May 25, 2012

No-Cost Extensions for NIH Grants Funded by ARRA

On September 15, 2011, the Office of Management and Budget issued OMB memorandum M-11-34, “Accelerating Spending of Remaining Funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Discretionary Grant Programs.” This memo directed Federal agencies to take steps to ensure grantees complete Recovery Act projects by September 30, 2013.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have provided guidance on meeting the accelerated spending goal. NSF published additional Frequently Asked Questions changing the deadline for no-cost extension requests to NSF from June to March.

For NIH awards funded by ARRA scheduled to end on or before September 30, 2013, a no-cost extension must be submitted to NIH by June 1, 2012.

If a no-cost extension is necessary, it must be requested through SPO and sent to the NIH by June 1, 2012, no matter the end date of the award.

NSF and NIH will grant approvals based on the allowable exceptions described in OMB M-11-34. Grantees may still exercise their one-time, grantee-approved no-cost extension as long as the period of performance does not extend beyond September 30, 2013. Sponsors must approve all extensions beyond the September 30, 2013 date, and no unilateral extension beyond September 30, 2013 will be recognized by the sponsor. Grantees are still encouraged to responsibly accelerate spending. For more information see Accelerating Spending of ARRA Funding on the SPO web site.

PI requests for a no-cost extension should be submitted to SPO as soon as possible in order for the request to be submitted to NIH by the June 1, 2012 deadline.

December 14, 2011 Research Advocate article: NSF and NIH Issue Guidance to Accelerate Spending of ARRA Funds
November 10, 2011 Research Advocate article: Acceleration of Unspent ARRA Grant Funds