Responsible Officer: Director

Responsible Unit: Award Management

Effective date: July 1, 2008

Last revised on: July 21, 2011

Policy Statement

As a participating research institution belonging to the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), UNC-Chapel Hill may be allowed to approve and perform certain federal award transactions without seeking agency approval. Known as “expanded authority,” this capability applies only to support awarded by federal agencies that are FDP members and only for those types of awards designated by the individual FDP member as eligible for FDP award management. The award notification clearly indicates if an agreement is awarded under the terms and conditions of FDP.

Expanded authority is only granted if the transactions are:

  • Necessary to achieve project objectives supported by the grant
  • Consistent with grant terms and conditions
  • Consistent with sponsor and grantee policies
  • Represent effective utilization of resources
  • Not indicative of a change in scope

As a participating institution, UNC-Chapel Hill is required to abide by the standards established by each individual FDP member agency in conjunction with FDP terms and conditions.

The FDP Matrix of Terms & Conditions provides specific information on approval requirements for various FDP member agencies. Principal Investigators (PIs) uncertain of expanded authority status should consult in advance with the award policies and regulations as well as the appropriate Award Manager in the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR).

When the University has been granted expanded authority by the appropriate FDP member agency, it is required to maintain records of any authorized activity through the Institutional Prior Approval System (IPAS). This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Pre-award spending
  • No-cost extensions
  • Capital equipment purchases
  • Alterations and renovations
  • Foreign travel
  • Purchases of equipment during the last six months of the approved project period
  • Publication and printing
  • Patient care costs
  • Purchase of singular audiovisual unit of $5,000 or more

Reason for Policy

This policy establishes the association between the University and the FDP and presents parameters of approval to streamline decisions pertaining to award management. It also reminds participants of research at UNC-Chapel Hill that lack of compliance to FDP terms and conditions could result in revoked privileges.


Because terms and conditions differ from award to award and among agencies, it is critical to refer to the award notification to accurately determine if FDP regulations apply.

  1. Federal agencies who are members of the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) can waive prior approval by extending authority to the grantee to approve certain types of award transactions. The member agency guidelines should be consulted to determine which approvals are necessary during the life of an award.
  2. If the transfer of equipment is involved, the OSR Transfer or Sale of Capitalized Equipment Policy should be consulted.
  3. Not all federal agencies are participants in Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) and have different requirements than those allowable by FDP. In addition, it is important to be aware that other institutions (who may be subrecipients of or to UNC-CH sponsored projects) may have separate terms and conditions that require consideration.
  4. The University’s capabilities as a member of FDP are subject to specific award terms and conditions unique to each award. Individual award terms must therefore be reviewed carefully.

Procedures and Related Policies

In completing the IPAS form for OSR review and approval, the following information must be included:

  • Project information
  • Nature of the request
  • Explanation/justification
  • PI Certification

The related policies below explain when prior approval is mandatory for research projects governed by the FDP and the need for an IPAS form when requesting pre-award spending.

OSR Research Tool Kits



Questions and concerns can be submitted online at Ask OSR or by using the OSR staff directory. Within RAMSeS, the “Speak to Someone” option assists in locating the staff member best suited to address project-specific issues.


Research Administration Glossary at Carolina

1. The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) website.

2. FDP General Terms and Conditions on the National Science Foundation (NSF) website.

Revision History

The policies in the Office of Sponsored Research Policies & Procedures Manual supersede any OSR policies, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.