Glossary

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A

Abstract

A brief synopsis of a project, often consisting of a project overview, project goals, methodology, outcomes, total funding, and target population, amongst other summary information.

Allocable Costs

Costs are allocable if they provide benefit to a particular award and other work of the institution, are necessary to the overall operation, and distributed in a manner proportionate to the work using reasonable methods.

Allowable Costs

Per the Uniform Guidance (§200.403 Factors affecting allowability of costs), costs charged to a grant or contract that are necessary, reasonable, allocable, consistently treated, and not specifically disallowed by the sponsor or program.

Amendment

Any change to a contractual agreement requiring signature from an Authorized Official (AO). 

Applicant

A frequent designation occurring in a proposal submission, typically referencing the submitting organization, rather than the individual listed as principal investigator.

Assurances

A series of statements to which an applicant organization must attest in order to qualify for funding. Often used in tandem with “representations” or “certifications.”

Audit

A systematic examination and review of the sponsored research administrative records, including but not limited to accounts, compliance, policies, and processes.

Authorized Official

The university administrator granted authority to make commitments, execute awards, or otherwise legally bind the institution on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

Award Document

A legally binding agreement between the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and an external sponsor whereby the sponsor commits a specific amount of funding to the university to perform a specific scope of work within a specific period of time. The award document is the funding mechanism for the sponsored project.

B

Basic Research

Work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without any particular application or use in mind.

Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)

A mechanism used by the U.S. government for soliciting proposals that are more general in nature, focusing on scientific advancement in the targeted subject matter, rather than development of a specific product.

Budget Justification

The section of a proposal, typically categorized by major cost, that explains the basis for requested funding, and why the proposed costs are necessary to achieve the specific aims of the project.

Budget Period

The intervals of time (usually 12 months each) into which a project period is divided for budgetary and funding purposes.

Burn Rate

The percentage of a budget spent divided by the percentage of elapsed time.

C

Carryover

Unobligated federal funds remaining at the end of any budget period that, with the approval of the GMO or under an automatic authority, may be carried forward to another budget period to cover allowable costs of that budget period (whether as an offset or additional authorization). Obligated, but unliquidated, funds are not considered carryover.

Chart

A required segment of a C-FOAPAL accounting string that identifies the campus or major accounting entity for accounting and financial reporting purposes.

Clinical Trial

A controlled study involving human subjects, designed to evaluate prospectively the safety and effectiveness of new drugs or devices or of behavioral interventions.

Closeout

The process by which the federal awarding agency or pass-through entity determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work of the award have been completed and takes actions as described in 45 CFR  § 75.381.

Co-Investigator (Co-I)

An individual who serves as key personnel on a project, but without the oversight responsibility of a principal investigator.

Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)

An individual who shares the authority and responsibility for scientific or technical direction of a project where the sponsor allows more than one principal investigator.

Conflict of Interest

When an academic staff member is in a position to influence either directly or indirectly university business, research, or other decisions in ways that could lead to gain for the staff member, his or her immediate family, or any third party to the detriment of the university's integrity and its missions of teaching, research, economic development, and public service. Conflicts of interest also arise when an academic staff member desires to acquire a contract (outside of employment) to provide goods or services to the university.

Consultant

An independent contractor, not employed by the university, who is hired to provide professional services or expertise in a specific technical area for a defined period of time, as outlined in a sponsored agreement.

Continuation

A request for additional funds that extends the funding segment. The current F&A Rate (for the originally submitted the Activity Type and Location) should be applied.

Contract

A contract is an obligation which is legally binding and enforceable by law, such as an accepted offer between competent parties upon a legal consideration, to do or abstain from doing some act.

Contributed Effort

Effort expended on a sponsored project that the sponsor does not compensate for; a form of cost-sharing.

Cooperative Agreement

A type of assistance award that may be used when the project being supported requires substantial agency involvement during the project performance period.

Cost Sharing

A portion of project costs incurred during the period of performance that are not borne by the sponsor. The university's financial contribution toward a sponsored project.

Cost Transfer

A reallocation or redistribution of a previously charged expenditure transferred from one university fund (C-FOAP) to another after the charge has been posted in Banner.

D

Direct Costs

Costs that can be specifically and readily identified with (traced to) a particular sponsored project or activity.

