Grant extensions and suspensions

During the term of your grant, there may be unforeseen delays to your research. This guidance outlines the circumstances in which we will allow grant extensions and suspensions, and how you can request these.

If you are successful in applying to us for funding, we will agree with you an award start date, duration and end date. We expect most awards to be completed within the agreed duration, but we accept there may be occasions where there are unforeseen delays and you may need to request an extension or suspension to ensure the research deliverables are met.

 

No-cost extensions

A no-cost extension extends the duration of the grant and sets back the grant end date to meet research deliverables.

We may consider a no-cost, time-only request in these circumstances:

Staff related

Non-staff related

  • Delays in the appointment of staff
  • Parental or other long-term leave (e.g. sick leave)
  • Changing to part-time working once the grant is active
  • Delays in setting up trials (e.g. opening sites)
  • Delays in recruitment for patient trials or surveys
  • Major equipment failures
  • Major laboratory/ building issues
  • Unforeseen problems with:
    • specimen/sample/data collection
    • data access/approvals
    • acquiring ethical approvals or permits
  • Unavailability of facilities intrinsic to the project
  • Attendance at conferences to disseminate findings if the purpose relates to the grant and there is added impact
  • Publications or other research outputs to be finalised.

We would usually expect no more than one no-cost extension per award and the extension to be limited to a maximum of 12 months from the original end date, except where it relates to taking parental or other long-term leave as per our policy.

If activity on a grant didn’t actually start until a later start date and no expenditure has been made on the grant in those months, we recommend you amend the start date to a later date.

Our Costs Guidance lays out the acceptable circumstances in which you can use any grant underspend.

We don’t allow no cost extensions:

  • to use unspent funds on work not specified in the original grant research deliverables as awarded, unless stated in our Costs Guidance or otherwise agreed with us in advance;
  • where expenses incurred can be accrued to the grant, even if invoices have not yet been paid (e.g. for equipment), to allow for any unknown contingency periods.

How to request a no-cost extension

All extensions must be requested in writing before the end of the grant period.

Generally, requests should be made in the final year of the grant, except for extensions due to parental or other long-term leave that should be made before any period of leave being taken.

You should email your request to the relevant Research Funding Manager1, outlining:

  • the full justification/reasons for the extension
  • the new end date requested
  • details of how the additional time will be used
  • any underspend that will be transferred to the extension period.

Depending on the scheme, you may also be asked to complete a no-cost extension request template with additional information.

 

Suspensions

At CRUK, a suspension usually means that both grant activity and payments are suspended, resulting in a fallow period with no activity nor expenses incurred. Typically, suspensions may be considered for:

Staff related

Non-staff related

  • CRUK Fellows who take parental or other long-term leave (eg sick leave) where there are no other research staff members on the grant

 

  • Major building issues where all work has ceased and is unlikely to recommence soon

 

How to request a suspension

A suspension must be requested before the end of the grant period and before any period of leave to be taken in the cases of parental or other long-term leave.

You should email your request to your relevant Research Funding Manager1, outlining:

  • the reason for the suspension
  • the date the grant will recommence
  • the new end date.

 

Costed extensions

A costed extension extends the original end date with additional CRUK funds awarded to meet existing or additional research deliverables.

Costed extensions are only considered in very limited circumstances and only by invitation from CRUK. Typically, costed extensions may be considered for:

Staff related

Non-staff related

  • CRUK Fellows who take parental or other long-term leave (e.g. sick leave) and other research staff members will continue to work during their leave of absence
  • CRUK PhD students who take parental or other long-term leave (e.g. sick leave) which CRUK will pay in addition if needed and if underspend has been exhausted.
  • Delays in setting up trials (e.g. opening sites)
  • Delays in patient recruitment in trials.

 

Please contact your relevant Research Funding Manager1 as early as possible before the grant end date to discuss a potential cost extension.

 

Footnotes

  1. Contact details for Research Funding Managers can be found on our funding scheme pages.