Glossary of Research Administration Terms for UC Berkeley
A-21 “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions,” a circular published by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that establishes the principles for determining the costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other government agreements with educational institutions (also known as Sponsored Projects). See Cost Principles for Sponsored Agreements.
A-110 “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations,” a circular published by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that sets forth standards for obtaining consistency and uniformity among federal agencies in the administration of grants to and agreements.
Abstract An abbreviated summary often submitted with a proposal.
ACUC Animal Care and Use Committee (UCB)
Advance Expenditure Form UC Berkeley form used when it is necessary to obtain an account/fund number for an extramurally funded project prior to receipt of the actual award from the sponsor. Same as “Fund Advance Form.”
AFOSR Air Force Office of Scientific Research (DOD)
Agency The sponsoring organization that provides funds to support research, training, or public service activities.
Allowable Costs Those categories of costs that can be charged to a grant, such as salaries and equipment. Certain types of costs, such as the cost of alcoholic beverages, are not allowable and may not be charged to a contract or grant.
Amendment A change to a contractual agreement that requires an authorized signature. Also called a “modification.”
Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) Campus committee charged with ensuring compliance with regulations governing research with animals. (UCB)
AO Administrative Official
AOR Authorized Organization Representative. An AOR is the individual who is authorized to sign on behalf of the proposing organization and is authorized to act for the applicant and to assume the obligations imposed by laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to grant applications or grant awards.
ARO Army Research Office (DOD)
ARPA-e Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (DOE)
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 terms, laws, and regulations.
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 Period The interval of time--usually twelve months--into which the project period is divided for budgetary and funding purposes.
Budget Adjustment The act of amending the budget by moving funds from one category or line item to another.
CAGE Commercial and Government Entity Code. See Standard Institutional Information for Proposals.
Carryforward Unexpected funds carried from one budget period to another.
CBD Commerce Business Daily. Obsolete: see Federal Business Opportunities instead.
CCR Central Contractor Registration. Replaced by System for Award Management (SAM).
Challenge Grant A grant that provides monies in response to monies from other sources, usually according to a formula. A challenge grant may, for example, offer two dollars for every one that is obtained from a fund drive. The grant usually has a fixed upper limit, and may have a challenge minimum below which no grant will be made. This form of grant is fairly common in the arts, humanities, and some other fields, but is less common in the sciences. A challenge grant differs from a matching grant in at least one important respect: The amount of money that the recipient organization realizes from a challenge grant may vary widely, depending upon how successful that organization is in meeting the challenge. Matching grants usually award a clearly defined amount and require that a specified sum be obtained before any award is made.
Change Order A written order signed by the contracting officer, directing the contractor to make changes that the changes clause of the contract authorizes the contracting officer to order without the consent of the contractor.
Clinical Trial A clinical trial is a research study in human volunteers to answer specific health questions, for example to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical devices.
Close Out The act of completing all internal procedures and sponsor requirements to terminate or complete a research project.
COLA Cost of Living Allowance granted to employees based in a foreign city, where cost of living is higher than in Washington, D.C.
Committee for Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) Campus committee charged with ensuring compliance with regulations governing research with human subjects. (UCB)
Competing Proposals Proposals that are submitted for the first time or unfunded proposals that are resubmitted; either must compete for research funds. Ongoing projects must compete again if the term of the original award has expired.
Conflict of Interest A situation in which an investigator’s outside financial interest(s) or obligation(s) (real or perceived) have the potential to bias a research project or cause harm to human subjects participating in a research project. Investigators at UC Berkeley are subject to University of California systemwide policies, as well as specific State of California law and federal regulations. See Conflict of Interest Committee.
Consortium Agreement Group of collaborative investigators/institutions; arrangement can be formalized with specified terms and conditions.
Continuation Project (Non-Competing) Applicable to grants and cooperative agreements only. A project approved for multiple-year funding, although funds are typically committed only one year at a time. At the end of the initial budget period, progress on the project is assessed. If satisfactory, an award is made for the next budget period, subject to the availability of funds. Continuation projects do not compete with new project proposals and are not subjected to peer review beyond the initial project approval.
Contract A mechanism for procurement of a product or service with specific obligations for both sponsor and recipient. Typically, a research topic and the methods for conducting the research are specified in detail by the sponsor, although some sponsors award contracts in response to unsolicited proposals.
