There may be occasions when due to unforeseen circumstances, you need to make some changes to a grant. This is possible, but is normally restricted to:

  • Late or deferred starts: the start date of an award can be extended if it wasn't possible to commence the research on the anticipated start date.
  • Transfers: if the principal investigator moves to another eligible institution, the award can be transferred if both the original and the new institutions agree.
  • Extensions: you may be granted some additional time to complete the research (without additional funding). For example if the principal investigator or another researcher, or a member of the research staff left, was off sick or on maternity leave. Please note that extensions must be requested at least three months before the end of the award.
  • Changes of principal investigator: if the principal investigator leaves the institution where the award is held, the institution can appoint a replacement.
  • Withdrawal: if the researchers or the institution can no longer continue with the research, the institution can withdraw.

In very exceptional cases, an increase or decrease to the award cash limit may be granted.


We expect grants to be properly planned. However, even well-planned research can be subject to unexpected difficulties. In exceptional circumstances award periods may be extended by prior agreement. Extensions without additional funding may be granted for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Sickness
  • Maternity leave
  • Death or termination of employment of the principal investigator, co-investigator grant holder or any other member of staff funded or part funded by ESRC.

Extension rules

  • The normal extension limit is six months
  • There is an absolute limit of 12 months in total. Extensions of between six and 12 months need exception justification and may be refused if this is not provided
  • Applications for extensions must be made at least three months before the end of the current award. Applications received after this time will normally be rejected, irrespective of the case
  • Extensions will not be granted automatically, nor retrospectively

Any request for an extension should be made via the Grant Maintenance facility in Je-S. The finance office at your institution should be given a copy of the request.

Who to contact