Transferring Awards to Purdue University

A guide for incoming Principal Investigators

Welcome to Purdue University! This page is intended to inform Principal Investigators (PIs) of the information and actions needed to effectively transfer sponsored awards from a previous institution to Purdue University.

The transfer of an award from one institution to another is a complex and time-consuming action as several potential issues must be addressed prior to the transfer. It is important to understand that awards are granted to an institution and not to the PI as an individual.  Support is necessary from the previous institution to complete the transfer. 

Note: Award transfers take on average up to 6 months to complete. Therefore, it is important to start early by notifying the previous institution's research administration office. The PI should initiate the transfer at the previous institution and connect the previous institution’s sponsored research office with the assigned Purdue SPS Pre-Award Specialist well in advance of arrival at Purdue University (see process details to get assigned a Pre-Award Specialist). 

Transfer Guide for Incoming Faculty to Purdue


General Process for Transferring an Award

All transfers begin at the institution the PI is leaving.

Stop all spending on the award as soon as practical. All expenditures must be completed and posted to the grant before the previous institution can start the process.

PI should meet with their previous institution to develop a transition plan:

  1. Will the award stay at the previous institution with a change of PI?
  2. Will the award stay at the previous institution with a sub-award going to the new institution?
  3. Will the award be fully transferred to the new institution?
Note, while federal grants are often transferred between institutions, contracts are generally not transferable. The usual approach would be to terminate completely and re-issue to the new institution.
Things to take into consideration:
  • If there is cost share included in the grant, what is the status of the cost-sharing commitment made by the original institution?
  • Were there any technological developments? Was there Intellectual Property developed or background IP involved that may stay at the original institution?
  • If equipment was purchased on the grant, will it be transferred to the new institution?
  • Were there subawards to other institutions on the grant? How will those be handled? Determine status of the subawards on the project. Inform all collaborators of the move.
  • Are there any compliance protocols to close out (IRB and IACUC)? Set up new protocol(s) at the new institution.
  • Are there project personnel to transfer to the new institution with the PI? Consider source of “bridge funding” for those persons until the grant or sub award can be established at the new institution.
  • If there is a Co-PI(s), determine the roles and if that will remain at the old institution?
  • Are there labs to close?
  • Is there material or data to transfer?
A checklist has been developed to use in addressing each of these questions. **Coming Soon**

Starting the Transfer with Purdue

As a PI begins to work with SPS Pre-Award, the following questions should be considered.  SPS Pre-Award will need to develop a proposal record for each incoming transfer award.

  • How many awards will be transferred to Purdue and what agencies are they with?
  • Will there be a subaward back to original institution?
  • Are there subawards on current award?
  • What is the relinquishment date?
  • What is the unobligated balance to be transferred? This is the amount unspent/unencumbered at the relinquishment date and may involve some estimates by the PI.
  • Are there any cost share obligations? Will your department/college and/or Office of Research agree to honor the obligations?
  • Is there any equipment associated with this award that will need transferred to Purdue?
  • Will any related project staff members, such as graduate students, transfer to the new institution with the PI? Please note, offer letters and/or department head approval may be required to include named individuals not yet at Purdue in the budget.
  • Are there any technology developments that will transfer? Discuss with OTC
  • Are there any compliance protocols (IRB, IACUC, etc.) to set up? Discuss with Regulatory.

Overview and contacts for SPS Pre-Award are available here:

Role of the Previous Institution and Sponsor

Contact the Sponsored Programs/Research Office at your previous institution to start the processes for transferring awards. Reminder that your previous institution and the sponsor must agree to any transfer prior to Purdue accepting the award.

If the award is to be transferred, these are some topics to discuss with your previous institution.

  • Will the award be transferred in whole or partially to Purdue? Possible transfer arrangements are:
    • The prime award is transferred to Purdue in whole. This may also include a subaward back to your previous institution.
    • The prime award will remain at your previous institution and a subaward will be issued to Purdue.
  • What will the relinquish date from your previous institution be?
  • What is the unobligated balance to be transferred to Purdue? This is the amount unspent/unencumbered at the relinquishment date and may involve some estimates by the PI. It is suggested to cease spending at your previous institution as soon as is practical.
  • Are there any cost share obligations under the award? What is the status of cost sharing requirements? What will be the cost share amount transferred to Purdue? Note that Purdue has internal cost share processes and cost share requirements must be approved by the department, college, and/or Office of Research.
  • Are there any subawards on the award that need to be notified of the pending transfer? It is possible that their current subaward will be closed with a new subaward will be issued from Purdue.
  • What reporting is required?
    • Reporting within your previous institution, such as effort reporting
    • Reporting to the sponsor, such as final financial or scientific reporting
  • Will any equipment be transferred to Purdue?
  • Will any material or data be transferred to Purdue?
  • Are there any intellectual property matters to be addressed?
  • Are there any regulatory matters that need completed or closed?
  • Are there any labs to be closed?

Please be sure to share any of this information with your Pre-Award Specialist assigned to work with you at Purdue.

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