Office of Sponsored Programs - 500.21 - Carryover of Unobligated Balances


Office of Sponsored Programs - 500.21 - Carryover of Unobligated Balances


Careful consideration of reporting variables combined with scrupulous accounting practices is necessary to safeguard the University's integrity and provide maximum recovery of Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A) for balances remaining at the end of a sponsored project.

Policy Statement

Sponsored research funds are subject to numerous variables that can affect financial reporting accuracy and subsequently, full recovery of research expenditure costs. It is essential for Principal Investigators (PIs) and Departmental Administrators (DAs) to carefully consider these variables when determining financial expenditures and discuss inquiries about them with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).

I. Carryover

Carryover funds are not automatically added to the total amount budgeted for the subsequent year. Therefore, it is imperative that PIs and DAs familiarize themselves with the nuances of the carryover process to accurately monitor and report expenditures.

A formal request for carryover of unspent funds from one funding period to the next requires approval from the sponsor and must be made via OSP. Requests for carryover must also be made for awards under the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP). Since carryover is specific to each awarding agency and is addressed in the award terms and conditions, inquiries regarding carryover must be made to the appropriate Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS) in OSP.

II. Applying Split F&A Rates

When there is a change in the Federally-negotiated F&A rates, OSP implements a timeline for bridging old F&A rates to current F&A rates, depending on the official start date of a given award. When working with award expenditures, this timeline serves as the foremost guide in determining the applicable F&A rate. This also applies when planning new proposal budgets.

III. Fringe Benefits Rates

Fringe Benefit rates are reviewed and adjusted annually. It is important that DAs remain aware of annual rate adjustments applicable to awards under their administration.

Related Requirements

Unit Policies, Standards, & Procedures

Contact Information

For questions regarding this operating standard and its related procedure, please contact

For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned SPS.

For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant. OSP Staff assignments are found in RAMSeS or on the OSP website.


History Table
Date Revision
07/01/2022 Revised to reflect new office name.
05/15/2018 Revised to coincide with the release of the new OSP Website.

The operating standards in the Office of Sponsored Programs Operating Standards & Procedures Manual supersede any OSP operating standards, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.

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Article ID: 132326
Thu 4/8/21 9:28 PM
Thu 6/27/24 1:46 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Office of Sponsored Programs
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor
Policy Contact
Person who handles document management. Best person to contact for information about this policy. In many cases this is not the Issuing Officer. It may be the Policy Liaison, or another staff member.
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
01/19/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
01/19/2024 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/2008 12:00 AM
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level