No-Cost Extention

What are the procedures for obtaining a NCE for my project?

A no-cost extension extends the project period beyond the original project end date. As the phrase “no cost” suggests, there is no additional funding. A no-cost extension may be requested when all three of the following conditions are met:

  • The end of the project period is approaching, AND
  • There is a programmatic need to continue the research, AND
  • There are sufficient funds remaining to cover the extended effort

Some federal sponsors have delegated Rice (OSP) the authority under grant awards to approve a one-time no-cost extension not to exceed 12 months, i.e., NSF. If authorized, an internal approval form should be completed Institutional Forms at least 30 days in advance of the project end date to OSP. The extension, although approved by Rice (OSP), must be requested by the PI. OSP will notify the sponsor of the approved extension.

If the sponsor has not delegated authority, a written request must be made.

Because of this, it’s always a good idea to request the extension in enough time to manage an orderly accomplishment of project work, and to have a contingency plan in case the sponsor does not approve it. If you have any questions, the PI or departmental administrator should contact their assigned OSP Grant Specialist.

What if the Sponsor Says No to my NCE?

The sponsor always retains the right to say “no”. Examples of reasons to say no might include:

  • An extension may not be granted solely because there is remaining funding. Programmatic benefit must be justified.
  • Funding may have come from a prior year’s appropriation and cannot be extended.
  • The amount requested in the extension request appears to be excessive to the sponsor.

What if I want to request a NCE from a Foundation?

If your award is from a Foundation you will need to contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (OCFR) so they can contact the Foundation for approval. You will still need the IAF signed and sent to your OSP representative for processing.

Can I request a NCE for my project on my own?

Written requests for no-cost extensions should be prepared by the PI or Department Administrator endorsed and submitted by OSP. Some sponsors have developed electronic systems to handle no-cost extension requests and approvals, i.e., NSF ( and NASA (NSPIRES). Please call your OSP representative if you have any questions.