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A-110: “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations,” a circular published by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that establishes standards for obtaining consistency and uniformity among Federal agencies in the administration of grants to and agreements with institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations.

A-133: “Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations,” a circular published by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that establishes standards for obtaining consistency and uniformity among Federal agencies for the audit of States, local governments, and non-profit organizations expending federal awards.

A-21: “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions,” a circular published by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that establishes the principles for determining the costs applicable to grants and other government agreements with educational institutions (also known as Sponsored Projects).

Accelerated Work: Expenses that need to be charged to a project for work in a future budget period is begun in the current budget period

Advance Account: An account established before the award process has been completed in order to facilitate administrative establishment of the project

Advance Payment: A type of payment in which payment is received before financial reports are submitted

Allocable cost: A cost that can be assigned to a project that meets a specific project objective based on relative benefits received. A cost may be allocable to a specific project but paid for by the university, depending on what the sponsor determines is allowable for a particular type of project.

Allowable Costs: Project costs that are eligible, reasonable, necessary and allocable to the proposed project. For federal projects, these are defined by law.

Applied Research: Research designed to solve practical problems rather than asking a scientific question. Applied research is directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective.

Assurances: Official statements made on behalf of the institution guaranteeing the ability of the institution to comply with certain federal regulations, often related to equal employment, persons with disabilities, and ethical treatment of human and animal subjects. Individual investigators have specific responsibilities regarding these assurances and so although PI’s may not be signatory, they accept these responsibilities by virtue of participating in the funded activity. It is always wise to check with the funding entity to see what your responsibilities are if you’re using human subjects.

Audit: A formal examination of an organization’s or individual’s accounts or financial situation. An audit may also include examination of compliance with applicable terms, laws, and regulations.

Authorized Organizational Representative: The person designated by the institution that has the authority to legally obligate the institution to a proposed project. This is usually a designated staff member at the Office of Sponsored Programs. In some cases, the funding agency will require a specific person (e.g. the president or the executive director of the foundation).

Award: Funds that have been obligated by a funding agency for a particular project


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Basic Research: Research driven by a scientist’s curiosity or interest in a scientific question. The main motivation is to acquire or expand new knowledge, not to create or invent something.

Bequests: A type of donation or gift. Bequests and gifts are awards given with few or no conditions specified. Gifts may be provided to establish an endowment or to provide direct support for existing programs. Frequently, gifts are used to support developing programs for which other funding is not available. The unique flexibility, or lack of restrictions, makes gifts attractive sources of support.

Bilateral Agreement: An agreement that both parties must sign before the award is granted

Broad Agency Announcement: A general announcement by a federal agency of research interests, including selection criteria that solicits the participation of all offerors capable of satisfying the agency’s needs. BAAs are most commonly used by agencies within the Department of Defense.

Budget Adjustment: The act of amending the budget by moving funds from one category or line item to another

Budget Period: The interval of time–usually twelve months–into which the project period is divided for budgetary and funding purposes

Budget: The detailed statement outlining estimated project costs to support work under a grant or contract

Capital Expenditures: The cost of an asset including the cost to put it in place. For example: the price of a piece of equipment, plus the cost and any accessories, attachments, modifications, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make the equipment usable.


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Carry forward: Unexpended funds carried from one budget period to another

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance: The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance gives you access to a database of all federal programs available to state and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally -recognized Indian tribal governments; territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals. Any program that has specifically been authorized and funded by the federal government will have a CFDA description and number.

Code of Federal Regulations: The codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

Challenge Grant: A type of grant that provides funds only in conjunction with funds from other sources, usually according to a formula. A challenge grant may, for example, offer two dollars for every one dollar that is obtained from a fund drive. The grant usually has a fixed upper limit and may have a challenge minimum below which no grant will be made. This form of grant is fairly common in the arts and humanities but less common in the sciences.

Change Order: A written order signed by the contracting officer, directing the contractor to make changes that the changes clause of the contract authorizes the contracting officer to order without the consent of the contractor.