Contract/Grant Officer or Contracting Officer A sponsor’s designated individual who is officially responsible for the business management aspects of a particular grant, cooperative agreement, or contract. Serving as the counterpart to the business officer of the grantee/contractor organization, the grant/contract officer is responsible for all business management matters associated with the review, negotiation, award, and administration of a grant or contract and interprets the associated administration policies, regulations, and provisions. (For definition of scientific officer, see Program/Project Officer.)
Contractor The individual or organization performing the work under a contract.
Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) (formerly Extramural Funds Accounting) The campus office responsible for financial oversight of extramural funds, for receiving actual contract and grant monies, for submitting invoices, and for submitting official financial reports. (UCB)
Cooperative Agreement An award similar to a grant, but in which the sponsor’s staff may be actively involved in proposal preparation, and anticipates having substantial involvement in research activities once the award has been made.
Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Federally mandated accounting standards intended to ensure uniformity in budgeting and spending funds. See Cost Principles for Sponsored Agreements.
Cost Sharing A general term, used as a noun or adjective, that can describe virtually any type of arrangement in which more than one party supports research, equipment acquisition, demonstration projects, programs, institutions. Example: A university receives a grant for a project estimated to have a total cost of $100,000. The sponsor agrees to pay 75% ($75,000) and the university agrees to pay 25% ($25,000). The $25,000 is the cost-sharing component. Also see: matching funds. See Cost Sharing Basics.
CPHS Committee for Protection of Human Subjects (UCB)
CRADA or CRDA Cooperative Research and Development Agreement
DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DOD)
Deficit Expenditures exceed funds available.
Deobligation The withdrawal of support under an award, in whole or in part, before the date of completion.
Direct Costs Clearly identifiable costs related to a specific project. General categories of direct costs include but are not limited to salaries and wages, fringe benefits, supplies, contractual services, travel and communication, equipment, and computer use.
Donation Transfer of equipment, money, goods, services, and property with or without specifications as to its use. Sometimes donation is used to designate contributions that are made with more specific intent than is usually the case with a gift, but the two terms are often used interchangeably. Donations are administered by the campus Development Office. (Also see Gift)
DUNS Number The unique nine-digit identification number assigned by Dun & Bradstreet identifying a specific business or entity. The UC Berkeley DUNS number is 12-472-6725.
EFA Extramural Funds Accounting - now Contracts and Grants Accounting (UCB)
EH&S Office of Environment, Health & Safety (UCB)
EIN Employer Identification Number. Also known as Federal Tax Identification Number. See Standard Institutional Information for Proposals.
Electronic Research Administration (ERA) Conducting research administration by using electronic resources, often web-based, such as electronic submission systems, databases, and other tools.
Encumbrance Funds that have been set aside or “claimed” for projected expenses pending actual expenditure of the funds.
Endowment A fund usually in the form of an income-generating investment, established to provide long-term support for faculty/research positions (e.g., endowed chair).
Equipment An article of nonexpendable tangible personal property with an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more having a useful life of one year or more. See Equipment Management (UCB).
eRA Commons The NIH eRA Commons is the National Institutes of Health system for interactive electronic transactions for the receipt, review, monitoring, and administration of NIH grants. See NIH Proposals and Awards at Berkeley: The NIH eRA Commons.
Executive Order 12372 (E.O. 12372) Applications for a specified list of federal programs must be submitted to the State of California Clearinghouse.
Expiration Date The date signifying the end of the performance period, as indicated on the Notice of Grant Award.
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.
Extramural Funds Accounting (EFA) - now Contracts and Grants Accounting (C&GA) (UCB)
Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs Costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and, therefore, cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity. F&A costs are synonymous with Indirect Costs or overhead. See the UC Berkeley Facilities and Administrative (Indirect Cost) Rates.
FAR The Federal Acquisition Regulation is 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.
FastLane The National Science Foundation web site for transactions (e.g. proposal submission) between a research organization, its researchers, and NSF.
FDP The Federal Demonstration Partnership is a cooperative initiative among 10 federal agencies and 98 institutional recipients of federal funds; its purpose is to reduce the administrative burdens associated with research grants and contracts. The primary benefit to member institutions has been the simplified and streamlined terms and conditions across FDP member federal agencies. The University of California is a member of FDP.
