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FAQ & Commonly Used Terms


Get a hard copy of these terms in the Post Award Grants Management Handbook.

CAS (Cost Accounting Standards)
CCR-Central Contract Registry
CFDA-Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance
CFDA and Executive Order 12372/"Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs"
CFR-Code of Federal Regulations
FAR-Federal Acquisition Regulations
FFATA-Federal Funds Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
FSRS-FFATA Subcontracting Reporting System
IACUC-Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

1512 REPORTING-Accountability and reporting of ARRA (Stimulus Funding) that applies to any recipient receiving Recovery Act/Stimulus funding. Data is provided quarterly through and provides access to the public as to how ARRA funds have been utilized by detail for first and second tier award recipients.

ACQUISITION COST - The net invoice price of property or supplies, 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, and protective in-transit insurance, are included or excluded from the unit acquisition cost in accordance with the recipient’s regular accounting practices. The term does not include costs for rental of property or alteration and rental of real property.

ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS- The general practices that are common to the administration of grants, such as financial accountability, reporting, equipment management, and retention of records.

AGREEMENT - Generic name for grant, contract or other agreement which is enforceable at law, and which must be executed for SIUE by an authorized official.

AIS – Administrative Information System.  AIS is the SIUE Official Financial System.  Monthly AIS reports are generated on individual grant accounts.  Budgets, expenditures/charges, encumbrances, internal billing charges against individual grant accounts are posted to the grant accounts.  Fiscal officers receive monthly reports that include: Funds Available Reports, Reports of Transactions, Encumbrance Reports and General Ledger.  (See more detailed information under AIS Financial Reports in this manual).

ALLOCABLE - Allocable Costs are those Allowable Costs that actually benefit grant or contract activities to which they are being assigned. In effect, an allocable cost is another term for Direct Costs, since F&A/ Indirect Costs, by definition, are excluded from being allocable costs. A cost is allocable to a sponsored agreement if: It is incurred solely to advance the work under the sponsored agreement, It benefits both the sponsored agreement and other work of the institution, in proportions that can be approximated through use of reasonable methods, or It is necessary to the overall operation of the institution and is deemed to be assignable in part to sponsored projects.

ALLOWABLE COSTS – Costs of a project that are reimbursable by the funding agency per terms and conditions of the grant agreement.  An approved expenditure for the funded project, determined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the sponsor's requirements and/or university policy. Only allowable funds may be requested in grant budgets and charged to the grant account.

ALTERATION AND RENOVATION - Work that changes the interior arrangements or other physical characteristics of an existing facility or installed equipment so that it can be used more effectively for its currently designated purpose or adapted to an alternative use to meet a programmatic requirement. Alteration and renovation may include work referred to as improvements, conversion, rehabilitation, remodeling, or modernization, but is distinguished from construction and large-scale permanent improvements

AMENDMENT - Any change made to an existing sponsored agreement.

ARRA – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, (Pub.L. 111-5) and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009.

ASSURANCES – An attestation or declaration of compliance with the legal requirement of a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement. These include and are not limited to documents that are either filed with federal and/or state agencies or accompany grant documents that when signed by the SIUE authorized institutional representative, assure that SIUE is in compliance with protection issues such as Human Subjects, Animal Care, Hazardous Materials, Biosafety and Recombinant DNA, Conflict of Interest, Data Access and Retention, HIPAA (federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

APPROVED BUDGET – The financial expenditure plan for a grant-supported project, program, or activity, including revisions approved by the funding agency and permissible revisions made by the recipient. The approved budget consists of Federal, State, Private and other (grant) funds and, if required by the terms and conditions of the award, non-agency participation in the form of matching or cost sharing. Expenditures under an approved budget that consists of both agency and non-agency shares are deemed to be borne by the recipient in the same proportion as the percentage of Agency/non-Agency participation in the overall budget.

AUDIT – A formal examination of an organization or individual's accounts or financial situation. An audit may also ensure compliance with applicable award terms, laws, regulations, and policies.

AUTHORIZING LEGISLATION - A law passed by Congress that establishes or continues a grant program.

AOR -AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE or Signing Official - An AOR, or Signing Official, has institutional authority to legally bind the institution in grants administration matters. For most institutions, the AOR/Signing Official (SO) is located in its Office of Sponsored Research or equivalent.  SIUE’s AOR/SO is the Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School who has the authority to enter into, sign and execute all extramural agreements on behalf of the Board of Trustees and Chancellor of SIUE.

AWARD – The legally binding document that notifies the recipient and others that a grant or cooperative agreement has been made, contains or references all terms of the award, and documents the obligation of federal funds.

