GAP 200.160, Rebudgeting Funds on Grants and Contracts

  1. General
  2. Guidelines for Approval
  3. Computation
  4. Procedure for Approval of Sponsor
  5. Procedure for University Approval




This procedure gives the general guidelines for rebudgeting funds on sponsored projects. Each award document and the corresponding sponsor guidelines should be reviewed carefully for specific sponsor restrictions and regulations.  Do not use this form for Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) related expenses.  For CAS related expenses refer to GAP 200.360, Charging Clerical and/or Administrative Costs to Federally Funded Projects.



The Sponsor expects that applicants will anticipate the entire cost of their project in their proposal. Usually the awarding of the project constitutes approval of the expenditures in the proposed budget. However, since it may be in the best interest of the project to depart from the approved budget to meet an unforeseen requirement of the project, some sponsors permit awardee institutions to depart from the approved budget as long as the project funds are used in compliance with their policies and regulations. Such deviations from the approved budget must enhance the project and must conform to the rebudgeting guidelines of the funding sponsor. Rebudgeting may also be restricted by conditions imposed by the individual award.

Most awards require prior written approval by the sponsor for the following purposes:

  • Any purpose disapproved or restricted as a condition of the award.
  • Change in scope, objectives, or purposes of the approved project.
  • Change in key personnel whose expertise is critical to the approved project.
  • Decrease in the total amount budgeted for training costs.
  • Any rebudgeting of funds in or out of patient care costs; also, any addition of patient care costs if no patient care costs were in the approved budget.

Each Sponsor varies in the degree of rebudgeting authority granted to institutions. This is specified in the award document. If any clarification on rebudgeting is needed, contact the appropriate pre-award office or the Office of Sponsored Programs.



When rebudgeting funds, one must consider the impact on Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs. F&A costs are applied to all direct costs except capital equipment, student aid, patient care, certain telephone expenses, subcontract amounts over $25,000 and student tuition remission. See the examples below.


The Principal Investigator (PI) needs an additional $1,000 in the equipment category and the funds are available in the supplies category. The F&A cost rate is 54%.

Computation: $1,000/1.54 = $649.35 from Supplies

Moving $649.35 from the supplies category to the equipment category, also relieves $350.65($649.35 x .54) from F&A costs. The $649.35 from supplies and $350.65 from F&A cost equals the $1,000 to be spent on equipment.


The PI needs an additional $1,000 in the supplies category and the funds are available in the equipment category. The F&A cost rate is 54%.

Computation: $1,000 x 1.54 = $1,540.00 from equipment

When funds are moved from equipment, which carries no F&A cost, to supplies, funds must also be moved for the F&A costs that will be applied against the supplies. In this example, move $1,000 for the supplies and $540 for the related F&A costs.



If the rebudgeting desired requires the approval of the sponsor Duke must submit a letter to the sponsor requesting approval of the rebudgeting. The letter must specify:

  1. the nature of the change (the budget categories to be increased and decreased)
  2. justification for the change
  3. the award identification number or agency identification
  4. the beginning and ending dates of the budget period(s) affected

The PI should draft the letter and send the letter to the appropriate pre-award office (Office of Research Support for University or Office of Research Administration for the School of Medicine and School of Nursing) for signature by an official of the University.



If the type of rebudgeting desired does not require the prior approval of the sponsor, the University is authorized to approve or disapprove the rebudgeting. Complete the form Request for Rebudgeting of Funds. If the desired change was denied as part of the original proposal, the University is not authorized to approve the rebudgeting; rather the PI must submit a request by letter as described in Section IV.

Instructions for completing the Rebudgeting form:

Enter the SPS# assigned to the project, the date of the request, the Award number, and Budget Period for this request.

PART I - Amounts to rebudget
All columns must have relevant data or the form will be returned as incomplete. Take a moment to read the information provided at the beginning of the form with “^^”. Complete the columns as follows:

  • WBSE – enter the WBS Element affected by the rebudget
  • G/L Account – enter the General Ledger account affected by the rebudget. 
  • Name of G/L Account – enter the name of the General Ledger Account.
  • Current R/3 Plan Amount – Enter the Inception to Date (ITD) Plan amount as of the last closed fiscal month.
  • Current Category Balance – Enter the R/3 balance for the listed G/L Account as of the last closed fiscal month.
  • Requested Increase of (Decrease) – Enter amount you wish to rebudget. Enter a plus number if you wish to move funds to the listed G/L Account. Enter a minus or (#) if you wish to move funds from the listed G/L Account. Please note that the Balance column must be equal to or greater then the amount of the (Decrease).
  • Total – The form will calculate this amount. The Total amount must equal to zero.

PART II - General Justification
All questions must be answered or the form will be returned as incomplete. Please provide sufficient detail of the intended use of the rebudget funds so that the approver can make the appropriate decision. The form will be returned as incomplete if insufficient detail is provided.


The Principal Investigator’s and Department Chair/Business Manager’s signature are required. Once these signatures have been obtained, the form should be sent to the appropriate pre-award office for programmatic review and approval.

If the request is approved by the pre-award office, the request will be forwarded to the Office of Sponsor Programs for financial review. If the request is approved by OSP, the SAP ITD Plan will be revised to include the approved rebudgeted amounts. A copy of the fully approved request will be mailed to the designated department administrator.


Note: This guidance is administrative in nature and is not a cost reimbursement policy. Failure to comply may or may not result in adjustments of charges to the award. Noncompliance with this policy does not mean this cost is unallowable from an external perspective. Any adjustments of charges will be as required under applicable federal cost reimbursement principles. If a cost is removed from an award for any reason, whether or not related to this guidance, the cost will generally be charged to departmental funds.