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The transfer of an award from one institution to another involves two key steps:

  1. The grantee submits a Relinquishing Statement.
  2. The new institution submits an error-free application to the NIH.

This page aims to guide both investigators and our administrative staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) through the Type 7 Change of Recipient Organization Application process. PA-21-268

The NIH grant transfer process typically begins 60 to 90 days before the planned move.

  • The former institution usually requires about 90 days for the close-out process.
  • Following this, it can take an additional 30 to 90 days for the award to be relinquished and for a new application to be submitted through the new institution.

These are general estimates and actual timelines may vary. In line with the Type 7 FOA, it is recommended that a change of recipient organization request be made before the anticipated start date at the new organization, and preferably several months in advance. This advice highlights the need for early planning in the grant transfer process.

For Incoming Investigators to UNC-CH

At the Former Institution:

  1. Start the Process Early: Initiating the process early can help ensure a smooth transition and prevent potential delays. Per NIH, a change of recipient organization request must be made before the anticipated start date at the new organization and preferably several months in advance.
  2. Relinquishing Statement Submission: The former institution must submit the Relinquishing Statement through eRA Commons.
  3. We recommend that the investigator:
    • Follow their former institution’s process to ensure this step is completed.
    • Stay involved in the process to ensure the Relinquishing Statement has been accepted and approved by the NIH Grants Management Specialist (GMS ).


  1. Documents: Providing the UNC research administrator and signing official with the following documents can help them gain a better understanding of the grant’s scope. These three documents are crucial for understanding the original project scope, assessing budgetary needs, ensuring compliance, and facilitating a smooth transition to the new organization.
    1. Signed Relinquishing Statement.
    2. Initial application that was submitted to the NIH.
    3. The most recent Notice of Grant Award.
  2. IRB or IACUC Approvals: Investigators should not delay in obtaining UNC Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approvals. These approvals are crucial for the timely continuation of the research at UNC-CH.
  3. Considerations for submitting an error-free application using the Type 7 Change of Recipient Organization Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): PA-21-268:
    1. Communication:
      1. Most of the time, submitting a Type 7 application is a straightforward process and no communication with the Grants Management Specialist (GMS) is necessary.
      2. However, all applicants and signing officials are encouraged to discuss all potential requests with the awarding IC GMS before submission.
    2. Paper Submission:
      1. Some Activity Codes require a Paper Submission which will be emailed by the UNC-CH Signing Official directly to the GMS.
      2. Consider requesting permission from the GMS to prepare the Paper Application submission using our S2S software (Cayuse). This software uses the SF424 forms, which are more current than the older PHS 398 forms. After preparation, we will sign and send the PDF copy of the application to the GMS.
    3. Budget:
      1. The budget for the Type 7 application should use the direct cost amount reported on the Relinquishing Statement, plus applicable F&A costs for the new institution not the total cost on the Relinquishing Statement .
      2. The R&R Detailed Budget form must be used, even if the budget for the original award was submitted in a modular format. Grantees may either complete all of the fields in the R&R Detailed Budget as appropriate or, they may complete only the costs for the PD/PI (Section A), and include the remainder of the direct costs under Section F (Other Direct Costs) Item 8-10, and Section H (Indirect Costs).
    4. Additional Statements:
      1. Within the Research Strategy, include a statement indicating whether the overall research plans/aims have changed from the original submission.
      2. In the Introduction, state whether the change in recipient institution was related to concerns about safety and/or work environments (e.g. due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions) involving the PD/PI.
      3. If transferring mid-budget year, the PI needs to check with the PO to see if a Progress Report needs to be included in the Research Strategy section of the transfer application.
    5. JIT Material:
      1. A well-prepared Type 7 application has a good chance the JIT material will be requested shortly after submission.
      2. A proactive approach is to anticipate the JIT request and start gathering JIT material at the time of application.

For Outgoing Investigators leaving UNC-CH:


  1. Initiate the Process Early: To ensure a smooth transition and avoid potential delays, start the process as early as possible. According to NIH guidelines, a request for a change of recipient organization should be made before the anticipated start date at the new organization, preferably several months in advance.
  2. Prepare the Relinquishing Statement: The investigator is required to collaborate with their UNC-CH Research Administrator and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at UNC-CH to prepare the Relinquishing Statement. It’s crucial for the investigator to stay involved, especially when the Relinquishing Statement is submitted to and approved by the NIH.
  3. Submit Final Reports: Prior to their departure, the investigator should prepare and submit any final reports or documentation to UNC-CH. This includes financial, progress, and invention reports, among others.
  4. Collect Helpful Documents: Investigators should gather helpful documents such as the Relinquishing Statement, initial application, and the most recent Notice of Award to facilitate the transition process at the new institution..

At the New Institution:

  1. Establish Contacts: It’s beneficial to start establishing contacts at the new institution as early as possible. This can include potential collaborators, administrative staff, and department heads.
  2. Get Acquainted with the New Environment: By learning about the new institution’s policies and procedures, the investigator can ensure a smoother transition and be well-prepared for their Type 7 application at the new institution.

This process ensures a smooth transition for investigators leaving UNC-CH and allows us to provide the necessary support during this important transition.

Key FAQs for Investigators on the Move

What are the options for a Principal Investigator (PI) who has moved to a new institution and wishes to resubmit a previously unfunded NIH grant application?

There are two options for the PI in this scenario:

  1. Submit a Type 7 Change of Recipient Organization
  2. Resubmit the application using the previously unfunded FOA.
Does the initial institution need to submit a relinquishing statement to the NIH for both options?
Yes, in both options, the initial institution where the grant was originally held must submit a relinquishing statement to the NIH. This statement indicates that they are giving up the grant and transferring it to the new institution.
What if the application was not awarded? How does the relinquishing statement process work in eRA Commons?
If the application was not awarded, the relinquishing statement process in eRA Commons won’t apply. In this case, the initial institution should submit a letter relinquishing the right to the application through the prior approval process in eRA Commons.
What is the recommended solution if the relinquishing statement process in eRA Commons does not work because an awarded application cannot be found?
The recommended solution is to use the Prior Approval process in eRA Commons and submit a letter relinquishing the right to the application. This ensures a smooth transfer of the grant to the new institution.
What should be done to ensure a smooth transfer of the grant to the new institution?
Consulting with NIH program officers for specific guidance is advisable to navigate the process and ensure a smooth transfer of the grant to the new institution.


  • The current Funding Opportunity Title: Change of Recipient Organization (Type 7 Parent Clinical Trial Optional)
  • Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number: PA-21-268

NIH RePORTER provides detailed information such as the contact Principal Investigator (PD/PI), other PIs involved in the project, the program official, opportunity number, administering institutes or centers, and comprehensive project funding information. This wealth of data can be invaluable for research administrators in managing and planning research projects.


Begin the transition process early and maintain active engagement with all key stakeholders. These include the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI), the Signing Official at the Award Recipient Organization, the UNC-CH Research Administrator and Signing Officials, the NIH Program Official, and the Grant Management Specialist.