FDsys GPO Federal Digital System provides free online access to official publications, including the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations. (US)
Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) An index for government buyers to publicize their business opportunities, including research opportunities.
FIC Fogarty International Center (NIH)
Final Report The final technical or financial report required by the sponsor to complete a research project.
Financial Disclosure A principal investigator must disclose direct or indirect financial interest in the sponsor of research funded by a non-governmental agency or by the National Foundation of Science or the Public Health Service.
Fiscal Year (FY) Any twelve-month period. The UC Berkeley fiscal year is July 1 through June 30; the federal fiscal year is 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. Quite often this is a fee-for-service agreement.
Fringe Benefits Employee benefits paid by the employer (e.g., FICA, Worker’s Compensation, Withholding Tax, Insurance, etc.). See UCB Composite Benefit Rates.
Fund Advance UCB form used when it is necessary to obtain an account/fund number for an extramurally funded project prior to receipt of the actual award from the sponsor. (UCB)
Funding Cycle Range of time during which proposals are accepted, reviewed, and funds are awarded. If a sponsor has standing proposal review committees (or boards) that meet at specified times during the year, application deadlines are set to correspond with those meetings. For some sponsors, if proposals are received too late to be considered in the current funding cycle, they may be held over for the next review meeting (e.g., NSF’s Target Dates).
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) A publicly available document by which a federal agency makes known its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. FOAs may be known as program announcements, requests for applications, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the agency and type of program.
Gift Gifts and bequests are awards given with few or no conditions specified. Gifts may be provided to establish an endowment or to provide direct support for existing programs. Frequently, gifts are used to support developing programs for which other funding is not available. The unique flexibility, or lack of restrictions, makes gifts attractive sources of support. Gifts are administered by the campus Development Office. (Also see Donation.)
GPO Government Printing Office (US)
Grant A type of financial assistance awarded to an organization for the conduct of research or other program as specified in an approved proposal. A grant, as opposed to a cooperative agreement, is used whenever the awarding office anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the activities.
Grant/Contract Officer A sponsor’s designated individual who is officially responsible for the business management aspects of a particular grant, cooperative agreement, or contract. Serving as the counterpart to the business officer of the grantee/contractor organization, the grant/contract officer is responsible for all business management matters associated with the review, negotiation, award, and administration of a grant or contract and interprets the associated administration policies regulations, and provisions (For definition of scientific officer, see Program/Project Officer.).
Human Subjects, Committee for the Protection of (CPHS) Campus committee charged with ensuring compliance with regulations governing research with human subjects. (UCB)
IAO Industry Alliances Office (UCB)
IDC Indirect Costs
IACUC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The UCB IACUC is the ACUC.
IBC Institutional Biosafety Committee
In-Kind Contributions or assistance in a form other than money. Equipment, materials, or services of recognized value that are offered in lieu of cash.
Incremental Funding A method of funding contracts that provides specific spending limits below the total estimated costs. These limits may be exceeded only at the contractor’s own risk. Each increment is, in essence, a funding action.
Indirect Costs Costs related to expenses incurred in conducting or supporting research or other externally-funded activities but not directly attributable to a specific project. General categories of indirect costs include general administration (accounting, payroll, purchasing, etc.), sponsored project administration, plant operation and maintenance, library expenses, departmental administration expenses, depreciation or use allowance for buildings and equipment, and student administration and services. See Facilities and Administrative Costs.
Indirect Cost Rate The rate, expressed as a percentage of a base amount (MTDC), established by negotiation with the cognizant federal agency on the basis of the institution’s projected costs for the year and distributed as prescribed in OMB Circular A-21. At UCLA, indirect costs are applied to a modified total direct cost (MTDC) base. The indirect cost rate is charged on a set of direct costs known as an indirect cost base. See the UC Berkeley rates.
Intercampus suballocation A subaward transferring funds between two campuses of the University of California is termed an intercampus suballocation. The agreement takes the form of a brief memo from one campus to the other. As with other subawards, an intercampus suballocation from one UC campus typically passes on to the other campus the same terms and conditions of the prime award from the funding agency.
Interim Funding Authorization to expend funds on a project to a specified limit before the award document has been received from the sponsor.
Intra-university transaction (IUT) When a Department of Energy laboratory managed by the University of California awards research funds to a UC campus, the award mechanism is the intra-university transaction (IUT), governed by the policies of a master memorandum agreement.
