Prior Approval Request Procedure

Effective date: May 1, 2019

1.  When a grant has expanded authorities, the PI completes our University Prior Approval form to make allowable changes in plans or the budget. The following circumstances may necessitate university prior approval:

1.1.  Pre-award Cost – The University may incur pre-award costs 90 calendar days prior to the official award start date. These costs are incurred at the University’s risk.  If for any reason the recipient does not receive an award or if the award is less than anticipated, the Federal awarding agency is under no obligation to reimburse the University for such costs.

1.2.  Carry Over of Funds – When unspent funds remain from a previous budget period, they may be carried forward and spent in subsequent budget periods.

1.3.  No-Cost Extension – The University may extend the grant one time, up to 12 months beyond the termination date. This may not be exercised merely for the purpose of using unexpended funds. The sponsor must be notified 10 to 30 days prior to the termination date depending on agency requirements so they do not financially close the award.  This procedure can be done unless one or more of the following apply:

  • 1.3.1.  Terms and conditions of the award prohibit the extension.
  • 1.3.2.  The extension requires additional Federal funds.
  • 1.3.3.   The extension involves any change in the approved objectives or scope of the project.

1.4.  Budget Revision – When the cumulative amount of expenses exceeds budget categories by 10% of the total current budget then a budget revision should be completed. The prior approval from along with the budget revision template must be completed.  Usually budget revisions in excess of 25% of the total award amount are considered to be a change in scope and the budget revision must be approved by the sponsor.

1.5.  Domestic Travel – If travel was not originally budgeted, internal approval can be made.

1.6.  Foreign Travel – If foreign travel was not originally budgeted and the award notice does not contain an asterisk (*) next to this category then the internal approval form can be used.

1.7.  Equipment (Special Purpose) – Some agencies allow grantees to internally approve the purchase of special purpose equipment not in the approved budget. Check the award terms and conditions.

1.8.  Equipment (General Purpose) – Some agencies allow grantees to internally approve the purchase of general purpose equipment not in the approved budget. Check the award terms and conditions.

2.  The following procedures pertain to the above changes:

2.1.  After the PI has indicated the need for a change, provide the link to the form.

2.2.  The PI or administrative person in the department will fill in the applicable boxes and enter a clear and precise justification.

2.3.  The PI must sign the form (it can be faxed, scanned and e-mailed, or sent through campus mail).

2.4.  Once Grants & Contracts receives the form we will verify the information.  If it is not correct we will need to contact the PI and get an explanation. If it is correct we can sign off on it.

2.5.  The form is given to OVPR.

2.6.  When we receive the form back we notify the PI that it has been approved.

2.7.  If the change is for a no cost extension then we give a copy to the Research Office for them to notify the sponsor.

2.8.  Make any changes in PeopleSoft (e.g., extend end date and revise budget).

2.9.  Print out a new Award and Project Setup Form or Budget Entry Report and file in ImageNow.

Related Forms 

Pre-award Account Request on Grants and Contracts Forms page

Budget Revision on Grants and Contracts Forms page

Related Policies 

Prior Approval Request Policy

Related Procedures

WMU’s  travel guidelines  


Downloadable version