PIs or Co-PIs for sponsored projects. As outlined in UT Austin Policy No. 7-1020 Research Titles, other individuals may be authorized as PIs or Co-PIs, and then only with the prior written approval of the Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects (AVP/OSP). Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible for Co-PI status only but status must be requested.

  • Tenure or Tenure-track faculty (Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor);
    *NOTE: Emeritus faculty do not have automatic PI status and must request PI status via their colleges.
  • Directors; Chairs
    *NOTE: Associate Directors are not automatically approved.
  • Research Scientist/Engineer and Senior Research Scientist/Engineer
  • Research Associate
    NOTE: The Research Engineering/Scientist Associate (RESA) position does not have automatic PI status and must request PI status via their colleges.

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I am qualified to act as a PI and/or Co-PI, but am not eligible for an automatic approval. What do I do next?

A department may request that an individual be granted PI or Co-PI status a) for a specific project. In this instance, authorization will endure for the life of the project. Or b), a department may request that an individual be allowed to seek funding and submit multiple proposals. In this instance, two options are available: the annual authorization will require annual renewal on August 31 or position specific authorizations can be approved for multiple years as long as the individual holds the same appointment at the University (in this case it is incumbent on the requesting department to inform OSP if there is a change in the status of employment required rescission of PI or Co-PI status). The request should make it clear which option is requested.

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How do I initiate a request for PI or Co-PI status?

The individual’s department (Dean, Associate Dean for Research, Department Director or Chair) must initiate a request to the AVP/OSP. The request must be made in writing and sent via email to: osp@austin.utexas.edu.

The request must include:

  1. name of individual requiring PI or Co-PI status
  2. type of request
    1. allowed multiple submissions
      1. Position specific
      2. Annually renewable
    2. if project specific, title of proposal associated with request
  3. type of status request:
    1. PI; or
    2. Co-PI
  4. Acknowledgement that the proposed PI/Co-PI has read and agrees to abide by Researcher Responsibilities.
  5. Statement that the individual seeking PI status is compliant with the University’s policy and has:
    1. Completed Conflict of Interest training
    2. Submitted their Financial Information Disclosure form

The request as recommended by the appropriate unit head is reviewed by the Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects. When a decision is rendered, all individuals copied on the original request and appropriate staff within the Office of Sponsored Projects will be notified.


  • Requests for PI or Co-PI status from the Cockrell School of Engineering must be routed through the Dean's office via Reggie Crim, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist, Cockrell School of Engineering (reggiecrim@austin.utexas.edu; 512-471-2890) prior to forwarding on to OSP.
  • Requests for PI or Co-PI status for the College of Liberal Arts must be routed through the relevant department chair, and then the Associate Dean for Research, Esther Raizen, (raizen@austin.utexas.edu) prior to forwarding to OSP.
  • Requests for PI or Co-PI status from the Dell Medical School must be routed through Lindsey Demeritt, Associate Director of Sponsored Research, Dell Medical School (lindsey.demeritt@austin.utexas.edu; 512-495-5500) prior to forwarding on to OSP.

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Does OSP prompt the departments on an annual basis for PI approval request renewals?

No, OSP does not issue reminders to departments.

Any individuals who must request PI or Co-PI status during an academic year must renew the request to continue PI or Co-PI status during the next academic year (September 1 – August 31) unless the authorization is project-specific or position specific. Project-specific authorizations remain in effect for the duration of the award and position specific authorizations may be approved as automatically renewing to remain in effect as long as the individual is in that position.

A good practice would be for a PI, or their departmental administrator, to prompt their Dean’s office to initiate a request for PI or Co-PI approval 30 days before the expiration of the current authorization period.

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Once I am a PI (either automatic or by approval), what can I do as a PI?

A PI is authorized to apply for research funding, and to conduct research in an ethical manner after the university has accepted the award on his/her behalf.

A PI or Co-PI is not authorized to accept an award on behalf of the university or to sign contracts/agreements on behalf of the university. Any negotiations associated with an award must be conducted by OSP staff.

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When I am ready to create proposals, how do I send them to the Office of Sponsored Projects for approval and submission?

OSP employs an internal electronic system call the Research Management System (RMS) to manage its workflow and to follow a PI’s proposal from its inception, to award, to close-out. A PI should create a Proposal Review Form (PRF) in RMS and route it to OSP to notify staff of the intent to submit, special conditions associated with the funding opportunity, and any documents OSP staff will need to successfully submit a PI’s proposal to the intended sponsor.

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Am I automatically authorized to use the Research Management System?

No. Authorization to use RMS requires a manual addition to the system.

For those who follow the authorization request procedure outlined above, RMS access is granted when the PI approval is granted. RMS access will be renewed when PI status is renewed.

