This policy is applicable to all Saint Joseph's University colleges, schools, departments, centers and institutes, and their faculty, staff, and students. The policy outlines the allowability and procedures for properly reallocating sponsored project budgets from one cost category to another.

Policy Statement

The approved budget for a grant award summarized the financial aspects of the project or program as approved during the award process. This policy pertains to all federal, state, and private funding awarded to the University.

Budget reallocations involve moving funds from one budget category to another without increasing the amount of the award. Depending on the sponsor and type of award, the procedure for reallocating budgets will vary.

Federal Grants Awarded Under Expanded Authority

Most federal agencies have waived cost-related prior approvals and allow an institution to decide minor budget changes under expanded authorities.

Expanded Authorities Waivers:

  1. Incur project costs 90 calendar days before the awarding agency makes the award. The University assumes the risk for any expenses prior to the award date since the agency is not under any obligation to reimburse for expenses before the start date.
  2. Initiate a one-time extension of the period of performance by up to 12 months unless the terms and conditions of the award prohibit.
  3. Carry forward unobligated balances to subsequent periods of performance.

Prior Approval Required:

  1. Change in the scope of the objective of the project or program.
  2. Change in the key person specified in the application or the award.
  3. The disengagement from the project for more than three months or a 25 percent reduction in time devoted to the project by the Principal Investigator.
  4. The transfer of funds budgeted for participant support costs.
  5. Unless described in the application and funded in the approved award, the subawarding, transferring, or contracting out of any work under a federal award including fixed amount subawards.
  6. Changes in the approved cost-sharing or matching provided by the non-federal entity.
  7. Need for additional federal funds.

State, Private Foundations, Corporate, and Other Funding Agencies

Each sponsor will have its own rules for budget reallocation. The award notice or the agency website will usually have information concerning reallocating between categories. Please contact the Office of Research Services for guidance.


  1. The Principal Investigator or their designated administrator must send an email to the ORS requesting the reallocation.
  2. The email should include the account code(s) with the amount the funds are being reallocated from and to. For example, "$500 from 7101, Domestic Air and Rail to 7351, Research Supplies."
  3. The PI must include a reason or justification for the reallocation.
  4. The ORS will review the request and confirm if it is allowable under the award terms and conditions.
  5. If allowable, the ORS will submit a Budget Transfer reallocating the funds.
  6. If not allowable, the ORS will notify the PI of the reason why.
  7. If the reallocation requires prior approval from the awarding agency, the ORS will work with the PI on submitting a formal request to the agency.


Allowable - Transfers directly related to the performance of a sponsored award and permitted under its terms and OMB guidance.

Cost Share - Occurs when a quantified portion of the costs of an award is not paid by the sponsor, but paid instead by using resources within a department, school/college, or another party outside of the University. Cost Share is a commitment, either required by the Sponsor or proposed (volunteered) by the PI, to use resources other than the Award itself for completion of the award objectives.

Principal Investigator - Is the holder of an independent grant award administered by the University and the primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and oversight of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research.

Unallowable - Those reallocations to an award that the sponsor determines to be unallowable, in accordance with the applicable Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of the grant or contract.