AWARD INSTRUMENT - The award instrument generally comprises of a combination of one of more of the following:

                                a. Award letter/Notification of Grant Award (including any amendments and/or special provisions)

                                b. The approved budget

                                c.   The proposal

                                d. The conditions applicable to the award

                                e. Signed contract

AWARD PERIOD - The dates established in the award document during which grant and/or contract support begins and ends. All project costs must be incurred (encumbered) within this period. Some awards may stipulate that all funds must be expended by the award end date. In instances where funds may be encumbered, there is generally a period of 45 to 90 days after the award end date that all obligations against the project must be liquidated.

BLOCK GRANT – A Block Grant is a “pass-through” grant where the recipient, normally in this instance, the State of Illinois, has substantial authority over the types of activities to support with minimal federal restrictions.  The State has the ability to target resources and develop administrative requirements to provide services through these types of grants to meet the needs of their citizens.

BUDGET - An estimate of expenditures to be incurred in the performance of a proposed statement of work, or the financial plan or cost assessment for the grant proposal or contract. The budget represents costs associated with project implementation.

BUDGET ADJUSTMENT - The act of amending the budget by moving funds from one category or line item to another.

BUDGET JUSTIFICATION - Narrative providing details on the use of and need for costs presented in an itemized budget.

BUDGET PERIOD -An interval of time into which a project period is divided for budgetary purposes, usually 12 months.

CAS (Cost Accounting Standards) – Standards mandated by the federal government associated with the accounting for costs on sponsored programs and intended to ensure that costs proposed in the budget are uniform with actual costs expended against sponsored programs.

CAPITAL EQUIPMENT - An article of property that is not permanently attached to buildings or grounds and that has an acquisition cost of $5,000 (federal definition of equipment) or more (exclusive of sales and/or use tax, freight, and installation) and a life expectancy of one year or more.

CARRYOVER - Unobligated grant funds remaining at the end of any budget period that 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.  In many instances, prior agency approval is required for the carryover of unobligated funds.

CCR – Central Contract Registry - Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is the primary registrant database for the U.S.. federal government. CCR collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions, including federal agency contract and assistance awards. Please note that the term "assistance awards" includes grants, cooperative agreements and other forms of federal assistance. Whether applying for assistance awards, contracts, or other business opportunities, all entities are considered "registrants". Both current and potential federal government registrants are required to register in CCR in order to be awarded contracts by the federal government. Registrants are required to complete a one-time registration to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. Registrants must update or renew their registration at least once per year to maintain an active status. In addition, entities (private non-profits, educational organizations, state and regional agencies, etc.) that apply for assistance awards from the federal government through must now register with CCR as well. However, registration in no way guarantees that a contract or assistance award will be awarded

CERTIFICATIONS – Documents and/or exhibits that accompany grant applications and contracts  that when signed by the authorized institutional representative for SIUE, assure that SIUE is not in violation of regulations and/or laws concerning individual rights, specific administrative requirements, agency specific requirements and include items such as Lobbying, Civil Rights, Drug Free Work Place, Procurement Integrity, etc.

CFDA - Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance - Listing of all federal programs by title and number. Audits require that the University identify all federal awards received and expended and the federal program under which they were received. The CFDA program number is listed in program announcements and award documents. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Program is a database maintained by the General Services Administration that classifies all federal programs that provide funding to local government agencies, private institutions, and individuals. Each program is assigned a number and name.

CFDA and Executive Order 12372/" Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs" - (Excerpt): States, in consultation with local general purpose governments, and local special purpose governments they consider appropriate, develop their own processes or refine existing processes for state and local elected officials to review and coordinate proposed federal financial assistance and direct federal development, the federal agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law (See also State Single Point of Contact.) Allows for state and local government input into federal funding decisions.

CFR – Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

CHANGE OF GRANTEE - A process in which the legal and administrative responsibility for a grant-supported project, program, or activity is transferred from one legal entity to another before the end of the project period. This action also may be termed “transfer of a grant.”

CLINICAL TRIAL - A clinical trial is a study designed to assess in humans the safety, efficacy, benefits, adverse reactions, and/or other outcomes of drugs, devices, diagnostics, treatments, procedures, medical evaluations, monitoring, or preventive measures. Preclinical laboratory studies or studies in animals are not included under the term clinical trial.

CLOSE-OUT - All administrative and fiscal actions and work have been completed on a grant/contract.

COGNIZANT AGENCY -The single federal agency responsible for negotiating a university's F&A rate an

Audit Cognizance- The federal agency that provides oversight on federal expenditure and audits for the university. Federal agency assigned to the university is the U.S.. Department of Education and its cognizance is based on highest of Federal award dollars expended within a fiscal year. F&A Cognizance- There are two F&A cognizant agencies: ONR (Office of Naval Research) and DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services). SIUE's cognizant F&A agency is DHHS.

COLLABORATOR - An individual who collaborates with the principal investigator in the scientific development or execution of a project. A collaborator would typically devote a specific percent of effort to the project and would be identified as key personnel.