Close Out: The act of completing all internal procedures and sponsor requirements to terminate or complete a research project

Collaborative Proposal: A proposal submitted with another institution where one project description is used to perform collaborative research, but each institution submits a separate budget and receives a separate award.

Collaborator: The third party performing collaborative sponsored project effort under a subaward

Community of Science: A web-based database for finding funding opportunities and academic expertise. This service is available to all ODU faculty, staff, and students from university-based servers and is supported through the University Office of Research.

Competing Proposal: Proposal for funding that is not guaranteed and the application is pooled with other proposals for review

Conflict of Interest: A conflict of interest occurs when an employee compromises professional judgment in carrying out university teaching, research, outreach, or public service activities because of an external relationship that directly or indirectly affects the financial or business interests of the employee, an immediate family member, or an associated entity.

Consortium Agreement: Group of collaborative investigators/institutions; arrangement can be formalized with specified terms and conditions.

Continuation Application: An application for continued support on current projects already funded by the sponsor

Continuation Project (Non-Competing): Applicable to grants and cooperative agreements only. A project approved for multiple-year funding, although funds are typically committed only one year at a time. At the end of the initial budget period, progress on the project is assessed. If satisfactory, an award is made for the next budget period, subject to the availability of funds. Continuation projects do not compete with new project proposals and are not subjected to peer review beyond the initial project approval.

Contract/Grant Officer: A sponsor’s designated individual who is officially responsible for the business management aspects of a particular grant, cooperative agreement, or contract. Serving as the counterpart to the business officer of the grantee/contractor organization, the grant/contract officer is responsible for all business management matters associated with the review, negotiation, award, and administration of a grant or contract and interprets the associated administration policies, regulations, and provisions.

Contract: A mechanism for procurement of a product or service with specific obligations for both sponsor and recipient. Typically, a research topic and the methods for conducting the research are specified in detail by the sponsor, although some sponsors award contracts in response to unsolicited proposals.

Cooperative Agreement: An award similar to a grant, but in which the sponsor’s staff may be actively involved in proposal preparation, and anticipates having substantial involvement in research activities once the award has been made.

Copyright: A copyright protects an original work, set down in a fixed form or medium of expression, e g., texts, computer software, visual and audio materials. It protects the embodiment of an idea, as opposed to the idea itself. A copyright term is 75 years from the date of publication or 100 years from the time the work was created.

Cost Accounting Standards: Federally mandated accounting standards intended to ensure uniformity in budgeting and spending funds.

Cost Overrun: Direct costs incurred and charged to a sponsored project in excess of the awarded amount.

Cost Reimbursable: A type of contract/grant arrangement that provides for payment of costs and expenses to the contractor/grantee after the expenses have been incurred. Expenses are first incurred and then billed to the sponsor, usually on a quarterly or monthly basis. Most federal grants use the cost reimbursement mechanism.

Cost Sharing: The terms “cost sharing,” “matching,” and “in-kind” refer to that portion of the total project costs not borne by the sponsor. The university generally refers to cost sharing when looking at labor items.

Cost Transfer: A direct charge expense transferred from one account to another after the charge has been posted in a financial accounting record


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Defense Acquisition Regulations: The source regulations for research projects sponsored by the Department of Defense

Deficit: Expenditures exceed funds available

Deliverables: Requirements of the sponsor that are part of the contractual agreement and must be given to the sponsor at specified intervals or the end of the project period. An example would be a final report.

Direct Costs: Those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy (OMB Circular A-21).

Donation: Transfer of equipment, money, goods, services, and property with or without specifications as to its use. Sometimes donation is used to designate contributions that are made with more specific intent than is usually the case with a gift, but the two terms are often used interchangeably.


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Effort Certification: Federal requirement of OMB Circular A-21 that all effort applied to federally-sponsored contracts or grants be verified after the fact to see that effort reasonably reflects the planned distribution of pay.

