Glossary of Research Administration Terms
Are we speaking the same language? Research Administration has its' own particular set of terms that are handy to know when communicating with our office and your funding agency's Grants Manager. This list isn't exhaustive but it can be exhausting. If we ever get lost in our acronym world, stop us. Make us explain in plain English.
Abstract - One page summary of the proposed research.
Academic Year - The period during which classes are in session (i.e., from September through May)
Accrued expenditures - The charges incurred by the recipient during a given period requiring the provision of funds for: (1) goods and other tangible property received; (2) services performed by employees, contractors, subrecipients, and other payees; and, (3) other amounts becoming owed under programs for which no current services or performance is required. Source: Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110
Accrued income - The sum of: (1) earnings during a given period from (i) services performed by the recipient, and (ii) goods and other tangible property delivered to purchasers, and (2) amounts becoming owed to the recipient for which no current services or performance is required by the recipient. Source: Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110
Acquisition cost of equipment - The net invoice price of the equipment, including the cost of modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make the property usable for the purpose for which it was acquired. Other charges, such as the cost of installation, transportation, taxes, duty or protective in-transit insurance, shall be included or excluded from the unit acquisition cost in accordance with the recipient's regular accounting practices. Source: Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110
A cost must be (1) reasonable for the performance of the award; (2) allocable; (3) in conformance with any limitations or exclusions set forth in the Federal cost principles applicable to the organization incurring the cost or in the Notice of Award as to the type or amount of cost; (4) consistent with regulations, policies, and procedures of the recipient that are applied uniformly to both federally supported and other activities of the organization; (5) accorded consistent treatment as a direct or indirect cost; (6) determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; and (7) not included as a cost in any other federally supported award (unless specifically authorized by statute). Source: NIH Glossary of Terms
Allocable - A cost is allocable to a particular cost objective
(i.e., a specific function, grant project, service, department, or other
activity) in accordance with the relative benefits received.
A cost is allocable to a project where it is treated consistently with
other costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances; is
incurred specifically for the award; benefits both the award and other
work and can be distributed in reasonable proportion to the benefits
or is necessary to the overall operation of the organization.
A cost incurred by a recipient must be
Allocation - The assigning of a cost to a particular cost objective. It must be done in a reasonable manner and must be realistic and proportionate to the benefit received.
Approved Budget - The financial expenditure plan for the grant-supported project or activity, including revision approved as well as permissible revisions made by the grantee. The approved budget consists of Federal (grant) funds and , if required by the terms and conditions of the award, non-Federal participation in the form of matching or cost-sharing. The approved budget specified in the Notice of Grant Award or any other award document may be shown in detailed budget categories or as total costs without a categorical breakout. Expenditures charged to an approved budget that consists of both Federal and non-Federal shares are deemed to be borne by the grantee in the same proportion as the percentage of Federal/non-Federal participation in the overall budget.
Assistance - The award of money, property, or services to a recipient to accomplish a public purpose as authorized by Federal statute. Assistance relationships (e.g., grants) are expressed in less detail than are acquisition relationships (contracts), and responsibilities for ensuring performance rest largely with the recipient or are shared with the Government.
Assumption of Liability - The document submitted by a department requesting a restricted fund be set up prior to the receipt of the Notice of Award from a funding agency. Budget is established with a guarantee that, should the award not be formally executed by the funding agency, the department/PI will absorb the expenses incurred to date into their unrestricted/operating budget (104110) in a predetermined Organization Code 1XXXXX.
AUTM - Association of University Technology Managers
Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) - The administrative official who, on behalf of the proposing organization, is empowered to make certifications and assurances and can commit the organization to the conduct of a project that is being asked to support as well as adhere to various federal policies and grant requirements.
Automatic Carry-over - Under expanded authorities for research grants, the authority that is delegated to the recipient to move unobligated balances remaining at the end of any budget period to a subsequent budget period which thereby allows for additional expenditures in the subsequent budget period.
Award - Financial assistance that provides support or stimulation to accomplish a public purpose. Awards include grants and other agreements in the form of money or property in lieu of money, by the Federal Government to an eligible recipient. The term does not include: technical assistance, which provides services instead of money; other assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, or insurance; direct payments of any kind to individuals; and, contracts which are required to be entered into and administered under procurement laws and regulations. Source: Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110
Bayh-Dole Act - The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-517; 35 U.S.C. 200-212), implemented by 37 CFR 401, affords grantees the right to elect title and retain ownership to inventions they develop with funding an NIH Grant Award. Under the regulations, grantees are required to report all subject inventions to the awarding agency, as well as include an acknowledgement of federal support in any patents.
