Physician Staff Collaborate Conf Room

Grants & Contracts Office

No Cost Extension

A No Cost Extension (NCE) is an extension of the project period for a set amount of time that does not include additional funds from the sponsor. 

About No Cost Extensions

On an NIH grant, a No Cost Extension allows for a one-time extension for up to 12 months beyond the project period end date of the grant, with no additional funds provided. The NIH gives authority to grantee institutions to approve and process one-time NCEs on eligible grants for up to a 12 month period beyond the awarded project end date.

NIH No Cost Extension Policy


Per NIH Grants Policy, a NCE can be approved by the grantee (MCW) if:

  • No term of award specifically prohibits the extension;
  • No additional funds are required to be obligated by the NIH awarding Institute or Center; and
  • The project’s originally approved scope will not change.

An MCW PI is eligible to request a NCE on a grant if:

  • Additional work is necessary to complete the Specific Aims of the project, or
  • Additional time is needed to provide for an orderly closeout of the grant.

Please Note: The fact that funds remain at the end of the final budget year of the grant is not, in itself, sufficient justification for a NCE request.

Senior and Key Personnel Effort

The effort level for the PD/PI(s) and any other Senior/Key Personnel identified in the Notice of Award no longer needs to be maintained during the NCE period. A PI can notify the MCW Sponsored Programs Office directly if effort reduction is required in the NCE period.

How to Request NIH NCE

For applications in eBridge: 

On an active NIH-awarded Funding Proposal (FP) in eBridge, the BS and ADR of the PI will have the activity “Post Award Action – No Cost Extension.” The BS or ADR will need to complete this activity in order to send the NCE request to the MCW GCO Owner, who will then review the request and if approved, submit to NIH or process via eRA Commons.

To request a NCE on an existing Active FP, follow these steps:

  1. Select the “Post Award Action – No Cost Extension” activity (BS or ADR role).
  2. Complete the requested information in the activity.
  3. Once completed, a notice will be sent to the GCO member supporting your department.GCO will review the request, verify compliance approvals, and, if approved, will complete the “Submit NCE to Sponsor” activity and submit the NCE to the NIH outside of eBridge via eRA Commons.
  4. Once approved by the sponsor, the GCO staff member will complete the “Approve NCE” activity in the FP, completing the Post Award Action in eBridge and notifying Sponsored Programs/Oracle of the new Project End Date.

For applications not in eBridge: 

If the application file is being tracked using a paper file please follow these steps to request a No-Cost Extension:

The PI should submit a formal request to the GCO analyst who supports their department. The request needs to include the title of the grant, NIH grant number (i.e. HL123456), current project period end date, and requested NCE end date. The reason for the request should be stated and any other applicable information included. The request can be emailed to the GCO Analyst for processing.

The GCO staff member will review the request, verify that any applicable compliance approvals are current (IRB, IACUC, etc.), and if approved will complete the NCE activity in eRA Commons or will submit the request directly to NIH Grants Management staff member listed in the most recently issued Notice of Award.

Once the request has been processed in eRA Commons or formally granted by the NIH, the GCO analyst will forward the confirmation email to the PI and Department Administrator. The approval notice that includes the new end date and a copy of the request will be forwarded to Sponsored Programs.

When to Request NIH NCE

The NCE can be requested between 90 – 1 day from the current Project Period end date of the grant, and the extension can be requested for any number of months from 1 through 12.

Late Request NIH NCE: 
Late notification of the initial NCE provided by the NIH Notice of Award (NOA) requires prior approval. The final prior approval request can be forwarded to the GCO Analyst who supports the PI’s department.

2nd NIH NCE:
A second request to extend the end date of an NIH grant requires Prior Approval. The request should include a description of the project activities that require support during the extension and a statement about the funds available to support the extension. The final Prior Approval request can be forwarded to the GCO Analyst who supports the PI’s department.