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. OMB 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. (OMB A-110)

Allowable Compensation

Allowable compensation for graduate research assistants on NIH awards is tied to the zero level postdoctoral stipend established for NIH’s National Research Service Award program. As such, compensation should be interpreted to include stipend + fringe benefits + tuition remission. The total of these three components may not exceed the zero level postdoctoral stipend. NIH

Applied Research

Within the Federal, university, and nonprofit sectors, applied research is defined as research directed toward gaining ‘knowledge or understanding necessary for determining the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met.’ The applied research definition for the industry sector is modified to include ‘research projects which represent investigations directed to discovery of new scientific knowledge and which have specific commercial objectives with respect to either products or processes.’

Approved Budget

The financial expenditure plan for the grant-supported project or activity, including revisions approved by NIH 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 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. (NIH)

Authorized Organizational Official

The individual, named by the applicant organization, who is authorized to act for the applicant and to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to grant applications or grant awards. (NIH)

Authorized Organizational Representative

The individual who is authorized to commit the awardee’s time and other resources to the project, to commit the awardee to comply with the terms and conditions of the award instrument including those set out herein, and to otherwise act for or on behalf of the awardee institution or organization. (USDA)


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. (OMB A-110)

Award types

For descriptions of, and the differences between, grants, cooperative agreements and contracts, click here .


An organization receiving financial assistance directly from Federal awarding agencies to carry out a project or program. (USDA)

Basic Research

Within the Federal, university, and nonprofit sectors, basic research is defined as research directed toward increases in knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific application toward processes or products in mind. For the industry sector, basic research projects are defined as ‘original investigations for the advancement of scientific knowledge which do not have specific commercial objectives, although they may be in fields of present or potential interest to the reporting company.’

Beginning Investigator

Individuals who have not been a principal investigator (PI) or co-principal investigator (co-PI) on a Federally funded award with the exception of doctoral dissertation, postdoctoral fellowship or research planning grants. (NSF)

Budget Period

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

Cash Contributions

The recipient’s cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the recipient by third parties. (OMB A-110)


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. (OMB A-110)


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. (NIH)

Competitive Segment

The initial project period recommended for support (up to 5 years) or each extension of a project period resulting from a competing continuation award that establishes a new competitive segment for the project. (NIH)

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. (NIH)


An individual that provides professional advice or services on the basis of a written agreement for a fee. These individuals are not normally employees of the organization receiving the services. Consultants also include firms that provide professional advice or services. (NIH)

Continuation Proposal

A request for funds previously committed by sponsor.


A procurement contract under an award or subaward, and a procurement subcontract under a recipient’s or subrecipient’s contract.

Contract Under a Grant

A written agreement between a grantee and a third party to acquire routine goods or services. (NIH)

Cooperative Agreement

Agreement A financial assistance mechanism used when substantial Federal programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance is anticipated by the NIH Institute or Center. (NIH)

Cost sharing or matching

A portion of project or program costs are not borne by the Federal Government. (OMB A-110)

Cost Transfer

An after-the-fact reallocation of costs, either salary or non-salary costs, to a sponsored project within a 90-calendar day period from the accounting date. For the purposes of the UW cost transfer policy, the accounting date is the end of the month of the journal date as shown in WISDM.


Defense Contract Audit Agency


The systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes. (OMB A-110)

Direct Costs

Costs that can be specifically identified with a particular project(s) or activity. (NIH)

Domestic Organization

A public or private non-profit institution (including Federal, State, and other agencies) or for-profit organization that is located in the United States or its territories, is subject to U.S. laws, and assumes legal and financial accountability for awarded funds and for the performance of the grant-supported activities. (NIH)


Tangible nonexpendable personal property including exempt property charged directly to the award having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit. (OMB A-110)

Exempt Property

Tangible personal property acquired in whole or in part with Federal funds, where the Federal awarding agency has statutory authority to vest title in the recipient without further obligation to the Federal Government. An example of exempt property authority is contained in the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act (31 U.S.C. 6306), for property acquired under an award to conduct basic or applied research by a non-profit institution of higher education or non-profit organization whose principal purpose is conducting scientific research.

Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A)

Costs that are incurred by a grantee for common or joint objectives and that, therefore, cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program. These costs are sometimes referred to a ‘indirect costs.’

