After an award is made, changes resulting from circumstances not anticipated in the planning stages of the project are sometimes necessary. These changes can be programmatic or financial in nature. Some changes require the sponsor’s prior written approval, others may be authorized internally by Harvard. See below for examples and refer to the sponsor’s regulations and award documents. Contact your ORA representative with specific questions. Requests to sponsors must be authorized by ORA prior to submission to the sponsor.

Examples of changes during the lifecycle of an award

  • Changes in scope of work (SOW)
  • Change of Principal Investigator or significant reduction of effort
  • Changes/additions to collaborating institutions/subcontractors responsible for carrying out a portion of the SOW
  • No cost extension of the budget or project period (extension of time without additional funds)
  • Re-budgeting 
  • For federal awards, the Uniform Guidance grants permission to an awardee to re-budget, except when there is a change in the SOW or the need for additional funding
  • Non-federal awards may provide different thresholds for re-budgeting, by percentage or amount of deviation by budget category or line item, or stipulate that “substantial” deviation requires prior approval
  • Carry-forward of funds from one budget period into the next within a project period

Changes: Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Awards

The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) is a cooperative initiative among certain federal agencies and institutional recipients of federal research funds. The FDP developed standard Research Terms and Conditions (RTC) now in use by several federal sponsoring agencies. Visit the Research Terms and Conditions page on the NSF website for an explanation of each of the Research Terms and Conditions as well as a link to each participating federal agency’s specific RTC.

See the Prior Approval Matrix to identify how various federal agencies have implemented these Research Terms and Conditions and the need for prior sponsor approval. For pa PDF version, click here.

Prior approvals should be requested by entering a Request in GMAS and/or contacting your ORA representative, as appropriate, per the GMAS Guidance by Other Request Types guidance.