Effort: Work or the proportion of time spent on any activity and expressed as a percentage of total time

Electronic Research Administration: Conducting research administration by utilizing electronic resources such as the internet, form templates, databases, and other electronic tools

Encumbrance: Funds that have been set aside or “claimed” for projected expenses pending actual expenditure of the funds

Endowment: A fund usually in the form of an income-generating investment, established to provide long-term support for faculty/research positions (e.g., endowed chair)

Equipment: An article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost which equals or exceeds $5,000

eRA Commons: The NIH eRA Commons is a web-based system that allows NIH extramural grantee organizations, grantees, and the public to receive and transmit information electronically about the administration of biomedical and behavioral research.

Expiration/End Date: The date signifying the end of the performance period, as indicated on the Notice of Grant Award

Export Administration Regulations: The EAR is composed of published regulations and guidelines concerning the Department of Commerce review of regulated exports. The EAR generally refers to items that have “dual use,” i.e. both military and commercial applications. Goods and services that are regulated by the EAR are listed in the Commerce Control List (CCL). The EAR and CCL are updated and re-published annually in the Code of Federal Regulations. The current EAR is published in 15 CFR §§ 730-774 (Commerce and Foreign Trade). The complete CCL is published in 15 CFR § 774, Supp. 1.

Export: The term export as used in the various export control regulations has an expansive meaning. In general an export includes any: (1) actual shipment of any covered goods or items; (2) the electronic or digital transmission of any covered goods, items or related goods or items; or (3) any release or disclosure, including verbal disclosures or visual inspections, of any technology, software or technical data to any Foreign National/Person. An export may also include the actual use or application abroad of personal knowledge or technical experience acquired in the United States. Complete definitions of the term “Export” are contained within the regulations cited below. These regulations should be consulted when determining whether a particular course of action will constitute an export under those regulations. (Remember, discussion of the material with a foreign national/person, regardless of the country of which the individual is a citizen, constitutes export.)

Extension: An additional period of time given by the sponsor to an organization for the completion of work on an approved grant or contract. An extension allows previously allocated funds to be spent after the original expiration date.

Extramural Research: For the federal agencies, this refers to research conducted by other than federal personnel. For example, the National Institutes of Health have both intramural (federal employees at the NIH with their own research programs) and extramural programs (research dollars that feed outside of the NIH for universities, etc.). From the university perspective, the term refers to research activities funded by dollars from outside the institution as opposed to from the institutional core funds, internally generated funds, or the institution’s operating budget.

Face Page: Usually the cover page of a proposal, provided by the sponsor, and requiring the signature of the Authorized Institutional Official, along with summary information related to the proposal. Information usually includes institutional contact information, tax ID number, project title, project dates, basic budgetary information, and compliance assurances.


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Facilities and Administration Costs: In its 1996 revision of OMB Circular A-21, the Federal government replaced the term “indirect costs” with “facilities and administrative costs.” According to OMB Circular A-21, F&A costs are “costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and, therefore, cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity.” Examples include operation and maintenance expenses, and costs incurred for sponsored projects administration. Example: “The total cost of a sponsored project is comprised of the direct costs plus a portion of the F&A costs of the institution.”

Faculty Company: An enterprise, either commercial or not-for-profit, in which one or more faculty members have a proprietary or other significant interest, pecuniary or otherwise.

Faculty Release Time: The amount of time and effort that an investigator will be relieved of teaching responsibilities in order to perform the activities related to the sponsored project. Faculty time and effort must not exceed 100% of their effort unless exceptional allowances have been made. Most institutions have request mechanisms for such overages. Faculty effort is auditable by the agencies, and faculty need to realistically consider how their efforts are distributed. This often means discussing and obtaining approval from the department chair to assure that adequate time is provided.

Fastlane: NSF’s website for electronically submitting proposals, notifications, and reports to NSF

Federal Acquisition Regulations: The primary document in the acquisitions regulations system containing uniform policies and procedures that govern the acquisition activities of all federal agencies. Most of these can be reviewed by the research administration staff, but they occasionally need to consult with faculty to make sure that particular activities (e.g. transfer and ownership of data, software, and other products) are consistent with FAR rules stipulated in a grant or contract.

Federal Rate Agreement: The official document stating the percentage of designated cost categories that are to be used in the calculations of the facilities and administration costs (indirect costs) and in some cases, the fringe benefits that an institution may charge on federally sponsored projects.