E

Effort

Time spent on a sponsored project by a principal investigator or other personnel working on that project.

Equipment

Tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000.

F

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs

Commonly abbreviated as “F&A” costs, also called “ICR,” “Overhead,” or “Indirect” costs. These are costs incurred by the university for common or joint objectives and cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program.

Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP)

A cooperative initiative among some federal agencies, including NIH, selected organizations receiving federal funding for research, and certain professional organizations. Its efforts include demonstration projects intended to simplify and standardize federal requirements in order to increase research productivity and reduce administrative costs.

Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI)

A financial conflict of interest exists when the recipient's designated official(s) reasonably determines that an investigator's significant financial interest could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of the PHS-funded research.

Form A

A university specific form used to request that a restricted cost be treated as a direct cost for a particular project, ensuring compliance with federal government cost principles.

Fringe Benefits

Costs associated with employing staff that are not part of salary.

G

Gift

Any item of value given to the university by a donor who expects nothing significant of value in return, beyond recognition.

Grant

Financial support provided for research study designed and proposed the principal investigator(s). The granting agency exercises no direct control over the conduct of approved research supported by a grant.

Grant Code

A unique identifier assigned to each sponsored project by Sponsored Programs Post-Award when an award is set-up.

Grants.gov

Electronic system designated by the Office of Management and Budget as the single access point for all grant programs offered by 26 federal grant-making agencies. It provides a single interface for agencies to announce their grant opportunities and for all applicants to find and apply for those opportunities.

H

Human Subject

A living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or obtains individually identifiable, private information.

I

In-Kind Contribution

The value of non-cash contributions that third parties provide to the project. Third parties must provide documentation to support the use of the funds as University Cost Sharing and a certification of the fair market value of the non-cash contribution provided. This is also known as “third party cost share.”

Incremental Funding Request (Non-Competing Continuation)

A financial assistance request (in the form of an application or progress report) or resulting award for a subsequent budget period within a previously approved project period for which a recipient does not have to compete with other applicants.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Committee appointed by the Chief Executive Officer or designee, federally mandated to oversee the institution's animal program, facilities, and procedures. IACUC review and approval is required for all PHS-supported activities involving live vertebrate animals prior to funding.

Institutional Base Salary (IBS)

The annual compensation the University pays for activities performed (including, as applicable, research, teaching, and clinical practice) as part of an employee’s University appointment(s). Specifically includes regular salary, endowed chair or professorship stipends, and paid professional leave (sabbatical, vacation, and sick leave—not including sick leave payouts when departing from the University).

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

A specially constituted review body established or designated by an entity to protect the welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in biomedical or behavioral research.

Instruction (Sponsored Instruction)

All teaching and training activities (except for research training) sponsored by federal and non-federal agencies or other entities, whether such activities are offered for credit toward a degree or certificate or on a non-credit basis, and whether they are offered through regular academic departments or separate divisions, such as a summer school division or an extension division.

Intellectual Property

Creative works or ideas embodied in a form that can be shared or can enable others to recreate, emulate, or manufacture them and are protected by state and federal laws governing inventions, patents, trademarks, unfair competition, copyrights, trade secrets, data and technical data, the right of publicity, and new plant varieties.

J

Journal Voucher (JV)

A written authorization recording details for financial transactions, including adjustments or corrections made to previously recorded transactions.

K

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 who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project.

L

Letter of Intent (LOI)

Initial contact with a sponsor indicating intent to submit a full proposal.

Limited Submission

Funding opportunities for which the university can submit only a limited, sponsor-defined number of proposals.

M

Matching

Cost Sharing in which the sponsor requires the university to match the level of grant funding in a specified proportion, such as a 50% match or a “1 to 1” match.

Material Transfer Agreement

A legal document defining the conditions under which research or other materials can be transferred and used among research laboratories.

Modification

An award document that modifies any aspect of an existing award.

Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC)

The basis on which F&A costs are calculated, including all direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each subaward (regardless of the period of performance of the subawards under the award). Excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant supports costs, and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000.

N

No-Cost Extension

An extension of time to a project period and/or budget period to complete the work of the grant under that period, without additional funds or competition.