For those who have automatic PI status, an e-mail request must be sent to osp@austin.utexas.edu requesting access to RMS. Individuals must provide the department name to which their awarded grants will be credited, to ensure an accurate unit code is created.

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If I have PI authorization, does that mean I have to do research?

The Office of Sponsored Projects does not dictate who must conduct research. Those decisions are made at the departmental level and reflect departmental priorities and needs.

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If I am a student or Postdoctoral Fellow, can I be authorized to act as a PI?

The University of Texas at Austin does not allow students or Postdoctoral Fellows to be classified as principal investigators in its internal systems (i.e., RMS, *DEFINE, etc.). To route proposals through internal systems and to obtain required internal approvals, students and Postdoctoral Fellows must seek a sponsoring PI, who will submit the Proposal Review Form and all supporting documents for OSP’s review and endorsement. Should the proposal be funded, the sponsoring PI will assume budgetary and reporting responsibilities at the university level on behalf of the graduate student or postdoctoral fellow.

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PI of Record

Certain sponsors and program guidelines require a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow to act as a Principal Investigator (PI) (i.e., NIH, HRSA, etc.). In such instances, a student will be listed as and will be recognized as a PI in the sponsor’s proprietary system, like NIH Commons. Under these circumstances, OSP refers to the graduate student or postdoctoral fellow in The University of Texas at Austin’s internal systems a PI of Record, meaning the official sponsor record and award documents will reflect the graduate student or postdoctoral fellow as the project PI and will show that the graduate student or postdoctoral fellow has agreed to conduct the proposed research as required by program guidelines.

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Proposal Preparation

In the event that the Principal Investigator plans to respond with a proposal to a sponsor's one- time program opportunity (i.e. Requests for Proposal [RFP], Requests for Quotations [RFQ], Broad Agency Announcements [BAA], etc.) a complete copy of the sponsor's document should be sent to the OSP upon receipt by the Principal Investigator.

Proposal Format

Many agencies have prescribed formats for proposal preparation, including the required forms for text, biographical data, and budget. Many agencies also have page and type size and character per inch (cpi) limitations for the body (text) of the proposal. For agencies which do not have specific formats, the OSP suggests that the Principal Investigator organize the proposal as follows:

  • Transmittal Letter (will be prepared by the OSP during processing of the proposal)
  • Title Page
  • Technical Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Statement of the Proposed Research Project
  • Review of Relevant Literature
  • Brief Description of Proposed Activities or Objectives
  • Project Design or Procedures
  • Project Evaluation
  • Project Management
  • Personnel Resources
  • Institutional Equipment and Facilities
  • Project Budget
  • Budget Justification
  • Curricula Vitae
  • References (literature cited)
  • Appendices

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Minimum Budget Requirements

Documents/Information Needed by OSP 
If a detailed budget is required by a sponsor, OSP must have a line-item budget for proposal review, as well as an accompanying budget justification/narrative.

Revised Budgets
The PI should be aware that if a proposal is selected for funding, a sponsor may reduce the proposed budget. OSP will work with the PI to make the necessary adjustments to the original budget and will submit a revised budget to the sponsor for review and final approval.

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Detailed Budget NOT required by sponsor/solicitation

Documents/Information Needed by OSP 
When a sponsor does not require a detailed budget at either the proposal or the award stage, the PI must provide OSP with the following information:

  • Direct Costs requested
  • Those costs that are exempt from Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs, for example:
    • student tuition,
    • capital equipment and
    • amount for each proposed subaward (NOTE: The university is only allowed F&A on the first $25,000 of each subaward.)
  • F&A/Indirect Costs requested
  • Budget justification/narrative sufficient to determine allowability of anticipated costs

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NIH Modular Budgets

Documents/Information Needed by OSP
For NIH modular budgets, the PI must provide OSP with the following information:

  • Direct Costs requested in $25,000 increments;
  • Costs that are exempt from F&A/indirect costs, for example:
    • student tuition,
    • capital equipment and
    • Amount for each proposed subaward (NOTE: The university is only allowed F&A on the first $25,000 of each subaward.)
  • Budget justification/narrative sufficient to determine allowability of anticipated costs

OSP will calculate the F&A/indirect costs using the information provided by the PI.

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Subaward Consideration

Detailed budgets and justifications are required for all subawardees to ensure the appropriate cost principles are applied.

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Account Setup and Management

For those projects that have no sponsor requirement for a detailed budget, OSP will accommodate two options for account set up and monitoring.

Option 1

The PI can opt to provide a detailed budget and OSP/SPAA will monitor costs as allowable, allocable, reasonable and consistently treated.

