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Term Definition

Click here for a list of useful acronyms.

Abstract Abstract is the condensed and concentrated version of the full research plan. It is usually written in lay terms. Each sponsor has their own requirements in the proposal.
Accrual Basis Accounting A system of accounting in which revenues and expenses are recorded as they are earned and incurred, not necessarily when cash is received or paid. ConnectCarolina is accrual-based.
Acquisition Cost The cost of the asset including the cost to ready the asset for its intended use. Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in transit insurance, freight, and installation may be included or excluded from the acquisition cost in accordance with the non-Federal entity’s regular accounting practices.
Activity Type/CHESS Code Indicates what the type of sponsored project is, such as Research & Development, Clinical Trial, Instruction, or Other.
Advance Payment A payment made by the Sponsor or recipient institution that is in advance of the recipient’s disbursement of funds for program purposes.
Allocation The process of assigning a cost, or a group of costs, to one or more cost objective(s), in reasonable proportion to the benefit provided or other equitable relationship. The process may entail assigning a cost(s) directly to a final cost objective or through one or more intermediate cost objectives.
Allowable Costs Allowable Cost means a cost incurred by the recipient that is:

  1. Reasonable for the performance of the award
  2. Allocable to the project
  3. In conformance with any limitations or exclusions set for by the sponsor
  4. Consistent with regulations, policies, and procedures of the recipient institution
  5. Consistently treated as a direct or indirect costs
  6. Determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
Alterations and Renovations Work that changes 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.
Amendment/Modification A revision to an existing proposal or award.
Animal Subjects/Animal Care and Use Animals that are utilized in the process of research that are protected by Animal Welfare regulations and legislation. Protection of animal subjects in research is monitored by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
Animal Welfare Assurance Document an institution and all performance sites involving animals in research must have on file with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare before a PHS Agency may award a grant or contract.
Assignment Where one party in a contractual agreement has the ability to reassign the funding and obligations provided to the recipient to a third party. This can cause difficulties when a Sponsor requires assignment ability without the need for approval by the recipient.
Audit Finding Audit finding are deficiencies which the auditor is required by 200 CFR § 200.516-Audit findings, paragraph (a) to report in the schedule of findings and questioned costs.
Authorized Representative/ Institutional Official Authorized Representative means the individual, named by the institution, who is authorized to act on its behalf and to assume the obligations imposed by any laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that may apply to the proposal or award. Also called Authorized Official, Signing Official, and Institutional Official.
Award A legal instrument of financial assistance received pursuant to a set goal identified in an approved application to a Sponsor. It is used as an instrument in setting forth the terms and conditions under which the recipient institution carries out the purposes included in their proposal.
Basic Research The systematic study directed toward exploring the fundamental aspects of phenomena and the observable facts without specific applications toward processes or products in mind.
Bilateral Amendment A subrecipient agreement modification that requires agreement from both the Pass-through Entity and the Subrecipient to execute the amendment
Billing Method The process in which a recipient is required to request payment for a funded project. The two most common methods are Cost-Reimbursement and Fixed Price.
Budget The financial plan for the project or program that the awarding agency or pass-through entity approves during the award process or in subsequent amendments to the award. It is a line item portrayal of the funds needed to complete the sponsored project.
Budget Justification The description of the line item budget of the funds needed to complete the sponsored project.
Budget Period The intervals of time, which a project period is divided into, for the obligation of funds based on budgetary, funding, and allocation purposes.
Budget Revision Any change made to the budget during the life of a funded project. The ability to make changes, with or without approval of the Sponsor, are dictated in the award documents. A budget revision may constitute a need for Prior Approval. It is a line item portrayal of the funds needed to complete the sponsored project.
Business Analysts Information technology professionals who focus on the business process and data side of the software, rather than the technical side.
Carryover The unobligated funds remaining at the end of a budget period. These funds may or may not be carried forward to another budget period dependent on Sponsor approval. Obligated, but unliquidated, funds are not considered carryover.
Cash Advance The provision of cash in advance of the obligation of expenses.
Cash Basis Accounting A system of accounting in which transactions are recorded and revenues and expenses are recognized only when cash is received or paid.
Cash Outlay Expenses that can easily be identified as they have been incurred. These amounts can then be utilized as cost-share and meet requirements prescribed by the sponsor.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) CFDA is the directory of various Federal grant programs, projects, services, and activities that offer financial assistance, non-financial assistance, and benefits the American public. It serves as a main method of dissemination of Federal assistance programs and helps in finding programs that meet the various objectives of prospective applicants. It is administered by the General Services Administration.
Cayuse System-to-System submission portal for opportunities posted by NIH, NSF, AHRQ, CDC, NIFA, ONR, CDMRP, DoD and other U.S. federal Agencies.
Change in Scope An activity whereby the objectives or specific aims identified in the approved grant application are significantly changed by the recipient after award.
Clinical Research Research with human subjects that is:

  1. Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. It includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b), therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies.
  2. Epidemiological and behavioral studies.
  3. Outcomes research and health services research

Studies falling under 45 CFR 46.101(b) (4) (Exemption 4) are not considered clinical research by this definition.

