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Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

the grant lifecycle, mount evans observatory

Managing An Award

Prior Approvals

Although many sponsored awards allow flexibility in areas such as rebudgeting, carryforward of unobligated balances from year-to-year, and pre-award costs, sponsors expect expenditures to be reasonably consistent with the proposed scope of work and budget. Many federal agencies have chosen to delegate authority to the University for rebudgeting, pre-award costs, single no-cost extensions, etc. The Department Administrator and PI should refer to the sponsor’s award terms to determine the authorizations that apply to each award.

Oftentimes, sponsors require PIs to request prior approval for significant changes that affect the following:

  • Scope of Work changes
  • Change in PI effort
  • Change in PI/Key personnel
  • Significant rebudgeting
  • Use of program income
  • Travel
  • Other specific terms and conditions
  • Transferring a substantial portion of the work

Many federal and nonfederal grants require prior sponsor approval for changes made to the terms or conditions of a grant, including budget changes. The Department Administrator and PI need to complete a Prior Approval Request Form and submit to ORSP that includes the project-specific justification and plan for the approval request. ORSP will determine if the request requires sponsor approval and forward it to the sponsor's grant officer.