Provost Area/Campus Schools carry-over approval

When funds awarded for a specific budget period have not been spent by the end of that budget period, some sponsors will allow the unspent funds to be automatically carried over or carried forward into the next budget period. Others will not, and they may require prior written approval before the funds can be available to spend. Approaches vary from agency to agency and from program to program within a single agency. Check your SPS Web Award Information to find out if carry over is automatic or not.

If a sponsor requires written approval to carry-over funds, then the unit will need to draft a letter requesting prior approval to carry-over the funds, and your ORS contact should review and approve the request by co-signing the letter as the authorized representative of Duke.

When carry-over is not automatic, the department will set up new WBSEs each year in SAP in order to keep the funds segregated until Duke receives the approval from the sponsor to move the funds from the past budget period to the new budget period.

Large unspent balances carry the risk of being lost. At their discretion, sponsors may withhold approval or approve only part of the request. In some instances, sponsors have approved the carry-over but then reduced the award amount for the next budget period by the amount of the previous unspent balance.

The procedures below describe handling funds remaining at the end of a budget period that a PI or PD wishes to carry-over for expenditures in the next budget period.

SPECIAL NOTES: If the principal investigator wishes to move a significant amount of approved carry-over funds to a different budget category, follow the procedures outlined on Awarded budgets and rebudgets page.

Post-award procedure


  • 90 days prior to the end of the budget period, checks the ORS New Award Notification for allowability of carry-over

  •  If approval is required, reviews the budget and projects award balance to the end of the budget period

  •  If approval is required, prepares a letter of request and rebudget justification for the sponsor and sends to ORS

Office of Research Support

  •  reviews the letter and confirms the terms and conditions

  •  co-signs and returns the letter to DEPT or sponsor

Department or ORS

  • sends the letter of request to the sponsor


  • receives sponsor's approval

  • notifies the department

  • requests that PAFM rollover the balance into the new WBS element


  • revises SAP entry to reflect the rollover of funds from one budget period to the next

Documentation: Offices of Record


  • keeps record of approval in award file


  • keeps record of approval in award file