It is the PD/PI's responsibility to understand the funding agency's rules and procedures concerning pre-award spending. The PD/PI must also obtain approval from the Director of Academic Budget and Operations prior to beginning to spend grant funds before the actual start date of a grant.

Changes in a Budget

Most funding agencies permit changes in budgets up to a certain level without prior approval. PD/PIs are expected to understand the budget limitations of their grants prior to overspending in any budget category.

Funds moved from a non-salary budget line to a salary line must take into account the resulting change in fringe and indirect costs. Likewise, funds moved from a salary line to a non-salary line will release fringe and indirect amounts that may also be applied to a non-salary line. The Director of Academic Budget and Operations must approve in advance any budget modifications that will extend the appointment of a staff member.

If a granting agency requires notification of a budget change, the Principal Investigator should contact the Office of Sponsored Research who will coordinate the preparation of materials for the request.

Requesting a No-cost Extension of a Grant

At the time a grant is awarded, the funder will inform the PD/PI of the project period. As the project end date approaches, the PD/PI may wish to request a no-cost extension, providing grant funds remain. The process of obtaining a no-cost extension varies depending on the funder. Therefore, PI should contact the Office of Sponsored Research at least 90 days in advance of the original end date, to discuss how to obtain a no-cost extension for the Principal Investigator's award.

Changes in the Principal Investigator (Including Transfer to Other Institutions)

If a Principal Investigator plans to leave Bowdoin College during the course of a grant, she should contact the Office of Sponsored Research to discuss options and procedures. Bowdoin College has the prerogative to:

  • nominate a replacement PI who is subject to the funder's approval;
  • request that the grant be terminated; or
  • transfer the grant to the PI's new organization. In those cases where a PI's participation is integral to a given project and Bowdoin College and the new organization agree, the Office of Sponsored Research will coordinate a grant transfer from Bowdoin College to the PI's new institution.