The budget is the financial expression of the project as approved during the proposal and award process. During the course of a sponsored project, a PI may determine that the approved budget is no longer consistent with actual project needs. In some such cases, a reallocation of funding from one spending category to another to better reflect the project financial requirements is required.

Many sponsors allow rebudgeting without prior approval while others do require their approval under specific circumstances such as when:

  1. rebudgeting between categories exceeds a specified percentage of the award amount.
  2. the proposed rebudget involves a restricted budget category such as participant support costs for NSF awards.
  3. the rebudget is to provide for costs that would have necessitated specific information be included in the original proposal submission

Please review your award documentation for any specific information as to prior approval requirements under your award. Also, the Research Terms and Conditions Prior Approval Matrix (pdf) provides information on standard prior approval requirements for many federal agencies.

Even if sponsor prior approval is not required, a rebudget must be requested when there is an impact on indirect costs such as in the following circumstances:

  1. Adding or removing capital equipment
  2. Adding or removing participant support costs
  3. Adding or removing a subcontract

In any of the above circumstances, the PI should request a rebudget following the process outlined below.

General Process

The following information should be forwarded to your Grant and Contract Administrator (GCA) for review:

  • Your current award’s UMass Lowell Project Number
  • An updated budget on the most recent ORA budget template. This new budget should reflect the awarded Indirect Cost Rate and should match the total awarded budget exactly.
  • A justification of why this budget modification is being requested and how this adjustment will benefit the project and/or impact the overall goals of the project.

The GCA will then review the request and if approved, will submit the request on your behalf or instruct you to submit the change in the respective agency portal if sponsor approval is required. When the sponsor approves the budget revision, the GCA will submit the internal change order so that Summit reflects the new budget of record. If sponsor prior approval is not required, then the GCA will submit the internal change order for the Summit update after they approve the rebudget request.

Please note that PIs should not be submitting any rebudget requests directly to the sponsor. Additionally, if UMass Lowell is a sub-awardee on a project, the GCA will make the request to the Lead Organization once the PI has provided the required information.