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PI Transfers

Grants and contracts are awarded to the grantee (The University) on behalf of Principal Investigators (PI). If a PI is transferring to or from another institution, the grantee’s office of sponsored research will work with the PI, the department and college to retain or transfer his/her awards.

The awarding agency, or sponsor, must give prior approval for all grant/contract transfers. Although exceptions may apply, in general, contracts (not grants) must be terminated at the original institution before they can be reissued to the new institution. Normally, grants go with the PI during a transfer; however, the grantee can request a substitute PI to the sponsoring agency. In this case, the funded project may be related to the university and not just to the PI.

As an alternative to a transfer, the original grantee may issue subawards for the rest of project if time and funds remaining are modest and both sides agree.

Action Needed by the Principal Investigator Prior to Transferring Grants and Contract Awards

The PI must contact the Department Chair at his/her old institution for prior approval.

The PI must notify his/her sponsoring program officers about the transfer request to be made.

The PI must review the original award documentation for the following information:

  • Cost sharing requirements: Determine if these have been met and whether any unmet requirements will be transferred.
  • Equipment purchased: Produce a list of equipment purchased on the current award (cost, acquisition date, property tag number and funding source) and obtain approval from the Department Chair and Property Management of the old institution to authorize the transfer.
  • Subrecipient: Inform collaborator of move. Determine status of the subrecipient’s part of the project.
  • Material and data transfer: Work with the legal office at either institution to initiate a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA), if needed.
  • IRB and IACUC protocols: Close out protocols at the old institution and ensure protocols are satisfied at the new institution.
  • Co-PI: Determine the role of the Co-PI that will remain at the old institution and if a subrecipient agreement for him/her will be required.

The PI must create a transfer letter to be given to the old institution. If standard statements and forms are not available, the letter should document the following information:

  • The effective date of termination.
  • The name of the new institution.
  • List of grants requesting to be transferred and grants to remain.
  • List of equipment requesting to be transferred.
  • Signature line for Dean/Chair approval of transfer of funded project and equipment.

The PI must create an incoming letter for the new institution. If standard statements and forms are not available, the letter should document the following information:

  • The effective start date at the new institution.
  • The name of the old institution.
  • List of grants to be transferred.
  • List of equipment/material to be transferred.
  • Any other relevant information that will help the new institution to facilitate the transfer.

The PI must submit to their new institution all required agency forms and reports for the transfer. NIH requires that the new institution review and provide signature approval on the PI transfer application packet.

  • NIH forms - Grant Form PHS 398 Grant Application Kit
  • NIH PI transfer instructions - Change of Grantee Organization
  • The PI must submit to their old institution all required agency forms and reports for the transfer. NSF requires that the PI first route the PI application packet through the old institution for approval before it is routed to the new institution for acknowledgement before issuing the award.
  • NSF Fastlane online forms – Login Portal
  • NSF PI transfer instructions – D. Transfer of PI

The PI should submit an administrative transmittal to the UH Office of Grants and Contract (OCG) for each of the awards to be transferred into UH, out of UH, or retained at UH.

The PI must work with their old department to provide the old institution’s office of sponsored research the final figures for the relinquishment amount of the award to be moved to a new institution.

Transfer of Awards from Another Institution to University of Houston

The transfer process may begin before the PI’s official appointment date at UH. OCG usually waits to hear from the old institution and the sponsor to confirm the relinquishment amount. However, if the PI did not complete all of the necessary reports and paperwork to initiate the transfer at the old institution, OCG can assist in this process. In order to initiate the transfer process and set up the award at UH, OCG will need the following from the PI and the UH department:

  • A transmittal for each award to be transferred with the incoming letter from the old institution.
  • A complete copy of the original proposal to the sponsor, including copies of procurement process/ documentation for any existing and continuing paid collaborators/contractors/consultants on the award.
  • If available, a copy of the signed relinquishment statement from the other institution. If one is available, interim funding may be requested.
  • Any agency required forms. Above are the specific agencies forms and instructions for NIH and NSF.

Once the transfer is completed, OCG will receive a Notice of Award from the sponsoring agency reflecting the estimated balance of the award funds to be transferred. The PI and department will receive a Notice of Award from OCG. The amount of the award may be more or less than the original estimate. A modification to the awarded amount may later be issued.

Transfer of Awards to Another Institution from University of Houston

OCG will contact the sponsor and send an official letter/email to relinquish the award. The letter to the sponsor will stipulate that the transfer will be properly affected in accordance with applicable law, and indicate that the transfer relinquishes all rights and interests in all of the affected grants. It will also request that the awarding office(s) modify its records to reflect the transferee as the grantee of record and give the effective date of the transfer. If available and necessary, the letter also will provide the sponsor with the transferee’s Entity Identification Number/Name, and include verification of the transferee’s compliance with applicable requirements (e.g., research misconduct). Lastly, the letter will provide the sponsor with a list of the grant(s) to transfer (active and pending) with the following information for each and any necessary documentation attachment needed by the sponsor:

  • Complete grant number.
  • Name of PI.
  • Current budget period and project period.
  • Deobligation amount. (For NIH use the PHS 3734 deobligation form that lists the estimated amount to be released and equipment.)
  • Any final invention or IP issues. (For NIH use HHS 568 Final Invention Statement and Certification form.)
  • For NIH and any other agency requiring it, 90 days after the end of the final budget period at UH, RFS will submit, a final Financial Status Report. (For NIH, Form 425.)

An administrative transmittal copied from the original transmittal with the approvals of all of original approvers is needed by OCG at the time a request to transfer a grant to another institution is being made.

Retaining an Award when a PI is Leaving the University of Houston

If the award is to stay at UH and the PI is leaving, the Chairman and Dean in collaboration with the PI will propose a new PI for the award to the sponsor. OCG will submit the request to the sponsor for approval. If approved, OCG will be issued an amendment to the award naming the new PI. The following information is needed to submit to the sponsor for approval:

  • An administrative transmittal copied from the original transmittal with the approvals of the individuals that approved the initial proposal, including the original PI.
  • A statement from the PI/Chairman/Dean stating the reason/benefit of retaining the award and showing how the new PI selected is suitable to continue the project.
  • The biographical sketch of the individual proposed as the new PI.
  • Other sources of support of the new PI. In the case of NIH, a PHS 398 application Format Page 7.
  • Any budget or cost center changes resulting from the proposed change.
  • If applicable, any change in level of effort (a reduction of 25% or more must be reported).