Grant Terms and Definitions
Abstract - A brief overview of the content, especially highlights, of a paper, article, report, or other work.
Allowable Cost - A cost for which the funding agency will reimburse the grant or contract that has been awarded to the university.
Award Letter/Notice of Grant Award (NOGA) - The written notification sent by the funding agency stating that a project has been awarded, which includes the project term or contract period, and the amount funded.
Budget - The financial plan for operation of the project that includes estimates of the income and expenditures associated with operating the project for an identified period of time.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) - Contains information about federal grant and loan programs available to Americans from federal agencies. Each program is assigned a CFDA number. When submitting proposals to federal agencies, the CFDA number must be included, and because it is used in the audit for grant identification purposes, it must be accurate.
Categorical Funds - Federal or state funds specified for or restricted to a specialized area.
Competitive Grant - Funds that are received through submission of a proposal in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Application (RFA). Competitive grants include those that are received directly from the primary funding source, as well as those that are received from a secondary source from flow through dollars (e.g. federal dollars that are allocated to the state and, in turn, distributed by the state to grant recipients through a competitive grant process).
Conflict Of Interest - Using a vendor that is a member of your family or a personal friend. Transaction must be "arms length."
Cost Sharing - Synonymous with Matching Funds.
Consultant - Individuals whose expertise and skills will add value to a project.
Contract For Services - Funds that are received through a contractual agreement to provide specified services, such as training courses or an educational program. Typically, a simple proposal is prepared that includes a cost justification for the services provided.
Cover Sheet - The top sheet of a grant proposal that is usually a standardized form that includes summary information about the proposal. This form usually includes signature lines that must be completed prior to submitting the proposal.
Deadlines - Due dates for submission of proposals and grant reporting requirements. When submitting proposals it is important to note whether the deadline is the due date for receipt at the agency or for postmark of the proposal.
Direct Costs - Expenses that are associated with the operation of a project and that are itemized by categories, which are described by specific uses of allowable costs (e.g., salaries, fringe benefits, travel, supplies).
Federal I.D. # or Federal Entity Number - The identifying number assigned to an organization by the Federal government.
Duns Number - Data Universal Number System (DUNS) is a unique nine-digit code issued to institutions by Dun and Bradstreet.
Fiscal Year (FY) - Refers to the 12-month period for financial operations for an organization or government. Funding periods for projects funded by an organization or government generally correspond to the funding entity’s fiscal year.
Full Time Equivalent (FTE) - The amount of time spent in an activity or position that is calculated as a percentage of a full time position on an annual basis (e.g., a person who is hired for a 12-month period on a half-time basis is considered to be .5 FTE; a 9-month employee working fulltime is 0.75 FTE; and FTE for certificated staff is based on a 175-day year).
Grantee - The organization that is the recipient and administrator of a grant.
Grantor - The agency, which awards the funds to carry out a project.
Indirect Cost - Costs incurred by the University as a part of the expense of operations that are not directly a part of the grant operations. Such costs include maintaining the physical plant, library resources, and general administration. These costs are generally calculated as a percentage of the total direct costs of the project.
Matching Funds - Cash or "in-kind" support contributed by the grantee to carry out the project. Some programs require a match, and the amount of the match varies by program.
Non-Competitive Grant - Federal or State dollars allocated on the basis of a formula. Receipt of the funds may or may not require submission of a proposal. These grants are often referred to as formula-driven grant funds.
Pass Through Funds - Federal funds that are received by a State or local agency for a specific purpose. The state for local agency then conducts its own grant process to award the funds to other individuals, organizations, or agencies.
Pre-Application - A preliminary screening process used by organizations to identify potential fundable projects. Pre-applications, while shorter in length than a full proposal, generally follow a prescribed format identified by the funding agency.
Project Program Officer - The individual at the Federal or State agency who is responsible for the overall administration of the program and for monitoring the project, providing technical assistance, and ensuring that the project is carried out within the framework of the program.
Proposal - An application submitted to a funding agency requesting funding for a specified period of time to carry out a specified project.
RFP/RFA (Request For Proposal or Application) - An announcement by an agency that proposals or applications will be accepted to accomplish specific goals. As a general rule, the amount of time from the release or "letting" of the RFP/RFA until the due date for submitting requests for funding is six weeks, but the amount of time can vary.
Subcontract - Funds received from a primary grant recipient to support the costs associated with carrying out a portion of the project. Typically, it is not necessary to submit a proposal to receive a subcontract, although submission of a budget often is necessary.
Unsolicited Proposals - Agencies may allow institutions to submit proposals for projects that are not part of the agency’s identified programs or funding priorities.