Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs Glossary




The section of the Internal Revenue Code that defines nonprofit, charitable, tax-exempt organizations. Most private foundations and many other funding agencies limit their giving to organizations that have 501(c)(3) status. As a state agency, Southern University at Shreveport (SUSLA) has tax-exempt status under Section 115, Internal Revenue Code, and as a corporation could also qualify for tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code.  Additionally, there are two non-profit organizations affiliated with the University:  the SUSLA Alumni Foundation and SUSLA Community Development Corporation (CDC). 


A specific action or process undertaken over a specific period of time by an organization to convert resources to products or services to achieve results. These may include products – promotional materials and educational curricula; services – education and training, counseling, or health screening; and infrastructure – structure, relationships, and capacity used to bring about the desired results. 


An agreement is a written understanding and intention between two or more parties with respect to the effect upon their relative rights and duties. An agreement is used in lieu of a grant when the sponsor anticipates substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the project. A cooperative agreement is used by federal agencies when a program requires more agency involvement and restrictions than a grant but requires less agency supervision than a contract. Such agreements may involve the use of an agency’s services, equipment, facilities, or significant technical collaboration. 

Allowable Cost

A cost incurred by a recipient that is: (1) reasonable for the performance of the award; (2) allocable; (3) in conformance with any limitations or exclusions set forth in the Federal cost principles applicable to the organization incurring the cost or in the Notice of Award as to the type or amount of cost; (4) consistent with regulations, policies, and procedures of the recipient that are applied uniformly to both federally supported and other activities of the organization; (5) accorded consistent treatment as a direct or indirect cost; (6) determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; and (7) not included as a cost in any other federally supported award (unless specifically authorized by statute).

Alteration and Renovation (A&R)

Changes to the interior arrangements or other physical characteristics of an existing facility or of 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. 


Any change made to an existing sponsored agreement.

Application Package

A packet that contains the application notice, information, and forms for applying for a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement.


The legal applicant in most cases is the university. An applicant may also refer to an individual in the case of a fellowship or exchange program.


The document presenting a project proposal and funding request to an agency. This document may be a letter proposal, a response to a request for proposals, or a formal application to a federal or state granting agency, or foundation.

Applied Research

An original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge, primarily directed toward a practical aim or objective.

Aproved Budget

The financial expenditure plan for the grant-supported project or activity, including revisions approved by grantor as well as permissible revisions made by the grantee. The approved budget consists of Federal (grant) funds and, if required by the terms and conditions of the award, non-Federal participation in the form of matching or cost sharing. The approved budget specified in the Notice of Award may be shown in detailed budget categories or as total costs without a categorical breakout. Expenditures charged to an approved budget that consists of both Federal and non-Federal shares are deemed to be borne by the grantee in the same proportion as the percentage of Federal/non-Federal participation in the overall budget.

Assurances (See Certification)

An attestation or declaration of compliance with the legal requirement of a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.


A formal examination of an organization's 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.

Authorized Organization Representative (AOR)

The individual, named by the applicant organization, who is authorized to act for the applicant and to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to grant applications or grant awards. Responsibilities include: submitting the grant on behalf of the company, organization, institution, or Government; and, signing grant applications and the required certifications and/or assurances necessary to fulfill the requirements of the application process. 

Authorizing Official (Signature)

An officer of the university who has authority to sign proposals or contracts. For external grants this is generally the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs. For SUSLA, this also includes the Vice Chancellor for Research, Sponsored Programs and Institutional Effectiveness as well as the Chancellor.


 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.



Information collected before or at the start of a project or program that provides a basis

for planning and/or assessing subsequent progress and impact. 

Benchmark (Criterion for Success)

The standard on which a judgment or decision may be based. This statement indicates the target that determines the outcome has been achieved (e.g., Students will score at the “meet expectations” level or higher in each category on the rubric; 75 percent of all work orders will be completed within 7-10 business days). 


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 Period

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

Business Officer/Fiscal Agent

The financial official of the university who has primary fiscal responsibility for the university. 


Capital Expenditure

The cost of an asset (land, building, equipment), including the cost to put it in place. A capital expenditure for equipment includes the net invoice price and the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus to make it usable for the purpose for which it was acquired. Other charges, such as taxes, in-transit insurance, freight, and installation, may be included in capital expenditure costs in accordance with the recipient's regular accounting practices consistently applied regardless of the source of funds. 