Budget - The financial expression of the project.
Budget Period - The time period in which funding is provided for a specific purpose. Periods are usually of 12 months (one year) duration.
Calendar Year - The period from January 1st through December 31st.
Carry-forward - Unexpended award funds on grants and contracts which are moved to the next budget period. The grantor must approve the carry-over of unexpended funds. You'll see this mostly in multi-year federal grants.
Cash contributions - The recipient's cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the recipient by third parties. Source: Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110
CFR - Code of Federal Regulations
Closeout - The process by which a Federal awarding agency determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work of the award have been completed by the recipient and Federal awarding agency. Source: Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110
Cognizant Agency - The government agency which, on behalf of all government agencies, is responsible for implementing the requirements of the Single Audit Act. These include reviewing, negotiating and approving cost allocation plans, F&A cost rates; receiving and approving audit reports; conducting audits; and resolving cross-cutting audit findings. The University of Alaska's cognizant agency is the Office of Naval Research.
Co-Investigator - An individual involved with the principal investigator in the scientific development or execution of a project. The co-investigator may be employed by, or be affiliated with, the applicant/grantee organization or another organization participating in the project under a consortium agreement. A co-investigator typically devotes a specified percentage of time to the project and is considered "key personnel." The designation of a co-investigator, if applicable, does not affect the principal investigator's roles and responsibilities as specified in this policy statement. Source: NIH Grants Policy Statement 2001
Committed Cost Sharing - Cost sharing - voluntary or mandatory - once cost sharing is proposed and accepted in an award.
Consortium Agreement - a collaborative arrangement in support of a research project in which some portion of the programmatic activity is carried out through a formalized agreement between the grantee and one or more other organizations that are separate legal entities administratively independent of the grantee. Source: NIH Grants Policy Statement 2001
Contract - A procurement action subject to terms and conditions. The two primary types of contracts are cost reimbursable and firm fixed price.
Cooperative Agreement - A project where the sponsor is substantially involved in the outcome of the research results or a partner in the work.
Substantial agency involvement may be necessary when an activity is technically or managerially complex, requires extensive or close coordination with other federally supported work, or helps assure suitability or acceptability of certain aspects of the supported activity. Examples of projects that may be suitable for cooperative agreements are systemic reform efforts, research centers, policy studies, large curriculum projects, multi-user facilities, projects which involve complex subcontracting, construction or operations of major in-house university facilities and major instrumentation development.
Copyright - An author's right to prevent others from copying an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression, such as a book, music or other recording, pictorial work, sculpture, film or computer program. Or a Glossary-Thank you to the University of Texas San Antonio who seems to have "borrowed" this from originally from Princeton.
Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) - Federally mandated accounting standards intended to ensure uniformity in budgeting and spending funds.
Cost Principals - The principals as set out in applicable statutes, regulations, grantor instructions, Office of Management and Budget Circulars and generally accepted accounting principals used for determining allowability, reasonableness and allocability of costs applicable to grants, contracts and other agreements.
Cost Sharing - The portion of total costs of a sponsored project paid for by the University of Alaska Anchorage or a third party , rather than the sponsor.
Cost Transfer - an after-the-fact re-allocation of a cost from one project grant to another. This is usually done with a Journal Voucher for non-Labor or Labor Reallocation for salaries/leave/benefits.
DCAA - Defense Contract Audit Agency. This is the audit agency assigned to review the operations of the University of Alaska system on behalf of the Office of Naval Research.
Deficit - The excess of expenditures over revenues.
Deliverables - A pre-planned or structured set of items promised under a sponsored grant or contract. Many Firm Fixed Price Agreements are paid on a schedule of payment for deliverable. Often it is a report or some portion of the total project. The deliverable schedule should be included in the award notice or contract.
Direct Cost - Those costs that can be specifically identified with a particular project, program or activity.
Disallowed Cost - Expenditures determined by the sponsor to be unallowable. If the grantor will not provide a specific exception to its policy and approve the expense, the costs need to be covered by the PI or the department unrestricted funds (104110). See object code 8651 for description of proper account code to record this transaction.
Electronic Research Administration (ERA) - Conducting research administration by utilizing electronic resources such as the internet, the world wide web, form templates, databases and other electronic tools.
Encumbrances - Obligations in the form of purchase orders, contracts or salary commitments which are chargeable to an award. They cease when either paid or de-obligated.
Equipment - Tangible assets acquired through donation, gift, purchase, capital lease or fabrication with a life expectancy in excess of one year. It must have an acquisition cost which equals or exceeds $5,000.