Final Report: The final technical or financial report required by the sponsor to complete a research project

Fiscal Year: Any twelve-month period for which annual accounts are kept (at UTK, July 1 through June 30; Federal Fiscal is October 1 through September 30)

Fixed Price: In a “fixed price” award, the PI agrees to accomplish project objectives within a specific timeframe for a set dollar amount. If the deliverables are not completed within the award period, the contract must be extended. The award amount also remains constant, even if actual costs for the project are above or below it. Any over expenditures are the responsibility of the department, and unspent funds do not revert to the sponsor.

Flow-Down Clauses: Clauses prescribed by the Sponsor that are included in the rights and responsibilities of the primary (prime) contractor to the subcontractor. As an example, clauses from the Federal Acquisition Regulations may be “flowed down” to the subcontracting academic institution from a corporate grant recipient of federal funds.

Foreign National/Person: The term foreign national/person means a person (natural person as well as a corporation, business association, partnership, society, trust, or any other entity, organization, or group, including government entities) who is not a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., i.e. has not been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws or who is not a protected individual. (A foreign national/person is a person that has not been issued a “green card” by the U.S. government, or who possesses only a student visa.)

Fringe Benefits: Employee benefits paid by the employer (e.g., FICA, Worker’s Compensation, Withholding Tax, Insurance, etc.)

Fundamental Research: As used in the export control regulations, fundamental research includes basic or applied research in science and/or engineering at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community. Fundamental research is distinguished from research that results in information that is restricted for proprietary reasons or pursuant to specific U.S. government access and dissemination controls. University research will not be deemed to qualify as fundamental research if: (1) the university or researcher accepts any restrictions on the publication of the scientific and technical information resulting from the research, other than limited pre-publication reviews by research sponsors to prevent inadvertent divulging of proprietary information provided to the researcher by the sponsor or to insure that publication will not compromise patent rights of the sponsor; or (2) the research is funded by the U.S. government and specific access and dissemination controls regarding the resulting information have been accepted by university or the researcher.

Funding Cycle: Range of time during which proposals are accepted, reviewed, and funds are awarded. If a sponsor has standing proposal review committees (or boards) that meet at specified times during the year, application deadlines are set to correspond with those meetings. For some sponsors, if proposals are received too late to be considered in the current funding cycle, they may be held over for the next review meeting.


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Gift: Gifts and bequests are awards given with few or no conditions specified. Gifts may be provided to establish an endowment or to provide direct support for existing programs. Frequently, gifts are used to support developing programs for which other funding is not available. The unique flexibility, or lack of restrictions, makes gifts attractive sources of support.

Grant/Contract Officer: Sponsor’s employee who is officially responsible for the project’s business management

Grant: In general terms, awards given to the university for a specific purpose to support instruction, research or public service. “Grant” is also a specific type of award (as opposed to contract or cooperative agreement). In this context, “grant” is a pledge of support where the sponsor has little involvement in conducting the project. is the source to find and apply for federal grants.

Guidelines: The part of a program description that describes how the program will be administered as the basis on which applications will be judged. They should be followed carefully if a proposal is to be seriously considered.


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Human Subject: a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or (2) identifiable private information (Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46.102). People not considered to be subjects are individuals receiving services that are not experimental and which are intended to benefit only the recipient of the service; such services include most therapeutic treatments, counseling, and academic instruction.


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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee: This committee is appointed to review all proposed uses of non-human vertebrate animals by the University. Projects are reviewed for compliance with the principals of humane animal care and use as set forth by policies and regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Public Health Service. The membership of this committee is designed to provide for a balanced review of all submitted activities by inclusion of veterinarians, faculty, staff, and a local community representative.

i-EDISON: NIH Extramural Invention Information Management System

Incremental Funding: A method of funding contracts that provides specific spending limits below the total estimated costs. These limits may be exceeded only at the contractor’s own risk. Each increment is, in essence, a funding action.

In-Kind: Contributions or assistance in a form other than money such as equipment, materials, or services of recognized value that are offered in lieu of cash.