Federal Awarding Agency

The Federal agency that provides an award to the recipient. (OMB A-110)

Federal Demonstration Partnership

A cooperative initiative among some Federal agencies, including NIH, select organizations that receive Federal funding for research, and certain professional associations. Its efforts include a variety of demonstration projects intended to simplify and standardize Federal requirements in order to increase research productivity and reduce administrative costs. (NIH)

Federal Funds Authorized

The total amount of Federal funds obligated by the Federal Government for use by the recipient. This amount may include any authorized carryover of unobligated funds from prior funding periods when permitted by agency regulations or agency implementing instructions. (OMB A-110)

Federal Share

The Federal share of real property, equipment, or supplies means that percentage of the property’s acquisition costs and any improvement expenditures paid with Federal funds. (OMB A-110)

Foreign Component

Under a grant to a domestic organization, the performance of any significant element or segment of the project outside of the United States, either by the grantee or by a researcher employed by a foreign organization, with or without grant funds. (NIH)

Foreign Organization

Organization An organization located in a country other than the United States and its territories that is subject to the laws of that country, regardless of the citizenship of the proposed principal investigator. (NIH)

Full-Time Appointment

The number of days per week and/or months per year representing full-time effort at the applicant/grantee organization, as specified in organizational policy. The organization’s policy must be applied consistently regardless of the source of support. (NIH)

Funding Period

The period of time when Federal funding is available for obligation by the recipient. (OMB A-110)

General and Administrative (G&A)

Any management, financial, and other expense which is incurred by or allocated to a business unit as a whole. G&A expense does not include those management expenses whose beneficial or causal relationship to cost objectives can be more directly measured by a base other than a cost input base representing the total activity of a business unit during a cost accounting period.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

GAAP has the meaning specified in generally accepted auditing standards issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The common set of accounting principles, standards, and procedures. GAAP is a combination of authoritative standards (set by policy boards) and the accepted ways of doing accounting. (OMB A-133)


Government Management Reform Act


A financial assistance mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity. A grant is used whenever the NIH Institute or Center anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities. (NIH)

Grant-Supported Project/Activities

Those programmatic activities specified or described in a grant application or in a subsequent submission(s) that are approved by an NIH Institute or Center for funding, regardless of whether Federal funding constitutes all or only a portionof the financial support necessary to carry them out. (NIH)


The organization or individual awarded a grant or cooperative agreement by NIH that is responsible and accountable for the use of the funds provided and for the performance of the grant-supported project or activities. The grantee is the entire legal entity even if a particular component is designated in the award document. The grantee is legally responsible and accountable to NIH for the performance and financial aspects of the grant-supported project or activity. (NIH)

Grants Management Officer (GMO)

An NIH official responsible for the business management aspects of grants and cooperative agreements, including review, negotiation, award, and administration, and for the interpretation of grants administration policies and provisions. Only GMOs are authorized to obligate NIH to the expenditure of funds and permit changes to approved projects on behalf of NIH. Each NIH Institute and Center that awards grants has one or more GMOs with responsibility for particular programs or awards. (NIH)

Institutional Base Salary

The annual compensation paid by an applicant/grantee organization for an employee’s appointment, whether that individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. The base salary excludes any income that an individual is permitted to earn outside of duties for the applicant/grantee organization. Base salary may not be increased as a result of replacing organizational salary funds with NIH grant funds. (NIH)

Intangible Property and Debt Instruments

Intangible property and debt instruments means, but is not limited to, trademarks, copyrights, patents and patent applications and such property as loans, notes and other debt instruments, lease agreements, stock and other instruments of property ownership, whether considered tangible or intangible. (OMB A-110)

International Organization

An organization that identifies itself as international or intergovernmental, and has membership from, and represents the interests of, more than one country, without regard to whether the headquarters of the organization and location of the activity are inside or outside of the United States. (NIH)

Key Personnel

Individuals who contribute in a substantive way to the scientific development or execution of a project, whether or not they receive compensation from the grant supporting that project. The principal investigator and collaborators are included in this category. (NIH)


A portion of project or program costs are not borne by the Federal Government. (OMB A-110)

Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC)

All salaries and wages, fringe benefits, materials, supplies, services, travel, and subgrants and subcontracts up to the first $25,000 of each subgrant or subcontract (regardless of the period covered by the subgrant or subcontract). MTDC shall exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, tuition remission, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships, and fellowships, as well as the portion of each subgrant and subcontract in excess of $25,000.

Modular Application

A type of grant application in which support is requested in specified increments without the need for detailed supporting information related to separate budget categories. When modular procedures apply, they affect not only application preparation but also review, award, and administration of the application/award. (NIH)


A process whereby the programmatic and business management performance aspects of a grant are reviewed by assessing information gathered from various required reports, audits, site visits, and other sources. (NIH)

New Investigator

An individual that has not previously served as a principal investigator on any Public Health Service-supported research project other than a small grant (R03), and Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15), and exploratory development grant (R21), or certain research career awards directed principally to physicians, dentists, or veterinarians at the beginning of their research careers (K01, K08, and K12). Current or past recipients of Independent Scientist and other non-mentored career awards (K02 and K04) are not considered ‘new investigators.’ (NIH)

New Proposal

Original submission of this project to this sponsor.


