Common definitions and acronyms used in contracts & grants administration.

A-21: "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions", an OMB circular which sets forth the cost principles to be used by educational institutions with respect to federal grants and contracts, as well as outlining costs that are considered allowable and unallowable against federal grants and contracts.

A-110: "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations", an OMB Circular which sets forth 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.

Abstract: An abbreviated summary (typically 1 page) of a research subject or discipline.

AFOSR: Air Force Office of Scientific Research (A Department of Defense agency)

Amendment: A formal written change to an existing agreement. Also called "Modification".

Agency/Funding Agency: See "Sponsor".

ARO: The Army Research Office (A Department of Defense agency)

A/S: Animal 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 award terms, laws, regulations and policies.

Award: The document that funds a successful proposal. May be in the form of a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.

Bayh-Dole Act: The federal law that gives the University title to inventions developed with federal funding, subject to certain conditions.

Broad Agency Announcement (BAA): An announcement of a federal agency's general research interests that invites proposals and specifies the general terms and conditions under which an award may be made.

Budget: A list of anticipated project costs that represent the Principal Investigator's best estimate of the funds needed to support the work described in a grant or contract proposal.

Budget Period: The period for which funds are obligated for spending. Generally, one-year periods within a larger project/performance period.

Budget Justification: A written description of the cost estimation methods used in preparing a budget and that also explains or describes the types of individual costs.

CAGE: Commercial and Government Entity code.

Carryforward: Unexpended funds carried from one budget period to another.

CAS: Cost Accounting Standards. Federally mandated accounting standards intended to ensure uniformity in budgeting, accounting, and reporting project costs.

CDE: California Department of Education.

CFDA: The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. A comprehensive listing and description of Federal programs and activities which provide assistance or benefits to the American public.

CFR: Code of Federal Regulations.

CGLink: An electronic listserv established by the Office of Research to facilitate communication among the staff on the UCSB campus who are involved with administering contracts and grants.

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

COI: Conflict of Interest. A principle in which outside activities, relationships or financial interests of a recipient are determined to be proper or improper to prevent an individual from appearing to be motivated by private gain.

Confidentiality Agreement: An agreement requiring the recipient of certain information to keep that information in confidence.

Contract: An agreement where the sponsor has more involvement and uses the project to achieve a specific outcome or goal.

Contracting Officer: The individual within a contracting agency who has the authority to commit that agency to legal obligations, such as to spend funds or to agree to specific contract terms.

Contractor: The individual or organization performing the work under a contract. When used in a contract between a funding agency and The Regents (UCSB), The Regents is the Contractor. In the case where UCSB subcontracts for a portion of the project, the party who performs that work is sometimes called the "Contractor".

Cooperative Agreement: An award similar to a grant, but in which the sponsor anticipates having substantial involvement in research activities.

Cost Reimbursement Contract/Grant: A contract/grant in which the sponsor only reimburses for actual costs incurred.

Cost Sharing: A type of Project Contribution in which the University bears the costs associated with the conduct of a sponsored project that the University may otherwise charge to the extramural funds. Typically, these costs are not separately budgeted, but are part of the department's operating expenses. Cost sharing can be either mandatory (requested by the sponsor) or voluntary (the University makes the contribution on its own initiative).

Data Sheet: OR Form 100 completed by the PI and department through ORbit, which provides OR with information and assurances necessary for submission of proposals and maintenance of records.

Deobligation: The withdrawal of support under an award, in whole or in part, at any time prior to the date of completion.

DFARS: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement

DHHS: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Among other things, DHHS is UCSB's "cognizant agency" responsible for negotiating indirect cost rates with the University. The rates thus negotiated are applicable to all funding agencies.

Direct Costs: The costs of conducting a project that can be directly attributed to that project (e.g., salaries, benefits, supplies, equipment and travel). In order to be reimbursed under federal grants and contracts, a direct cost must be reasonable in price, allowable under federal regulations, and allocable to (i.e., clearly assignable to) that specific project.

DOC: U.S. Department of Commerce.

DoD: U.S. Department of Defense.

DOE: Typically, the U.S Department of Energy. Sometimes referred to as U.S. Department of Education.

DOEdu: U.S. Department of Education.

DOI: U.S. Department of the Interior.

DOT: U.S. Department of Transportation.

EFT: Electronic funds transfer.

EH&S: Environmental Health and Safety.

EIN: Entity Identification Number.

EFM: Extramural Funds Management. Now called Extramural Funds (EMF) Accounting. The unit within the campus Accounting Dept. that is responsible for administration of all external funding received by UCSB, including governmental, private contracts and grants, endowments, and gifts. The unit provides financial reporting, gift processing, billing submission, maintain effort reporting, and support to departments in managing extramural funds.

EMF: Extramural funds (See EFM).

Engagement (as used in Uniform Guidance §200.308): A principal investigator (PI) is “engaged” in a project if he or she able to carry out the following responsibilities with regard to a sponsored project:

  • Ensure the scientific integrity of the sponsored project;
  • Oversee the financial management of project funds (see Contracts and Grants Manual §6-400);
  • Ensure adherence to all internal University policies;
  • Ensure adherence to the sponsor’s terms and conditions, including reporting and record keeping requirements enumerated in the award document; and
  • Monitor the technical progress and claimed costs of subrecipients.

