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Institutional Prior Approval (IPA)

Institutional Prior Approval (IPA) allows the University to locally approve various types of costs or actions within federal guidelines. These guidelines require that an appropriate University official who does NOT have direct responsibility for the project review the request to ensure compliance with Public Health Service (PHS) and/or National Science Foundation (NSF) guidelines.

Requests for IPA should be submitted through the department chair and the dean for approval, depending on departmental and school policy.

Requests for IPA involving budget modifications should include a complete description of the request meeting the following criteria:

  • Necessity to achieve the project objective
  • Consistency with grant terms and conditions
  • Consistency with grant and grantee policies
  • Effective utilization of institutional resources
  • No change in project scope
  • Not specifically prohibited by terms and conditions


The following types of requests also require IPA:

  • General purpose equipment and office furniture
  • Foreign travel
  • Pre-award costs

Some awards do not allow for local approval of some costs or actions. For these, the University must obtain written approval from the funding agency prior to implementation.