Change of Institution

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Learn how to request a change of institution, also known as a transfer, and understand each of the requirements for requesting one.

What is a change of institution?

In most cases, NIH makes awards to institutions rather than individuals. There are instances where it may be desired to change the awardee institution. This is considered a change of institution, commonly known as a transfer, and requires NINDS prior approval. Failure to obtain NINDS prior approval may result in the disallowance of costs, termination of the award, or other enforcement actions within NIH’s authority.

Important Points For Getting Started

  • A change of recipient organization request must be made by the new institution before the anticipated start date at the new organization and preferably several months in advance.  
  • Failure to provide timely notification may result in disapproval of the request or significant delays in processing.  
  • Recipients are encouraged to discuss any potential issues with NINDS program and grants management staff indicated in their eRA Commons account prior to submitting a change of recipient organization request.
  • If the grantee does not obtain prior approval from NINDS it may result in the disallowance of costs, termination of the award, or other enforcement actions within NIH’s authority. 

What is required to initiate a change of institution?

  • The original recipient institution must first agree to relinquish the rights and responsibility of the grant. To do this, the extramural grantee institution must submit a Relinquishing Statement (RS) to the NIH/NINDS grants management specialist (GMS). For transfers prior to award, the original applicant may submit an official letter relinquishing the application to the grants management specialist assigned to the grant. 
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What if my transfer is to a foreign organization?
A change of recipient that involves the transfer of a grant to or between foreign organizations or international organizations also must be approved by the NINDS Advisory Council.
  • The new institution must be eligible to apply for the grant. Review the FOA to determine eligibility.
  • The new recipient institution must have the facilities and resources needed to carry out the work of the grant.
  • The program officer (PO) and GMS must be notified as soon as possible
  • The new institution must submit a Change of Institution application to NIH 60 days before the anticipated start at the new institution following the instructions in the next section.

View the the eRA Commons Change of Institution process for more information.

 

    What to Include in Change of Institution Applications Based on Award Timeline

    Transfers Occurring Prior to Award (Pre-Award) 

    Original Recipient Institution 

    A letter from the original recipient institution is required acknowledging the relinquishing to the rights of the grant and must be submitted to the NINDS grants management specialist indicated on the Notice of Award.  

    New Recipient Institution 

    The receiving institution must submit a complete transfer application including, at a minimum, the items below.  

    • SF 424 (R&R) Cover Component  
    • SF 424 (R&R) Project Performance Site Location(s)  
    • SF 424 (R&R) Other Project Information - a statement indicating whether the overall research plans/aims have changed from the original submission, and, if so, provide updated and additional information. 
    • Certification of IRB/IACUC approval, including OHRP and OLAW assurance numbers  
    • Facilities and Other Resources, including probable effect of the move on the project. 
    • Budget pages for the current and future years. Awards submitted as a modular application, the transfer application should include narrative budget information for the current budget period, including total direct cost and the basis for computing F&A costs and, if applicable, future budget periods. Budgets should not exceed the total direct costs (plus applicable F&A costs of new recipient) previously recommended for all budget periods.  
    • Detailed list of any equipment purchased with grant funds to be transferred to the new organization (inclusion of the list in the transfer application from the new organization indicates its acceptance of title to that equipment).  
    • SF 424 (R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile: with Updated biographical sketches for the PD/PI and existing senior/key personnel and for any proposed new senior/key personnel   
    • Updated “other support” page(s) for all existing and new senior/key personnel 
    • Resources page, including probable effect of the move on the project.  
    • Checklist page 

    NIH may request additional information necessary to accomplish its review of the request. This could include documents such as: PHS 398 Career Development Supplemental Form; PHS 398 Fellowship Supplemental Form SBIR/STTR Information 

      

    Partial or Mid-Year Transfers (occurring during the current budget period): 

    Original Recipient Institution

    Submit a Relinquishing Statement through eRA Commons.   

    Receiving or New Institution  

    Submit an application through Grants.gov using the Change of Recipient Organization (Type 7) Parent Funding Opportunity Announcement.  

    Budget Considerations 

    • The initial budget period costs to be awarded to the new institution are calculated based on the estimated unobligated TOTAL DIRECT COST balance reported on the Relinquishing Statement. 
    • Future years will be awarded at the future year Committed Total Direct Cost amount provided in the Notice of Award (NoA).   
    • If the original application was submitted in the modular format, the transfer application (Type 7) award will be modular as well.  
    • F&A costs are awarded at the current negotiated rate at the new institution.  

    Additional Requirements 

    • Transfer applications must also include a statement indicating whether the overall research plans/aims have changed from the original submission and, if so, provide updated information. 
    • Updated other support.   
    • Resources page should include the probable effect of the move on the project.   
    • Certification of IRB/IACUC approval, including OHRP and OLAW assurance numbers, if applicable.   
    • All administrative requirements must be met.   

      

    Anniversary Date Transfers (occurring at the beginning of the next budget period): 

    For transfers occurring on the anniversary date, the new institution is issued an award reflecting the Total direct cost level previously committed provided in the Notice of Award (NoA).   

    Additional Requirements 

    • The transfer application must include the progress report for the current year including a statement regarding the goals for the upcoming year
    • A statement indicating whether the overall research plans/aims have changed from the original submission, and, if so, provide updated information
    • Updated other support
    • Resources page
    • Statement of probable effect of the move on the project
    • Checklist page
    • Certification of IRB/IACUC approval, including OHRP and OLAW assurance numbers, if applicable



     


    How do institutions know when the transfer has been approved? 

    Original Recipient 

    NIH will accomplish a change of recipient organization by issuing a revised NoA to the original recipient reflecting the revised budget/project period end dates, deletion of any future-year support, and deobligation of remaining funds, if applicable. A deobligation of funds will be based on the relinquishing statement.
     

    New Recipient 

    The new recipient will receive the NoA reflecting NIH approval. 

    A recipient may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs before the beginning date of a transfer award. The recipient may do so only if those costs are necessary to conduct the project and would not require prior approval if incurred under an awarded grant. For the purposes of pre-award costs, transfers are treated like non-competing continuation awards. Therefore, the pre-award costs incurred are not limited to 90 days prior to the beginning date of the initial budget period of that transferred award to the new recipient organization.

    Does NINDS transfer awards in a no-cost extension? 

    NINDS generally does not approve transfers in a no-cost extension. The recipients should discuss with the grants management specialist and program officials the possibility of considering the transfer during a no-cost extension period. NINDS staff must consider if there is significant scientific justification and project benefit in approving the transfer during a no-cost extension period. 

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    Want to contact NINDS staff?
    Contact the grants management specialist (GMS) and program officer (PO) indicated in your eRA Commons account if you have additional questions.