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Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Dictionary

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Allocable CostA cost that has been incurred solely to support or advance the work of a specific sponsored award.  ​
Allowable CostA cost permitted according to the terms and conditions of the sponsored program, UMMC policy and federal regulations.​
Alterations & Renovations (A&R)A&R funds can be used for projects such as altering a room to make space for a new grant-related piece of equipment.  Costs are limited to under $300,000 (additional limitations apply for costs in excess of this) and cannot be used for general maintenance projects.​
AmendmentAn alteration or addition to a current sponsored program.  Can add/remove time, money and additional terms and conditions.
AuditConduct of an official financial or programmatic examination of an individual or an organization's accounts and documents. May include examination into compliance with applicable terms, laws and regulations.​
AwardA commitment to provide funds either through a grant, contract or cooperative agreement to carry out a project or activity.​


Bayh-Dole ActThe 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 under 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. 
Basic ResearchResearch directed toward increasing knowledge in science.  The primary aim of basic research is a fuller knowledge or understanding of the subject under study, rather than any practical application of that knowledge. 
BudgetThe detailed statement outlining estimated project costs to support work under a grant or contract. 
Budget PeriodThe interval of time, usually twelve months, into which a project period is divided for budgetary and funding purposes. 


Unobligated funds remaining at the end of any budget period that, with the approval of the sponsor, may be carried forward to another budget period to cover allowable costs of that budget period. 
CFDACatalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.  A database which helps the Federal Government track all programs it has domestically funded. 
Clinical ResearchResearch that directly involves a particular person or group of people, or that uses materials from humans, such as their behaviors or samples of their tissue. 
Clinical TrialA prospective biomedical or behavioral research study of human subjects that is designed to answer specific questions about biomedical or behavioral interventions (drugs, treatments, devices, etc.)  Clinical trials are used to determine whether new biomedical or behavioral interventions are safe, efficacious and effective. 
Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA)A legal document used between an institution and an outside party to define the terms and conditions associated with the conduct of a clinical trial.  
CloseoutThe process of completing all of the internal procedures and sponsor requirements necessary to terminate or complete a project. 
Co-InvestigatorAn individual involved with the PD/PI in the scientific development or execution of a project.  A co-investigator typically devotes a specified percentage of time to the project and is considered senior/key personnel. 
Competing ContinuationA request for assistance to extend for one or more additional budget periods a project period that would otherwise expire.  Also known as Renewal. 
Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA)A legal document that ensures confidentiality of proprietary information that a sponsor gives to the principal investigator. Also known as Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). 
Consortium/Contractual AgreementA formalized agreement whereby a research project is carried out by the grantee and one or more other organizations that are separate legal entities.  Also known as subawards/subcontracts.
ConsultantAn individual or firm that provides professional advice or services for a fee, but normally not as an employee or subsidiary of the engaging party. 
ContractA mechanism for the procurement of a product of service with specific obligations for both sponsor and recipient.  
Contract Research Organization (CRO)An organization that provides support to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries in the form of research services outsourced on a contract basis. 
Cooperative AgreementThis award anticipates substantial sponsor involvement in research once the award has been made.  The sponsor's staff may be actively involved in proposal preparation.
Cost ShareThe portion of total project costs not borne by the sponsor.  Becomes part of the legal requirements of the contract or grant once accepted by the sponsor. Can be mandatory or voluntary.  Also known as Matching Funds and In-kind Contribution. 
Cost ReimbursementA contract or grant for which the sponsor pays the full costs incurred in the conduct of the work, up to an agreed amount.  The recipient invoices the sponsor for actual costs incurred. 


Direct CostsCosts that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, or can be assigned with a high degree of accuracy. 
Disallowed CostsCharges to an award that the agency determines to be unallowable, in accordance with applicable cost principles or other terms and conditions of UMMC or the award. 