Unobligated Federal funds remaining at the end of any budget period that, with the approval of the federal granting agency or under an automatic authority, 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. 

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)

A database which helps the Federal Government track all programs it has domestically funded. Federal programs are assigned a number in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) which is referred to as the "CFDA number." 

Certifications (See Assurances)

A written statement signed by an authorized institutional representative which certifies that an organization is in compliance with federal or state regulations. 

Change in Scope

An activity whereby the objectives or specific aims identified in the approved grant application are significantly changed by the grantee after award. Granting agency prior approval is required for a change in scope to be allowable under an award. 

Close Out

The process by which a Federal awarding agency determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work under an award have been completed by the grantee and the Federal awarding agency.  


An individual involved with the Project Director/Principal Investigator in the development or execution of a project/grant. The co-investigator (collaborator) may be employed by, or be affiliated with, the applicant/grantee organization or another organization participating in the project under a consortium agreement. A co-investigator typically devotes a specified percentage of time to the project and is considered senior/key personnel. The designation of a co-investigator, if applicable, does not affect the PD/PI's roles and responsibilities. 

Cognizant Agency

The Federal agency which, on behalf of all Federal agencies, is responsible for: reviewing, negotiating, and approving cost allocation plans, indirect cost rate and similar rates; monitoring non-Federal audit reports; conducting Federal audits as necessary; and resolving cross-cutting audit findings. The cognizant agency under the applicable cost principles and under OMB Circular A-133 may be different for a given recipient. 


An individual who provides professional advice or services for a fee, but normally not as an employee of the engaging party. In unusual situations, an individual may be both a consultant and an employee of the same party, receiving compensation for some services as a consultant and for other work as a salaried employee. To prevent apparent or actual conflicts of interest, grantees and consultants must establish written guidelines indicating the conditions of payment of consulting fees. Consultants also include firms that provide professional advice or services. 


An award instrument used to acquire from a non-federal party, by purchase, lease, or barter, property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal government. The same term may be used to describe a vendor relationship between a recipient and another party under a grant (to acquire routine goods and services); however, the recipient may use subaward to describe the contract under a grant relationship. 

Cooperative Agreement

A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. 

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. 

Cost Objective

A function, organizational subdivision, contract, grant or other activity for which cost data are needed and for which costs are incurred. 

Cost Sharing

The portion of project costs not borne by the sponsor or the university’s support of a project through cash or in-kind services. Cost-sharing requirements vary, but they generally represent a percentage of the total project cost. Acceptable cost-sharing contributions must meet the following criteria:           

  • The contributions to be cost-shared are verifiable by SUSLA financial records. 
  • The contributions to be cost-shared are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and necessary for proper and efficient accomplishment of specific project or program objectives.
  • Federal funds, directly or indirectly, are not used for cost sharing on other federally funded projects, except where authorized by federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching. 
  • The contributions to be cost-shared are not included as contributions for any other project. 
  • The contributions to be cost-shared are directly identifiable with the sponsored project as outlined in the proposal budget and/or budget justification, and thus incorporated in the award notice.


DUNS Number

(See Data Universal Numbering System)

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

A unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). SUSLA’s assigned number is 067030783 (Note: To be used only with extramural support grants and contracts).


The published date and/or time that a grant application is to be either postmarked/mailed or electronically submitted to the funding agency.


The result of expenditures exceeding the project funds available.

De Minimis Effort

Infrequent, irregular activity normally considered “so small” that it cannot and should not be accounted for. Activities can be considered de minimis if in the aggregate they constitute less than 1 percent of the individuals Total University Effort.

Direct Costs

Direct costs charged to sponsored agreements must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable. These costs can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activities, or can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy. Direct costs do not include overhead or other indirect costs. Examples: 

  1. Compensation of employees for performance of work under the sponsored agreement, including related fringe benefit cost. 
  2. The costs of materials consumed or expended in the performance of the work. 
  3. Other items of expense incurred for the sponsored agreement, provided such costs are consistently treated in like circumstances.