Option 2

No detailed budget will be required. All direct and overhead-earning expenditures (with the exception of subawards) will be managed in a single subaccount. The 51 subaccount has been designated for this purpose. Because OSP / SPAA will not have detailed information regarding proposed expenditures, the lack of data will minimize, if not completely render moot, OSP/SPAA’s review capability for unallowed activity. The PI and his/ her department assume responsibility for determination of allowability of expenditure activity. The department will be responsible for any repayment of disallowed expenditures which might arise from choosing this option.

A new object audit group titled (26 NIH MOD) was created to allow all expenditures to post with the exception of object code 1347 normally used for entertainment (OFFC OCC/CONF/BSNS MTG).

An example of how modular budgets will be established is presented below:

51 All direct overhead-earning costs (not inclusive of subs)
6X (for subcontracts to be issued)
71 Tuition
8X (for equipment or fabrication)
90 Overhead

NOTE: Anything which might be exempt (i.e., Participant Support, etc) is tracked in its own subaccount. If there is a category that your project requires and it is not listed, contact SPAA to discuss.

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Preparing the Budget
Importance of Budgeting

Preparation of the budget is, for many researchers, the most difficult section of the proposal. Granting agencies see hundreds of proposals yearly and are proficient at comparing level of funding requested to the research work proposed. Therefore, it is important that the budget section of the proposal reflect, as accurately as possible, the funding needed to carry out the proposed research. The investigator should neither overestimate the funds required nor underestimate budgetary needs. Either of these strategies may lead to proposal rejection. A budget, accurately detailing the funds necessary to carry out the technical statement of work, can strengthen the total proposal and increase the likelihood of funding. Furthermore, a carefully prepared budget can often identify weak areas in the proposal narrative and result in improvement of the technical proposal.

Personnel in the OSP are experienced in preparing budgets, and encourage investigators to contact them when they have a draft of the budget. The OSP staff can provide expertise in completing a budget request, applying fringe benefit and facilities and administrative cost rates, documenting subcontracts/subrecipient agreements, consultants, matching funds, and cost-sharing. In the case of more complicated proposal requirements, the OSP will complete sponsor assurances and certifications, and when requested, will assist the investigator in interpreting RFP guidelines.

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Direct Costs - Salaries and Wages

To determine total salaries and wages, list the amount of time to be spent by each person who will be working on the project. Time should normally be shown in terms of person-months and a percent of full-time effort. Show breakdown between summer and regular academic year for faculty.

  • No employee may be scheduled for activities in excess of 100% of effort in any given month.
  • Sponsored activities may not result in any employees receiving compensation at a rate in excess of their authorized salary or academic rate. For multi-year projects, the budget should take into consideration any possible salary increases.
  • In accordance with Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), the Principal Investigator must justify the exceptional need for administrative support.

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Direct Costs - Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits are a direct cost to a sponsored project, charged as a percentage of the salaries and wages to be paid, and are shown as a separate entry in the budget. The University’s fringe rates are negotiated with its cognizant agency (DHHS) and are part of the University’s F&A Cost Rate Agreement. Rates beyond August 31, 2019 are estimates and are provided for planning purposes. The fringe rates for fiscal year 2019 (FY19) (i.e. 9/1/2018-8/31/2019) and later are as follows:

 ApprovedProjections for Budgeting Purposes
Benefits EligibilityFY19FY20FY21Subsequent years
(including GRAs)
29.00%31%31.5%+ 0.5%
Part-time39.60%31%31.5%+ 0.5%

Additional fringe benefit rate information can be found at UT Austin Payroll. The current F&A Cost Rate Agreement, which includes the fringe benefit rates for FY19, is available on the OSP website as is the UT procedure for budgeting fringe rates.

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Direct Costs - Consultants

Normally, consultants are paid a consulting fee plus travel expenses. Many Sponsors do not permit payments to consultants and some restrict or limit such payments. If in doubt as to the allowability of consultants or rates paid to consultants, refer to the Sponsor's program literature or contact the OSP. Whenever possible, identify the proposed consultant by name, indicate the number of days of work, daily rate, and provide a curriculum vitae for the consultant in the proposal.

The participation of paid consultants in a sponsored project for periods longer than two weeks should be discussed with the OSP prior to submission of the proposal. UT Austin employees may be used as consultants on a project if the consultant is from a different department than the principal investigator. Institutional consulting policies are contained in the Handbook of Operating Procedures.

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Direct Costs - Capital Equipment

Equipment means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per acquisition. Components, other than on-campus machine-shop labor, used to fabricate an item of capital equipment may be considered as capital equipment for budgeting purposes and should be identified for inventory purposes. The on-campus machine-shop labor component is subject to facilities and administrative costs. Additionally, service/maintenance agreements are not considered a capital equipment charge; therefore, such agreements are subject to facilities and administrative costs. A separate subaccount is required for each capital equipment item being fabricated.

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Direct Costs - Expendable Equipment and Supplies

These are items costing less than $5000. Normally, a research project will consume expendable supplies such as laboratory items, teaching aids, computer software, and office supplies. A reasonable amount should be budgeted for these items.