Clinical Trial Clinical Trial means a research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (placebo and/or control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical and behavioral outcomes.
Biomedical clinical trials of an experimental drug, treatment, device, or behavioral intervention have four phases:

  1. Phase I – Small test group to determine efficacy and safety
  2. Phase II – Larger test group to determine efficacy and safety
  3. Phase III – Large test group to determine adverse effects and comparison with other treatments
  4. Phase IV – Studies conducted after the intervention is marked, aimed at efficacy and safety in the greater population
Closeout The process by which the awarding agency or pass-through entity determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work of the award have been completed and takes actions as described in 200 CFR §200.343-Closeout.
Code of Federal Regulations: Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements (UG) Uniform Guidance (UG) means the Federal-wide administrative requirements that supersede and unifies the previous OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, A-122, A-89, A-102, and A-133. These guidelines apply to all Federally funded grants and cooperative agreements. It does not apply to Federal contracts.
Cognizant Agency Cognizant agency for audit means the Federal agency designated to carry out the responsibilities described in 200 CFR §200.513-Responsibilities, paragraph (a). The cognizant agency for audit is not necessarily the same as the cognizant agency for indirect costs. A list of cognizant agencies for audit may be found at the FAC Web site.

Cognizant agency for indirect costs means the Federal agency responsible for reviewing, negotiating, and approving cost allocation plans or indirect cost proposals developed under this part on behalf of all Federal agencies. The cognizant agency for indirect cost is not necessarily the same as the cognizant agency for audit.