Disallowed Costs

Charges to an award that the awarding agency determines to be unallowable, in accordance with the applicable federal cost principles or other terms and conditions contained in the award. 

Discretionary funds or programs

Funds or programs not mandated by legislation for which an agency or program staff may have some authority to solicit and fund proposals for special projects or program activities. These discretionary funds may vary from year to year in amount and program focus. 


E-Business Point of Contact (POC)

An E-Business POC for an organization is designated during organization registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) and is the person responsible for the administration and management of grant activities in his/her organization. E-Business POCs give representatives of their organization the privilege to submit grant applications through by designating Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) authority. 

Effective Date

The date specified in an award document signifying the official start of an award. 


Time spent on any activity by an individual, expressed as a percentage of the individual’s total effort.  Effort is calculated in relation to your Institutional Base Salary.  

Effort should not be confused with time.  If you only work one day a week and spend half of that day on the project your effort is 50%.  If your work 40 hours and spend half that working the project your effort is still 50%.  Even when the number of hours of effort exceeds a normal work week, the total effort cannot exceed 100%.  If you work 120 per week and half that time is on the project your effort is still 50%. 

Effort Certification

The affirmation by the individual completing each effort report form that the percentages of effort reported on the form are accurate.  

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.  

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Identification of a business to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service; also known as a Federal tax identification number (TIN).The EIN assigned to Southern University at Shreveport is 72-6000817. 


Funds that have been set aside or "claimed" for projected expenses pending actual expenditure of the funds. 


Funds intended to be invested to provide income for continued support of an organization or to be used to support projects funded within that organization. Such funds may be restricted to a designated purpose (research, scholarships, etc.) or unrestricted (general university support). 


Funds that have been set aside or "claimed" for projected expenses pending actual expenditure of the funds.


Funds intended to be invested to provide income for continued support of an organization or to be used to support projects funded within that organization. Such funds may be restricted to a designated purpose (research, scholarships, etc.) or unrestricted (general university support).


An article of tangible nonexpendable personal property that has a useful life of more than 1 year and an acquisition cost per unit that equals or exceeds $5,000 or the capitalization threshold established by the organization, whichever is less. 


A systematic and objective assessment of an on-going or completed project, program or

policy. Evaluations are undertaken to (a) improve the performance of existing

interventions or policies, (b) asses their effects and impacts, and (c) inform decisions

about future programming. Evaluations are formal analytical endeavors involving

systematic collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative information. 

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 of administrative and spending actions without consulting the funding agency, thus avoiding delays in project progress. Click here for more information.


Line items in a budget that are spent for personnel, consultants, equipment, travel, supplies, etc. 

External Evaluation

The evaluation of an intervention or program conducted by entities and/or individuals which is not directly related to the implementing organization. 

Extramural Funds

Funding for research, training or public service programs provided by federal or private sources outside the university. 


Federal Register

An official, daily publication communicating proposed and final regulations and legal notices issued by federal agencies, including announcements of the availability of funds for financial assistance. Go to Federal Register. 

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs

Also referred to as indirect costs, overhead, overhead costs, or administrative costs. Reimbursement for actual institutional expenses that support extramural activities but cannot be directly charged to a specific grant or contract. F&A costs result from shared services such as libraries, plant operations and maintenance, utility costs, general, department and sponsored projects administrative expenses, and depreciation or use allowances for buildings and equipment. 


An award that enables individuals to pursue study in their field or related fields. A fellowship often advances, synthesizes, or expands the applicant’s specific area of interest. 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.

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.

Fiscal Year

Any 12-month accounting period. The fiscal year for the university and the state begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th. The federal government fiscal year begins on October 1st. The first day of the calendar year is often the beginning of the fiscal year for corporations and foundations. Most external grants are awarded based on the fiscal year of that entity.

Formal or Full Proposal

Any proposal submitted by a university employee to an outside entity that may directly lead to an award. A formal proposal may be an expanded version of a preliminary proposal, pre-proposal or white paper, providing a detailed statement of the proposed work. The formal proposal constitutes a final application to the funding source.

