Grant Transfers

One of the services of the NatSci Office for Research Support is to assist new faculty in coordinating the transfer of grants to Michigan State University from other institutions.   If, on the other hand, the transfer involves a grant being transferred from MSU to another institution, the MSU PI should first contact his or her department administrator and the Awards Group at the Office of Contracts and Grants Administration.

The process can take many months, so we encourage the PI to request assistance as soon as he or she knows that the transfer will take place.

It is important to note that grants are made to the institution, not to the individual Principal Investigator.  Therefore, it must first be verified that the award is transferable and that the relinquishing institution agrees to the transfer. 

If the transfer is approved to proceed, the PI will need to provide the following information:

  • Project Title
  • Award Number
  • Funding Agency
  • Project Period
  • Copy of Notice of Award (including approved budget)
  • Latest Financial Status Report or other financial statement
  • Name and contact information of the Program Officer and Grants Management Official
  • Name and contact information of the Research Administrator at the corresponding institution

The relinquishing institution will also need to provide a letter confirming that it approves of the transfer, and listing any equipment purchased with the grant that will likewise be transferred.  In the case of NIH grants, this takes the form of a PHS Relinquishing Statement (PHS-3734).

Other documents may also be necessary, such as a Final Invention Statement, a Materials Transfer Agreement, or a Data Use Agreement.

Requirements for grant transfers vary widely by sponsor and award type, and will necessitate that all players in the grant transfer work closely together to navigate the process.

Other items to consider when transferring an award include the following:

  • The PI should begin by obtaining a NetID and email address at the new institution, so he or she can access their systems.
  • If equipment will be transferred with the award, and it is shared equipment with another grant or department, one of the parties will need to buy out the other's portion.
  • The PI should make sure that moving the equipment will not void the warranty.
  • The PI should terminate the IRB/IACUC protocols before leaving the relinquishing institution and initiate the protocols at the new institution.
  • The PI should work with a department administrator to terminate all subcontracts at the relinquishing institution and establish new ones at the new institution.
  • The PI should make sure that all lab materials, pathogens, and the like be properly handled during their transfer or disposal.  At the new institution, the new laboratory staff should be adequately trained.  This also applies to the handling of any animals used in the project.  A Materials Transfer Agreement may be necessary.
  • The PI should discuss with the department administrators what arrangements will be made for the project employees so that the human resources office is involved as needed.  Will they remain at the relinquishing institution and be moved to another project or terminated?  Or will they transfer to the new institution along with the PI?  
  • As a federal rule, data belongs to the institution, but the PI is allowed to keep a copy.  A Data Use Agreement may be needed to transfer data to the new institution.