Mandating Use of the Commons to Submit No-Cost Extension Notifications

Notice Number: NOT-OD-11-098

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • October 20, 2011 - See Notice NOT-OD-12-003. Publication of the Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (Rev. 10/1/2011): Policy Changes, Clarifications and Document Enhancements.

Key Dates
Release Date: July 15, 2011
Effective Date: October 1, 2011

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


Effective October 1, 2011, NIH is requiring grantees to use the No-Cost Extension feature in the eRA Commons to notify NIH when they exercise their one-time authority to extend, without additional funds, the final budget period of a grant. NIH will no longer accept these notifications via other communication channels.


NIH Standard Terms of Award include the provision for grantees to extend the final budget period of a previously approved project period one time for a period of up to 12 months, without additional NIH funds. Such an action must be taken before the project period expires; and grantees are required to notify NIH when they have exercised this authority. To facilitate this notification, NIH developed the No-Cost Extension (NCE) feature in the eRA Commons. Accessible from the eRA Commons Status screen, the link for the No-Cost Extension feature appears 90 days before the project end date and closes at midnight on the project end date.

This feature now allows grantees to request a NCE in one month increments for up to 12 months; giving grantees maximum flexibility for this notification. Mandating use of the No-Cost Extension feature supports NIH’s continuing efforts to implement electronic business processes.

New Policy

Effective October 1, 2011, the No-Cost Extension feature in the eRA Commons (accessed via the Action column of the Status Result General Search results list) must be used to notify NIH when a grantee exercises their one-time authority to extend the final budget period of a previously approved project period for up to 12 months. Grantees are reminded that all such notifications must be submitted through the Commons before the project period expires. Once the eRA Commons link is closed, such an action becomes a prior approval request and must be submitted for consideration to the Grants Management office of the NIH awarding component.


General questions concerning using the eRA Commons should be directed to the eRA Commons
Help Desk at:

eRA Service Desk
Web : (Preferred method of contact)
Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552
Phone : 301-402-7469
TTY : 301-451-5939
Hours : Mon.-Fri., 7a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

General inquires about this change may be directed to:
Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
National Institutes of Health
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 350
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-435-0938
Fax: 301-435-3059