COMPETITION - A process in which applications undergo an objective review; the applications are evaluated against established review criteria and scored and rated accordingly.

COMPLIANCE - Adherence to the requirements imposed, often by federal regulation, and the responsibilities institutions assume in their receipt. The institution signs certifications or representations regarding compliance for most proposals or awards. It is important that the institution have systems in place to ensure compliance and maintain adequate records to demonstrate compliance.

CONFLICT OF COMMITMENT – Outside activities not related to the university that interfere with the time and commitment of assigned duties and responsibilities of a faculty or staff member.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST - Circumstances in which an individual’s legal or moral obligations to an employer or other party conflict with, or may be negatively affected by, the individual’s personal interests, financial or otherwise.

CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT (U.S..)  -  One of a fixed number of districts into which a state is divided, each district electing one member to the national House of Representatives.  SIUE Congressional District is 19th (Edwardsville) and 12th (East St. Louis)

CONSISTENTLY TREATED COSTS - Costs that are treated alike when circumstances are alike, particularly as to whether costs of a given type are treated consistently as either direct costs or as F&A costs.

CONSORTIUM GRANT – A consortium grant is a direct grant to one institution in support of a project in which any programmatic activity is carried out through a collaborative arrangement between or among the recipient institution and one or more other institutions or organizations.  The non-recipient(s) of the direct grant, i.e. collaborating institution(s) involvement is performance of a portion of the programmatic activity.

CONSTRUCTION - A project to support the initial building or major A&R (i.e., large-scale modernization or permanent improvement) of a facility.
* A&R =Alterations and Renovations

CONSULTANT - A person paid to work on an externally funded project, who is generally not an employee of the university. A consultant is an expert in the field participating in a short-term, limited, and specifically defined role to deliver services consistent with the goals and objectives of the grant or contract. A consultant is not paid as an employee but as an independent contractor with the university. Some grant agencies specify consulting rates or limitations on the amount of service that can be performed.

CONTINUATION AWARD - Additional funding awarded to the same grant for a budget period following the initial budget period of a multi-year discretionary grant or cooperative agreement

CONTRACT - Acquisition of property or service for a direct benefit or use of the government or when the government determines that procurement contract is appropriate. A federal contract is an agreement between the federal government and a private entity, for-profit, to execute madated services for a fee for the federal government. Federal contracts data contained in are based on the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) government database. FPDS includes procurement contract transactions reported by approximately 65 U.S.. Government, Executive Brance, departments, bureaus, agencies, and commissions and summarizes who bought what, from whom and where.

CONTRACTOR - Entity that performs the service mandated by a contract with a federal agency. In some cases, the service will actually be performed by a subcontractor, subject to the approval of and conditions set by the contracting agency. In other cases, such subcontracting is not permitted under the contract. Contractors are usually for-profit companies, but they also include universities, independent nonprofits, hospitals, and other types of entities.

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT - Transfer of funds to a recipient to accomplish a public purpose. Funding agency is involved in programmatic decisions and substantial involvement in the conduct and performance of work between the government and the recipient is anticipated

CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (CO-PI) - One investigator sharing equal responsibility for the direction of a research program.

COPYRIGHT - A bundle of property rights conferred by law upon the author of an original work, including the right to exclude others from copying or distributing the work without the author’s permission. Works of authorship include literary pieces, musical compositions, dramatic selections, dances, photographs, drawings, paintings, sculpture, diagrams, advertisements, maps, motion pictures, radio and television programs, sound recordings, architectural design works, and computer software programs. In the U.S.., copyright attaches to and protects works of authorship at the point they are fixed in a tangible medium of expression.

COST PRINCIPLES – see OMB Circular A-21

COST REIMBURSEMENT - A type of award where payment is recovered for actual project costs posted to the grant account.

COST SHARING - The sharing of project costs by the institution. Cost sharing is normally on grants and not on contracts. Cost share should be proportionate and should not only be indirect cost. Academic year time and effort,
cash and indirect costs are allowable methods of cost sharing. Cost sharing should be verifiable and must not include funds from other federally sponsored programs. Cost sharing can also be defined as institutional partnership with funding agency in the support of research or sponsored programs. This is usually eligibility rather than a review criterion. Institutional funds used are can also be termed as "matching funds."

COST TRANSFER - A cost transfer is an after-the-fact reallocation of costs/expenditures, either salary or non-salary costs, to a sponsored project within a 90-calendar day period from the accounting date. Funding agency requirements concerning the management of awards made to institutions such as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville limit the circumstances under which cost transfers are allowed. In contrast, a re-budgeting action involves the reallocation of budgeted funds and not a transfer of expenditures. (Cost Transfers are treated as journal entries).

DEBARMENT - The ineligibility of a grantee to receive funds from the federal government, indefinitely or for a
specified period of time.

