During the life of a project, it may become necessary to modify certain aspects of the original project. Such changes may involve rebudgeting of funds among expense classes or adjusting the length of a project period. In order to minimize the administrative burden associated with revised budget requests, many sponsors allow some flexibility to adapt award spending patterns to match the changing circumstances of the sponsored project. However, even when a sponsor does not require an official request to rebudget, OSP must review budget revisions to ensure compliance.
In general, a formal revised budget approval request to the sponsor is required in the following circumstances:
- Budget revision restrictions are imposed in the terms and conditions: These restrictions may range from a prior approval requirement for any budget revisions to a requirement for line-item or total budget revisions up to a certain threshold. (i.e.: rebudget flexibility up to 10 percent of proposed line items).
- Budget revisions are due to a significant change in the scope of work (SOW): SOW changes may require a considerable amount of funds to be shifted between expense categories. However, even if significant changes are not anticipated, all rebudgeting requests based on a change in the SOW must be submitted and approved by the sponsor.
Budget revisions to reflect new financial realities, such as salary increases, new employees on the project, adjusted fringe benefit rates, etc., generally do not require sponsor approval. However, PIs should contact their assigned senior research accountants for guidance and/or clarification of budget revision requirements.