Faculty who anticipate the use of a particularly large number of research animals or animals requiring special care should consult with the Animal Resources Center staff to see whether the funds estimated will be adequate and whether the Animal Resource Center has adequate facilities to accommodate the animals.

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Direct Costs - Publication Costs

Budget the anticipated cost of publishing the results of the research, keeping in mind that page charges may vary from journal to journal. Consider both page charges and reprint costs.

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Direct Costs - Travel

If foreign travel is anticipated it must be specified. Travel costs expected to exceed institutional guidelines must be specified. For travel rates, refer to the current procedures noted in the Handbook of Business Procedures. Outside the state, the limits are set by the Federal government and vary by locality. These rates are available in the *DEFINE system on the administrative computer (GG1 command). Federal funds cannot be used to make trips to secure new or additional research support or funds. Submission of a proposal that proposes travel to a country that may have UT Austin/System imposed travel restrictions does not constitute university approval of that travel. Authorization in accordance with the UT international travel policy to restricted regions is still required.

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Direct Costs - Computer Time

Computer time costs should be included as a budget item, if appropriate. If non-Sponsor funded computer time is needed, arrangements must be made in advance with your academic department or research unit. Overhead applies to all types of computer time, and to all computer supply budgets.

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Direct Costs - Subcontracts/Subrecipient Agreements

When a proposal contemplates a subcontract/subrecipient agreement to a named subcontractor, the following is required of the subcontractor and must be submitted with the Proposal Review Form: a statement of work , a detailed budget and budget justification, a negotiated rate agreement for Federal/Federal pass-through funding and a letter signed by the subcontractor's authorized institutional representative. Only rates from a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement will be allowed for proposals submitted to Federal sponsors.  Should the subcontractor not have a negotiated rate for a Federal proposal, indirect costs will be calculated based upon 2 CFR 200 Uniform Guidance and no more than the 10% modified total direct costs (MTDC) de minimis rate will be allowed.

All subcontract Principal Investigator(s) and Covered Individuals must follow/be in compliance with pertinent Financial Conflict of Interest Policies. Some institutions are compliant by virtue of their participation in the Federal Demonstration Partnership’s FCOI Institutional Clearinghouse and do not have to submit additional training or disclosure. If, however, a subcontracting institution is not listed in the FDP Clearinghouse, then individuals must fulfill either Requirement A or B of UT’s Financial Conflict of Interest Policy and file the appropriate Financial Interest Disclosure, if necessary. Refer to the Conflict of Interest section of the Office of Research Support and Compliance’s website at https://research.utexas.edu/ors/conflict-of-interest/proposals-awards-and-contracts-guidance/ and https://research.utexas.edu/ors/conflict-of-interest/investigators-and-collaborators/#sponsored-research for more information.

In the event that the total amount to be subcontracted represents a substantial portion (> 50%) of the proposed direct costs, the Principal Investigator should contact the OSP for guidance.

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Other Direct Costs

Consider, as appropriate, costs for copying, long-distance telephone calls, postage, reference books and materials, tuition and required fees for participating graduate students, equipment maintenance, and contracted services. Regarding office supplies, postage, local telephone costs, and memberships: The Principal Investigator needs to justify the need for these items in relation to the project, and it is the Principal Investigator's judgment that this is the best way to spend the funds.

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Facilities and Administrative Costs

Facilities and Administrative(F&A)/indirect costs must be included using UT Austin's federally-negotiated rates unless the federal or not-for-profit sponsor has a statutory policy applicable to all potential proposers which deviates from these rates. All other deviations are subject to UT Austin administrative approval by the Associate Vice President of Research/Director, Office of Sponsored Projects. Sponsor guidelines limiting facilities and administrative costs must be provided with your proposal. Projects funded by the for-profit sector must accrue F&A at the appropriate negotiated rate. The F&A rate for clinical trials is 38% of total costs.

To calculate the facilities and administrative costs for a project, do the following:

  1. Calculate the Total Direct Costs (TDC) which is simply the sum of all direct costs (salaries, benefits, supplies, equipment, etc.)
  2. Calculate the base against which the F&A rate will be multiplied by subtracting exempt items (capital equipment, graduate student tuition and required fees, stipends, and subcontract/subrecipient agreement costs in excess of the first $25,000 of each subcontract/subrecipient agreement over the life of the subcontract/subrecipient agreement) from TDC. This will give the Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC).
  3.  Apply the F&A rate against the MTDC base to calculate the facilities and administrative costs for the project.
  4. Add the TDC to the F&A to calculate the Total Project Costs.