National Institute of General Medical Sciences

NIH Continuations

An NIH continuation grant (Type 5) is the next incremental year of the current grant period (e.g., years 2-4 of a 4 year grant). Progress reports to continue support of a PHS grant must be submitted to the awarding component’s grants management office two months before the beginning date of the next budget period. (NIH)

NIH Proposals

A new grant proposal (Type 1) to NIH is the initial support for a project that has not previously received any funding support. It is awarded competitively after review by an IRG and NIDA Council at NIH. (NIH)

NIH Renewals

A competitive renewal, renewal, or competitive continuation (Type 2) provides funding to continue a grant that is otherwise scheduled to terminate. It requires the submission by the applicant of a full grant application, and must compete for funding through the IRG and Council processes. (For example, a renewal grant may involve an application to provide support for years 5-9 of a previously funded 4-year grant.) (NIH)

Notice of Grant Award

The legally binding document that notifies the grantee and others that an award has been made, contains or references all terms and conditions of the award, and documents the obligation of Federal funds. The award notice may be in letter format and may be issued electronically. (NIH)


The amounts of orders placed, contracts and grants awarded, services received and similar transactions during a given period that require payment by the recipient during the same or a future period. (OMB A-110)

Off-campus Indirect Costs

These costs apply to all activities performed in facilities not owned by the institution and to which rent is directly allocated to the project(s). Grants or contracts will not be subject to more than one facilities and administration cost rate. If more than 50% of a project is performed off-campus, the off-campus rate will apply to the entire project.


A generic term used to refer to an educational institution or other entity, including an individual, which receives and/or applies for an NIH grant or cooperative agreement. (NIH)

Outlays or Expenditures

Charges made to the project or program. They may be reported on a cash or accrual basis. For reports prepared on a cash basis, outlays are the sum of cash disbursements for direct charges for goods and services, the amount of indirect expense charged, the value of third party in-kind contributions applied and the amount of cash advances and payments made to subrecipients. For reports prepared on an accrual basis, outlays are the sum of cash disbursements for direct charges for goods and services, the amount of indirect expense incurred, the value of in-kind contributions applied, and the net increase (or decrease) in the amounts owed by the recipient for goods and other property received, for services performed by employees, contractors, subrecipients and other payees and other amounts becoming owed under programs for which no current services or performance are required. (OMB A-110)

Pass-through entity

A non-Federal entity that provides a Federal award to a subrecipient to carry out a Federal program. (OMB A-133)

Personal Property

Property of any kind except real property. It may be tangible, having physical existence, or intangible, having no physical existence, such as copyrights, patents, or securities. (OMB A-110)

Principal Investigator

(a.k.a. Program Director or Project Director)An individual designated by the grantee to direct the project or activity being supported by the grant. He or she is responsible and accountable to the grantee for the proper conduct of the project or activity. (NIH)

Prior Approval

Written approval by an authorized official evidencing prior consent. (OMB A-110)


A coherent assembly of plans, project activities, and supporting resources contained within an administrative framework, the purpose of which is to implement an organization’s mission or some specific program-related aspect of that mission. For purposes of this policy statement, ‘program’ refers to those NIH programs that carry out their mission through the award of grants or cooperative agreements to other organizations. (NIH)

Program Income

Gross income earned by the recipient that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the award (see exclusions in paragraphs ___.24 (e) and (h)). Program income includes, but is not limited to, income from fees for services performed, the use or rental of real or personal property acquired under federally-funded projects, the sale of commodities or items fabricated under an award, license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights, and interest on loans made with award funds. Interest earned on advances of Federal funds is not program income. Except as otherwise provided in Federal awarding agency regulations or the terms and conditions of the award, program income does not include the receipt of principal on loans, rebates, credits, discounts, etc., or interest earned on any of them. (OMB A-110)

Project Costs

All allowable costs, as set forth in the applicable Federal cost principles, incurred by a recipient and the value of the contributions made by third parties in accomplishing the objectives of the award during the project period. (OMB A-110)

Project Period

The period established in the award document during which Federal sponsorship begins and ends. (OMB A-110)


Unless otherwise stated, real property, equipment, intangible property and debt instruments. (OMB A-110)

Real Property

Land, including land improvements, structures and appurtenances thereto, but excludes movable machinery and equipment. (OMB A-110)


An organization receiving financial assistance directly from Federal awarding agencies to carry out a project or program. The term includes public and private institutions of higher education, public and private hospitals, and other quasi-public and private non-profit organizations such as, but not limited to, community action agencies, research institutes, educational associations, and health centers. The term may include commercial organizations, foreign or international organizations (such as agencies of the United Nations) which are recipients, subrecipients, or contractors or subcontractors of recipients or subrecipients at the discretion of the Federal awarding agency. The term does not include government-owned contractor-operated facilities or research centers providing continued support for mission-oriented, large-scale programs that are government-owned or controlled, or are designated as federally-funded research and development centers. (OMB A-110)

Renewal Proposal

Requested support beyond that previously committed by sponsor.


A systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function. (OMB A-110)

Research and Development

All research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are supported at universities, colleges, and other non-profit institutions. ‘Research’ is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. ‘Development’ is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function. (OMB A-110)

Research Misconduct

Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reporting research, or in reporting research results. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that research is not accurately represented in the research record. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. The term does not include honest error or honest differences of opinion. (NIH)

Revision Proposal

A modification of a previously submitted proposal.

Significant Rebudgeting

A threshold that is reached when expenditures in a single direct cost budget category deviate (increase or decrease) from the categorical commitment level established for the budget period by more than 25 percent of the total costs awarded. Significant rebudgeting is one indicator of change in scope. (NIH)

Small Business Concern

A business that is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation; has its principal place of business in the United States and is organized for profit; is at least 51 percent owned, or in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of its voting stock is owned by U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens; has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees; and meets other regulatory requirements established by the Small Business Administration at 13 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121. (NIH)

State Government

The government of any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any U.S. territory or possession, or any agency or instrumentality of a State exclusive of local governments. For purposes of NIH grants, federally recognized Indian tribal governments generally are considered State governments. State institutions of higher education and State hospitals are not considered State governments for purposes of the Department of Health and Human Services’ general administrative requirements for grants and this policy statement. (NIH)


A payment made to an individual under a fellowship or training grant in accordance with pre-established levels to provide for the individual’s living expenses during the period of training. A stipend is not considered compensation for the services expected of an employee. (NIH)


An award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a recipient to an eligible subrecipient or by a subrecipient to a lower tier subrecipient. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include procurement of goods and services nor does it include any form of assistance which is excluded from the definition of ‘award’ in paragraph (e). (OMB A-110)


The legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided. The term may include foreign or international organizations (such as agencies of the United Nations) at the discretion of the Federal awarding agency. (OMB A-110)

Supplement Proposal

A request for additional funds for current budget/project period.


All personal property excluding equipment, intangible property, and debt instruments as defined in this section, and inventions of a contractor conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the performance of work under a funding agreement (‘subject inventions’), as defined in 37 CFR part 401, ‘Rights to Inventions Made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms Under Government Grants, Contracts, and Cooperative Agreements.’


An action by a Federal awarding agency that temporarily withdraws Federal sponsorship under an award, pending corrective action by the recipient or pending a decision to terminate the award by the Federal awarding agency. Suspension of an award is a separate action from suspension under Federal agency regulations implementing E.O.s 12549 and 12689, ‘Debarment and Suspension.’ (OMB A-110)

TC (Total Costs)

Consists of total direct and indirect (F & A) costs.

TDC (Total Direct Costs)

Consists of all direct costs of a project; no cost categories are excluded.


The cancellation of Federal sponsorship, in whole or in part, under an agreement at any time prior to the date of completion. (OMB A-110)

Terms and Conditions of Award

All legal requirements imposed on a grant by NIH, whether based on statute, regulation, policy, or other document referenced in the grant award, or specified by the grant award document itself. The Notice of Grant Award may include both standard and special conditions that are considered necessary to attain the grant’s objectives, facilitate postaward administration of the grant, conserve grant funds, or otherwise protect the Federal Government’s interests. (NIH)

Third Party In-kind Contributions

The value of non-cash contributions provided by non-Federal third parties. Third party in-kind contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, and the value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the project or program. (OMB A-110)

Total Federal Funds

See total costs.

Total Project Costs

The total allowable costs (both direct costs and facilities and administrative costs) incurred by the grantee to carry out a grant-supported project or activity. Total project costs include costs charged to the NIH grant and costs borne by the grantee to satisfy a matching or cost-sharing requirement. (NIH)

Unliquidated Obligations

For financial reports prepared on a cash basis, means the amount of obligations incurred by the recipient that have not been paid. For reports prepared on an accrued expenditure basis, they represent the amount of obligations incurred by the recipient for which an outlay has not been recorded. (OMB A-110)

Unobligated Balance

The portion of the funds authorized by the Federal awarding agency that has not been obligated by the recipient and is determined by deducting the cumulative obligations from the cumulative funds authorized. (OMB A-110)

Unrecovered Indirect Cost

The difference between the amount awarded and the amount which could have been awarded under the recipient’s approved negotiated indirect cost rate. (OMB A-110)

Withholding of Support

A decision by NIH not to make a noncompeting continuation award within the current competitive segment. (NIH)

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