Post Award Amendments for Discretionary Grants

If any information on the grant Notice of Award (NoA) needs to be changed, it will require approval from the federal agency before the grant recipient can implement the modification. The instances where approval is required are referred to as grant post award amendments. Grant recipients should refer to Part II of the HHS Grants Policy Statement (PDF | 1.32 MB) for guidance for all HHS grant recipients.

Post award amendment types include:

If you have specific questions regarding actions that may require a post award amendment please contact your Grants Management Specialist (GMS) identified on the Notice of Award (NoA).

SAMHSA may approve, deny, or request additional material to further document and evaluate your post award amendment. If the amendment request is approved, a new, amended NoA will be issued. The post award amendment is not authorized until the amended NOA has been issued. Verbal authorization is not approval and is not binding to SAMHSA.

How to Submit a Post Award Amendment

IMPORTANT: All post award amendments are exclusively processed through the eRA system. You must have an eRA Commons account to submit your request.

Resources

Video: a video on how to submit a Post Award Amendment request.

Reference Sheet (PDF | 261 MB): a quick guide on how to initiate post award amendment applications and access in-progress post award amendment applications from inside the eRA system.

Overview of the Post Award Amendment Submission Package: this table displays the minimum required forms based on each amendment type. Please note the following online fillable forms are included in the system: SF-424, SF424a and HHS Checklist.

AMENDMENT TYPE: SF-424 Form SF-424a Form HHS Checklist Form Budget Narrative (Line Item and Narrative) Project Narrative Add Optional: Other Narrative Attachments
Budget Revision  
Carryover Request
Change in Scope
Change in Key Personnel    
Merger, Successor-in-Interest, Transfer    
No-Cost Extension
Organization Change    

Contacts

  • Budget and grant-specific questions: contact your assigned Grants Management Specialist (GMS)
  • Program-related questions: contact your assigned Government Project Officer (GPO)
  • Technical questions: contact the eRA Service Desk

Web: https://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html

Submit a Web Ticket: https://public.era.nih.gov/commonshelp (preferred method of contact)

Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552 (Press 6 for SAMHSA Grantees)
Phone: 301-402-7469 (Press 6 for SAMHSA Grantees)
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time (closed on federal holidays)

Budget Revision

Grant recipients must submit a post award amendment in order to reallocate funds to address unexpected program changes.

Re-budgeting involves the transfer of funds to cost categories—such as personnel, fringe, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual, other, or indirect —that were not previously approved in the funded application. For example, if no equipment was requested in the approved application, but the recipient now wants to use funds to purchase an item of equipment, then a post award amendment needs to be submitted.

A Post Award Amendment is required for:

  • Reallocation of funds within a budget period that exceeds 25% of the approved total budget, or $250,000, whichever is less.
  • The purchase of a unit of equipment exceeding $25,000, such as a transport van, that was not previously approved in the funded application.
  • Changes in cost sharing or matching, such as a reduction in the amount of available matching funds.
  • Any budget revisions, regardless of amount, by recipients with a restricted status.

Note: If there is a change in the scope or objective of the funded project in addition to a budget revision, then the grant recipient only needs to submit a post award amendment for a Change in Scope. The grant recipient does not need to submit a separate post award amendment for Budget Revision.

What to Include in Your Request

AMENDMENT TYPE Budget Revision
SF-424 Form
SF-424a Form
HHS Checklist Form
Budget Narrative (Line Item and Narrative)
Project Narrative  
Other Narrative Attachments Cover Letter
Additional Instructions

If requesting a change in indirect costs, provide your current Indirect Cost Rate Agreement.
Cover Letter:

  • Explain and support the need for the budget revision, including a detailed explanation of what costs are being re-budgeted.
  • Include a statement of assurance that there will be no changes to the approved award objectives, goals or purposes, which would require approval for a change in scope.

Carryover

A carryover occurs when an unobligated balance of funds is authorized for use in the current budget period. Carryover funds must be used for unmet project needs supporting the approved goals and objectives of the grant program. Carryover is not intended to solely spend down the unobligated balance of funds.

There are two types of carryover actions – each with specific requirements:

  • Intent to Carryover (also referred to as Expanded Authority)
  • and Formal Carryover

Recipients may only submit one type of carryover per budget period. An explanation of the two types of carryovers and specific instructions for each type are provided in the Overview of Carryovers infographic (PDF | 775 KB).

Recipients using the Intent to Carryover (Expanded Authority) or requesting a Formal Carryover must include carryover remarks in the Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) Section 12 – Remarks. Note that recipients must submit the FFR within 90 days after the end of the prior budget period. Also, recipients requesting a Formal Carryover must submit the request as a post-award amendment change via the eRA Commons system. The request will be disapproved if it is not submitted at the same time as the FFR or no later than December 31, 2018.

Intent to Carryover or Expanded Authority for Carryover

Additional Guidance:

SAMHSA must have a current FFR on file to review the unobligated balance available for carryover. Recipients must submit the annual FFR via the eRA Commons system no later than 90 days after the end of the budget period.

*For multi-year funded awards, this guidance does not apply. Refer to your NoA for submission guidance.

Formal Carryover

Additional Guidance:

SAMHSA must have a current FFR on file to review the unobligated balance available for carryover. Recipients must submit the FFR via the eRA Commons system no later than 90 days after the end of the budget period.

AMENDMENT TYPE Carryover
SF-424 Form
SF-424a Form
HHS Checklist Form
Budget Narrative (Line Item and Narrative)
Project Narrative
Other Narrative Attachments Cover Letter
Additional Instructions Refer to above additional guidance

Change in Scope

Grant recipients must submit a post award amendment in order to change the scope or objectives for federally supported projects.

A Post Award Amendment is required for:

  • Changes to the objectives, aims, or purposes, such as changes to the service area or elimination of a care delivery site.
  • Transfer of the performance of substantive programmatic work to a third party through a sub-award, contract, or any other means.
  • Budget revisions that cause a project to change substantially from that which was approved.

Consult your GPO and GMS with questions regarding a potential change in scope. SAMHSA will not approve any requests for additional funding.

What to Include in Your Request

AMENDMENT TYPE Change in Scope
SF-424 Form
SF-424a Form
HHS Checklist Form
Budget Narrative (Line Item and Narrative)
Project Narrative
Other Narrative Attachments Cover Letter
Additional Instructions

Cover Letter:

  • Explain the change in scope to your project and why it is necessary. Include a detailed explanation of any potential impact on the approved project budget, and on accomplishing the aims and objectives of the funded project.
  • Discuss and document any unique circumstances that will impact the ability to meet the expectations of the funded project.

Change in Key Personnel

Grant recipients must submit a post award amendment in order to change approved key staff or level of effort (LOE) of approved key staff for federally supported projects.

A Post Award Amendment is required for:

  • The proposal of new personnel
  • The replacement of key personnel assigned to the award
  • Significant changes in the LOE of the approved PD

Key personnel include roles that are required by the Funding Opportunity Announcement, specified in the approved application, or on the Notice of Award (NoA), such as the Project Director (PD).

A change in the LOE of the PD requires a post award amendment if there is a separation from the project for more than three months or a 25% reduction in the PD’s time devoted to the project. For example, a proposed change from 40% effort to 30% or less effort by the Project Director would represent a significant change in LOE.

What to Include in Your Request

AMENDMENT TYPE Change in Key Personnel
SF-424 Form
SF-424a Form
HHS Checklist Form
Budget Narrative (Line Item and Narrative)  
Project Narrative  
Other Narrative Attachments

Cover Letter:

  • A curriculum vitae, resume, or biographical sketches for any new key personnel
  • Position Description
Additional Instructions Please see Key Personnel: Budget and Key Personnel: Cover Letter/Narrative

 

​​Key Personnel: Budget

  • If the changes in key personnel or the level of effort requires a budget revision (i.e. exceed 25% of the approved budget, or $250,000, whichever is less), then a revised SF-424A, line item budget, and budget narrative for the budget year (including annual salaries and the percentage of LOE) are required.
  • If matching funds are required, this information must be included in the request as well.

Key Personnel: Cover Letter/Narrative

  • Explain and support the need to change the key personnel and/or change the LOE dedicated to the award.
  • Describe the proposed duties or responsibilities that have changed, if any, and why.
  • Discuss the impact, if any, that the change in personnel or LOE will have on the budget and scope of work for the approved grant.
  • If the change in key personnel or the level of effort falls below the budget revision threshold, then the letter must include the statement, “The budget changes associated with this a post award amendment request fall below SAMHSA’s budget revision threshold”, and also identify the annual salary and level of effort of the proposed key personnel.
  • The proposed PD must be registered in eRA Commons and the Commons ID must be stated on the Cover Letter. Please see SAMHSA PD Account Creation Instructions (PDF | 687 KB) for a quick step-by-step guide and SAMHSA Grantee PD Account Creation Slides (PDF | 987 KB) for additional information on the eRA Commons registration process for the PD.
  • The Commons ID of the proposed PD must be stated on Field #4 Applicant Identifier of the SF-424.

Merger, Successor-in-Interest, Transfer

Grant recipients must submit a post award amendment as soon as possible so that SAMHSA can determine whether the organization will continue to meet the grant program’s eligibility requirements and take the necessary action to reflect the change in advance of the change in status. Recipients are encouraged to contact SAMHSA Division of Grants Management (DGM) to explain the nature of the change in organizational status and receive guidance on whether it will be treated as a name change or successor-in-interest.