Invitation for Bid (IFB) A solicitation issued to prospective bidders. An IFB describes what is required and how the bidders will be evaluated. Award is based on the lowest bid. Negotiations are not conducted.
IRB Institutional Review Board. At UCB, CPHS for is the IRB for human subjects research.
JIT Just in Time. NIH uses just-in-time procedures for certain programs and award mechanisms that call for limited information to be submitted with investigator-initiated applications and allow for a possible NIH request for additional information when the application is under consideration for funding. (NIH)
Key Personnel The personnel considered to be of primary importance to the successful conduct of a research project. The term usually applies to the senior members of the project staff; however, different sponsors may have different definitions of the term.
Limitation of Cost (LOC) A mandatory clause for cost-reimbursement type contracts. Under the clause, the sponsor is not obligated to reimburse the contractor for costs in excess of the stated amount. The contractor, however, is not obligated to continue performance once expenses reach the stated amount.
Matching Funds Funds raised from other sources to increase the level of support provided by the granting agency. Federal funds may not be used for matching on another federal project. Unlike cost sharing, neither personnel effort against the project nor reduction in indirect costs can be used for the matching component.
Matching Grant A grant that requires a specified portion of the cost of a supported item of equipment or project be obtained from other sources. The required match may be more or less than the amount of the grant. Some matching grants require that the additional funds be obtained from sources outside the recipient organization. Many matching grants are paid in installments, the payments coinciding with the attainment of pre-specified levels of additional funding. Also see Challenge Grant.
Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) An MTA is a contract that governs the transfer of tangible research materials (usually biological) between two organizations.
Misconduct in Research Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. See Vice Chancellor for Research Research Misconduct. (UCB)
MOA Memorandum of Agreement. See: MOU
Modification An award document that modifies any aspect of an existing award other than those named above. Example: Carryover approvals, adding or deleting special terms and conditions, changes in funding levels, administrative changes initiated by the agency, extensions that include changes in terms, change of principal investigator, etc.
Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) At UCB, the basic indirect costs are calculated on a subset of direct costs, normally excluding among other costs, equipment, patient care, space rental, alterations and renovations, and subcontract costs in excess of the first $25,000.
NCI National Cancer Institute (NIH)
NCRR National Center for Research Resources (dissolved in 2011 - NIH)
NEI National Eye Institute (NIH)
New and Competing Proposals Proposals that are submitted for the first time or ongoing projects that must recompete for funding prior to expiration of the original award.
NHGRI National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH)
NHLBI National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH)
NIA National Institute on Aging (NIH)
NIDA National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH)
NIGMS National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH)
NIMH National Institute of Mental Health (NIH)
NINR National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH)
No-Cost Time Extension An extension of the period of performance beyond the expiration data to allow the principal investigator to finish a project. Usually, no additional costs are provided. Also called no-cost extension.
Notice of Grant Award The legally binding document that serves as a notification to 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 funds.
OACU Office for Animal Care and Use (UCB)
OHRP Office for Human Research Protections (DHHS)
OMB Circulars Regulatory circulars issued by the Office of Management and Budget, for example, OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, and A-133.
ONR Office of Naval Research (DOD)
OPHS Office for Protection of Human Subjects (UCB)
OSTP Office of Science and Technology Policy (US)
OTL Office of Technology Licensing (UCB)
Peer Review A system using reviewers who are the professional equals of the principal investigator or program director who is to be responsible for directing or conducting the proposed project. It is a form of objective review. Peer review is legislatively mandated in some programs and in other programs is administratively required.
Phoebe is the UC Berkeley system for proposal approvals and routing from departments and units to the Sponsored Projects Office and the Industry Alliances Office. (UCB)
PHS Public Health Service
PHS 398 Competing - Public Health Service Grant Application (NIH)
Pivot The Berkeley campus subscribes to the Pivot funding opportunities and expertise database. (Pivot was previously called COS Pivot; COS is an acronym for Community of Science.)
PRDA Program Research and Development Announcement
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. Also termed Preliminary Proposal.
Principal Investigator (PI) The individual responsible for the conduct of research or other activity described in a proposal for an award. See the UCB Principal Investigator Status policy on PI eligibility.
Prior Approval 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.
Priority Score A score derived from the rating given a research proposal by each member on a review committee. It is used to help determine which approved proposals will be granted awards, based on funds available.