Intellectual property: The term used to describe the patents, copyrights, mask work protection, trade secrets, and plant variety protection certificates which cover or pertain to inventions.

Interim Funding: Authorization to expend funds on a project to a specified limit before the award document has been received from the sponsor.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations: The ITAR is composed of published regulations and guidelines concerning the Department of State review of regulated exports. ITAR applies to defense articles and services, including any technical data associated with such defense articles and services. The ITAR generally refers to items that have military usage only. A list of regulated defense articles is contained in ITAR, and is commonly referred to as the U.S. Munitions List (USML). ITAR and the USML are updated and re-published annually in the Code of Federal Regulations. The current ITAR is published in 22 CFR §§ 120-125 (Foreign Relations). The complete USML is published in 22 CFR § 121.1. Additional provisions in ITAR further define and categorize the items listed in the USML.

Invention: A patentable invention is any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or new and useful improvement thereof (35 United States Code 101)

Inventions: A general term which includes computer software, general instructional materials (including video tapes), novel machines, devices, compositions of matter (compounds, mixtures, genetically engineered cells, plants or animals), genetic forms, mask works, production processes, production methods, plant varieties, etc.

Inventor: All personnel who produce a development that must be disclosed to the Office of Technology Commercialization in accordance with the Regents’ Patents and Technology Transfer Policy

Investigator-Initiated Proposal: A proposal submitted to a sponsor that is not in response to an RFP, RFA, or a specific program announcement

Invitation for Bid: A solicitation issued to prospective bidders. An IFB describes what is required and how the bidders will be evaluated. Award is based on the lowest bid. Negotiations are not conducted.

Invoicing: A type of payment in which the university sends an invoice to the sponsor

Institutional Review Board: The human subjects Institutional Review Board. This board is appointed to review research involving human subjects for compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations. The IRB membership includes UT Knoxville faculty and staff from relevant disciplines, as well as one or more member(s) of the local community.


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Key Personnel: The personnel considered to be of primary importance to the successful conduct of a research project. The term usually applies to the senior members of the project staff.


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Letter of Credit: A type of payment in which funds to cover project expenses are transferred to the university’s commercial bank from the Federal Reserve Bank

Letter of Intent: A letter sent to an agency to notify them of one’s intent to submit a proposal. Some RFP’s require these and sometimes it is optional. It is usually good form to provide one regardless of whether it is required. In some cases, an agency will need to make a preliminary “approval” to go forward with submission based on whether the LOI is deemed appropriate to the goals of the program. But in other cases it is for informational purposes only. The LOI usually has a deadline as well – some time before the proposal submission deadline.

License: Legal permission from a patent owner to practice an invention. The license term is negotiated with the licensee.

Limitation of Cost: A mandatory clause for cost-reimbursement type contracts. Under the clause, the sponsor is not obligated to reimburse the contractor for costs in excess of the stated amount. The contractor, however, is not obligated to continue performance once expenses reach the stated amount.


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Mandatory Cost Share: Required as a condition to receive an award, and specified by the agency in the proposal guidelines or program announcement. This would be the minimum cost sharing required by the agency. Anything committed beyond the minimum becomes voluntary committed cost sharing.

Mandatory Matching: Matching that is required by the sponsor, is stated on the Notice of Grant/Contract Award (NOGA), must be documented, and must be reported to the sponsor

Material Transfer Agreements: Legal contracts stating conditions under which a proprietary research material is being transferred from one institution or company to another.

Misconduct in Science: Fabrication, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

Mission: A sponsor’s stated purpose, which is designed to address a specified set of problems. Almost all federal research agencies are designated as mission agencies.

Modification: An award document that modifies any aspect of an existing award. Example: Carryover approvals, adding or deleting special terms and conditions, changes in funding levels, administrative changes initiated by the agency, extensions that include changes in terms, change of principal investigator, etc.

Modified Total Direct Costs: The categories and limitations of the direct costs that can be used as the base from which the calculation of indirect costs is performed. Typically equipment, participant support costs, patient care costs, tuition, alterations and renovations, and any excess of $25,000 of outgoing sub-contractual costs are excluded from the total direct costs on which the indirect costs are calculated.


