Glossary

The terms found in this glossary are a compilation of terms found in the individual grant policy documents.

Terms Definition and Examples
Allegation Any written or oral statement or other indication of possible research misconduct made to a University official.
Allocate Allocate means to assign an item of cost, or a group of items of cost, to one or more sponsored agreements, functions (such as "research"), organizational subdivisions (such as "college") or other work unit (adapted from CAS 9905.502).

"A cost is allocable to a particular cost objective (i.e., a specific function, project, sponsored agreement, department, or the like) if the goods or services involved are chargeable or assignable to such cost objective in accordance with relative benefits received or other equitable relationship" (OMB A-21, Sec. C-4).

Example: An educational institution normally allocates the cost of equipment required to conduct a project directly to the sponsored agreement.
Allowable costs "Costs that are (a) reasonable; (b) allocable to sponsored agreements under the principles and methods outlined in OMB A-21; (c) given consistent treatment through application of those generally accepted accounting principles appropriate to the circumstances; and (d) conform to any limitations or exclusions set forth in OMB A-21 or in the sponsored agreement as to types or amounts of cost items" (OMB A-21, Sec. C-2).

Example: A piece of equipment required to conduct the study is an allowable cost to the project, but entertainment costs are not.
Authorized budget Each project has a budget approved by the sponsor and the University. This is a target document indicating intended categories of fund expenditures. Depending on the sponsor’s award provisions, it may be modified, as required, in the course of project performance. Some sponsors have restrictions as to the kinds and amounts of modifications that may be made in the budget.
Capital asset An article or a system of nonexpendable, tangible property having a useful life of more than one year that has a per unit value at or above the capitalization threshold of $2,500 and is used in the operations of the University (i.e., the item is not purchased as an investment or held for resale).
Committed Mandatory or voluntary cost sharing or matching/in-kind funds quantified in the proposal budget, budget justification, or stated in award documents.
Committed cost sharing Mandatory or voluntary cost sharing that is pledged in the proposal budget or budget justification, or stated in award documents.
Complainant A person who in good faith makes an allegation of research misconduct.
Conflict of interest The real or apparent interference of one person’s outside interests with the interests of another person where potential bias may occur due to prior or existing personal or professional relationships.
Cost sharing Total project costs not borne by the sponsor; also referred to as "matching" or "in-kind." The University generally refers to cost sharing as labor costs that include salaries, wages, and benefits.
Direct cost transfer Cost transfers are defined as after the fact re-allocations of costs, either labor or nonlabor, to a sponsored project.
Direct costs "Those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy" (OMB A-21, Sec. D-1).

Example: Travel is normally charged as a direct cost to a project.
Effort Work or the proportion of time spent on any activity and expressed as a percentage of total time. Total effort for an employee must equal 100%. The appointment serves as the basis for an individual’s total effort. In other words, for a 50% appointment, 100% effort is the 50% appointment. Likewise, for a 75% appointment, 100% effort is the 75% appointment.
Effort reporting Process used by the University to comply with federal regulations that require the University to certify time spent and salary charged to a sponsored project.
F&A (or indirect) cost rate A composite rate applied to sponsored projects as a percentage of the sponsored project’s direct costs for the purpose of charging the sponsored project its share of the University’s F&A/indirect costs. In business and industry, this is known as "overhead." The federally negotiated F&A/indirect cost rates for research and other sponsored activities are developed by the University in accordance with OMB A-21 and negotiated with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the University’s federal cognizant agency. The University’s current rate of 63% of salaries and wages ends September 30, 2011.

Example: The University’s F&A/indirect cost rate for an on-campus research project is 63% of salaries and wages, if allowable.
Facilities and administration costs (F&A) "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" (OMB A-21, Sec. B-4).

In its 1996 revision of OMB A-21, the federal government replaced the term "indirect costs" with "facilities and administrative costs."

Examples: Building operation and maintenance expenses are F&A costs.
Good faith allegation An allegation made with the honest belief that research misconduct may have occurred. An allegation is not in good faith if it is made with reckless disregard for, or willful ignorance of, facts that would disprove the allegation.
Historical salary adjustment (HSA) An adjustment or correction of an internal accounting transaction to transfer salary and fringe charges from past pay periods from one account to another.
Indirect costs See "Facilities and administration costs."
In-kind The University considers "in-kind" contributions to be interchangeable with "matching" but the term may refer to costs borne by an external organization, for example when individuals at another organization volunteer their time.
Inquiry Gathering information and initial fact-finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of research misconduct has substance and warrants an investigation.
Investigation The formal development of a factual record and the examination of that record leading to one of two decisions: (a) to confirm the allegation of research misconduct and to recommend appropriate remedies, including administrative actions or (b) to dismiss the allegation of research misconduct.
Investigators Any person paid by, under the control of, or affiliated with the University, such as faculty, scientists, trainees, technicians, and other staff members, students, fellows, guest researchers, or collaborators at or with the University.
IPAS Institutional Prior Approval System
Mandatory Sponsor-driven, i.e., cost sharing or matching/in-kind funds required by the sponsor as a condition for proposal submission.
Mandatory cost sharing Cost sharing that is sponsor-driven (i.e., required by the sponsor as a condition for proposal submission).
Matching The University generally refers to matching as nonlabor costs. Cash matches are usually required by sponsors for equipment acquisition programs, specialized research centers, or other multi-disciplinary programs. Typically these funds are provided by the institution.
Misconduct in scientific research "Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. Misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretation or judgment of data." (Public Health Service)