The full proposal should present the (1) objectives and scientific, engineering, or educational significance of the proposed work; (2) suitability of the methods to be employed; (3) qualifications of the investigator and the grantee organization; (4) effect of the activity on the infrastructure of science, education and/or the institution; and (5) amount of funding required. It should present the merits of the proposed project clearly and should be prepared with the care and thoroughness of a paper submitted for publication.

All proposals require an institutional endorsement by the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs or other designated authorizing official. Other designated authorizing officials for SUSLA are the Vice Chancellor for Research, Sponsored Programs and Institutional Effectiveness and the Chancellor.

Formative Evaluation

An evaluation conducted during the course of project implementation with the aim of improving performance during the implementation phase.


An organization established to disburse funds for philanthropic purposes; usually privately owned.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

A federal statute that requires full or partial public disclosure of information and documents controlled by the United States government. The FOIA applies to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Each state has its own public access laws that should be consulted for access to state and local records.

Fringe Benefits

Employee benefits paid by the employer. (e.g., FICA, Worker's Compensation, Withholding Tax, Insurance, etc.).

Funding Criteria

The review criteria associated with the evaluation of a proposal for funding. For federally sponsored programs, the criteria are printed in the program guidelines or the Federal Register and often follow a specific point system. 


General Purpose Equipment

Equipment that is not limited to research, scientific, or other technical activities. Examples of general purpose equipment include office equipment and furnishing, air conditioning equipment, reproduction and printing equipment, motor vehicles, and automatic data processing equipment. 


The higher-order objective to which a project, program, or policy is intended to contribute. 


A grant represents a mutual joining of interests on the part of the grantor and grantee institution in the pursuit of common objectives. In this relationship, the grantee institution shares with the grantor the obligation to act in the public interest in achieving a common purpose. This is a relationship of trust which imposes upon the grantee institution the responsibility to ensure that the grant funds are utilized for the purpose for which they were awarded, and to exercise the same probity and prudence in their expenditure that is extended to the use of the grantee institution's own funds.

A grant is distinguished from a contract in that a grant does not constitute the procurement of goods and services by the grantor. The grant is a unilateral act. Grants are usually from federal, state, local, foundation, or corporate entities.         

  • Challenge Grant: a grant award that will be paid only if the recipient organization is able to raise additional funds. 
  • Consortium Grant: a grant made to one institution in support of a project that is carried out through a cooperative arrangement between or among the grantee institution and one or more participating institutions. 
  • Continuation Grant: funds awarded for the continuation of a previously funded project. It is usually not competitive with other proposals but is contingent upon successful performance in the previous year and also availability of funds. 
  • Demonstration Grant: a grant made to establish or demonstrate the feasibility of a theory, activity or approach.
  • Formula or Block Grant: a grant awarded on the basis of some formula for distribution prescribed by legislative or executive direction; for example, state grants made to local school districts on the basis of enrollment figures.

Grant Closeout

The final stage in the lifecycle of a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement. During this phase, the funding agency ensures that all applicable administrative actions and required work of a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement have been completed by the grantee. The funding agency also reconciles and makes any final fiscal adjustments to a grantee's account. 


The organization or individual awarded a grant or cooperative agreement that is responsible and accountable for the use of the funds provided and for the performance of the grant-supported project or activity. The grantee is the entire legal entity even if a particular component is designated in the NoA. The grantee is legally responsible and accountable to grantor for the performance and financial aspects of the grant-supported project or activity. Also known as awardee or recipient.  


Funding agency or source that has agreed to provide financial support in the form of a grant. ( has been designated by the Office of Management and Budget as the single access point for all grant programs offered by 26 Federal grant-making agencies. It provides a single interface for agencies to announce their grant opportunities and for all applicants to find and apply for those opportunities. 

Grant-Supported Project or Activity

Those activities specified or described in a grant application or in a subsequent submission that are approved for funding, regardless of whether Federal funding constitutes all or only a portion of the financial support necessary to carry them out. 


HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)

A federal statute which, among other things, regulates the use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI), which is defined as information about health status, provision of health care, or payment of health care that can be linked to an individual, including any part of a patient’s medical record or payment history.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Any college or university established prior to 1964 whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered, or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.

Hispanic Servicing Institutions (HSIs)

Defined in federal law as accredited and degree-granting public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic, full-time equivalent student enrollment.