Co-Investigator An individual involved with the PD/PI in the scientific development or execution of a project. The Co-Investigator (collaborator) may be employed by, or be affiliated with, the applicant/recipient 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.
Collaborative Proposal A collaborative proposal is one in which investigators from two or more organizations wish to collaborate on a unified research project. Collaborative proposals are submitted by simultaneous submission of proposals from different organizations, with each organization requesting a separate award. For these proposals, the project title must begin with the words “Collaborative Research.” If funded, each organization bears responsibility for a separate award.
Commitment Accounting Commitment accounting, or CA, is the HR/Payroll portion of the overall Commitment Control functionality in ConnectCarolina. It enables you to encumber against budgeted funds so they can’t be used for any other purposes until they are paid out through Payroll, thus ensuring that your spending is within your budget.
Common Rule The regulations governing Institutional Review Boards for the oversight of human subjects’ research. It is codified in 45 CFR § 46 – Subpart A. It establishes the minimum ethical standards required by recipients of Federally funded research dollars.
Community Engagement Community Engagement is the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the wellbeing of those people.
Competitive Renewal Initial request for additional funding for a period subsequent to that provided by a current award. Renewal applications compete for funding with all other peer reviewed applications and must be developed as fully as though the applicant is applying for the first time. (Previously referred to as “competing continuation.”)
Computing devices Computing devices are machines used to acquire, store, analyze, process, and publish data and other information electronically, including accessories (or ‘‘peripherals’’) for printing, transmitting and receiving, or storing electronic information.
Conflict of Interest (COI) A situation where financial or personal considerations, circumstances, and relationships may compromise or appear to compromise the objectivity of an individual performing research duties or responsibilities.
Congruence The determination that the scientific procedures detailed in a funded sponsored project directly correlate to the research protocol being used to facilitate animal or human subjects’ research for that project. This approval is provided by the IRB or IACUC depending on the type of subject and is required as part of the compliance review for having an approved protocol.
Consultant An individual who provides professional advice or services for a fee, but normally is not engaged as an employee of the recipient institution.
Contract A legal instrument by which an entity purchases property or services needed to carry out the project or program.
Contract Summary The ConnectCarolina page for each award that shows all the relevant information related to that project, such as dates, associated project IDs, etc.
Cooperative Agreement A legal instrument of financial assistance between an awarding agency or pass-through entity that provides for substantial involvement between the awarding agency or pass-through entity and the entity carrying out the activity contemplated by the agreement.
Cost Overrun Cost Overrun means any amount charged in excess of the obligated costs for the project period.
Cost Principles The basic underlying guidelines to the financial management of Federal grant expenditures. They set the attributes used to determine the allowability and use of federal funds by recipient organizations. 200 CFR §245-247 – Subpart E
Cost-Reimbursement Cost-Reimbursement references a method of billing, were costs that are deemed to be applicable and appropriate are then reimbursed by the Sponsor after they have been incurred by the Recipient.
Cost Sharing Cost sharing or matching means the portion of project costs not paid by research funds.
Cost Transfers An after-the-fact reallocation of costs, either salary or non-salary, to a sponsored project within a 90-calendar day period from the original accounting date.
Course Buyout A reduction in academic teaching load in cases where funds are available from outside funding sources such as grants & contracts.
Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) A formal, independent board of experts including investigators and biostatisticians that advise study investigators regarding the safety progression of a study. In general, NIH requires the establishment of DSMBs for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the participants and for all Phase III clinical trials. As necessary, a DSMB may be appropriate for Phase I and Phase II or other clinical trials if the studies are blinded (masked), employ high-risk interventions, or involve vulnerable populations.
Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) DUNS number is the nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify entities. A non-Federal entity is required to have a DUNS number in order to apply for, receive, and report on a Federal award.
Data Use & Ownership Data can be either tangible or non-tangible information. If the data being used for the research outlined in the agreement and is something that existed prior to the agreement, then there will be a defined way in which the data may be used by each party. If the data is created during the research agreement, then the patent, use and invention rights will be outlined in the agreement.
De Minimis F&A Rate Organizations who have never received a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement are eligible to request a 10% modified total direct cost De Minimis Rate.
Debarment and Suspension The status of rescinding a party’s ability to conduct business with the Federal government due to issues of poor business practices, violation of law, and other delinquencies. Suspension is utilized in cases of immediate need of less than twelve months and are usually due to pending investigation or indictments. Debarment is more permanent with an average length of three years and based on confirmed evidence such as a conviction.
Direct Costs Costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.
Disallowed Costs Those charges to an award that the awarding agency or pass-through entity determines to be unallowable, in accordance with the applicable Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of the award.
Disclosure Statement (DS-2) The DS-2 is a governmental requirement of educational institutions to detail their cost accounting practices. It includes a record of financial management systems, determination of indirect cost pools, determination of direct costing, treatment of unallowable costs, and relevant State laws and regulations that may impact the institution.
Domestic Federal Grant Grant awarded by a Sponsor located and operated in the United States.
Effective Date The date when rights and obligations under an agreement become operational. This may not be the same as the date in which an agreement or contract is executed.
Effort The measurement of personnel time devoted towards a specific task. Time provided to sponsored projects is required to be monitored and documented to guarantee the amount of pledged time is equal to the time spent. The percentage of salary paid by a sponsored project must not exceed the amount of time spent on the project.
Electronic Personnel Action Request (ePAR) ePARs are eforms in ConnectCarolina that must be completed to certify all effort for specific periods for all personnel working on sponsored projects.
Equipment Tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000.
Exempt Status Exempt Status means that a proposed Human Subjects Protocol has been reviewed by an experienced member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and has deemed that research poses risk equal or less than minimal risk to a participant and falls into at least one of the exempt categories determined by Federal regulation. The Exempt Categories are:

  1. Education research
  2. Surveys, educational testing, interviews, or public observations which do not include children
  3. Studies of those holding Public Office
  4. Analysis performed on previously collected data that is anonymous
  5. Service and public benefit programs
  6. Consumer acceptance, taste test, and food quality surveys
Existing Action (eIPF) Relates to an existing pre-proposal, proposal/application, award, supplement, amendment or agreement in RAMSeS.
Expanded Authorities The operating authorities provided by certain Federal Agencies to recipients that waive the requirement for prior approval for specified actions.
Expedited Review Research activities that (1) present no more than minimal risk to human subjects, and (2) involve only procedures listed in one or more of the expedited review categories under OHRP, may be reviewed by the Institution Review Board through expedited review procedures.
Export Administration Regulations (EAR) EAR are the US Department of Commerce regulations for the export of “dual-use” items. These items include goods and related technology, including technical data and assistance, which are designed for commercial purposes but may have military applications. A detailed list of these items controlled under EAR is codified in 15 CFR §774 – Supplement 1, Commerce Control List or CCL.
Export Control The regulations and laws issued by the Federal government to control the disclosure of sensitive products, services, and technologies that are deemed strategic to foreign entities and governments. Activities by the State, Commerce, and Treasury Departments control military use items, products with dual commercial-military applications, and financial interactions with sanctioned parties.
F&A Exclusions The direct costs excluded from UNC F&A calculations.
F&A Waiver The University will grant an exception to charging full F&A costs for non-profit sponsors and governmental agencies that have explicit, published policies limiting F&A recovery. The reduced F&A rate will be applied to total direct costs unless the sponsor’s published guidance states otherwise.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) A Federal mandate that protects the confidentiality of student records. FERPA training, available online, is required of all users across campus who need access to the ConnectCarolina student system.
Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”) is a set of principles that govern the government procurement process. It regulates purchasing of goods and services by government usually under a federal contract.
Federal Award Identification Number (FAIN) A unique number assigned to a financial assistance award to assist recipients in correctly reporting subawards. The public can use the FAIN and the CFDA number together to find one accurate result when searching on line in such databases as and FSRS.
Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) FDP is the cooperative initiative among some Federal agencies, selected recipient organizations, and certain professional associations. Its efforts include demonstration projects intended to simplify and standardize Federal requirements in order to increase research productivity and reduce administrative costs.
Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, as amended (“Transparency Act”), requires the Office of Management and Budget to establish a single searchable database, accessible to the public, with information on financial assistance awards made by Federal agencies. The Transparency Act also includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards.
Federal-wide Assurance (FWA) FWA is an assignment assuring compliance with and approval by the DHHS Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) for institutions engaged in human subjects;’ research. Under this assurance the institution commits that it will comply with all relevant requirements set forth by OHRP as well as the terms of assurance.
Federally Negotiated Rate Agreement A document published to reflect an estimate of indirect cost rate negotiated between the Federal Government and a Grantee/Contractor’s organization which reflects the indirect costs (facilities and administrative costs) & fringe benefit expenses incurred by the organization that will be the same across all agencies.
Fellowship A type of grant mechanism which is meant to foster the capabilities of an individual. They are provided to applicant individuals for the purpose of becoming independent researchers or for the support of student dissertations.
Financial Guarantee (Letter of Credit) A request to establish a pre-award sending account. This is submitted via RAMSeS.
Fixed Price A type of agreement where the awarding agency or pass-through entity provides a specific level of support without regard to actual costs incurred under the award. This reduces some of the administrative burden and record-keeping requirements for both entities.
Foreign Component The performance of any significant scientific element or segment of a project outside of the United States, either by the recipient or by a researcher employed by a foreign organization, whether or not grant funds are expended. Activities that would meet this definition include, but are not limited to, (1) the involvement of human subjects or animals, (2) extensive foreign travel by recipient project staff for the purpose of data collection, surveying, sampling, and similar activities, or (3) any activity of the recipient that may have an impact on U.S. foreign policy through involvement in the affairs or environment of a foreign country.
Foreign Public Entity A foreign government or foreign governmental entity; A public international organization, which is an organization entitled to enjoy privileges, exemptions, and immunities as an international organization under the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288– 288f); An entity owned (in whole or in part) or controlled by a foreign government; or Any other entity consisting wholly or partially of one or more foreign governments or foreign governmental entities.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requires dissemination, upon request, of Government documents while ensuring protection of proprietary and other privacy act information.
Full Board Review A type of Institutional Review Board (IRB) action that requires a full meeting of the board to review a proposed Human Subjects protocol. Studies that involve more than what can be defined as more than minimal risk.
Fund Swapping Salary source changes via ePar or PATT in ConnectCarolina.
Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE) A waiver on export controls for any basic or applied research in science and engineering, the results of which are ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community. This requires that the research must be free of any publication restrictions and without any access or dissemination restrictions.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) The publicly available document by which a Federal agency announces its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements as the result of competition for funds.
General Purpose Equipment This is equipment which is not limited to research, medical, scientific or other technical activities. Examples include office equipment and furnishings, modular offices, telephone networks, information technology equipment and systems, air conditioning equipment, reproduction and printing equipment, and motor vehicles.
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) These are nationwide accounting standards issued by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that are used by the University.
Governing Law A provision in an agreement in which both parties agree on which state’s laws will be used to mediate a dispute. State institutions, which are considered governmental entities, have difficulty accepting such terms as they are not allowed to resign their governmental sovereignty to another state.
Grant A legal instrument of financial assistance between an awarding agency or pass-through entity and recipient that does not provide for substantial programmatic involvement between the awarding agency or pass-through entity and the recipient in carrying out the activity contemplated by the agreement.
Grant Agreement A legal instrument of financial assistance between an awarding agency or pass-through entity and recipient that does not provide for substantial involvement between the awarding agency or pass-through entity and the recipient in carrying out the activity contemplated by the agreement. Workspace’s System-to-System submission portal. Workspace is the standard way for organizations or individuals to apply for federal grants in Workspace allows a grant team to simultaneously access and edit different forms within an application.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) The Privacy Rule is a Federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information. It is administered and enforced by the Office for Civil Rights, HHS. Research organizations and researchers may or may not be covered by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and the grantee organization.
Human Subject Human Subject is an individual about whom a researcher obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or obtains identifiable private information. Regulations governing the use of human subjects in research extend to use of human organs, tissues, and body fluids, graphic, written, or recorded, identifiable to an individual.
Indemnification A type of clause in an agreement which requires a party to cover the losses of another party if the original party does something that causes harm or results in litigation.
Indirect Cost Pool The aggregated category of different types of indirect costs which are allocated to various activities. These pools then form the basis for calculating an Indirect Cost Rate.
Indirect Cost Rate Proposal The documentation prepared by a non-Federal entity to substantiate its request for the establishment of an indirect cost rate.
Indirect (F&A) Costs Those costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted without effort disproportionate to the results achieved.
Informed Consent The permission granted by a Human Subject in the knowledge of the possible consequences to their participation in a research project. Full disclosure of risks and benefits must be provided to the Human Subject prior to participation.
Initial/Current Budget Period This is the first-year budget period of the project for a multi-year project.
In-Kind This can be utilized as a method of cost-sharing when non-cash contributions are provided by a third party source to the recipient institution. Services and transactions that are not monetized, they are assessed based on market value.
Institutional Allowance The set amount of funding provided to support the costs of training under an NIH NRSA. The specific levels of the allowance are based on the academic career of the recipient and set regularly by NIH notice. Expenditures under institutional allowances are not subject to prior approval requirements and the recipient institution is not required to account for these expenditures on an actual cost basis.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) The committee appointed by an institution to oversee the institution’s animal program, facilities, and procedures. IACUC review and approval is required for all supported activities involving live vertebrate animals prior to research commencement.
Institutional Base Salary (IBS) The annual compensation paid by an institution for an employee’s appointment, independent of the types of activities performed. This generally includes the research, instruction, administration, service, and clinical duties performed by any one employee.
Institutional Biosafety Committee The committee providing oversight for practices and containment procedures for basic and clinical research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, including the creation and use of organisms and viruses containing recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules.
Institutional Review Board (IRB) The administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the organization with which it is affiliated. The Institutional Review Board has the authority to approve, require modifications, or disapprove all research activities that fall within its jurisdiction.
Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) An institution that (1) regularly admits qualified students who have completed secondary education or equivalent certificate; (2) is legally authorized to provide post-secondary education; (3) provides an educational program that awards students bachelor’s degrees, or a program to apply credits to such a degree, or a degree acceptable for admission to a graduate or professional degree program; (4) is a public or other non-profit institution; and (5) is nationally accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or has been granted a preaccreditation status by such an agency.
Intangible Property Property having no physical existence, such as trademarks, copyrights, patents and patent applications and property.
Intellectual Property (IP) Intellectual Property means a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, or trademark.
Internal Controls A process, implemented by a non-Federal entity, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in the following categories:

  1. Effectiveness and efficiency of operations
  2. Reliability of reporting for internal and external use
  3. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations
Internal Processing Form (IPF) The UNC document generated in RAMSeS for all proposed sponsored projects. It is a compilation of the financial, personnel, and scientific details of a project and serves as the internal proposal document.
International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) The regulations controlling the import and export of items with military applications. A detailed list of those items are contained in the United States Munitions List (USML) and is enforced by the US Department of State.
Intervention In medicine, a treatment, procedure, or other action taken to prevent or treat disease, or improve health in other ways.
Investigation New Drug (IND) A new drug or biological drug that is used in a clinical investigation.
Invoice A list of goods or services provided with a statement of the sum due for the provision of the goods or services.
Just-in-Time (JIT) NIH specific policy that allows the submission of certain elements of a competing application (e.g. Other Support, Research Subjects Approvals) to be deferred until later in the application process, after review when the application is under consideration for funding.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) A high-level measurement of how well an organization is doing in achieving critical success factors. This term defines the data value or calculation upon which an assessment is determined.
Letter of Intent A letter provided prospective applicants to indicating intent prior to the submission of a grant application. The letter usually includes the name, address and phone number of the PI, identifies other key personnel and participating institutions, and prospective funding mechanism. Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows institute staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan for the application.
Limited Submission Funding Opportunity Funding opportunities where the sponsor has placed a limit on the number of applications that may be submitted from an institution.
Major Project A project that requires an extensive amount of administrative or clerical support, which is significantly greater than the normal level of such services expected by the sponsor to be routinely provided by an institution.
Mandatory Cost-Share The portion of support that a recipient institution is required to contribute towards a sponsored project.
Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA) A type of unfunded agreement that governs the transfer of tangible research materials between two separate organizations when the recipient intends to use the materials for their own research purposes. This allows for easy transfer and defines the relationship and ownership of any materials and resulting research.
Merit Review The process that involves the consistent application of standards and procedures that produce fair, equitable, and objective examinations of applications based on an evaluation of scientific or technical merit or other relevant aspects of the application.
Milestone This is the page in ConnectCarolina where payment schedules are entered for each fixed price project.
Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) MTDC mean that certain expense categories are excluded from F&A charges. At UNC this means equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each Federal subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
Modular Budget A budgeting capability available to certain NIH grants in which the direct costs are requested in specified increments that does not require a detailed budget or supporting documentation. Modules are divided into $25,000 increments with a maximum of $250,000 per year.
Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator (multiple PD/PI) awards are an opportunity for multidisciplinary efforts and collaboration through a team of scientists under a single grant award. All PD/PIs share equally the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. Each PD/PI is responsible and accountable to the applicant organization, or as appropriate to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of all required reports. The presence of more than one PD/PI on an application or award diminishes neither the responsibility nor the accountability of any individual PD/PI.
Multi-Year Funding (MYF) Multi-year funded awards are where the project period and budget period are the same and are longer than one year. A no-cost extension of an existing grant does not constitute Multi-Year Funding.
NIH Mechanisms There are numerous grant mechanisms available to each institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research related to their mission. Each mechanism has a specific purpose and each institute uses a mix of mechanisms to structure its research portfolio. Some NIH grant mechanisms: R-series, F-series, K-series, P-series.
No Cost Extension (NCE) An extension of time to a project period and/or budget period provided by the Sponsor to complete the work without additional funding or competition.
Non-Competitive Continuation The interim request for further financial assistance for subsequent budget periods previously approved within a project period. This process does not require the recipient to compete with other applicants while within the originally authorized project period.
Non-Federal Entity A state, local government, Indian tribe, institution of higher education (IHE), or nonprofit organization that carries out a Federal award as a recipient or subrecipient.
Obligation The amounts for which the recipient has made binding commitments for orders placed for property or services, contracts and subaward, and other transactions during the performance period that will require payment.
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) The Treasury Department’s management of economic and trade sanctions and embargoes with foreign agents or nations. This is a facet of Export Control regulations and prohibit affiliation and payment to select countries and their citizens from participating in Federally sponsored projects.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) The executive branch’s office that has oversight over agency programs, policies, and procedures, as well as administration of the budget. It also oversees and coordinates the administration of procurement, financial management, dissemination of information, and regulatory policies, including the management of the Uniform Guidance applicable to Federal grants and cooperative agreements.
OMB Circulars OMB Circulars are the former method of grant policy administration for Federal grants and cooperative agreements prior to the establishment of the UG. The circular system is still utilized by the OMB for other regulatory activities outside Federal grants and cooperative agreements.
Other Significant Contributors (OSC) Individuals who have committed to contribute to the scientific development or execution of the project, but are not committing any specified measurable effort (i.e., person months) to the project. These individuals are typically presented at “effort of zero person months” or “as needed.” Individuals with measurable effort may not be listed as Other Significant Contributors. Consultants should be included if they meet this definition.
