Awardee FAQs

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were developed to help awardees with commonly asked questions, including identifying allowable costs on SC financial assistance awards to support diversity, equity, and inclusion on SC awards and help researchers manage individual circumstances while supporting their research.

General Questions

Where can I find more information about DOE Office of Science awards and publications from awards?

The Office of Science maintains a searchable list of all active awards here. You can also find information about the results of SC awards through the Office of Scientific and Technical Information. You can find information about Federal spending here.

How do I get paid?

Organizations receiving an Office of Science grant or cooperative agreement award will normally receive funds through the Department of Treasury's Automated Standard Application for Payment. In some situations, an award may be made under invoice payment, with invoices submitted through the Vendor Invoicing Portal and Electronic Reporting System (VIPERS). A wide array of information is available here and here.

I’m traveling to a scientific conference next month and need to take my minor child with me. Can I charge the actual travel costs for my child to my SC grant?

Yes, a Federal award does allow for temporary dependent-care costs incurred during travel. However, all requested costs must also conform to institutional policies: A cost cannot be charged to a Federal award if the institution’s policies would prohibit paying for the cost.

Do I need to contact the contracting officer or my SC program manager if I need to move funding across budget categories to address the needs of the project?

For help with any administrative, financial, or regulatory aspects of the award please contact the contracting officer or contracting specialist listed on the award’s assistance agreement.

I’m planning on taking family leave later this year and will need to scale back my time in the lab. Can I hire a research technician or postdoc to take on some of the more routine experiments and keep the momentum of the project going if this was not in the original budget request?

Yes, a Federal award does allow for flexibility in hiring during the annual budget period if an accurate estimate of hours worked by both the new hire and the lead-PI is reported in the annual budget period progress report.

Is there a “leave of absence” policy for project personnel on a funded award?

If a Principal Investigator (PI) or Key Personnel on an award will need to take leave of absence for more than 3 (three) months or changes their effort by more than 25% in time devoted to the project for any reason, the award recipient (i.e., the awarding institution) must ask for agency (DOE-SC) approval. PIs are encouraged to consult their DOE Program Manager when a change in effort is to be expected to discuss impacts on an award. Additionally, a PI may consider applying for supplemental funding and/or no cost extensions to mitigate the impacts of extended leave. (Ref. 2 CFR 200.308)

My research project officially ended last month, but I was only able to spend 50% of the award due to challenges in hiring a postdoc and student. Can I get an extension on my award?

If you need an extension to a currently active grant or cooperative agreement, please follow the instructions in the Notice of Financial Assistance Award. Extensions are not granted for the sole purpose of using unspent funds. Extensions must be requested in PAMS.

Can my postdoc (or graduate student) submit a research proposal to the DOE Office of Science on their own?

All types of Principal Investigators (PIs) are invited to work with their organizations to develop an application, but the PI must have the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research. Additional Eligibility Requirements may be identified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement or DOE Laboratory Announcement. An applicant institution must have a sufficient relationship with the PI (typically as an employee) to provide oversight for an award’s financial and business aspects.

Additional Questions

For additional questions regarding general administrative topics on financial assistance processes, please contact the SC Office of Grants and Contracts Support at

Supplemental Awards Q&As

What kinds of project costs can I submit a supplemental proposal for?

Applications for supplemental funding to an existing Office of Science award are typically intended to address extraordinary or unexpected circumstances, and may include, but are not limited to, requests for:

  • Support for additional personnel (e.g., graduate students, postdocs, research technicians or equivalent).
  • Replacing or repairing equipment (items with a useful life of more than 12 months and a per-item acquisition cost of more than $5,000) required to conduct proposed research.
  • Previously unrequested travel for project personnel to attend one or more user facility, scientific conference, workshop, or professional society meeting relevant to the proposed research.
  • Support for temporary personnel to continue productivity of work while project personnel are on extended leave in accordance with the recipient institution’s policies, whether for family, parental, military service, or other extended leave. Note that the disengagement of a PI or other senior/key personnel for more than three months (or 25% of their approved effort) requires agency prior approval, separate from the request for supplemental funds.
  • Purchase of new equipment or modification of existing equipment, and/or the provision of services necessary to enable work to be carried out by project personnel with disabilities.
How do I submit an application for supplemental funding?

Financial assistance awardees may submit a supplemental funding application through the SC Open Call, FY 2023 Continuation of Solicitation for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Do I need to contact the DOE Office of Science program manager to discuss additional funding needs before submitting a supplemental funding request?

You are strongly encouraged to discuss your supplemental funding request with your SC program manager prior to submitting the request. The program manager will be able to inform you on whether the scope of the request is appropriate and whether there is funding available.

When should I submit a supplemental funding request?

Applications for supplemental funding submitted before April 1 will increase the likelihood that the application will be processed within the current fiscal year.

How long will it take to get a response on whether my supplemental application will be funded?

Applications for supplemental funding submitted before April 1 are more likely to be processed within the current fiscal year. You are encouraged to discuss your plans for submitting a supplemental proposal with the program manager in advance. Processing time can vary. Likewise, Program Offices may not know how much funding is available to consider supplemental proposals until close to the end of the fiscal year.

Can I submit an application for supplemental funding to support the purchase assistive equipment or services to accommodate the needs of a graduate student or postdoc with a disability?

Yes. Recipients may request a supplemental funding specifically to assist and enable project personnel with disabilities in performing work on the award. Principal Investigators (PIs) intending to write an application for supplemental funding are strongly encouraged to consult their DOE Program Manager before their institution submits the application. Allowable costs in a budget include the purchase of equipment, modification of equipment, and provisions of services necessary to enable work to be carried out by project personnel with a disability. Costs to modify building infrastructure for accessibility is the responsibility of the recipient institution. Applicants are encouraged to request funding for known costs as part of the original proposal submission; supplemental proposals would be considered particular to accommodate new project personnel or newly identified needs. PIs may also wish to discuss the need for assistive equipment or services with their Human Resources or other appropriate offices.

Can the award term for the supplemental award extend beyond the budget period of the original project award?

No. Supplemental funding is paid into the existing budget periods of an award. The receipt of supplemental funding usually does not change the dates of any budget or project period.

My research project officially ended last month. Can I submit a supplemental proposal to continue some of the work while I am waiting for the SC Program Office to respond to my renewal proposal?

No. Supplemental awards can only be requested on current grants. The Principal Investigator will need to wait for the decision on their renewal proposal to be made.

Do I need to submit progress reports on the supplemental award separate from the annual progress reports for the core grant?

No. Progress reports are due 90 days prior to the end of the budget period of an award. Supplemental funding does not change the end date of a budget period. The progress report must describe all progress made under the award—both from the original funding and any supplemental funding.

The progress of one of my graduate students was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including campus closures and travel restrictions. Can I request a supplement award to support them for another year so they can finish their project?

If the student’s project is within the scientific scope of the award *and* additional funds are needed, a supplement may be requested. If the student’s project is within the scientific scope of the award and additional funds are *not* needed, a no-cost extension may be requested.