DEMONSTRATION GRANT – Demonstration grants are pilot projects/programs that involve a number of sites in order to learn about the effectiveness of a new program or approach.  Demonstration grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

DISCRETIONARY GRANT – Discretionary grants are “direct” grants awarded to recipients by federal/state funding agencies in which those agencies are authorized through legislation to exercise judgment (discretion) in selecting the recipient organization through a grant competitive process.  Types of activities supported by discretionary grants include:  research, training, public service and construction projects.

DIRECT COSTS - Costs that are clearly identified as directly related to the support of a specific research or sponsored project. Direct costs can be assigned directly to a sponsored activity with relative ease and a high degree of accuracy.

DISALLOWED COSTS - Expenses determined unallowable in accordance with cost principals or terms and conditions of an award.

DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE - The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. This regulation stipulates that no federal funding will be available for institutions or individuals who do not have a drug-free workplace policy in place. SIUE meets all requirements of this regulation. There is no requirement for flow down to sub recipients under either grants or contracts.

DRUG-FREE WORK FORCE - No statutory authority exists for the drug-free work force requirements. Requirements are contained in DFAR, 252.223-7004 (Dept of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations). Drug-Free Work Force addresses employee involvement with controlled substances regardless of where such involvement takes place, random drug testing of employees, and other intrusive personnel policies. This clause is only applicable to DOD solicitations and a contract involving access to classified information or when the contracting officer decides inclusion is necessary. Universities have successfully negotiated out this compliance for basic research contracts. Like the Workplace certification, there is no requirement to flow-down these provisions to sub recipients. Universities generally do not accept this clause.

DUNS- DATA UNIVERSAL NUMBERING SYSTEM - The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number is a unique nine-character identification number provided to entities interested in contracting with the federal government. The numbers are distributed by the private company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Companies interested in contracting with the government must have a different 9-digit D-U-N-S number for each physical location and different address in the company, as well as each legally distinct division that may be co-housed at the same address or location.

EARMARK GRANTS – Earmark grants are “direct” grants that are appropriated by Congress prior to peer review.  The awards are written into the Congressional Records where awards are written into legislation with the grant applicant’s name, activity and dollar amounts.

EDGAR – U.S.. Department of Education General Administrative Regulations.  Administrative regulations governing U.S.. Department of Education grants and cooperative agreements. EDGAR include the USDE implementation of A-110 (Administrative Requirements for Institutions of Higher Education), including all approved deviations.

EFFORT REPORTING - A report that reflects an after-the-fact reporting of the percentage of activity (effort) of each employee. Each report must account for 100% of the activity for which the employee is compensated and which is required in fulfillment of the employee's obligations to the institution. The report must reasonably reflect the percentage of effort applicable to each sponsored agreement, and to other activities defined on the report. Each report must be signed by the employee or by a responsible official having first hand knowledge of the work performed. This applies to all sponsored programs.

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.

ENCUMBRANCE - Funds that have been set aside or "claimed" for projected expenses pending actual expenditure of the funds. Typically, the issuance of a Purchase Order results in encumbrance of the face value of the PO.

EQUIPMENT - Tangible non-expendable personal property, including exempt property charged directly to the award and having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. However, consistent with recipient policy, ($500 State of Illinois) lower limits may be established.

EXEMPT PROPERTY - Tangible personal property acquired in whole or part by federal agency funds, where the awarding agency has statutory authority to vest title in the recipient without further obligation to the federal government.

EXPANDED AUTHORITIES -Policy implemented by some federal granting agencies that delegates certain prior approval authority to grantee institutions. Prior approval allows for internal university approval (ORP) of administrative and spending actions without consulting the funding agency, thus avoiding delays in project progress.

EXPENDITURES - Charges made either on a cost or accrual basis.

EXTENSION - An additional period of time given by the sponsor to an organization for the completion of work on an approved grant or contract. An extension allows previously allocated funds to be spent after the original expiration date. Most federal agencies, allow, on research grants only, an extension of the final period of up to one year by the institution with adequate notice to the sponsor.

FACILITIES AND ADMINISTRATION COSTS/INDIRECT COST - Costs not clearly identified and cannot be clearly accounted for on an individual project. Indirect costs are incurred for common or joint objectives. The government has renamed indirect costs to F&A costs and it is comprised of two components:

1. Facility Related Components -building use charges; equipment depreciation; operations
and maintenance expense and library.

2. Administrative Components - general administration, departmental administration, sponsored project administration and student administration and services.

Three types of F&A Rates:
Provisional - rate is estimated and is used until actual rate is determined
Predetermined -Rate is established for a period with no carry forward provision.
Fixed - Rate is established for a period. Recovery adjustments are made during the next negotiation

SIUE's rates are predetermined and are negotiated with the federal government every two years. The following SIUE rates are applicable to organized research and other sponsored projects and are effective through 6/30/12:

                43% MTDC for on-campus programs

                     26% MTDC for off-campus programs.