A result or effect that is caused by or attributable to a project or program. Impact is often used to refer to higher level effects of a program that occur in the medium or long term, and can be intended or unintended and positive or negative. 


Observable and measurable evidence that the intended outcomes are being achieved; must be specific and able to be seen, heard or demonstrated. 

Indirect Costs (See Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs).

In-Kind Contribution

A non-cash commitment (such as contributed personnel effort, facilities use, or supplies) to share the costs of a sponsored project. This type of contribution may require written documentation and audit.


Resources provided for program implementation.  Examples are hours, money, staff, time, facilities, equipment, etc.

Institutional Base Salary

Federal regulations define institutional base salary as “The annual compensation paid by an organization for an employee’s appointment, whether that individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities.  Base salary excludes any income that an individual is permitted to earn outside of duties for the applicant/grantee organization.”  Institutional Base Salary does not include incidental work and other forms of non-guaranteed compensation. 

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

A board or committee organized to protect human subjects by minimizing the risks of their participation in research and maximizing the potential benefits, and by ensuring that they receive all the information necessary to give their legally effective, fully informed consent to participate as required by law for the ethical and legal conduct of the research.

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.

Invitation to Bid

Written documents soliciting pricing and/or technical proposals to supply goods or services as specified in the requesting document. Correct use of Invitations to Bid constitutes full and open competition (See Request for Proposal (RFP). 


Key Professional Personnel (or key personnel)

All individuals who participate in the scientific or intellectual development or execution of the project. 


Lessons Learned

Generalizations based on evaluation findings that abstract from the specific circumstances to broader situations. Frequently, lessons highlight strengths or weaknesses in preparation, design, and implementation that affect performance, outcome and impact. 

Letter of Inquiry

A letter of inquiry is initiated by an applicant to determine if a proposed project is within a private agency's fundable program areas and to request agency policy and program information, as well as instructions and forms.

Letter of Intent

A letter of intent notifies a funding agency that an application will be submitted in response to their solicitation. The letter may contain general program information, unofficial cost estimates, and a request for application guidelines, instructions, and forms.

Letter of Support

A letter from a collaborator or other interested party that states their support of the project.

Logic Model

A logic model, often a visual representation, provides a road map showing the sequence of related events connecting the need for a planned program with the program’s desired outcomes and results.


Mandatory Cost Sharing

Cost sharing required by a sponsor as a condition for making an award. It requires the university to contribute a certain overall percentage of project costs. 

Matching Funds

A cash commitment to share the costs of a sponsored project. These are funds that must be supplied by the grantee as cash or in-kind contributions, depending on the funder’s requirements. The funder also may require a specific percent match. (See also Cost Sharing)


A procedure for assigning a number to an observed object or event. 

Memorandum of Agreement

A written agreement between two or more parties, which delineates the tasks, jurisdiction, standard operating procedures, or other matters which the agencies or units are duly authorized and directed to conduct. Sometimes referred to as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 

Memorandum of Understanding (See Memorandum of Agreement)

Modification (See Amendment)


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


No-Cost Extension

Provide for an additional period of performance to accomplish project goals. Permission for No-Cost Extensions generally must be requested from the sponsor. 

Non-Competing Continuation Application/Award

A financial assistance request (in the form of an application or progress report) or resulting award for a subsequent budget period within a previously approved project period for which a recipient does not have to compete with other applicants. 



A statement of the condition or state one expects to achieve.  An objective should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable/Realistic and Timely). 


The amounts for which the recipient has made binding commitments for orders placed for property and services, contracts and subawards, and similar transactions during a funding period that will require payment during the same or a future period. 

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

A branch of the Executive Office of the President. OMB helps the president formulate spending plans; evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies, and procedures; assesses competing funding demands among agencies; and sets funding priorities. OMB ensures that agency reports, rules, testimony, and proposed legislation are consistent with the president's budget and with administration policies. 


A results or effect that is caused by or attributable to the project, program or policy. Outcome is often used to refer to more immediate and intended effects; might include a change in knowledge, attitude, behavior, skills or condition. 


The products, goods, and services which result from an intervention and which are intended to lead to desired outcomes (e.g., number of brochures distributed or hours of tutoring provided). 