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No-Cost Time Extension: An extension of the period of performance beyond the expiration data to allow the principal investigator to finish a project. Usually, no additional costs are provided.

Non-Competitive Renewal: For multi-year projects, sponsors may require annual applications for continued funding. These applications do not compete for funds.

Notice of Grant Award: A document that provides information regarding the award’s important terms and conditions. It should be referred to by PIs and departments to provide guidance in managing the project.


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Off Campus F&A Rate: “Off-campus project” means research/instruction conducted at a research/instruction site or facility not located on campus. Work being conducted at a private residence is not considered an “off-campus project.”


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Patent: A patent is a grant of property by the United States government to the inventor giving the owner of the patent the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the U.S. or importing it to this country. A U.S. patent is granted for 20 years.

Peer Review: A system using reviewers who are the professional equals of the principal investigator or program director that is to be responsible for directing or conducting the proposed project. It is a form of objective review. Peer review is legislatively mandated in some programs and in other programs is administratively required.

Post-Award: Activities related to the management of the project after the award has been made. An investigator will be assigned a post-award administrator from the Research Foundation that usually will work with you for the life of the award. Activities include purchasing, reporting, close outs, and other budgetary management actions.

Post-Differential Allowance: Expenses authorized for employees based abroad to provide additional compensation for services as a recruitment and retention tool. When the allowance is authorized, the employee’s base salary is increased accordingly.

Pre-award Costs: Cost incurred prior to the effective date of an award or budget period

Pre-Proposal: A brief description of research plans and estimated budget, which is submitted to determine the interest of a particular agency prior to the submission of a formal proposal. Many agencies have two-stage processes such as these to reduce the number of full proposals that require a full review process.

Principal Investigator/Project Director: The individual who will direct the project and who is designated by the institution as responsible for completing the project. The PI/PD has responsibilities to the institution and to the agency in the conduct of the research.

Prior Approval: The requirement for written documentation of permission to use project funds for purposes not in the approved budget or to change aspects of the program from those originally planned and approved. Prior approval must be obtained before the performance of the act that requires such approval under the terms of the agreement.

Priority Score: A score derived from the rating given a research proposal by each member on a review committee. It is used to help determine which approved proposals will be granted awards, based on funds available.

Program Announcement: Describes existence of a research opportunity. It may describe new or expanded interest in a particular extramural program or be a reminder of a continuing interest in an extramural program.

Program Income: Income earned by the recipient that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the award. Examples of program income include: income from fees for services performed such as laboratory tests, money generated from the use, sale, or rental of equipment purchased with project funds, proceeds from the sale of supplies or equipment purchased or fabricated with project funds, proceeds from the sale of software, tapes, or publications, income from the sale of research materials such as animal models, fees from participants at conferences or symposia, royalties from patents and copyrights, and so on.

Program Officer: A designated individual within an agency officially responsible for the technical, scientific, or programmatic aspects of a particular grant or contract opportunity. Serving as the counterpart to the principal investigator of the grantee organization, the program officer assures programmatic progress.

Progress Report: Periodic, scheduled reports required by the sponsor summarizing research progress to-date. Technical, fiscal, and invention reports may be required.

Project Period: The total time for which support of a project has been programmatically approved. A project period may consist of one or more budget periods.

Proposal: An application for funding that contains all information necessary to describe project plans, staff capabilities, and funds requested. Formal proposals are officially approved and submitted by an organization in the name of a principal investigator.

Purchase Order: Authorization sent to a vendor to supply goods or services in return for payment. It is a document used to encumber funds to be spent in the future and record obligations prior to the point the goods are received or services are rendered.


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Rebudget: The act of amending the budget buy moving funds from one category or line item to another.

Regulations: The contractual rules and procedures governing sponsored research projects.

Renewal: A competitively reviewed proposal requesting additional funds extending the scope of work beyond the current project period.

Representations and Certifications: Attestations related to the university’s compliance with various federal regulatory issues which usually includes issues such as smoke-free workplace, nondiscrimination, disclosure of lobbying activities, protection of human and animal subjects, as well as environmental compliance. It must be approved by an authorized organizational representative.