FAR – Federal Acquisition Regulations – Federal regulations applicable to procurement actions.  A codified system of uniform policies and procedures for acquisition by executive agencies. These regulations govern all aspects of federal procurement. The FAR includes contract clauses that are used when the University subcontracts any portion of federal grant funds to private industry.  The FAR incorporates OMB Circular A21 in its entirety by reference, as Part 31.3. Some agencies have supplements to FAR (DFARS, HHSAR)

FEDERAL FISCAL YEAR – The federal government operates on a fiscal year that begins on October 1 and ends the following September 30. Fiscal years are notated with FYXXXX or FYXX. The year notates the calendar year when the fiscal year will end. For example, fiscal year 2011 (FY11) runs from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011.

FEDERAL FUNDS AUTHORIZED - Total grants dollars obligated by the Government

FEDERAL REGISTER - An official, daily publication that communicates proposed and final regulations and legal notices issued by federal agencies, including announcements of the availability of funds for financial assistance.

FEDERAL SHARE - Amount or percent of cost paid by the federal agency for grant expenditures

FELLOWSHIP - Financial support to reduce the cost of a graduate student's education. Some fellowships include a tuition waiver or a payment to the University in lieu of tuition. Fellowships may include stipends to cover living expenses. Students receive payments to assist them in pursuing a course of study or research. This payment is not a payment for teaching, performing research, or other services. Fellowships are taxable income to the recipient. Exclusions to the taxable income are amounts used to pay for tuition/fees and books and supplies. Fellowships can also be defined as an award that enables individuals to pursue study in their field or related fields. Some fellowships also include teaching with research, especially in other countries. Typically fellowships are awarded directly to an individual applicant, not to the university. Often fellowships are used to supplement sabbatical leaves.

FFATA – Federal Funds Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 – FFATA is an act of Congress that requires full disclosure of all entities and organizations receiving federal funds (enacted via Senate Bill S.2590) beginning in FY2007.  This Senate Bill Legislation puts into place a framework that provides transparency on the Federal grant process and provides information that the public can review on federal financial assistance awards.  The Bill also requires continued improvement in the already existing grant making process to continue to provide transparency on federal awards FFATA – Federal Funds Accountability and Transparency Act - The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) was signed on September 26, 2006. The intent is to empower every American with the ability to hold the government accountable for each spending decision. The end result is to reduce wasteful spending in the government. The FFATA legislation requires information on federal awards (federal financial assistance and expenditures) be made available to the public via a single, searchable website, which is

The FFATA Public Act can be located at:

FINANCIAL REPORT- A report generated by the university’s research accounting office and sent to the funding agency to report actual expenditures on a grant or contract, annually and at project’s end.

FINAL REPORT- The final technical or financial report required by the sponsor to complete a research project

FIXED AMOUNT AWARD - A contract/grant for which one party pays the other party a predetermined price, regardless of actual costs, for services rendered, and which becomes due in full when Deliverables are accepted. Quite often this is a fee-for-service agreement.

FLOW-DOWN – Requirements of flowing clauses down from a prime grant/contract to a subcontract.  Subcontracts issued by SIUE from federal or state grants funds require SIUE to include clauses that are necessary for it to carry out its responsibilities under the prime grant/contract. These rules govern whether, and how, grant terms apply to subawards or contracts under grants.

FORMULA GRANT – Formula Grants are non-competitive awards bases a predetermined formula. These grants are state-administered grants (pass-through) and funded by federal government agencies.

FSRS- FFATA Subcontracting Reporting System - The FFATA Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) is the reporting tool Federal prime awardees (i.e. prime contractors and prime grants recipients) use to capture and report subaward and executive compensation data regarding their first-tier subawards to meet the FFATA reporting requirements. Prime contract awardees will report against sub-contracts awarded and prime grant awardees will report against sub-grants awarded. The sub-award information entered in FSRS will then be displayed on associated with the prime award furthering Federal spending transparency.

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

FUNDING PERIOD - Period of time funding is available.

GIFT - General support with minimal or no restrictions on use.  Progress and financial reports are not required. 

GRANT - Is a transfer to a recipient of either money, property, services or anything of value to accomplish a public purpose. A grant can also be described as a legal instrument that provides financial assistance in the form of money or property to a recipient. No substantial involvement should be anticipated between the government and the recipient during the performance of activity. A federal grant is an authorized expenditure to a non-federal entity for a defined public or private purpose in which services are not rendered to the federal government. This classification of spending comes in two types-"formula grants" and "project grants."

GRANTS.GOV - A storefront web portal for use in electronic collection of data (forms and reports) for federal grant-making agencies through the site.