Program participants are the recipients of service or training provided at a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium or other short-term instructional or information-sharing activity funded by an external grant or award, or the training beneficiaries of the project or program funded by an external grant or award. A participant is not involved in providing any deliverable to the university or a third party or would not be terminated or replaced for failure to perform. University employees may not be participants.

Participant Costs

Costs used to pay program participants small stipends and reimbursement of travel costs or other out-of-pocket costs incurred to support attendance at a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium, or other short-term training or information-sharing activity.

Peer Review

A process used by many federal and some private funding agencies, whereby committees of experienced research investigators in the same research area or with the necessary expertise (from other institutions) review and recommend applications to the funding agency. 

Performance Indicator

A particular characteristic or dimension used to measure intended changes. Performance indicators are used to observe progress and to measure actual results compared to expected results. 

Performance Measurement

The ongoing monitoring and reporting of program accomplishments, particularly progress toward pre-established goals.  It is typically conducted by program or agency management. 

Performance measures may address the type or level of program activities conducted (process), the direct product and services delivered by a program (outputs) or the results of those products and services (outcomes). 

A “program” may be any activity, project, function or policy that has an identifiable purpose or set of objectives.  

Principal Investigator (PI)

A person authorized to assume responsibility for the administrative and programmatic aspects of a project that utilizes extramural support, including ensuring funds are spent in accordance with institutional and sponsor guidelines. 

Process Evaluation

An assessment conducted during the implementation of a program to determine if the program is likely to reach its objectives by assessing whether or not it is reaching its intended beneficiaries (coverage) and providing the intended services using appropriate means (processes). Also referred to as Implementation Evaluation. 

Prior Approval

Written approval by an authorized awarding agency official evidencing prior consent. 


An organized set of services designed to achieve specific outcomes for a specified population that will continue beyond the grant period.

Program Announcement

A generic funding opportunity accompanied by agency approved merit review criteria.

Program Description

A funding opportunity with broad, general descriptions of programs and activities. Program descriptions, like program announcements, utilize the generic eligibility and proposal preparation instructions.

Program Income

Program income is gross income earned by a research grant recipient from the activities, part or all of which are borne as a direct cost by the grant. Examples are fees for services performed under the grant, rental or usage fees charged for use of equipment purchased with grant funds, third party patient reimbursements for hospital or medical services paid from the grant, funds generated by the sale of commodities, such as cell lines or research animals developed from or paid for from the grant, and patent or copyright royalties.

Program Officer

An employee of a funding agency who oversees applications, funded projects and sometimes evaluates or determines funding for proposals. In federal agencies program officers generally have research and academic backgrounds similar to those of applicants.

Progress Report

Periodic, scheduled reports required by the sponsor summarizing research progress to date. Technical, fiscal, and invention reports may be required. 

Project Director (See Principal Investigator)

Proprietary Information/Data

Commercially valuable information developed or obtained at private expense which the owner has taken reasonable measures to keep confidential.

Proprietary Research

Research owned by and reserved exclusively for the client who purchased the research.


A written statement/document establishing project objectives, need, methodology, qualifications of investigator(s), and budget plan for a funded project.


Qualitative Data:

Observations or information expressed using categories (dichotomous, nominal, ordinal) rather than numerical terms. Examples include sex, race and first. 

Quantitative Data:

Information that can be expressed in numerical terms, counted, or compared on a scale.


Real Property

Land, including land improvements, structures, and appurtenances, but not movable machinery and equipment. 


Reallocation of funds available for spending between budget categories to allow best use of funds to accomplish the project goals.


An organization receiving financial assistance directly from an awarding agency to carry out a project or program. 

Request for Applications (RFA)

An RFA includes instructions and information necessary to complete and submit an application. Any resulting awards are normally funded by a grant.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

An RFP contains specific instructions for technical and cost proposals and usually includes a sample contract with terms and conditions that need to be reviewed and approved before submission of the proposal. The institutional endorsement for this type of proposal is considered an official offer; therefore, the proposal must meet certain internal requirements before it can be signed and submitted.


A resubmission is a request for funding from a sponsor for a proposal that has previously been rejected by the same sponsor. Occasionally, sponsors will request that an applicant make certain changes to a proposal and resubmit it. If a proposal has been substantially revised, or if the changes have not been made at the request of a sponsor, the proposal should be considered a new application. 