Request for Applications: Announcements that indicate the availability of funds for a topic of specific interest to a sponsor. Proposals submitted in response to RFAs generally result in the award of a grant. Specific grant announcements may be published in the Federal Register and/or specific sponsor publications.

Request for Proposal: Announcements that specify a research topic, methods to be used, product to be delivered, and appropriate applicants sought. Proposals submitted in response to RFPs generally result in the award of a contract.

Request for Quotations: A formal request from sponsors to vendors for a price quotation on equipment or supplies to be purchased.

Review Panel: A group of peer reviewers assembled for the purpose of evaluating proposals. This group usually makes a recommendation to some form of board or council for final decision, but is usually the group that will prioritize proposals for funding likelihood.

Revision: A modified and resubmitted request for funding for a project that was previously not funded either because it was denied by the sponsor or withdrawn by the principal investigator.


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Salaries and Wages: Payments made to employees of the institution for work performed.

Scheduled Payments: Fixed amounts are paid on a set time frame.

Scope of Work: The description of the work to be performed and completed on a research project.

Senior Personnel: Professional personnel who are responsible for the scientific or technical direction of project, but are not PIs

Small Business Innovative Research Grant: A federal program that many agencies participate in to inspire the development and commercialization of new technologies. It may be grants or contracts and have three distinct phases. While academic institutions can be partners on these proposals, the submitters MUST be a small business. The institution is usually a subcontractor and the budget amounts are specific to all parties.

Small Business Technology Transfer Research Grant: Similar to SBIR, but an academic partner is a requirement rather than an option. Submission is by (and award is to) the business entity.

Solicitation: The formal announcement of the availability of funds for a specific program

Sponsor: Individual or organization that provides funds to a project

Sponsored Project: An externally funded activity that is governed by specific terms and conditions. Sponsored projects must be separately budgeted and accounted for subject to terms of the sponsoring organization. Sponsored projects may include grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for research, training, and other public service activities.

Stipend: A payment made in accordance with pre-established levels, to an individual to provide for their living expenses during the training period of a fellowship or training project

Subaward: The document that formalizes an award of financial assistance to a third party to perform collaborative sponsored project effort based upon an award made to the university

Subawardee: The third party performing substantive sponsored program services under an award.

Supplement: A request to the sponsor for additional funds for an ongoing project during the previously approved performance period. A supplemental proposal may result from increased costs, modifications in design, or a desire to add a closely related component to the ongoing project.


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Task Order Agreement: A legally binding document authorizing work and appropriating funds as a supplement to a basic contract

Teaming Agreement: An agreement between two or more parties to participate in a research project or teaching activity

Technical Data: Recorded information, regardless of form or characteristic, of a scientific or technical nature

Technology Transfer: The process whereby university creative and scholarly works may be put to public use and/or commercial application

Terms of Award: All legal requirements imposed on an agreement by the sponsor, whether by statute, regulation(s), or terms in the award document. The terms of an agreement may include both standard and special provisions that are considered necessary to protect the sponsor’s interests.

Total Direct Cost: All of the project’s direct costs.

Trademark: A name, work, symbol, or device which allows the trademark owner to dictate its use in identifying a product, e.g., logos and brand names


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Unallowable Costs: Unallowable cost means any cost which, under the provisions of any pertinent law, regulation, or sponsored agreement cannot be included in prices, cost reimbursements, or settlements under a government sponsored agreement to which it is allocable.

Unilateral Agreement: A type of sponsored agreement that the university does not have to sign in order to receive funds

Unrestricted Funds: Monies with no requirements or restrictions as to use or disposition. Grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements are considered to be restricted funds, while gifts are usually considered unrestricted funds.

Unsolicited Proposal: Proposals submitted to a sponsor that is not in response to a RFP, RFA, or program announcement.


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Vertebrate Animal: Any non-human animal possessing a well-developed nervous system as characterized by the presence of a dorsal notochord protected by a vertebral column

Voluntary Cost Sharing: Cost sharing that is not required by the sponsor, is stated in the award, and must be documented through established procedures