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ORIP Carryover Requests: Policy and Procedures


  • All carryover requests must be submitted through the eRA Commons Prior Approval module. This improves request tracking and streamlines the review process for Program and Grants Management staff. Carryover requests emailed to the NIH (the old approach) will not be considered under any circumstances.
  • Carryover requests must be submitted after the institution’s applicable Federal Financial Report (FFR) is submitted and accepted (i.e., approved) by the NIH Office of Financial Management (OFM). Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs) have the capability of knowing when an FFR is accepted/approved by the NIH OFM. Carryover requests submitted before the FFR is approved will not be accepted. Institutions are encouraged to submit their FFRs as early as possible. Do not wait until the FFR submission deadline, which in some cases can be 5 months after the budget period end date (see the FFR Due Date Table at the end of this page). Timely FFR submission will hasten consideration of the carryover request and maximize the amount of time remaining in the current project year for the funds that are carried forward if the carryover request is granted.
  • Requests that do not adequately address each and every item under What to Include in Your Carryover Request (below) will not be considered.

What Is a Carryover Request?

Carryover is a process through which unobligated funds remaining at the end of a budget period may be carried forward into the next budget period. A grantee is allowed to carryover funds automatically if they have the expanded authority for their application. In contrast, a carryover request can be used by grantees that do not have automatic carryover authority to request permission to use unobligated prior budget period grant funds in a current budget period. Grantees should not have the expectation that carryover requests will be automatically approved by the NIH. Only valid and well-justified requests are approved.

Note that a No-Cost Extension (NCE), which must be requested before the project period ends, is different from a carryover request. A NCE extends the project period end date by up to 12 months without requesting extra funding, provided that certain conditions are met.

Who Can Submit a Carryover Request?

Only the AOR can submit a carryover request for the PI—and only by using the eRA Commons Prior Approval module—for the following mechanisms used by ORIP:

  • Cooperative Agreements (U)
  • Program Centers (P40, P51)
  • Career Development Awards (K)
  • Non-Fast Track Phase 1 (one-year) SBIR (R43) and (one-year) STTR (R41)
  • R24 and R01 grants without automatic carryover authority (most R24s and R01s supported by ORIP do have automatic carryover authority)
  • Training Grants (T) (ORIP will not accept carryover requests for trainee slots but may entertain requests for trainee-related expenses and travel)

When Can You Submit a Carryover Request?

Carryover requests may be submitted any time after the award’s applicable FFR has been submitted to and accepted (i.e., approved) by the NIH Office of Financial Management. The FFR must be submitted in a timely manner for ORIP to consider a carryover request and for the grantee institution to maximize the remaining project period into which unobligated funds are carried if the request is granted.

Submission Requirements

Only one carryover request may be submitted each year unless a need arises for another request due to unusual circumstances or an unexpected critical need. A second request must be discussed in advance with the Program Official (PO) listed on the most recent Notice of Award. Carryover requests must be limited to actual needs for the current budget period. Subsequent needs will be considered in future budget periods. Carryover requests must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the planned use of funds.

What to Include in Your Carryover Request

Grantees who satisfy the eligibility criteria for a carryover request must provide the following information using the eRA Commons Prior Approval module:

  • Enter the amount of the funds to be carried over in the Request Details section.
  • In the remaining sections, upload the following 3 PDF documents:
    1. Explanation of Unobligated Balance, including reason(s) that the funds requested for carryover were not expended in the year they were awarded
    2. Detailed Budget requested for the funds to be carried forward, including—
      • Line-item budget
        • Personnel names
        • Effort levels
      • Budget Justification section
      • Reason why the specific needs of the request cannot be accomplished through re-budgeting
    3. Scientific Justification for the carryover request, including—
      • Plan for use of the requested carryover funds
      • Justification for how the requested carryover funds do not duplicate activities and costs in the current year’s support
      • Justification for how the request is within scope of the grant or cooperative agreement

After Submission Through eRA’s Prior Approval Module

If the request is approved, a revised Notice of Grant Award will reflect the additional authorized funds for the current budget period. If carryover is denied, you will receive correspondence from the grants management specialist (GMS). AORs with questions may contact the appropriate GMS and PO listed on the most recent Notice of Award.

FFR Due Date Table

Reporting Period/Budget Period Ends in: FFR Due Date
January, February, March June 30
April, May, June September 30
July, August, September December 21
October, November, December March 31