Other Support/Current and Pending Support The disclosure of all financial sources—whether Federal, non-Federal, commercial—available in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors, including but not limited to research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and institutional awards. Funding for training awards, prizes, and gifts are not required to be included.
Overload Payments A one-time lump sum payment in a fixed amount to compensate added duties that are typically of a limited duration.
Participant Support Costs Participant support costs means direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects.
Pass-Through Entity (PTE)/Prime Recipient Pass-through entity is an entity that provides a subagreement to a separate entity (subrecipient) to carry out part of an agreement.
Payback Agreement The arrangement detailing the required reimbursement of Federal support provided to a postdoctoral trainee when they have not completed two years of service under a funded NIH NRSA. The agreement is facilitated by the postdoctoral fellow directly and the recipient institution does not administer its submission.
Person ID Number (PID) An identification number assigned to all people with a university relationship, as defined by an official university department.
Person Months The unit use to express effort (amount of time) personnel devote to a specific project. The effort is based on the type of appointment of the individual such as a 12 month or 9 month
Post-Doctoral Fellow An individual engaged to preform research after the completion of their doctoral studies as a part of a temporary appointment at an institution or as preparation for a future faculty appointment.
Pre-Award Spending Any cost incurred prior to the beginning date of the project period or the initial budget period of a competitive segment (under a multi-year award), in anticipation of the award and at the applicant’s own risk, for otherwise allowable costs.
Pre-proposal A short description of a project that does not involved a binding commitment of University resources. Also known as a white paper, letter of intent or concept paper.
Prime Sponsor The sponsor that is providing funds for an agreement that has been passed-through to another entity to complete some of the research. An example of a prime sponsor would be an incoming subcontract awarded by Duke and even if the original award was sponsored by NIH, Duke would be UNC’s prime sponsor.
Principal Investigator Transfer A principal investigator on a funded project may transfer to or from UNC and wish to bring or take sponsored projects with him/her.
Prior Approval The written approval by a sponsor evidencing consent in advance of certain activities or specific costs on the part of the recipient.
Procurement The procedures by which an entity purchases property and services. Procurement standards for recipients of Federally sponsored projects are incorporated into the UG and cover the requirements for competition, inclusion of minority owned businesses, and pricing.
Program Announcement (PA) An unsolicited funding announcement utilized by the Federal government that identifies areas of priority and remains open for submissions for an extended period of time, typically several years.
Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) The individual(s) designated by the applicant organization or recipient to have the appropriate level of authority and responsibility to direct the project or program to be supported by the award.
Program Income Gross income earned by the non-Federal entity that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the Federal award during the period of performance. Except as otherwise provided in Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of the Federal award, program income does not include rebates, credits, discounts, and interest earned on any of them.
Programmatic Report/Technical Report Any required report to a sponsor that covers the programmatic activities and results for a sponsored project. Submission may be required on an interim, annual, or final basis.
Project Cost The total allowable costs incurred under an award including all required cost sharing.
Project ID The individual financial ledger accounts for sponsored projects within ConnectCarolina. Assignment of Project IDs is facilitated by OSP for grants and contracts as well as clinical trials.
Project Period/Period of Performance The time during which the recipient may incur new obligations to carry out the work authorized under the award.
Proposal/Application A detailed request for funding prepared in accordance with the sponsor’s instructions and must comply with University policies and sponsor requirements.
Prospective Study A research study that over time follows groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differs by a certain characteristic.
Protocol Formal description and design for a specific research project. A protocol involving human subject research must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) if the research is not exempt, and by an IRB or other designated institutional process for exempt research.
Recharge Center/Service Center A unit within an institution that provides a fee-based service to that entity’s research community. It commonly includes core laboratory services that centralize the use of large equipment and processing.
Recipient An entity that receives an award directly from an awarding agency to carry out an activity.
Recombinant DNA (rDNA) Artificially made DNA that is formed by the combination of two or more gene sequences. Management of this type of activity and research is regulated by the Federal government and is provided oversight by the recipient’s Institutional Biosafety Committee.
Reconciliation The process of proving or documenting that expenditures are accurate through the comparison of financial entries with supporting documentation.
Records Retention The period of time a document is required to be formally retained by an institution, including departments.
Reduction in Course Load A reduction in academic teaching load provided by and approved by the department chair and not requiring the use of grans & contracts funding.
Regulated Research Materials Any materials used in research that is regulated by Federal agencies, etc. Radioactive materials. See Environmental, Health and Safety for more details.
Regulatory Compliance The safeguards that UNC puts in place to ensure that all involved in applicable areas are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations.
Renewal Application/Competitive Continuation An additional funding request for a period subsequent to that provided by the current award. Renewal applications compete for funds with all other applications and must be developed as fully as though the applicant is applying for the first time. Previous funding does not ensure funding for a new competitive submission.
Request for Application (RFA) A funding announcement used by the Federal government that identifies a narrow subject and has set aside funds for the awarding of grants. It usually has a single submission cycle and has a specifically convened review board for the applications.
Request for Proposal (RFP) A solicitation used by the Federal government for proposals that will be funded by a contract mechanism.
Research Administrator Any non-faculty member involved in research that performs administrative maintenance, compliance, review, or oversight for a sponsored project.
Research and Development (R&D) R&D means all research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are performed by non-Federal entities. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.