TDC - exemptions = MTDC MTDC x F&A rate = F&A TDC + F&A = Total Project Costs

Note that since the federally-negotiated facilities and administrative cost rates are subject to change annually, Principal Investigators should be prepared to make adjustments in budgets for such changes. See facilities and administrative costs/fringe benefits rates or contact the Office of Sponsored Projects, (512) 471-6424, for more specific information. For other contact information, see OSP staff directory.

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New Procedure for Routing PI Request for Waiver of Indirect Costs (IDC)

In sponsored research projects where the Principal Investigator believes circumstances warrant a waiver of IDC, the PI will now route the Request for Waiver to their respective Associate Dean for Research (or their designee) for review and consideration.  The Request for Waiver should be routed to the Associate Dean for Research prior to the PI submitting the proposal to either Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) or Office of Industry Engagement (OIE).

After review and consideration, the Associate Dean will advise the PI of the following:

  • Waiver of IDC is recommended and has been forwarded to the Vice President for Research for review and a final decision.
  • Waiver of IDC is NOT recommended, and the request is being returned to the PI with a request that full IDC be included in the proposal before submitting it to either OSP or OIE.

NOTE:  The Office of Industry Engagement handles matters relating to sponsored research funded solely by private, for-profit, industry sponsors, and state-owned foreign oil companies.

The Office of Sponsored Projects handles all other matters not solely funded by industry sponsors (“Non-Industry”); e.g., State and Federal funding (including foreign government, the only exception being state-owned foreign oil companies), foundations, and other non-profit organizations.

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Off-Campus Rate

The off-campus rate is 26.0% and should be calculated on modified total direct costs (MTDC) for projects conducted off-campus.  The use of the off-campus rate must be approved in advance by the Office of Sponsored Projects.  Requests for the off-campus rate must be received at least seven business days prior to the proposal deadline.

In order for the off-campus rate to be considered, the off-campus portion of the project must take place for at least 90 consecutive daysIn addition, at least one of the following criteria must be met:

  • The combined proposed effort of all involved UT personnel working off-campus must be greater than the combined proposed effort of all involved UT personnel working on-campus. This includes unpaid contributed effort.
  • The budget must include leasing or renting an off-site facility as a direct cost, and the personnel paid from the grant and any equipment must be located at that facility.
  • The total direct costs incurred off-campus must exceed the total direct costs incurred on-campus.

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Matching Funds / Cost-Sharing

If sponsor guidelines require cost-sharing or matching funds (cash contribution or donation of in-kind services such as contributed time and effort by the Principal Investigator and research group members), complete the Cost Share Form and provide appropriate letters of commitment from third-party sources. All matching funds or cost-sharing commitments based on the faculty member's academic time and effort must be approved in advance by the Principal Investigator's department chair and dean and be documented on the Cost Sharing Recap Form attached to the proposal when the cumulative total of such commitments are in excess of 25% of the faculty member's academic year time. See Cost Sharing page for additional information.

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Special Approvals - Animal Welfare, Human Subjects, Radiation/Radioisotopes; Infectious Agents, Human Blood or Extreme Toxins; and Recombinant DNA
Animal Welfare

The University of Texas at Austin has the responsibility to ensure that experimentation with all animals conducted under its auspices (warm/cold-blooded and vertebrates/invertebrates), except human subjects, follows the regulations and guidelines as established by the Animal Welfare Act, the Animal Welfare Regulations (AWRs), and Public Health Service Policy. Copies of these publications are available for review at The University of Texas at Austin's Animal Research Center (ARC).

Researchers and/or teaching faculty who are planning projects involving the use of any animal should contact both the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Program Coordinator and ARC Director in the early stages of planning. Required forms for animal utilization are available from the OSP, the ARC or the Office of Research Support and Compliance and Compliance. The forms are also available on ARC's homepage. Proposals involving the use of animals must be reviewed and given preliminary approval for submission for funding by the ARC Director prior to being brought to the OSP for processing. Number of copies required are detailed on the animal form. Day-to-day supervision and monitoring of all animal related activities on The University of Texas at Austin campus are the responsibility of the ARC Director. These requirements apply to both funded and non-funded research.

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Human Subjects

UT Austin faculty, staff, students or employees who propose to engage in any research involving the use of human subjects must have prior review and approval of that activity by their Departmental Review Committee and the Institutional Review Board (IRB). It is UT Austin policy that all protocols involving the use of human subjects be reviewed by the DRC and the IRB. The IRB is responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of subjects who may be at risk through participation in such activities. These requirements apply to both funded and non-funded research regardless of whether the research is performed at UT or other locations and regardless of whether another IRB has reviewed the protocol.

Provide an "Application for The Review of a Project Involving Human Subjects" (UT EID required) a Consent Form, Research Protocol, Documentation of Compliance, and measurement tools (if applicable). Submit the original and 15 additional sets of the material for IRB review (for research protocols that are exempt from IRB review, or expedited, provide two sets only). Information about the review process, required forms, agenda deadlines and meeting dates are available from the Office of Research Support and Compliance website.

