Tech Tips: No-Cost Extensions

  • November 24, 2022

Introduction

 No-Cost Extensions are a mechanism for a grantee or awardee to extend their project end date and budget period, without obtaining additional funds. The extension requires an official request and may involve an approval process. Extension processes exist for both internal and external funding opportunities. Many institutions find InfoReady very helpful in managing the No-Cost Extension process for their internal funding.
 

Challenges

Administrators must consider a few key points when designing their process.
 
  • Process must document reasoning for extension.
  • Different individuals may need to approve the request. The workflow should be well thought out.
  • Stakeholders need to match the extension request with the initial proposal submission, project details, and documents and maintain them in one place.
 Solutions
 

There are three different ways to manage No-Cost Extensions in InfoReady. Below gives a quick comparison, and the Tips section goes more in-depth on each.

  1.  Award Screen - Use if the initial project was awarded through InfoReady and the approval process is simple (e.g., email between PI and VPR). The functionality on this page allows administrators to easily add details about the extension, which will also update system reports.
  2. Progress Reports - Use if the initial project was awarded through InfoReady and detailed information needs to be collected from the PI before a decision can be made. A No-Cost Extension form can be created and assigned to awardees, along with scheduling deadline and reminders, as needed.
  3. Separate Opportunity - Use if either the initial project was not awarded through InfoReady (e.g., prior to using InfoReady) OR if the approval process has multiple steps and specific approver reasoning needs to be documented. The routing workflow engine in InfoReady can be assumed to automate and speed up the process.

Tips

1. Award Screen

  •  Fill in dates, reference number, and upload a file if necessary.
  • Full instructions are here: Project Dates and Extensions

2. Progress Reports

  • Build the progress report form to collect any data needed to justify the extension, such as personnel changes, availability of supplies, difficulty recruiting subjects, etc.
  • Assign the report if/when a PI inquires about extending their project.
  • Those that need to approve extension can either be added as Co-Administrators or Viewers
3. Separate Opportunity
  • Create a separate opportunity ("competition") to collect any relevant information. Make sure to include a field (e.g.., the Application ID) that helps connect the project to where the initial application "lives", whether within InfoReady or in another system.
  • Build routing steps for the varying levels of approval or review. InfoReady has multiple features to automate the assignment of the approval requests.
  • Use the "Award" notification to communicate if the project extension was granted.
  • Enabling Progress Reports would allow you to collect information about the impacts and outcomes of granting the extension. 
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