“Research” is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. “Development” is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

Research Misconduct Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reporting research, or in reporting research results.
Research Subjects Protocol The detailed account of procedures and interaction being completed by a researcher in connection with animal or human subjects. The protocol must be assessed by the appropriate institutional committee.
Risk Assessment The review of any third-party collaborator under the requirements of subrecipient monitoring. Recipients are required to have a standardized method of assessing the capabilities of possible collaborating institutions and retain documentation of their findings prior to the formalization of a partnership.
Run Control A run control is used in ConnectCarolina for certain billing functions and is a page that is used to begin a process, such as the batch processing of a payroll run.
Run Control ID A unique ID to associate each user with his or her own run control table entries.
Salary Cap A limitation placed on the salary rate that can be charged to a sponsored project by the funding agencies, set by NIH. This is independent of the amount of personnel effort that can be devoted to a project.
Salary Supplement An attachment to the base pay, granted in a recurring monthly amount for the timeframe of the work performed, and is generally associated with added duties through a specific secondary administrative job or appointment.
Scope of Work (SOW) The aims, objectives, and purposes of a grant application; as well as the methodology, approach, analyses or other activities; and the tools, technologies, and timeframes needed to meet the grant’s objectives.
Select Agents The biological agents which are required by the USDA and DHHS to be managed, monitored, and controlled for the safety of the public and prevention malicious acts.
Senior/Key Personnel The PD/PI and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive salaries or compensation under the grant.