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Recombinant DNA

Projects involving the use of recombinant DNA molecules require initial and subsequent annual review by the DNA/Institutional Biosafety Committee (DNA/IBC). A "Synopsis for Research Involving Recombinant DNA" should be completed, electronically signed and submitted to the IBC. Specific answers are required. Copies of the synopsis will then be forwarded to OSP after DNA/IBC Committee approval. You will receive a signed duplicate after review and approval. These requirements apply to both funded and non-funded research. Required forms and certifications are available at the Office of Research Support and Compliance website.

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Radiation and Infectious Agents

Radiation/Radioisotopes and Infectious Agents, Human Blood or Extreme Toxins: Researchers who are planning projects involving radiation/radioisotopes and/or infectious agents, human blood or extreme toxins should contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS). Use the following link to download the required form:

Synopsis for Research Involving Infectious Agents/Human Blood/Extreme Toxins (Word)

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Administrative Review and Approval of Proposal

Before transmittal to the sponsor, the proposal must be approved sequentially by the following UT Austin administrative levels:

  • Animal Resources Center (if animals are involved),
  • the OEHS Coordinator and Dean's Office for Radiation/Radioisotopes and Infectious Agents, Human Blood or Extreme Toxins (if any of these are involved)
  • the Coordinator for Human Subjects and Recombinant DNA, (if any of these are involved),
  • the OSP,
  • Development Office (if proposal is being submitted to a foundation; the OSP will contact the Development Office to secure its approval and to determine whether the foundation involved has any special requirements regarding proposal submissions),
  • Department Chair's (or Unit Director's) and Dean's signatures required only if proposal includes: 1) commitment of additional space facilities; 2) any cost-share commitments; 3) no tuition budgeted for graduate students (only for College of Engineering); 4) any special requirements of department, unit, or college; or 5) any safety-driven modifications or precautions beyond current practice.

All proposals must be accompanied by the "Proposal Review Form". The summary information contained on the completed form facilitates administrative review and approval, and thus helps to expedite processing. Copies of this form can be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Projects.

For each sponsor, a "Proposal Review Form" and original proposal, as well as two copies of the proposal for the OSP files, should be delivered to the OSP for processing at least four working days prior to the date the proposal must be transmitted to the sponsor. Failure to supply the two OSP copies with the original signed proposal will delay the processing of the proposal. Advise the OSP of any proposal submission deadline (distinguish between "be there" date versus "postmark" date). If you wish the OSP to mail the proposal, supply the appropriate number of copies to be mailed to the sponsor together with the original. Overnight mail delivery is done at the Principal Investigator's expense.

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Proposal Process Checklist

The following is a checklist of information the Principal Investigator should provide to the OSP when submitting a proposal for University administrative review and approval.

  • Complete, signed "Original" proposal;
  • Completed, signed "Proposal Review Form";
  • RFP, RFQ or special solicitation guidelines;
  • Two copies of proposal for the OSP files;
  • Additional copies for sponsor if the OSP is to mail;
  • Animal Welfare documentation as applicable;
  • Radiation/Radioisotopes; Infectious Agents, Human Blood or Extreme Toxin documentation as applicable
  • Human Subjects documentation as applicable;
  • Recombinant DNA documentation as applicable;
  • Matching funds/Cost-share letter(s) of commitment as applicable;
  • Subcontracts/Subrecipient Agreements documentation as applicable.

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The OSP Processing Time

The OSP requests a lead time of at least four working days to fully process proposals.

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Post-Proposal / Pre-Award Administration
Budget Negotiations with the Sponsor

Preliminary budget negotiations are often conducted between the Principal Investigator and the technical contact for the sponsor in order to determine an appropriate level of funding for the program proposed by the Investigator. Such preliminary discussions are encouraged. The Principal Investigator should contact the OSP, however, for established rates for fringe benefits, facilities and administrative costs or other budgetary matters that may impact upon the total support required for the project.

The Principal Investigator should not attempt to negotiate rates for facilities and administrative costs (or fringe benefits) that are different from the federally-approved rates for the University, nor should it be implied that a reduction in the approved rates would be acceptable to the University. Facilities and administrative costs represent substantial, real expenditures incurred by the institution to support each research program, and if these costs are not fully paid by each sponsor, the University must subsidize them from other institutional resources. In the event that a sponsor indicates to the Principal Investigator that it does not wish to pay these costs in full, the OSP should be contacted in order that this office may contact the sponsor for further negotiation regarding this issue.

If formal budget negotiations are required, the OSP will conduct the negotiations, including the confirmation of approved salary, benefits, computer and facilities and administrative cost rates. The OSP will seek the Principal Investigator's input and concurrence for any modifications proposed by the sponsor.