Program/Project Officer/Scientific Officer/Technical 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. (For definition of business officer, see Grant/Contract Officer.)
Progress Report Periodic, scheduled reports required by the sponsor summarizing research progress to date. Technical, fiscal, and invention reports may be required.
Project Period The total time for which support of a project has been programmatically approved. A project period may consist of one or more budget periods. (Also see Budget Period.)
Proposal An application for funding that contains all information necessary to describe project plans, staff capabilities, and funds requested. Formal proposals are officially approved and submitted by an organization in the name of a principal investigator.
Proposal Review Form (PRF) UCB form that was used for institutional approval for submitting proposals. Replaced by Phoebe. (UCB)
RAC Research Administration and Compliance (UCB)
R&D Research and development
RCR Responsible Conduct of Research. See Required Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training. (UCB)
Rebudget The act of amending the budget buy moving funds from one category or line item to another. (Also see Budget Adjustment.)
Regs Short for regulations.
Regulations The contractual rules and procedures governing sponsored research projects.
Request for Applications (RFA) Announcements that indicate the availability of funds for a topic of specific interest to a sponsor. Proposals submitted in response to RFAs generally result in the award of a grant. (Also see Broad Agency Announcement.)
Request for Proposal (RFP) Announcements that specify a topic of research, methods to be used, product to be delivered, and appropriate applicants sought. Proposals submitted in response to RFPs generally result in the award of a contract.
Research Misconduct Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. See Vice Chancellor for Research Research Misconduct. (UCB)
RPAC Research Policy Analysis and Coordination (UCOP)
RPPR Research Performance Progress Report. The RPPR will be used by federal agencies that support research and research-related activities for use in submission of interim progress reports.
Salaries and Wages (S&W) Payments made to employees of the institution for work performed.
SAM Federal System for Award Management
Scope of Work The description of the work to be performed and completed on a research project.
Senior Personnel Professional personnel who are responsible for the scientific or technical direction of project.
700-U Form Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators, State of California form for financial disclosure.
SF424 Standard form used for submission of pre-applications and applications and related information under federal grant programs.
Small Grant A special type of award, often limited to a beginning researcher. Typically, such an award may be obtained for one year only.
SO Signing Official
Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) at the Berkeley campus is responsible for preparing, interpreting, negotiating, and accepting agreements for projects funded by federal and state agencies, foundations, and other public and private sources. SPO also prepares and negotiates all subawards for collaborative research. The Sponsored Projects Office reports to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Administration and Compliance. (UCB)
Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators (Form 700-U) State of California form for financial disclosure. (UCB)
Stipend A payment made to an individual under a fellowship or training grant in accordance with pre-established levels to provide for the individualís living expenses during the period of training.
Subaward Form UCB form to request that payment be issued from the university to subawardees. (UCB)
Subcontract, Subgrant, or Subagreement A document written under the authority of, and consistent with the terms and conditions of an award (a grant, contract or cooperative agreement), that transfers a portion of the research or substantive effort of the prime award to another institution or organization. See Working with Subrecipients.
Supplemental (Rebudgeting or Modification) Proposal A request to the sponsor for additional funds for an ongoing project during the previously approved performance period. A supplemental proposal may result from increased costs, modifications in design, or a desire to add a closely related component to the ongoing project.
T&C Terms and conditions
Task Order Agreement (TOA) A legally binding document authorizing work and appropriating funds as a supplement to a basic contract.
Teaming Agreement An agreement between two or more parties to participate in a research project or teaching activity.
Technical Data Recorded information, regardless of form or characteristic, of a scientific or technical nature. Often refered to as the “science” of a proposal.
Terms of Award All legal requirements imposed on an agreement by the sponsor, whether by statute, regulation(s), or terms in the award document. The terms of an agreement may include both standard and special provisions that are considered necessary to protect the sponsorís interests.
Total Direct Costs (TDC) The total of all direct costs of a project.
Uniform Guidance (UG) Office of Management and Budget Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. See OMB Uniform Guidance.
Unrestricted Funds Monies 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.
VCR Vice Chancellor for Research (UCB)
Any questions, comments, or input can be sent to the SPO web administrator.
Last Update: July 2015
Acknowledgements: The Glossary is based on the Research Administration Glossary compiled by the Office of Sponsored Research at UCLA, and used by permission.