Carry Forward Requests

A Carry Forward request is the process by which unobligated funds remaining at the end of a budget period may be moved to the current budget period to cover allowable expenses. The carry forward funds enable grantees to use unexpended prior year grant funds in the current budget period.

Reference the terms and conditions in the Notice of Award (NOA) or contract for guidelines on carry forward funds for your specific grant before you begin a formal request.


The requirements for carry forward approval can be found in the terms and conditions section of your award. Some grants have automatic carry forward authority, and grantees do not have to request approval from the sponsor in order to carry forward funds from one budget period to the next. Grants that do not have automatic carry forward authority are required to submit a written request to the sponsor.

When a written request is required, the NOA will contain the following language or similar in the terms and conditions section of the NOA:

  • Carry over of an unobligated balance into the budget period requires Grants Management Officer prior approval.
  • Written NIH carry forward requests must be submitted via eRA Commons (as of 06/08/2017). These requests can only be initiated by the institution SO in eRA Commons. Please submit the following documents as three separate PDFs unless otherwise instructed by NIH or the CU Denver SO.

Explanation of Unobligated Balance (include grant number and PI name)


Detailed Budget

  1. Detailed budget in PHS 398,, format (Form Page 4) and justification for all items, including detailed budget pages for any subcontracts.
  2. Checklist page reflecting the requested F&A costs for the prime grantee and any subcontracts (see above PHS 398 link to access required forms).

Scientific Justification (memo format on department letterhead)

  1. Grant Number and PI Name
  2. Plan for expenditure, including a description of activities to be carried out during the carryover period, and how the activities relate to the aims of the project.
  3. Signature of PI (SO will provide electronic signature via eRA Commons).


  • To prevent delay of NIH approval, only the OGC Signing Official should submit the CF request to NIH.
  • NIH typically makes decisions on carry forward requests within 30 calendar days of receipt.

Non NIH Sponsors

If a written request is required, the request must be signed by the PI. The request should include all documents required by the sponsor.

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