Results Framework

A management tool, that presents the logic of a project or program in a diagrammatic form. It links higher level objectives to its intermediate and lower level objectives. The diagram (and related description) may also indicate main activities, indicators, and strategies used to achieve the objectives. The results framework is used by managers to ensure that its overall program is logically sound and considers all the inputs, activities and processes needed to achieve the higher level results. 


Scope of Work/Statement of Work

A written description of the objectives, tasks, methods, deliverables and schedules to be completed on a project. 

Site Visit

A visit by funding agency staff to the research or program site to determine adequacy of staff and facilities to determine initial funding or to assess progress on a continuing project. 

Special Purpose Equipment

Equipment that can be used only for research, scientific, or other technical or scholarly activities. 


An external funding source that enters into an agreement with the university to support research, instruction, public service, or other sponsored activities. Sponsors include private businesses, corporations, foundations and other not-for-profit organizations, other universities, and federal, state, and local governments. 

Sponsored Project

A project supported by an external funding source under a mutually binding agreement that restricts the use of funds to the approved project and stipulates other conditions with which the university must comply. Sponsored projects typically:  

  • Are initiated by a formal proposal and award notice.
  • Are restricted to a particular purpose as described in the proposal.
  • Require technical and/or financial reports.
  • Entail other administrative requirements.

Sponsored Research

All research and development activities that are sponsored by federal and non-federal agencies and organizations, according to Circular A-21. This includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where the activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where these activities are not included in the instruction function. Sponsored research is combined with university research under the function of organized research for Facilities & Administration purposes.


Entities (governments, agencies, companies, organizations, communities, individuals, etc.) that have a direct or indirect interest in a project, program, or policy and any related evaluation. 


A mechanism which is used to provide funding to an institution (subrecipient) that is collaborating with the lead institution (prime awardee) in the performance of a funded project. The sub-award is formalized with a sub-award agreement.


A contract between a prime contractor and a subcontractor to furnish supplies or services for the performance of a prime contract.


A party that enters into and performs a subcontract.

Summative Evaluation

Evaluation of an intervention or program in its later stages or after it has been completed to (a) assess its impact (b) identify the factors that affected its performance (c) assess the sustainability of its results, and (d) draw lessons that may inform other interventions. 


The degree to which services or processes continue once inputs (funding, materials, training, etc.) provided by the original source(s) decreases or discontinues.

System for Award Management (SAM)

As of July 2012, the System for Award Management (SAM) replaced the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).

The System for Award Management (SAM) is a website that consolidates Federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). Currently CCR, FedReg, ORCA and EPLS have been migrated to SAM. Entities must be registered on SAM to successfully submit an application to federal agencies. SUSLA’s registration is current. 



The specified result(s), often expressed by a value of an indicator(s), that a project, program, or policy is intended to achieve. 


The cancellation of awarding agency sponsorship, in whole or in part, under an agreement at any time prior to the date of completion.

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.


A schematic or description of goals, objectives, benchmarks, and activities, with a designated time set for reaching completion. Timelines may also include responsible persons and measurable outcomes or products.

Total Direct Costs

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

Training Grant

Programs which provide instructional activities for participants.


Formal, legal mailing or electronic submission of the proposal to the funding agency.


Unallowable Costs

Specific categories of costs that cannot be charged, directly or indirectly, to federally sponsored agreements in accordance with federal regulations.

Unliquidated Obligation          

  1.  For reports prepared on a cash basis, the amount of obligations incurred by the recipient that has not been paid; or
  2. For reports prepared on an accrued expenditure basis, the amount of obligations incurred by the recipient for which an outlay has not been recorded.

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.

Unsolicited Proposals

A proposal submitted to a sponsor that is not in response to a Request for Proposal, Request for Application or Program Announcement.


Voluntary Cost Sharing

Cost sharing which is not required by the sponsor or shown on the proposal budget. Voluntary cost sharing is, however, usually reported as cost sharing through the effort reporting system in addition to mandatory or committed cost sharing.

This website uses cookies to ensure site visitors get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies and Privacy Statement. To find out more, please visit Southern University's Privacy Statement.

I agree