The University of Arizona

Award Transfers

Be aware that grants and contracts are awarded to academic institutions, not to individual principal investigators (PIs).

Transfers to Another University

When the principal investigator transfers from The University of Arizona to another institution, the projects under that principal investigator may be transferred to the new institution for a period up to the remainder of the previously approved project period. To transfer an award:

  • The University of Arizona must relinquish its interest and rights in the grant.
  • Some agencies, e.g. the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, have a form for this purpose. Contact Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) to find the proper form for your project.
  • The principal investigator must estimate the amount of unobligated funds remaining on the project.
  • SPS accountant will verify the remaining project funds.
  • The SPS accountant will request concurrence to relinquish the grant from the appropriate department head.
  • Upon receiving the relinquishing statement from the University of Arizona, the sponsor terminates the current grant and establishes a new award with the new institution for the remainder of the project.

The process is the same for non-federal sponsors. The University of Arizona will relinquish its interest in the grant and return unexpended funds to the non-federal sponsor. The sponsor will then establish a new agreement with the new institution.

When the amount of time and funds remaining in a project are modest, and if both the University of Arizona and the new institution agree, the University may issue a subaward to the new organization for completion of the project. Sponsor approval is required before a subaward may be issued. The University of Arizona will not transfer funds to a new institution without sponsor approval and a fully executed subcontract.

Equipment purchased with sponsored funds for use on a specific project normally remains available for use for the duration of the project. Principal investigators who are in the midst of projects that included funding for equipment and who will continue the project at a new institution may, with sponsor support, arrange to have the equipment transferred with them. Shipping costs for such equipment may be charged to the University grant account or the new institution grant account. Approval of the department head, dean, the Sponsored Projects Services property administrator, and the Senior Vice President for Research is needed before the equipment may be transferred. See the outgoing UA Equipment Transfer Policy.

See Award Transfer Process for additional information and procedures.

Gift funds and funds remaining at the end of a fixed-price contract are considered University funds and are not available for transfer to the new institution.

Transfers from Another Institution to the University of Arizona

Transferring a sponsored project into the University of Arizona is similar to accepting a new award. Follow these steps to initiate the process:

  • The principal investigator must confirm that both the granting agency and the former institution are aware that the investigator is leaving or has left that institution.
  • The principal investigator must confirm that both the granting agency and the former institution have granted approval to transfer/relinquish the sponsored project.
  • The principal investigator should provide contact information for the granting agency program officer and the former institution grant administrator to Sponsored Projects Services (SPS).
  • Sponsored Projects Services will review the granting agency's policy regarding transfers and follow their procedures. If the granting agency does not have a published grant transfer policy, SPS may need to contact the sponsor program officer directly, using contact information provided by the PI.
  • The principal investigator will coordinate with SPS and:
    • Identify remaining project objectives to be completed at the University of Arizona
    • Calculate the remaining account balance that will be transferred from the former institution
    • Complete a formal proposal in UAccess Research for the transfer amount
  • Financial Services Office provides incoming Equipment Transfer Policies and Procedures.

See the Transfer Equipment from a Former Institution section of the Property Administration page for information on transferring equipment.

Specific sponsor policy

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has specific requirements for award transfer in chapter II.B.2.g of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

National Institutes of Health provides a guide for transferring NIH grants to a new institution.

What happens if the previous institution will not relinquish the award?

Granting agencies make awards to institutions, not to individuals. The University of Arizona cannot request an award transfer. The principle investigator must make this request.  If the previous institution will not agree to transfer the award, creating a subcontract to the University of Arizona is a potential mitigation plan.

Change of Principal Investigator

The principal investigator for a sponsored project can change for many reasons, including personal issues or when the investigator leaves the University of Arizona without the authority to transfer a grant. The sponsor agency must approve of this project change. The mechanism or requirement for sponsor approval varies depending on the terms of and conditions of a particular award. The department head, dean, or business manager should contact Sponsored Projects Services to understand the appropriate procedures for changing the principal investigator on a specific award.

See the Project Changes page for making significant changes to a principal investigator's effort level.

See the Principal Investigator Eligibility page for understanding the criteria of who can be designated as a new principal investigator when making this change.