O

Organized Research

All research and development activities including research sponsored by federal and non-federal agencies or other entities. For this purpose, research is defined as the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories, or the application of such new or revised theories, which also require separate accounting and reporting. This includes basic, applied, and developmental research.

Other Sponsored Activities (OSA)

Any program or project financed by federal or non-federal agencies or other entities that involves the performance of work other than sponsored instruction and organized research. Examples include health service projects, community service programs, facility use, and technical testing.

P

Pass-Through Entity

The legal entity receiving a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement directly from the awarding agency and passing funding on to a subrecipient.

Prime

May include, for example, award, funding source, and sponsor among others. The original funding mechanism or organization for a project.

Principal Investigator

The individual vested by the university with the primary responsibility to independently design, conduct, and supervise a sponsored project awarded to the university.

Priority Score

A numerical rating which compiles the assessments of each member of a review committee and is assigned to a research proposal as a criterion for making funding decisions. Most commonly associated with NIH applications.

Program Announcement (PA)

A formal statement from a sponsor notifying the research community of an opportunity to submit applications for funding support. This typically identifies a specific area of increased priority or emphasis for the agency.

Program Officer

An individual working on behalf of the sponsor who is responsible for the programmatic, scientific, and technical aspects of a grant.

Project Period

The total time for which support of a project has been programmatically approved. Comprises the initial competitive segment and any subsequent competitive segments resulting from a renewal or extension of the award.

Proposal

A request for external funding containing all of the components required by sponsor and university guidelines.

Protocol

The formal design or plan of an experiment or research activity; specifically, the plan submitted to university compliance offices for review and to an agency for research support.

R

Re-Grant

Agreements that are issued by the university to collaborating entities with funds that are passed through the institution; that is, the funds are from an internal source such as an ICR account or a gift.

Reasonable Cost

A cost may be considered reasonable if the nature of the goods or services, and the price paid for those goods or services, reflects the action that a prudent person would have taken, given the prevailing circumstances at the time the decision to incur the cost was made.

Rebudget

The transfer of funds from one budget category or line item to another. Each sponsor may have different rules for how to request a rebudget or complete the rebudget process.

Request for Application (RFA)

A formal statement that solicits grant or cooperative agreement applications in a well-defined scientific area to accomplish specific program objectives.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An announcement notifying the research community of a sponsor’s intention to award a contract to meet a specific need.

Restricted Costs

Allowable costs that may meet the definition of a direct cost on a project, but is consistently treated by the institution as an indirect cost.

S

Scope of Work (SOW)

The who, what, when, why, and how the project will be performed. It should typically include a statement of the problem or issue to be investigated and the methods to conduct the investigation. This is also commonly referred to as a "statement of work."

Sponsor

The entity who provides funding via award of a grant, contract, or other agreement.

Sponsored Projects

Activities supported by entities outside the university that are consistent with and enhance the teaching, research, and public service missions of the university and that include a defined scope or objective and reporting and compliance requirements. Sponsored projects include grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and other types of agreements.

Subcontract/Subaward

A document written under the authority of, and consistent with the terms and conditions of an award (grant, contract, or cooperative agreement), that transfers a portion of the research or substantive effort of the prime award to another institution or organization.

Supplement

A request for additional funds that does not extend the funding segment. NIH calls these requests “Revision” or “Administrative Supplement.” The originally submitted F&A Rate (including the Activity Type and Location) should be applied.

T

Total Costs

The total allowable costs (both direct costs and F&A costs) incurred by the recipient to carry out an approved project or activity.

Total Direct Costs (TDC)

The total of all direct costs of an approved project or activity.

U

Uniform Guidance

A government-wide framework for grants management, establishing an authoritative set of rules and requirements for federal awards. Uniform guidance replaces and supersedes guidance previously contained in OMB circulars.

Unrecovered F&A

The difference between the federally negotiated F&A rate applicable to the award and the actual F&A rate approved by the sponsor and used in assessing indirect costs.

Unsolicited Proposal

Proposals submitted to a sponsor that are not in response to an RFP, RFA, or program announcement.

V

Vendor

An organization that provides goods and services within normal business operations, provides similar goods and services to many different purchasers, and operates in a competitive environment. Uniform guidance uses the term “contractor” rather than “vendor.”