These responsibilities may be carried out on or off campus. Should a PI be unable to fulfill these requirements for more than three months, the PI will be considered “disengaged” from the project, and the University must identify an alternative PI to manage the project and obtain sponsor approval for the substitution.

EPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Equipment: An article of nonexpendable tangible personal property having a useful life of over one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit.

ERA: Electronic Research Administration. Conducting research administration by utilizing electronic resources such as the Internet, the World Wide Web, databases, and other electronic tools.

Extramural Funding: Awards made to the University by agencies and other third parties for research, instruction, or public service projects.

F&A: Facilities & Administration Costs. See "Indirect Costs".

FAR: Federal Acquisition Regulation. A comprehensive set of pre-written contract terms used by the federal government to draft federal contracts for procurement including research and development contracts to educational institutions.

FDP: The Federal Demonstration Partnership. An assembly of universities and federal agencies that meet regularly to find ways to reduce the amount of administrative requirements for conducting federally-sponsored projects. The FDP has created a set of streamlined terms and conditions for grants and (some) cooperative agreements granted by FDP agencies to FDP universities. The University of California is a member of FDP.

Fiscal Year (FY): Any twelve month period. (UCSB = July 1 through June 30; Federal = October 1 through September 30)

Fixed Price Contract/Grant: A contract/grant for which one party pays the other party a predetermined price, regardless of actual costs, for services rendered or the delivery of a final product/report.

FOIA: Freedom of Information Act. The laws that allow the general public the right to review certain federal government records upon request. It does not automatically apply to proposal and award documents, or to the data generated by research funded by the federal government.

Gift: Funds donated irrevocably for unrestricted or designated purposes by extramural organizations or individuals. As opposed to a grant, gifts typically have no contractual requirements and there are no deliverables to the donor.

GPG: Grant Proposal Guide for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Contains standard guidelines to be followed for standard NSF proposal submissions.

GPM: Grant Policy Manual for the National Science Foundation (NSF). A compendium of basic policies and procedures for use by the grantee community and NSF staff.

Grant: A type of financial assistance award in which the sponsor anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the activities.

Grants Officer: The individual within a sponsoring agency who has the authority to commit that agency to spend funds.

Grantee: The recipient of a grant.

H/S: Human subjects.

IACUC: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. An institutional committee with federally mandated oversight responsibilities related to the proper use and care of laboratory animals.

Indirect Costs. Those costs that are incurred by a project that cannot be clearly identified and assigned to that project (local telephone charges, administrative support, library use, building costs, and utility charges). Also called F&A costs.

Indirect Cost Rate: The rate at which indirect costs are charged to a project - expressed as a percentage of direct costs. There are separate indirect cost rates for research, instruction and public service, and each of those is further separated into on- and off-campus rates.

Integral (as used in Uniform Guidance §200.413): An “integral” administrative or clerical service contributes directly to the success of the project and supports a programmatic objective.

IDC: Indirect costs.

Intellectual Property: A property interest, granted by the Government, which gives a person or entity ownership of the intellectual creations that it develops and the ability to exclude others from using or copying such creations. Types of intellectual property include patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.

IP: Intellectual property.

IRB: Institutional Review Board. The UCSB Human Subjects Committee is an IRB.

Key Personnel: 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; however, sponsors may have differing definitions of Key Personnel.

Liaison/Department Liaison: The person on the staff of a Department or ORU who is responsible for interacting with the Sponsored Projects Office on matters relating to that Department's or ORU's contracts and grants.

Matching: A type of Project Contribution in which the sponsor requires the University, as a condition of the award, to "match" the sponsor's support in a fixed amount, through non-UC sources.

Material Transfer Agreement: A written agreement in which one organization agrees to send another organization a physical research sample (such as a chemical compound, bacterial strain, etc.) for internal, non-commercial research use.

MTA: Material Transfer Agreement.

Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC): The total direct costs against which indirect costs are applied. Certain items of direct costs, such as equipment, participant support costs, tuition remission, health insurance, rental space, fellowships and the amount of a subcontract in excess of $25,000 are excluded prior to calculating the indirect cost on a given project.

MOU: Memorandum of Understanding. An agreement that establishes the basic principles that will guide the implementation of programs. It is less formal than a contract.

NASA: National Aeronautics & Space Administration.

NCE: See no-cost extension.

NCURA: National Council of Research Administration. A nation-wide organization that serves its members and advances the field of research administration through professional development, the sharing of knowledge, and by fostering community.

NDA: Non-Disclosure Agreement. (See, Confidentiality Agreement.)

NEA: National Endowment for the Arts.

NEH: National Endowment for the Humanities.

NIH: National Institutes of Health. Part of the Public Health Service (PHS), which is part of DHHS.

No-cost extension: An extension of the period of performance beyond the expiration date to allow the Principal Investigator to finalize a project. No additional funds are provided.

NSF: National Science Foundation.

