Best Practices: No-cost extension and PI Changes

NO-COST EXTENSIONS can be granted by a sponsor to allow project directors more time to meet their objectives without needing addition funds.

A no-cost extension must be requested in advance of the end date of the award, based on agency requirements.

The request must be routed through CALS and UW-Madison Research and Sponsored Programs for review/approval prior to submission to the sponsor. If you happen to have agency approval prior to making your request, please route it with the no-cost extension letter. It is recommended that the PI submit their request to the CALS Research Division at least one month before the end of the award.

If the request is made less than thirty days before the award ends, a Provisional Request for Extension should be filed. The provisional request will enable the account to stay open should the extension not be formally granted before the end of the award.

An example of the no-cost extension letter and provisional request form can be found at:

The extension letter should be printed on the department’s letterhead, signed by the PI and routed to Casey Hillmer, CALS Research Division.

PI CHANGES ON GRANTS need to be routed to the CALS Research Division. A formal letter, addressed to the agency, asking for the approval of the change is mandatory.  This letter is similar to the no-cost extension letter; just change your request portion. The letter must to be signed by both PIs and both Chairs. Also, send current and pending support document and CV for the new PI. Once the Research Division receives these documents, a WISPER record will be generated in the new PI’s name.

If you have any questions on either process, please contact Casey Hillmer at (608) 262-2397 or

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