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The Close-Out Phase

Close-out is the final phase in the grant lifecycle. It ensures all administrative actions and required work have been completed by the recipient institution and by NIFA.

Close-out procedures are crafted to make sure that awardees have met all financial and technical obligations, such as submitting final financial and technical reports and returning any unspent or unobligated funds.

Note: NIFA temporarily suspends all ASAP accounts for the last four (4) business days of every month, so please plan accordingly. Accounts re-open the 1st business day of every month.

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Submission of Final Reports

After an award’s termination date, the awardee must submit all the required close-out reports identified in the current terms and conditions for that award type.

Read the Terms and Conditions

Competitive and noncompetitive awardees must submit the following close-out reports within 120 days of the termination date:

  • Final Federal Financial Report (SF-425) via email as a PDF attachment to
  • Final Technical Report via REEport
  • Final invention statement certifying whether or not the funded project resulted in any inventions and whether or not those inventions were previously reported to NIFA

Note: If notified by NIFA program staff that the award will be receiving an extension of the performance period or continuation award on the same award number, awardees should not follow any close-out procedures or submit any final reports. They should instead submit a Progress Report via REEport for the most recent period of performance.

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Final Obligations

The close-out of a grant does not affect NIFA’s right to disallow costs and recover funds based on later audits and financial reviews.

Awardees should be aware of their continued obligations to the award terms and conditions after a grant is closed out:

  • Close-out does not change the awardee’s obligation to report and return any funds later acquired through refunds, corrections, or determined to be due as the result of an audit.
  • Close-out does not automatically cancel any requirements for property accountability, record retention, or financial accountability.
  • Awardees must ensure all funds are obligated within the period of performance of the grant and that they are liquidated within 120 days after the termination date.
  • Awardees can draw down funds for up to 120 days after the termination date.
    • Most appropriated funds expire after five years. In the fifth year following an appropriation, award funds that have not been drawn down by August 25 are returned to the Department of the Treasury.
  • If not able to comply with the established close-out timeline, awardees should contact the Administrative Contact listed in block 14 of the Award Face Sheet. NIFA may approve extensions of time when requested.
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Records Retention

Recipient institutions must retain award records for a period of three years from the date the Final Financial Report (SF-425) was submitted.

  • NIFA or other federal entities may choose to conduct audits during the three-year period.
  • If an audit is conducted, award records must be kept for a period of three years from the time at which any audit issues were resolved.
  • Awardees should also take into consideration any retention requirements their institution maintains. If your institution’s retention period is longer, the federal requirement of three years does not supersede.

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