Expanded Authorities - Delegation from the federal government to universities for many grants so that the universities may approve some expenses such as equipment, foreign travel, and some reallocation of effort
Export Administration Regulations ("EAR") -Regulations established by the Department of Commerce to limit sensitive research data, research results, and equipment in cases where it may risk national security interests. These regulations are also referred to as export controls.
F & A (Facilities and Administrative) Costs - Costs incurred
in common and joint activities which cannot be easily separated from a
particular sponsored project. F&A costs are also known as indirect
costs or overhead. The University of Alaska negotiates an F & A rate for three year periods with our cognizant federal agency, the Office of Naval Research.
FAR - Federal Acquisitions Regulations are a set of contract terms and conditions from which sponsored research contracts are created.
Federal Commons - The Commons is an internet grants management portal serving the grantee organization community. This portal was developed under Public Law 106-107. This is becoming the common face of the government with all grantees processing all functions in the grant life cycle. This Federal Commons provides both public information, such as grant programs and funding opportunities, as well as the secure processing of e-grant transactions.
Federal Guidelines - Government wide grants management policies and guidelines established by the Office of Management and Budget through common rules and circulars (available online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_default). These policies are adopted by each grantmaking agency and inserted into their federal regulations.
Firm Fixed Price - Establishes pre-agreed price for performing
the work. The price is determined by the sponsor's program officer and the University of Alaska Anchorage at the initiation of the project. These contracts do not
provide for any cost adjustments and, as such, place Princeton at
maximum risk for assuming full responsibility for total project costs
should the cost exceed the firm fixed price. See Deliverables.
Fiscal Year - The fiscal year for the University of Alaska follows the State of Alaska Fiscal Year (FY) July 1 to June 30.
Fly America Act - An act that calls for grantees to use U.S. flag air carriers for all transportation of personnel and property when the travel is being charged to a federal grant or contract.
Fringe Benefits - Employee benefits paid by the employer such as FICA, Worker's Compensation, Withholding Tax, Insurance, etc. The University Alaska negotiates our rates with our cognizant federal agency, the Office of Naval Research, annually.
Gift - Any item of value given to the University by a donor (other than the federal government) who expects the total benefit to be of lesser value than the donation amount, other than recognition and disposition of the gift in accordance with his or her wishes.
Grant - A general assistance award bestowed to the University of Alaska Anchorage without expectation of any tangible deliverables other than a final report. Sponsor is a passive participant and does not have substantial involvement in the work.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) - the university committed charged with assuring the well-being and proper care of all vertebrate animals used for research and educational purposes at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and to serve the public by ensuring institutional compliance with all legal and ethical standards regarding the use of animals in research. In addition, the IACUC is engaged in assisting animal research investigators with their animal-related needs.
Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) - a registered committee with the National Institutes of Health. This Committee approves research protocols that involve infectious agents, recombinant DNA and the use of tissue isolated from vertebrates. The IBC is composed of research faculty, representatives from the Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management and community members outside the University.
Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (IRB) - the university committee that reviews and approves human subject research for the purpose of protecting the rights and welfare of those subjects. The Board is charged with the responsibility to formulate and implement procedures to assure the University's compliance with federal, state and institutional regulations for the safeguarding of the welfare and well-being (physical, mental, social, legal, etc.) of human subjects involved in research projects in which the University of Alaska Anchorage is engaged or for which UAA otherwise exercises oversight.
International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) - Regulations established by the Department of Defense to limit sensitive research data, research results, and equipment in cases where it may risk national security interests. These regulations are also referred to as export controls.
Indirect Cost - See F&A Costs
Intellectual Property - Certain types of information, ideas, or other intangibles in their expressed form, generally resulting from research activities. The holder of this legal entitlement is generally entitled to exercise various rights in relation to the subject matter of the IP. The use of these rights is protected by law, as are other types of property.
Interim/Incremental Funding - A method of funding an award whereby funding is received in annual budget portions typically when a deliverable is required between each increment. For example, most federal awards are incrementally funding based on the submission of an annual progress report.
Mandatory Cost Sharing - Cost sharing that is required by the sponsor as a condition of obtaining the award.
Material Transfer Agreement - An agreement initiated between two parties to allow the use of a patented or otherwise protected substance, compound or research material.
Modified Total Direct Costs - This is the calculated amount of all direct costs elements needed to carry out the project, excluding tuition and equipment. This amount is then multiplied by the institutions F&A rate to determine the appropriate amount of indirect costs for a sponsored research project.