GRANTEE - The agency/institution to which a grant is awarded and which is accountable for the use of the funds.

GRANT PROPOSAL - A Grant Proposal is a document written to apply for any grant program. Research and grant proposals outline proposed plans for research or project. A proposal can also be defined as a document that offers a solution to a problem or a course of action in response to a need.

HIGH RISK - The term used to describe a recipient who is at risk of financial failure or failure to perform based on a history of poor performance or poor business practices, financial instability, or inadequate management systems.

HUMAN SUBJECT - A living individual about whom an investigator obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or obtains identifiable private information. Regulations governing the use of human subjects extend to 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.

IACUC - Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.  Oversees all use of vertebrate animals for research and teaching and establishes policies for ethical animal use and ensures that such use is compliant with federal, state and local regulations.INDIRECT COST RATES: (see Facilities and Administration Costs).

INDIRECT COST RATES : (see Facilities and Administration Costs).

IN-KIND CONTRIBUTION - Non cash contributions provided by a third party. This may be in the form of property, equipment and the value of goods and services that benefit and can be identified directly with the project. Contributions of equipment, supplies, or other tangible resource, as distinguished from a monetary grant. Some organizations may also donate the use of space or staff time as an in-kind contribution.

INTANGIBLE PROPERTY and DEBT INSTRUMENTS - Includes 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.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP) - Products of the human mind that have commercial value and can be protected by law, including copyrightable works, ideas, discoveries, and inventions.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT (IGA) - An agreement whereby two or more public agencies may contract with each other provided that such contracts are authorized by the governing bodies of each agency. Such agreements also are used by universities for faculty members who temporarily work as program officers at federal agencies

IRB- INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD - Oversees all research involving human subjects. An administrative body whose purpose is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the organization with which it is affiliated. The IRB has the authority to approve, require modifications in, or disapprove all research activities that fall within its jurisdiction.

KEY PERSONNEL – (Research) 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. (Public Service)The PI/PD and other individuals who contribute to the programmatic development or execution of a project or program in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive salaries or compensation under the grant.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT - A county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority (including any public and Indian housing agency), school district, special district, intra-State district, council of governments (whether or not incorporated under State law), any other regional or interstate government entity (such as regional planning agencies), or any agency or instrumentality of a local government. The term does not include institutions of higher education and hospitals

LOBBYING - Lobbying activities are considered to be any oral, written or electronic communication with executive or legislative officials with regard to legislation, federal rule, regulation, policy, federal programs (e.g. contracts, grants, loans, etc.). The University is required to provide certification to the federal government that no lobbying is conducted utilizing federal funds and also to disclose any lobbying activities

MANDATORY COST SHARING - Cost sharing required by the sponsor in order that the proposal be considered. Mandatory cost sharing must be recorded by the University, reported to the sponsor in the final fiscal report, and considered in preparing the F&A rate proposal.

MANDATORY GRANT – A mandatory grant is a grant that a Federal Agency is required by statute to award the recipient.  The recipient in this instance is usually the State who submits an acceptable State Plan or an application that demonstrates that both the state and the application meet eligibility and compliance requirements of the statutory and regulatory provisions of the grant program.

MATCHING - Generally is one-third to one-half of total project costs. Requires major institution commitment to the sponsored project. Cash is generally the allowable method.

MISCONDUCT - Falsification, fabrication, plagiarism or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, reviewing or reporting research and results from activities sponsored by federal funds.

NO COST TIME EXTENSION - Many funding agencies allow a one time extension of the expiration date of the award up to one year. A request for the extension should be submitted in writing to the Director of Research & Projects noting supporting reasons for the extension and revised expiration date.

NON FEDERAL SHARE - The portion of allowable project costs not borne by the Federal government.

OBLIGATIONS - Orders placed, goods and services received that require payments.

OMB Circular A-21 - Cost Principles for Institutions of Higher Education - Government regulations that establishes the principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts and other agreements for educational institutions.

OMB Circular A-110 - Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education - Government regulations that establishes the uniform administrative requirements of grants and contracts at institutions of higher education.

OMB Circular A-133 - Audits of States, Local Governments and Non Profit Organizations - Government regulations on the audit that cover the financial and compliance requirements on federal and federal flow through grants and contracts received by the university.

PASS THROUGH FUNDS/FLOW THROUGH FUNDS - Funds that are distributed to a primary recipient and subsequently passed through to another organization that actually performs the program for which the funds are provided.  There is no measurable involvement by the primary recipient in the expenditure of the funds.  The primary recipient’s involvement is generally limited to monitoring and oversight.  (Example:  Federal Funds awarded to an Illinois State Agency who then awards those funds to SIUE or other universities)

PERSONNEL ACTIVITY REPORTS -Federally sponsored programs require that personnel activity reports reflecting time and effort on organized research, instruction and departmental research and departmental admin. be maintained and certified.  These reports reflect the percentage of time of personnel devoted to the federally sponsored program as well as the percentage of time devoted to academic and departmental activities. 