OMB: Office of Management and Budget (federal). The principal staff office under the United States Office of the President for administrative and financial matters.

ONR: Office of Naval Research (A DoD agency)

OR: Office of Research.

ORBiT: Office of Research's electronic database.

ORI: Office of Research Integrity.

ORU: Organized Research Unit. Usually a multi-disciplinary unit similar to an academic department, but without any teaching responsibilities.

PHS: Public Health Service.

Pre-Award Costs: Costs incurred prior to the start date of an award.

Pre-Proposal: A brief description of research plans and estimated budget that is sometimes submitted to determine the interest of a particular sponsor prior to submission of a formal proposal.

Principal Investigator: The individual who is directly involved and has the primary responsibility for the scientific, administrative, and fiscal conduct of the project.

PI: Principal Investigator.

POP: Period of performance.

Program Announcement: Describes the existence of a research opportunity.

Program Director/Program Officer/Scientific Officer/Technical Officer: The individual within a funding agency who is concerned with the technical, programmatic aspects of the project. Usually a Ph.D., with whom the University's Principal Investigator communicates on technical matters. Program Directors do not have the authority to make contractual obligations or changes.

Program Income: A type of Project Contribution in which the money that is earned by the University during the project period, and the opportunity to earn that income is provided, in whole or part, by the funding of the project.

Progress Report: Periodic, scheduled reports required by the sponsor summarizing research progress to date.

Project Contribution: Resources that are contributed to a sponsored project over and above the support provided by the extramural sponsor of that project.

Project Director: Same as the PI. The term Project Director is generally used for training and public service grants.

Project Period/Performance Period: The period of time, defined by a begin and end date, during which the project will take place. Typically, the project or performance period runs from one to five years.

Proposal: A written offer submitted to a funding agency to conduct a project for research, instruction, or public service, which typically includes a description of the project and a budget for expenses associated with the project, as well as additional documentation requested by the agency.

  • New Proposal: A proposal for a new project to be funded for the first time by the agency, or for continued funding for a project when there has been a lapse between previous and proposed project periods.
  • Continuation Proposal: A proposal for subsequent budget periods within an already-approved project period. Continuation proposals do not have to compete for funding.
  • Renewal Proposal: A proposal for continued funding of the project beyond the end of the current project period. Renewal proposals compete for funding with all new and renewal proposals submitted to an agency.
  • Supplemental Proposal: A request for additional funds within a previously approved funding period.

R&R: Research and Related Terms and conditions.

RAO: Research Administration Office. Under the direction of the Office of the President, this Office serves as the UC institution-wide focal point for extramural contract and grant policy.

RAS: Request for approval to spend funds. A request for an advance of funds against a contract or grant, prior to its execution. Departments/ORUs initiate a RAS by filling out a RAS form and submitting to Sponsored Projects for review and approval.

RC: Research Circular. Circulars issued by the Sponsored Projects unit of the Office of Research for the purpose of providing operating guidance to the campus for research administration issues.

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

Representations and Certifications (Reps and Certs): Written guarantees that the institution is required to provide to sponsoring agencies. A representation is an account or statement of fact concerning an offeror and its capabilities and abilities to perform. A certification is the submission of documents that serve as guarantees that an award applicant meets certain standards or will comply with certain governmental acts.

RFA: Request for Applications. Announcements that indicate the availability of funds for a topic of specific interest to a sponsor. Proposals submitted in response to RFA's generally result in the award of a grant.

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

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

SBIR: Small Business Innovative Research. Agency administered programs supported by federal funds, making grants to small business entities.

SOW: Statement of Work or Scope of Work.

Sponsored Projects Analyst: An individual in the Sponsored Projects Office who works with a designated Sponsored Projects Officer.

SPA: Sponsored Projects Analyst.

Sponsor: An entity that provides funding for a project conducted by the University. May be a government sponsor or a private organization. Also referred to as "Agency".

Sponsored Projects Officer: An individual in the Sponsored Projects unit of the Office of Research who has the delegated authority to submit proposals and negotiate and accept awards on behalf of The Regents of the University of California.

SPO: Sponsored Projects Office; also Sponsored Projects Officer.

STAR Program: Sponsored projects Training for Administration of Research. A comprehensive certificated training program developed by the Office of Research to train departmental administrators about sponsored projects.

STTR: Small Business Technology Transfer. Grant programs to fund small businesses "teamed" with research institutions.

Subaward/Subagreement/Subcontract: A purchase contract issued by the University to another institution, under an extramurally funded prime award, in order to implement a portion of the scope of work.

SubK: abbreviation for subaward/subagreement/subcontract.

T&C: Terms and conditions.

Task Order: A document authorizing work and appropriating funds as a supplement to a basic contract or master agreement.

TC: Total costs.

TDC: Total direct costs. The total of all allowable direct costs of a project.

TIN: Tax identification number.

UCOP: University of California, Office of the President. (Also, OP: Office of the President).

UG: Uniform Guidance, the Federal Office of Management and Budget set of uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for Federal awards.

USDA: United States Department of Agriculture.

USGS: United States Geological Survey.

VCR: Vice Chancellor of Research.