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Submitting a Revised Budget

During the course of project negotiations it often becomes necessary to reduce or adjust the budget initially proposed. If this is the case, the Principal Investigator should send the revised budget and any other pertinent information (a revised budget explanation or revised statement of work or project duration may be appropriate) to the OSP for processing prior to sending the revision to the sponsor. A new "Proposal Review Form" is not required in this case as the OSP will update the figures on the one originally authorized.

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Business Negotiations

The OSP reviews the terms and conditions of every award received. Terms and Conditions are negotiated in accordance with UT Austin policies and The Intellectual Property Policy of The University of Texas System.

Federal Awards

  • Terms and Conditions are usually predetermined, however, negotiations may be required.

Non-Federal Awards 

  • Normally, most non-Federal projects require negotiations, especially those agreements with industrial sponsors. Such topics as inventions, publication rights, liability, and ownership of research results are usually the subject of negotiation. The negotiations are coordinated between the OSP personnel, the sponsor, the Principal Investigator, and, as appropriate, the UT System Office of General Counsel. The OSP leads the negotiations with the sponsor.

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The Award Process
Award Acceptance and Post-Award Administration

Award documents take many forms depending upon the type of sponsor and project. These documents require review and signature by the official institutional representative authorized to sign on behalf of the institution. The OSP is responsible for award document processing. The Principal Investigator is notified of each new award and its terms and conditions and is asked to accept the award and responsibility for complying with all award requirements by returning a signed acknowledgment to the OSP.

Upon receipt of fully executed award documents or other proof of award, the OSP forwards information to the Sponsored Projects Award Administration (SPAA) section of the OSP for assignment of account number and setup of the account. Once the Principal Investigator receives notification of the project account number from SPAA, funds may be encumbered or expended against the project.

The Office of Sponsored Projects plays a dual role in the post-award phase of sponsored project activity. The OSP serves as a central point of contact for sponsor grant or contract officers regarding administrative matters throughout the duration of the project. The OSP also serves as facilitator and advocate for Principal Investigators in all matters pertaining to the non-technical management of their grants and contracts. In addition, the OSP coordinates compliance with each sponsor's requirements for interim and final research reports. Principal Investigators are responsible for submission of all required reports in a timely fashion.

If the award documentation is delayed, procedures are available to obtain a letter of credit for a limited period of time. Contact the OSP with information regarding the amount of credit needed. After the award information is verified by a representative of the sponsoring agency with the authority to commit funds, overdraft approval may be given. Credit will be limited to emergency expenses. Many Federal agencies allow pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the start date of a grant. If pre-award costs are required, the above procedures for verification will be followed and pre-award costs may be approved.

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Subcontract / Subrecipient Agreement Award Development

The OSP has the overall responsibility for issuing and monitoring subcontracts/subrecipient agreements under sponsored project awards. The OSP will maintain documentation relative to subcontract/subrecipient agreement placement and any modification thereof. The accounting and payment function is performed by the Contracts and Grants section of the Office of Accounting.

OSP will negotiate all subcontracts and subrecipient agreements in accordance with standard business practices and, as appropriate, the Federal Acquisition Regulation and/or Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), and the negotiation shall be documented in a negotiation memorandum to the subcontract/subrecipient file. These agreements will comply with all standard and special provisions of individual awards. After the subcontract/subrecipient agreement is fully executed and work has commenced, it is the responsibility of the principal investigator to: 1) review all invoices from the subcontractor/subrecipient to determine if the charges are appropriate; 2) prepare a voucher to make payment for all appropriate charges; 3) monitor the progress of the subcontractor/subrecipient and; 4) obtain all required deliverables from the subcontractor/subrecipient.

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Post Award Issues

One of the most frequently asked questions from Principal Investigators or their assistants is, “What do I need to do in order to extend my project without requesting additional funds?” The answer to that question depends on the source of funding. The following should assist you in answering that question.

Federal Funds

If the award is from a Federal sponsor and the terms and conditions of the award are noted as Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), the University generally has the option of issuing a one time 12 month grantee-approved no-cost extension. You will generally find awards issued with FDP terms and conditions from the following sponsors: National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency (only if the extension will not cause the project period to exceed 5 years). All first time NIH no-cost extensions must be routed through the account specialist in Sponsored Projects Award Administration (SPAA). However all subsequent NIH extension requests must be routed through the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP). All other agency extension requests, including extensions on contracts, must be routed through the OSP. Some sponsors have an electronic module for submission of no-cost extension requests and others accept extension request letters via email. Contact the appropriate OSP Grant Specialist based on your constituency to obtain appropriate extension request procedures depending on your particular award.

