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Sponsored Projects Administration

In general, the Principal Director (PD)/Principal Investigator (PI) may make changes in the methodology, approach, or other aspects of the project objectives. However, a change in scope and/or expenditures almost always requires sponsor approval unless special permission is given within the award agreement. A change in scope is a change in the direction, aims, objectives, purposes, or type of research training, identified in the approved project. Please keep in mind, requests must be sent to agency from AOR no later than 30 days before proposed change. Please allow time for SPA to process.

Summary of Actions Requiring NIH Prior Approval


Actions likely to be considered a change in scope or objectives include, but are not limited to, the following:

All requests for prior approval must be in writing, well-justified, and accompanied by supporting documentation to ensure that changes are reasonable and appropriate. The written requests have to be submitted to Pre-award to be reviewed, processed, and submitted.

To obtain sponsor approval, the PI must draft a justification letter on University letterhead. The letter must be signed by the department head and forwarded to the assigned Pre-award Sponsored Projects Administrator. Also include a signature block for a University authorized signing official.


Prior approval requests should include: