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Prior Approval Requests

Prior Approvals

In some cases, NIH prior written approval may be required before a recipient makes certain budget modifications or undertakes particular activities. The NIH Grants Policy Statement provides details for requests that require prior approval.

Steps for Requesting Prior Approval

Use the eRA Commons Prior Approval module to request the following changes. All requests must be made at least 30 days before the proposed change.

  • Change of PD/PI
  • No Cost Extension beyond 12 months
  • Carryover

Requests submitted via the eRA Commons are tracked within the NIH systems and available for you to see in the Commons. The Prior Approval module also includes the ability for the request to be routed within the institution for PD/PI input, but the request must be submitted by the Signing Official or Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Once submitted, the GMO will review the request and provide a response to the AOR with copies to the PD/PI and the NCI program director. 

Training videos for eRA Commons: Prior Approval

If you need to submit prior approval items that are not available in the eRA Commons Prior Approval module, please submit to NCI via the following email address: NCI Post Award Actions

Questions should be directed to the Grants Management Specialist contact designated in the eRA Commons Status screen.


The recipient institution is permitted to rebudget between budget categories within the total costs awarded to meet unanticipated requirements, provided the expenditures:

  1. Are within the scope of the approved project
  2. Enhance and do not impede the successful continuation or completion of the project
  3. Are allowable under governing regulations and policies

Some rebudgeting actions may require specific prior approval from the NCI. The NIH Grants Policy Statement and the terms of the award should be consulted regarding current policies on rebudgeting and prior approval authority. The grants management specialist assigned to the project may also be contacted for advice.

If you would like to reproduce some or all of this content, see Reuse of NCI Information for guidance about copyright and permissions. In the case of permitted digital reproduction, please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source and link to the original NCI product using the original product's title; e.g., “Prior Approval Requests was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”