Early Stage Investigator (ESI)An individual who is classified as a New Investigator and is within 10 years of completing his/her terminal research degree or within 10 years of completing medical residency (or the equivalent).  Used by NIH. 
EINEmployer Identification Number 
EquipmentTangible, non-expendable personal property including exempt property charged directly to the award having a useful life or more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. 
Escalation FactorA sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods or services. Also known as inflationary increase/cost-of-living increase. 


F&A CostsCosts 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.  Also known as indirect costs and overhead. 
Fiscal YearAny 12-month period for which annual accounts are kept.  The fiscal year at UMMC is July 1 to June 30.  The Federal fiscal year is Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. 
Fringe BenefitsEmployee benefits paid by the employer (e.g., FICA, Worker's Compensation, Retirement, Insurance). 
Fully executedA contract or agreement that has been signed by all responsible parties. 


GrantA financial award given to a party for a particular purpose.
Grants Management Specialist (GMS)An NIH staff member who oversees the business and other non-programmatic aspects of one or more grants and/or cooperative agreements. 


Human Research Office (HRO)UMMC's administrative office for the two IRB's. 
Human SubjectA living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or obtains identifiable private information.  Regulations governing the use of human subjects in research extend to the use of human organs, tissues and body fluids from identifiable individuals as human subjects and to graphic, written, or recorded information derived from such individuals.
Human Subjects AssuranceA document filed by an institution conducting research on human subjects with the Office for Human Research Protections - HHS which formalizes its commitment to protect the human subjects prior to receiving any HHS grant funding. 


Indirect CostsSee F&A Costs   
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)A federally mandated review body to oversee the institution's animal program, facilities and procedures.  
Institutional Base Salary (IBS)The annual compensation set by UMMC for an employee's appointment, whether that employee's professional effort is spent on research, teaching, patient care or other activities.
Institutional Biosafety Committee(IBC)The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for oversight of the institution's recombinant DNA research and research that involves microbiological hazards. 
Institutional Review Board (IRB)An administrative review body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the organization with which it is affiliated. 
InstructionThe teaching and training activities of an institution.  Except for research training as provided in organized research, this term includes all teaching and training activities, whether they are offered for credits toward a degree or certificate or on a non-credit basis, and whether they are offered through regular academic departments or separate divisions. 
Intellectual PropertyA work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc. 
Intramural Research Support Program (IRSP)An intramural grant program that provides funds to faculty members for pilot studies, emergency support and other research projects. 
Investigational Device Exemption (IDE)An investigational device exemption allows the investigational device to be used in a clinical study in order to collect safety and effectiveness data.  Regulated by the FDA. 


Just-in-Time (JIT)The deferred submission of certain elements of a competing application, usually when the application is under consideration for funding. 


Letter of Intent (LOI)A non-binding agreement expressing the intention to enter into a formal agreement. 


Matching FundsSee Cost Share. 
Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)A legal document defining the conditions under which research or other materials can be transferred and used among research laboratories. 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)A legal document that expresses mutual agreement on an issue between two or more parties. 
Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC)Total direct costs excluding: the portion of each individual subcontract in excess of $25,000; equipment, patient care charges, tuition remission, scholarships, fellowships, rental costs of off-site facilities or capital expenditures. 
Modular BudgetNIH mechanism where support is requested in increments of $25,000 without the need for detailed supporting information, other than personnel.   
Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator (Multi PD/PI)An opportunity for multidisciplinary efforts and collaboration through a single grant award.  All PD/PIs share equally the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. 


No-cost extensionAn 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. 
Non-competing continuationA 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. 
Nondisclosure agreement (NDA)See CDA.
Notice of Grant Award (NGA)The official, legally binding document that notifies the recipient of the award of the grant; contains or references all the terms and conditions of the grant and; provides the documentary basis for recording the obligation of funds.  


Organized ResearchAll research and development activities of an institution that are separately budgeted and accounted for.  Includes sponsored research and university/intramural research. 
Other Sponsored ActivityPrograms and projects financed by other agencies and organizations that involve the performance of work other than instruction and organized research.   
OverheadSee Indirect Costs/F&A Costs. 