PRIME RECIPIENT: The primary awardee or legal entity receiving a grant, contract or cooperative agreement from an awarding agency.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT DIRECTOR : the person who is designated by the university and approved by the funding agency, who will be responsible for the scientific or technical direction of the project. The term Principal Investigator is used in research projects and the term Project Director are used in training, education and other projects.

PRIOR APPROVAL - Written authorization evidencing prior consent. The requirement for written documentation of permission to use project funds for purposes not in the approved budget or to change aspects of the program from those originally planned and approved. Prior approval must be obtained before the performance of the act that requires such approval under the terms of the agreement. Under expanded authorities, many federal agencies have delegated to the institution exercise of some prior approvals required for federal grants. 

PROGRAM INCOME - Income generated or earned as a result of the award. Program income is defined as gross income generated/earned from grant supported activities.

PROGRAM/PROJECT OFFICER - A sponsor's designated individual officially responsible for the technical, scientific, or programmatic aspects of a particular grant, cooperative agreement, or contract. Serving as the counterpart to the principal investigator/project director of the grantee/contractor organization, the program/project officer deals with the grantee/contractor organization staff to assure programmatic progress.

PROGRAM SPECIFIC AUDIT: When an agency determines that an audit of the project funded is required, an independent auditor must be contracted to review and prepare a financial and compliance audit of the project. The cost of this type of audit should be paid by the funding agency and must be included in the project budget. ORP will prepare the necessary documents to contract with and secure the independent auditor. The cost of the audit should not exceed two percent (2%) of the total direct costs of the project.

PROGRESS REPORT - Periodic, scheduled reports required by the sponsor summarizing research or project progress to date. Fiscal and invention reports may also be required.

PROJECT COSTS - Allowable costs in accordance with Federal Cost Principles

PROJECT PERIOD - Period when award begins and ends.

PROJECT REPORT/PERFORMANCE REPORT - The principal investigator's/project director's written narrative report to the funding agency on the status and performance of the project funded. This type of report is generally required during the middle of the project period. A final project/performance report will be required anywhere from 45 to 90 days after the project period ends. Grant terms and conditions specific to and accompanying the award will specify what and when these types of reports are due.

RATE BASIS - There are three types of rate basis:

Total Direct Costs (TDC) - All direct costs associated with the project or research.
Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) - All direct costs associated with project or research less:
o Equipment - over $5,000.00
o Each Subcontract in excess of $25,000
o Capital expenditures
o Charges for patient care
o Tuition remission
o Rental costs of off-site facilities
o Scholarships and Fellowships

Salaries, Wages and Fringe Benefits(SWF) - This rate is based on Salaries, Wages, and Fringe Benefits.

REASONABLE -  That, in its amount and nature, a cost or charge to a sponsored agreement is consistent with what a reasonable person would incur in the conduct of the same business in the same or similar circumstances. It also means the process of assigning a cost in reasonable and realistic proportion. Reasonable can also be defined as the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing at the time

RE-BUDGETING- Making changes to proposed expenditures for different budget categories (e.g. decreasing budget for Supplies and increasing budget for Travel). For federal funding, such changes may be permissible under "Expanded Authorities”.  Whether permissible by “Expanded Authorities, any re-budgeting actions require prior approval from the Office of Research & Project and any effect of the changes on indirect cost recovery should be discussed with your grant accountant in the Office of Research & Projects.  The ORP Director makes final decision on whether to approve budget revisions or to seek prior agency approval.

RECIPIENT - Any non-federal entity, usually a state or local government, or a private, usually non-profit organization, such as an educational or religious institution, a relief agency, or an individual receiving grant funding.

RECORDS - Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to an award.  All other records include all records that were produced in connection with the grant – laboratory records and primary data.  Access to records must be made available to sponsor at their discretion.

RESTRICTED FUNDS - Monies (or an accounting category for such funds) with specific requirements or restrictions as to use or disposition. Grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements are considered to be restricted funds, while gifts are usually considered unrestricted funds.

RETENTION – All data (as defined under “Records”) should be maintained as follows:

                Federal Requirements– for three years from the date of submission of final expenditure/program reports*.

                State Requirements– for five years from the date of submission of final expenditure/program reports.

*As a State of Illinois Institution, all records must be maintained for the five year period.  Please also see SIUE policies on record retention.  RECORDS AND DATA RETENTION

RFA - Request for Application. A call for grant applications—a simpler format than RFP.

RFP - An acronym for Request for Proposal. When the government or funding agency issues a new contract or grant program, it sends out RFP's to agencies that might be qualified to participate. The RFP lists project specifications and application procedures.

