University of Southern California


Post-Award Changes

It is the primary responsibility of DCG, as the designated institutional representative, to serve as the authorized intermediary between a sponsor and the PI when implementing any changes in the project that require institutional and sponsor approval (such as changes in the scope of work, senior personnel, budget, and other modifications of award terms and conditions). When sponsor prior approval is required, the PI or Department Research Administrator should initiate a letter describing the desired change, with justification, and forward it to DCG for review and endorsement and submission to the sponsor.

Below are common questions about the process for making a Post Award Change, as well as common examples:

What Are Examples of Post Award Changes?

 What is the Purpose of a Post-Award Change Request?
To submit requests for changes to active, extramurally-funded projects that require the prior approval of the sponsor and/or institution.

Who Should Review/Approve the Request Prior to Submission to DCG?
• Principal Investigators (PIs) and Project Teams for study-related approvals
• Department Chair or School for changes to investigator status (i.e., absences, change of PI, transfers); budget reductions (i.e., loss of funds, reallocation to other departments/schools); additional commitments (i.e., added cost share or changes to indirect costs); or administrative management.
• Sponsored Projects Accounting, financial reports, or invoices should be reviewed/consulted to verify unobligated balances for any carry over requests.

Who Submits the Request to the Sponsor for Prior Approval?
The terms and conditions of the specific award dictate the associated authority and process. In most cases DCG should submit the request to the sponsor for prior approval.

Exceptions may include:
• DCG may have authority to approve requests under expanded authorities or other terms.
• Technical or programmatic approval may be required or expedite approval, with notification to DCG for follow-up with the administrative official.

How Soon Should this be Submitted to DCG?
The request must be submitted to DCG early enough to allow time for administrative processing and to secure sponsor approval in advance of the requested change.

What Should I Do First?
Consult the terms and conditions and sponsor policies applicable to the award before submitting a request. PIs and Project Teams bear the responsibility to administer funded projects in compliance with sponsor and University requirements.

What if I Have Questions on Interpreting Award Requirements or Terms and Conditions?
Please feel free to contact the DCG Officer assigned to your unit for assistance.