No-Cost Extension - Additional time added to the original total project period, without any accommodation for additional funding. Such extensions are usually requested by the PI when research was delayed for some reason, and additional time is needed to carry out the approved scope of work.
Obligated Funds - Monies that are unexpended but encumbered at the end of a funding period to cover known obligations. If the grantor permits, they may be carried forward to the next funding period.
Patent - Exclusive right granted by the government for any "new and useful process, machine manufacture composition of matter or any new and useful improvement thereof.
Patent Report - A report of any patents or other inventions developed under a sponsored research project. These reports are required by federal sponsors.
Pre-award Costs - The cost incurred prior to the effective date
of the award. Permission is granted when a restricted fund is necessary to
comply with the proposed delivery schedule or period of performance. There may be a clause in the Notice of Award allowing UAA to expend funds 60 days prior to the start date of the project.
Prime Sponsor - In cases where the University of Alaska Anchorage receives subcontract funds, we need to know who supplied funds originally, particularly when these funds are federal funds. For example, if we receive a portion of an NIH award from University X in the form of a subcontract, the Prime Sponsor is NIH.
Prior Approval - Permission grants by the sponsor to allow an activity to take place that was not previously approved in the award document, or would normally be unallowable by the sponsor. Examples include modification of project scope and budget amendments.
Project Period - The total time period for which the support is recommended. The project period may consist of one or more budget periods.
Proposal - A detailed request for funding prepared in accordance with the sponsor's instructions.
Reimbursement - Provides for sponsor payment of the allowable, allocable, and reasonable costs of the project. Reimbursements are designed to estimate total project costs so that funds may be obligated for the work and also to set a spending ceiling that may not be exceeded by the PI without the prior approval of the sponsor's contracting officers.
Renewals - an authorization for follow-up support to a project. Renewal awards usually retain the same grant number with a year of renewal designation. They typically are given new accounting numbers at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Research agreement with Industry - agreement made by and between an industry sponsor and the University, where the sponsor wishes to financially support research.
Salary - a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee
Salary Cap/Limitation - A legislatively-mandated provision limiting the direct salary for individuals working on NIH grants, cooperative agreement awards, and extramural research and development contracts. The summary of salary caps is available from FY1990 to FY2012.
Sponsored Project - an externally-funded activity governed by terms and conditions specified in a written agreement between the sponsor and the University .
Sponsored Project Agreements - Any grant, contract or other agreement between the institution and the federal government.
Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process (SNAP) - Process that includes a number of provisions that modify annual progress reports, Notice of Awards, and financial reports. NIH "K" awards and "R" awards except "R35s". When SNAP applies, the progress report must be submitted electronically using the eSNAP module in the eRA Commons.
Subcontract/subaward - A formal written agreement made between the University of Alaska Anchorage and a "Subrecipient" to perform a portion of the Statement of Work under a University of Alaska Anchorage's sponsored project. Subawards differ from procurement contracts used to acquire goods or services from vendors.
Subrecipient - A party that receives a subaward from a recipient or another subrecipient under a Federal Financial Assistance Award and is accountable to the recipient or subrecipient for the use of the Federal funds provided by the subaward.
Supplemental Award - The addition of funds to an existing award. They may be granted for a new or expanded scope of an existing award or provide for funding due to an increase in costs caused by unforeseen circumstances. Depending on the circumstances, the University of Alaska Anchorage may or may not issue new account numbers for the supplement.
Technical Report - A report submitted to the sponsoring agency that out lines the work performed typically submitted annually. This report is generated by the research team.
Terms and Conditions - The rights and obligations that the awarding party requires pertaining to a project, as set forth in statute, program rule or other document or incorporated by reference in the award or subaward document.
Trademark - obtained to protect the right to use a word, phrase or design, in a specific class, such as clothing.
Unallowable Costs - Expenditures incurred on a sponsored project for which the sponsor will not pay. Cost Overrun Restricted Funds - A journal voucher is used to clear Unallowable Costs. The credit recorded in the restricted fund to compensate for overruns. The offsetting debit is recorded in the unrestricted fund. Account code 8661 is used for both sides of the entry. In effect, the unrestricted fund is funding a portion of the project but all related costs are recorded in the restricted fund.
Unexpended Funds - Monies not spent during the award period.
UAA only requests reimbursement for incurred expense. Unexpended funds are usually only budget authority.
Voluntary Cost Sharing -a cost associated with a sponsored
project, which was identified in the proposal, but was not required or
funded by the sponsor. The University of Alaska Anchorage does not normally allow Voluntary Cost Sharing to be included in proposals.
Wages - Payment for labor or services to a worker, especially remuneration on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis or by the piece.