"‘Misconduct’ means (1) fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results from research, (2) material failure to comply with Federal requirements for protection of researchers, human subjects, or the public or for ensuring the welfare of laboratory animals, or (3) failure to meet other material legal requirements governing research." (National Science Foundation)
Nonreportable Committed cost sharing or matching/in-kind that must be documented by the department and is not reported to the sponsor.
Notice of grant award (NOGA) A document that provides information regarding the award’s important terms and conditions. PIs and departments should refer to it for guidance in managing the project.
Office of Research Integrity (ORI) The office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that is responsible for the research misconduct and research integrity activities of the U.S. Public Health Service.
OMB Circular A-21 Cost Principles for Educational Institutions
OMB Circular A-110 Uniform Administrative Requirement for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations
OMB Circular A-133 Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations
Overload payments Compensation to academic personnel (faculty and academic professionals) for work that exceeds the normal scope of their appointments (e.g., extension instruction classes, continuing education).
Pre-award costs Costs incurred prior to the effective date of an award or a budget period.
Program income Income derived from services or goods that form part of a project supported in whole or in part by a sponsor.
Program income records retention Records pertaining to grant/contract income, expenses and correspondence retained for a minimum period of five (5) years, beginning with the final closing date of the award period.
Project closeout 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 the federal awarding agency.
Proposal routing form An internal form used to route a proposal for sponsored funding through the process of administrative review and approval.
Public Health Service (PHS) regulation The PHS regulation that establishes standards for University inquiries and investigations into allegations of research misconduct. It is set forth in "Responsibility of PHS Awardee and Applicant Institutions for Dealing With and Reporting Possible Misconduct in Science," or as amended (42 C.F.R. § 50, Subpart A).
Reasonable costs "A cost may be considered reasonable if the nature of the goods or services acquired or applied, and the amount involved therefore, reflect the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision to incur the cost was made" (OMB A-21, Sec. C-3).
Recharge The assessment, collection or charge by one department or unit for goods or service furnished to another department, activity or project. It represents a redistribution or transfer of the cost of providing a good or service from the provider to the user. Unlike a sale to an external party, which may include a provision for margin or profit, a recharge excludes any element of profit or other increment above cost.
Reportable Committed cost sharing or matching/in-kind that must be documented by the department and must be reported to the sponsor by Sponsored Financial Reporting.
Research record Any data or results that embody the facts resulting from scholarly inquiry including, but not limited to: grant or contract applications, whether funded or unfunded; grant or contract progress and other reports; laboratory notebooks; notes; correspondence; videos; photographs; X-ray film; slides; biological materials; computer files and printouts; manuscripts and publications; equipment use logs; laboratory procurement records; animal facility records; human and animal subject protocols; consent forms; medical charts; and patient research files. "Data or results" shall be interpreted broadly to encompass all forms of scholarly information about the research at issue without regard to the type of recording or storage media, including, but not limited to, raw numbers, field notes, interviews, notebooks and folders, laboratory observations, computers and other research equipment, CD-ROMs, hard drives, floppy disks, Zip disks, back-up tapes, machine counter tapes, research interpretations and analyses, tables, slides, photographs, charts, gels, individual facts, statistics, tissue samples, reagents and documented oral representations of research results.
Respondent The person against whom an allegation of research misconduct is directed or the person whose actions are the subject of the inquiry or investigation. There can be more than one respondent in any inquiry or investigation, and, if there are multiple respondents, all references in this policy to "respondent" shall also be read in the plural as appropriate.
Retaliation Any action that adversely affects the employment or other University or professional status of an individual that is taken by an institution or another individual (e.g., respondent) because the first individual has in good faith made an allegation of research misconduct or of inadequate University response thereto or has cooperated in good faith with an investigation of such allegation.
Senior researcher Principal investigator without faculty rank.
Service center A department, unit or activity that provides goods or services to other departments or units on a regular basis at approved rates.
Sponsored projects An externally funded activity that is governed by specific terms and conditions. Sponsored projects must be separately budgeted and accounted for subject to terms of the sponsoring organization. Sponsored projects may include grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for research, training and other public service activities.
Subcontract/Subgrant Award made to a subrecipient when the prime award is in the form of a contract.
Subrecipient A nonfederal entity that expends federal awards received from a pass-through entity to carry out a federal program, but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such a program. A subrecipient may also be a recipient of other federal awards directly from a federal awarding agency.
Unallowable costs "Unallowable cost means any cost which, under the provisions of any pertinent law, regulation, or sponsored agreement, cannot be included in prices, cost reimbursements, or settlements under a sponsored agreement to which it is allocable" (CAS 9905.505). These unallowable costs cannot be included in the budget.

Example: Entertainment costs on federally sponsored projects are unallowable costs.
Uncommitted Voluntary cost sharing or matching/in-kind funds not pledged in the proposal and subsequently not stated on award documents. This type of cost sharing is more than what is agreed to as part of the award.
Voluntary Investigator-driven, i.e., cost sharing or matching/in-kinds funds not required by the sponsor as a condition for proposal submission.
Voluntary cost sharing Cost sharing that is investigator-driven (i.e., not required by the sponsor as a condition for proposal submission).
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