REIMBURSEMENT - A payment made to a recipient upon its request after it makes cash disbursements  or expends funds.

SCOPE OF WORK (SOW) - The description of the work to be performed and completed on a research project or sponsored activity.

SIGNIFICANT REBUDGETING - A threshold that is reached when expenditures in a single direct cost budget category deviate (increase or decrease) from the approved budget amount for that budget category for that budget period by a specified amount, usually more than 25 percent of the total costs awarded. Significant rebudgeting is one indicator of change in scope.

SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS - Terms and conditions of an award that are specific to that individual award only.

SPONSOR - The organization that provides funding for a sponsored program that is received by SIUE.

SPONSORED PROGRAMS -Activities of the university that are financed through external funds that support various instructional, research, and public service functions of the institution.

SSPOC - SINGLE STATE POINT OF CONTACT- State contact that district of a State, for SIUE Madison County and St. Clair County, must use when applying for certain federal grants. Also see:  CFDA and Executive Order 12372/” Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.”

STATE FISCAL YEAR - The State of Illinois government operates on a fiscal year that begins on July 1 and ends the following June 30. Fiscal years are notated with FYXXXX or FYXX. The year notates the calendar year when the fiscal year will end. For example, fiscal year 2011 (FY11) runs from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

STIPEND - 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.


o Subcontract/Subgrant/Subagreement - A written agreement with a third party for the acquiring of property or services or the conduct of a defined statement of work under an award.  

o Consortium Agreement - A collaborative agreement with/between two or more parties.

o Consulting Agreement - A subcontract for services that are either urgent, temporary or highly technical and cannot be provided by existing university staff. Consultants are independent contractors.

o Purchase Order - An agreement issued to enter into a legally binding commitment with an outside vendor for the acquiring of goods and/or services. The University Purchasing Dept. is responsible for purchasing, securing and negotiating goods or services.

SUBRECIPIENT - The agency/institution to which a sub grant (sub award) is awarded and which is accountable to the grantee (or primary recipient of the award) for the use of the funds provided.

SUSPENSION -The suspension of a grant is a temporary cancellation of sponsorship.  A suspension occurs when the recipient has not complied with certain terms and conditions of the grant.  Pending corrective action by the grant recipient, the sponsor removes all authority from the grantee and no funds may be incurred or expended against the grant.  Suspension also causes the organization and/or individual (project director, etc.) to be ineligible to receive further assistance and benefits from the funding source pending investigation and legal proceedings.  This action leads to debarment of the grantee.

TERMS OF AWARD -All legal requirements imposed on a grant by the federal government, whether by statute, regulation, or terms in the grant award document. Each Notice of Grant Award may include both standard and special provisions that are considered necessary to attain the objectives of the grant, facilitate post-award administration of the grant, conserve grant funds, or otherwise protect the federal government's interests.

TERMINATION – Cancellation of sponsorship in whole or part prior to completion date.

THIRD PARTY IN KIND CONTRIBUTIONS – Value of non-cash contributions by non-federal third parties

TOTAL DIRECT COSTS -The sum of all direct costs in a proposal budget (See Direct Costs).

TUITION REMISSION - Waivers for a variety of tuition costs applicable to graduate students with a graduate appointment who may have their instructional and/or non-resident fees waived; athletes; employees, non-residents, etc.

UNALLOWABLE COSTS - Specific categories of costs that cannot be charged, directly or indirectly to federally sponsored agreements in accordance with federal regulations.  A cost specified by law or regulation, Federal cost principles, or term and condition of award that may not be reimbursed under a grant or cooperative agreement.

UNRESTRICTED FUNDS - Moneys with no requirements or restrictions as to use or disposition. Grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements are considered to be restricted funds, while gifts are usually considered unrestricted funds.

UNLIQUIDATED OBLIGATIONS – Commitments made and not yet paid.  The amount of obligations incurred by the recipient that has not been paid (for financial reports prepared on a cash basis) or the amount of obligations incurred by the recipient for which an outlay has not been recorded (for reports prepared on an accrual basis).

UNOBLIGATED BALANCE – Funds not committed. The portion of the funds authorized by the Federal agency that has not been obligated by the recipient.

UNRECOVERED F&A COSTS – Difference in the awarded amount and what could have been awarded according to approved F&A cost rate.

USA SPENDING.GOV - Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590), mandates that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) create and maintain a searchable public database of all federal spending and it is a searchable  website that contains a broad scope of information that is required to cover all federal spending.

USA.GOV - The official web portal of the United States Government created to improve U.S. Government interactions with the public; by offering links to every federal agency to help website visitors quickly find information to the services they seek. features links to every federal, state, local, and tribal government agency  

VOLUNTARY COST SHARING - Cost sharing which is not required by the sponsor or shown on the proposal budget and grant routing form.

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