“Expanded authorities” or “Waiver of Authorities” refers to a limited number of actions that normally require prior approval by the awarding agency but for which the agency has waived its authority and given this authority to the grantee.

As expanded authorities or waiver of authorities is a Federal Agency specific term it does not apply to all Grants and never applies to contracts.

Certain changes, however, always require prior approval of the awarding agency. These changes impact the project scope or objective and are evidenced by:

  • Change of Principal Investigator (PI) or other key personnel;
  • Absence of the PI for more than three months, or a 25 percent reduction in effort spent on the project by the PI or other key personnel;
  • Transfer of the performance of substantial programmatic work to a third party
  • Significant re-budgeting, whether or not the particular expenditures require prior approval;
  • Need for additional funds;
  • Other changes specifically cited in the award or in agency-specific guidelines.

Contact your Research Foundation Post Award contact to determine whether the award falls under Expanded Authorities.

If prior approval is required then written approval must be obtained from the Sponsoring official. It may also be helpful or even a required preliminary step, to obtain official approval for certain actions. Written approval may be made by e-mail or document. Approval cannot be obtained over the telephone or during an in-person conversation.