Residual Balances - Moving to Unrestricted Projects

Page Updated: May 23, 2024

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Must each PI establish their own discretionary research fund (DRF) project to move their residual balances?
No, each Department and Dean's Office can decide what is best. A DRF project can be setup for an individual PI or all residual balances for a department can be moved to a DRF project with "Chair" or "Director" designated as PI. The department would be responsible for arrangements related to spending.

Can a PI transfer a residual balance on their account to another PI's 233 DRF project?
Yes, by approving the request form, the PI is authorizing the residual transfer to the project indicated on the form.

How do I know if a 233 DRF project has already been setup for a PI?
The Residual Balance Request Tool is designed to show the 233 DRF project for the Award PI. The 233 DRF project will also have "Residual" designated under "Parent" in WISER.

Can the balance be moved to the PI's 161 project?
No, the balance needs to be moved to a 233 project setup for residual transfers. (233 Discretionary Research Funding (DRF) Guidelines.)

Can the PI's existing 233 project be converted to a 233 DRF project?
No. The remaining balances from sponsored projects should be kept separate from gift funds; a new 233 DRF project should be established.

The PI has retired, what happens to the residual balances on their fixed-price projects?
If the PI is an active emeritus professor, balances can be moved using the normal residual balance process.

If the PI is an inactive emeritus professor or is no longer at the UW, the chair would decide where the balance should be moved and would need to sign the Residual Transfer Request Form.

How can the funds in the 233 DRF project be used?
The funds should be used by the PI or Department to further their research activities. Normal University procurement procedures are followed.

How will I be notified that the transfer has been processed?
An email will be generated on the 233 DRF project when the funds are added to it. Another email will be generated when the fixed-price project is closed.

Why was the balance that was added to the 233 DRF project smaller than the remaining balance on the fixed-price project?
Indirect costs are posted to the fixed-price project during the residual balance transfer process. Residual balances are direct cost balances only.

If I have a fixed-price project that is in overdraft status, can the balance be combined with another fixed-price project and then moved to a 233 DRF project?
No, each fixed-price project is considered separately since the unspent balance does not become unrestricted until it is moved during the residual transfer process.

Fixed-price projects should be monitored regularly to avoid overdrafts. Cost transfers must be submitted using the Cost Transfer Tool if the project does become overdrawn.

How do I change or correct the edits on the PI's existing 233 DRF project?
Requests to change edits (UDDS or Program Code) should be routed through the Dean's office. Approved requests for changes should go to

There were deposits made to a PI's 233 DRF project that are not residual transfers (i.e. UWF funds). How do we get this corrected?
Accounting Services currently manages all 233 projects. Email for assistance.

The PI's 233 DRF project is balanced, can it be closed?
Each PI should only have one 233 DRF project established. That project should be used for all current and future residual transfers from eligible sponsored projects. A 233 DRF project should only be closed if the PI is no longer at the UW, an inactive emeritus professor, or no longer eligible to be a PI.

How can I submit a residual transfer request form if the PI is on sabbatical or is otherwise unable to sign the request form?
The Chair can sign the request provided the balance is being moved to a 233 DRF project in the PI's name.

When should we move the balance, can't we just spend on the fixed-price project?
Once a project has ended, the PI's effort should no longer be certified as being expended from a sponsored project. The fixed-price project should only reflect the actual cost of completing the project work.

If you have questions or need guidance, please e-mail