A Post Award Amendment is required for the following types of changes in organizational status:

  • Merger: A legal action resulting in the unification of two or more legal entities. When such an action involves the transfer of HHS grants, the procedures for recognizing a successor-in-interest will apply. When the action does not involve the transfer of HHS grants, the procedures for recognizing a name change normally will apply.
  • Successor-in-interest: A process whereby the rights to and obligations under an HHS grant are acquired incidental to the transfer of all of the assets of the recipient or the transfer of that part of the assets involved in the performance of the grant. A successor-in-interest may result from legislative or other legal action, such as a merger or other corporate change.
  • Transfer: A process in which the award is transferred from the current recipient to a new recipient. The award project scope remains unchanged.

What to Include in Your Request

AMENDMENT TYPE Merger, Successor-In-Interest, Transfer
SF-424 Form
SF-424a Form
HHS Checklist Form
Budget Narrative (Line Item and Narrative)  
Project Narrative  
Other Narrative Attachments
Additional Instructions Please consult with your GMS for guidance.

No-Cost Extension

Grant recipients may submit a one-time post award amendment to request an extension of up to 12 months on their project. A no-cost extension (NCE) is to ensure completion of the originally approved project, or to permit an orderly phase-out of a project that will not receive continuation support.

A NCE of up to 12 months, with no additional federal funds, may be granted for a federally supported project based on one of the following situations:

  • To ensure completion of the originally approved project goals.
  • To permit an orderly phase-out of a project that will not receive continuation support (i.e. the project is in its last budget year and has not received a continuation award).

The NCE request must be submitted 60 days prior to the end of the project period. SAMHSA will not approve late requests or requests for additional funding, or authorize changes to the project scope or objectives (such as new positions or new services), with a NCE request. SAMHSA will not approve a NCE request if the primary purpose is to permit the use of an unobligated balance of funds.

What to Include in Your Request

AMENDMENT TYPE No Cost Extension
SF-424 Form
SF-424a Form
HHS Checklist Form
Budget Narrative (Line Item and Narrative)
Project Narrative
Other Narrative Attachments Cover Letter
Additional Instructions

Cover Letter: An explanation as to why project goals were not completed during the award project period.

The requested duration of the NCE. The time frame requested cannot exceed 12 months. The request must reflect the number of months it will take to reasonably complete the remaining work, and is subject to SAMHSA review.

Identification of the remaining program goals will be accomplished during the NCE period.

The estimated amount of remaining funding that will be used during the NCE.

Sample budgets are provided for your reference:

Organization Change

An Organization Change is when the name and/or EIN of an organization is changed without otherwise affecting the rights and obligations of that organization as a grant recipient.

Notification to SAMHSA

When there is a name and/or EIN change to an organization, an advance request is required to ensure that the recipient still is able to meet its legal and administrative obligations to HHS and payments are not interrupted. Recipients are encouraged to contact the GMS to explain the nature of the change in organizational status and receive further guidance.

If deemed appropriate by SAMHSA, the grant recipients must submit a post award amendment as soon as possible so that the organization will continue to meet the grant program’s eligibility requirements.

What to Include in Your Request

AMENDMENT TYPE Organization Change
SF-424 Form
SF-424a Form
HHS Checklist Form
Budget Narrative (Line Item and Narrative)  
Project Narrative  
Other Narrative Attachments
Additional Instructions

Letter outlining the grant number, request, justification, IRS documentation, articles of incorporation, etc.

1. A copy of the legal instrument that authorized the name and/or EIN change and authenticated by a proper official of the state or government agency having jurisdiction, such as:

a. If the organization is incorporated: a copy of the amendment to the Articles of Incorporation, and proof of filing with the appropriate state authority.

b. If the organization is a trust: A copy of the amendment to the trust instrument, or a resolution to amend the trust instrument, showing the effective date of the change of name and signed by at least one trustee.

c. If the organization is an unincorporated association: A copy of the amendment to the Articles of Association, constitution, or other organizing document, showing the effective date of the change of name and signed by at least two officers, trustees or members.

d. If the organization is a government entity, political subdivision, instrumentality of government: Documentation from the governmental unit that created the entity showing the (new) name of the entity and a letter signed by a person authorized by the creating governmental unit.

The required documentation that an organization submits to SAMHSA for reporting a name change is the same as the supporting documentation the organization uses when reporting a name change to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

2. Legal opinion that includes a statement that says the name change was properly effected in accordance with applicable law.

Please consult with your GMS for guidance.

Once SAMHSA has determined that the documentation for the organization change is complete, the GMS will:

a) Notify the recipient by email to acknowledge the organization change; and

b) Issue an amended NoA at any time, but no later than the next award action.

Contacts

  • Budget and grant-specific questions: contact your assigned Grants Management Specialist (GMS)
  • Program-related questions: contact your assigned Government Project Officer (GPO)
  • Technical questions: contact the eRA Service Desk

Web: https://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html

Submit a Web Ticket: https://public.era.nih.gov/commonshelp (preferred method of contact)

Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552 (Press 6 for SAMHSA Grantees)
Phone: 301-402-7469 (Press 6 for SAMHSA Grantees)
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time (closed on federal holidays)

Last Updated: 08/09/2019