If the one-year extension has already been used, subsequent extension requests must be submitted through OSP to obtain sponsor approval. The request should be in writing and should provide a justification for the extension. The justification should relate to the completion of the scientific objectives, not that funds are remaining. Requests for no cost extensions to NSF must be submitted through FastLane. Sponsor approved no cost extensions must be submitted prior to the expiration date of the grant. NSF requires that the request be submitted 45 days prior to expiration. Note that these requests generally take one to two months to process and approve. Consider the processing time when deciding when to submit your request. Non-Federal Requests for extensions should be submitted in writing and routed through OSP. The requests should include a programmatic justification for the extension. The University has no provision for extending these projects without sponsor approval. As with federal awards, these requests should be made prior to the expiration date and with ample lead-time. A three-month lead time is suggested in order to have an approved extension prior to the original expiration date.

Letter of Request:

  • Includes:
    • Agency assigned project/award number.
    • New end date requested.
    • Technical reasons for the project’s delay and need for extension.
    • Estimation of funds remaining at the current end date
    • Plans for funds during extension period and how those plans accomplish the original goals of project.
  • On PI’s UT Letterhead
  • Signed By PI and forwarded to OSP so that we can countersign and send to sponsor.
  • The reasons for extension CANNOT be because funds remain. There MUST be technical reasons for extension. 

Letter of Notification:

  • Similar to Letter of Request, but includes language, “Under the Terms and Conditions of Federal Demonstration Partnership, we exercise our right to a 12-month no-cost extension.” Even though this request does not require prior approval from the sponsor, there must be funds remaining in the account and the request must have technical reasons for requesting the extension.

The requirements for requesting for a project extension are summarized in the table at the end of this section.

Industry Funds

Requests for no-cost extensions to industry sponsors should be addressed to the Office of Industry Engagement: industry@austin.utexas.edu, (512) 471-3866.

Reasons NOT to request a No-Cost Extension:

  • I have money left in my account.
  • I want to buy a laptop or other piece of equipment.

Requirements for Requesting for Project Extension (Federal Funds)

AgencyFDP (First)FDP (Second or Third)Non-FDP
NIHContact Michael Martindale, SPAA, to submit this request on NIH Commons.Letter of Request to Program Officer/Grants Management SpecialistLetter of Request to Program Officer/Grants Management Specialist
NSFSubmit Grantee Approved NCE on Fastlane.Submit NSF Approved NCE on Fastlane.Submit NSF Approved NCE on Fastlane.
Other Federal (NASA, ARO, AFOSR, ONR, etc)Letter of Notification to Program Officer/Contract Officer. (Limit 12 months)Letter of Request to Program Officer/Contract Officer.Letter of Request to Program Officer/ Contract Officer.
Non-Federal (Subawards, Foundation Awards)N/AN/ASee Award Terms and Conditions. Most often, Letter of Request addressed to sponsor.

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Budget Changes

If you want to revise your budget and the sponsor guidelines do not allow for it, you will need to request your revisions in writing. The request must be processed through OSP. If you have questions about what is allowed, contact your account specialist in Sponsored Projects Award Administration (SPAA). You can find your accountant by viewing the Staff Constituency Lists & Account Assignments page.

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Supplemental Funds Requests

Requests for additional funding on an existing project are processed as proposals through OSP. You will need the following items: 1) Proposal Review Form; 2) budget; 3) statement of work for the additional effort; and 4) updated certification for all compliance issues if necessary. Make a notation of your current grant number on the Proposal Review Form.

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Change of Principal Investigator

If a change of principal investigator is required on a project, a letter must be sent to the sponsor. The letter should be endorsed by the current PI, the proposed PI, and OSP. The letter should outline the qualifications of the new PI.

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Leave of Absence

If you plan to be away from the University and you have a sponsored project, you will need to notify your sponsor in writing of your absence. Your letter will need to address how you plan to maintain oversight of your project during your absence. This letter needs to be signed by OSP.

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I'm leaving. How do I take my grant with me?

Transferring a grant to another institution is a complicated process and requires proper timing to allow for the transfer and to allow for start-up at the new institution. Some sponsors have specific forms which must be completed to obtain a transfer. Other sponsors have no formal guidelines for transfers. There are general procedures that need to be followed here to prepare for a transfer. Note the following steps in preparing for a grant transfer: Select an arbitrary expiration date for your project. In order to relinquish the project, Contracts and Grants must be able to determine the residual funds remaining after all obligations have cleared. It takes at least 30 days after the expiration date to obtain this information.

If you purchased equipment and want to take this equipment with you when you move, you must obtain approval from your Chair, Dean, and the Business Manager's office. You will need to submit non-competing continuations for the next year's funds through your new institution. Grants from the National Institutes of Health require the completion of an NIH Relinquishing Interests Form.

Grants from NSF require completion of an NSF Grant Transfer Form.Once the grant has been relinquished, the sponsor will re-award the grant to the new institution.

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