Parent AnnouncementNIH-wide funding opportunity announcement enabling applicants to submit for a specific activity code.  
Partially executedA document that has been signed by one or more parties to the agreement, but has not been signed by all responsible parties. 
Patient Care CostsCosts for hospital and physician services performed for research purposes only.   
Percent EffortThe amount of time dedicated to a specific project by a specific person or role.  Can be expressed a percentage, person month or as an FTE. 
Person MonthsA way to express the amount of time dedicated to a specific project by a specific person or role. For example, someone committing 10% effort to a project, would be committing 1.2 person months. 
Post-awardAny activities taking place after a sponsored program is awarded to the institution.  Includes releasing funding, monitoring expenses, submitting invoices and closing an award financially. 
Pre-awardAny activities prior to award establishment.  Includes proposal review and submission and award negotiation and acceptance. 
Pre-proposalA brief description of a research plan and estimated budget.  The pre-proposal is sometimes submitted to determine the interest of a potential sponsor prior to submission of a formal proposal. 
Prime SponsorThe original source of funds.  For example, if UMMC is serving as a subcontractor on a grant awarded to UAB by NIH, UAB would be the sponsor and NIH would be the prime sponsor. 
Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI)The individual responsible for the conduct of research or other activity described in the proposal of an award. 
Program IncomeGross income earned by the recipient that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the award. 
Program Officer (PO)An individual designated by a sponsor as responsible for the technical, scientific, and/or programmatic aspects of a particular award. 
Progress ReportScheduled reports required by a sponsor summarizing progress to date.  Technical, fiscal and invention reports may be required. 
Project PeriodThe period established in the award document during which sponsorship begins and ends.  The project period may consist of one or more budget periods. 


RebudgetingThe act of amending a budget by moving funds from one category or line item to another. 
RenewalSee Competing Continuation
Request for Proposals (RFP)A request by the sponsor for proposals for a given objective. 
ResubmissionAn application that has been previously submitted, but not funded, and is being resubmitted for new consideration. 


Salary Cap/LimitationA legislatively- or sponsor-mandated provision limiting the direct salary for individuals working on sponsored projects. 
Scope of Work (SOW)The description of the work to be performed on the project. 
Senior/Key PersonnelThe PD/PI and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive salaries or compensation under the grant. "Zero percent" effort or "as needed" is not an acceptable level of involvement for senior/key personnel. 
SponsorThe organization that funds a project via award of a contract, grant or cooperative agreement, or other agreement. 
Study CoordinatorTypically a nurse; a study coordinator is involved with all aspects of a clinical trial (site visits, billing, contracts, budgets, conducting the study, etc.) 
Subaward ProposalA proposal to cooperatively work with a third party to carry out the program for which a primary award could be granted.  
SubcontractAn agreement or secondary contract in which a third party agrees to perform some of the activities defined in the proposal for an award. 
SubrecipientA party that receives a subaward/subcontract from a recipient of an award and is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided. 


Technology TransferThe assignment of technological intellectual property, developed and generated in one place, to another through legal means such as licensing.  Also, the process of converting scientific and technological advances into marketable goods and services. 
Translational ResearchThe process of making discoveries that will have an impact on human health and may lead to the development of studies and humans and research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. 
Transmittal FormInternal form used by UMMC's Office of Research to obtain approvals and information about grants and contracts submitted to external sponsors. 
Terms and ConditionsAll legal requirements imposed on an agreement by the sponsor, whether by statute, regulation, 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 recipient's and sponsor's interests. 


Unallowable CostAny cost that, under the provisions of any pertinent law, regulation or contract, cannot be included in prices, cost-reimbursements or settlements under a contract to which it is allocable. 
Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA)Template used to transfer materials between signatories of the UBMTA Master Agreement.  Legal and Compliance review is waived if used.   
Unexpended BalanceThe portion of the funds authorized by the sponsor that has not been expended by the recipient and is determined by deducting the cumulative expenditures from the authorized total. 


VendorA dealer, distributor, merchant or other seller providing goods or services that are required for the conduct of a program.