Senior/key personnel must devote measurable effort to the project whether or not salaries or compensation are requested. “Zero percent” effort or “as needed” are not acceptable levels of involvement for those designated as Senior/Key Personnel.

Significant Rebudgeting The threshold that is reached when expenditures in a single direct cost budget category deviate from the categorical commitment level established for the budget period by more than 25% of the total costs awarded or other sponsor set thresholds.
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. See
Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. See
Sole Source A procurement method that does not require bidding due to their monopoly on the required product being purchased. This allows an entity to obtain an item independent of the cost to the project due to the lack in providers.
Specific Aims A component of an application’s Research Plan which describes the goals of the proposed research and summarizes the expected outcomes, including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research fields involved.
Split Funding The process by which funding for an individual line item can be divided between two or more sources.
Sponsor Application Number Sponsor generated identification for a specific proposal.
Sponsor/Awarding Agency Entity providing funding, whole or in part, for research as stated in the proposal.
Sponsor’s Program Name Sponsor’s formal program name or Funding Opportunity title
Sponsored Research Scholarly, professional, and creative activities that University personnel conduct with support from external funding instruments such as grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other agreements deemed appropriate by the chancellors of constituent institution.
Statement of Appointment The form submitted to initiate a fellow or trainee on an NIH NRSA project. This form is required to be completed manually and submitted to NIH for individual fellowships via xTrain.
Stipend A payment made to an individual under a fellowship or training grant in accordance with pre- established levels to provide for the individual’s living expenses during the period of training. A stipend is not considered compensation for the services expected of an employee.
Subaward A subrecipient agreement issued by a Pass-through Entity under a Grant or Cooperative agreement.
Subcontract A subrecipient agreement issued by a Pass-through Entity under a Contract.
Subrecipient An entity in which an award is provided by a pass-through entity (PTE) to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of an award (scope of work) received by the PTE. Other names: subaward agreement, subcontract, subrecipient agreement.
Subrecipient/Consortium Agreement An agreement provided by a pass-through entity to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of an award received by the pass-through entity. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the pass-through entity considers a contract. Incoming is from a pass-through entity to UNC. Outgoing is UNC is the pass-through entity to another entity.
Subrecipient Monitoring The requirement and culpability to ensure the compliance of another entity to the rules and regulations of a sponsored project in place of the Sponsor. The Pass-Through Entity then assumes the monitoring responsibility of the sponsor as there is no direct relationship between the Subrecipient and the Pass- Through Entity’s sponsor.
Supplement A proposal to a sponsor applying for additional funds adding to an existing grant or cooperative agreement.
Supplies All tangible personal property not classified as Equipment.
System for Award Management (SAM)/Central Contractor Registry (CCR) The system used by the Federal government that provides collected information on the recipients of funding. It includes information from the Excluded Parties List, CFDA, wage data, and replaces the former Central Contractor Registration with additional abilities.
Termination Notice The form submitted by recipients of NIH training and fellowship grants upon the termination of their award. The form serves as the final technical report for the trainee or fellow’s activities under the award.
Terms and Conditions All legal requirements imposed on a project, whether based on statue, regulation, policy, or other document referenced in the award, or specified by the award document itself. The Notice of Award may include both standard and special conditions that are considered necessary to attain the project’s objectives, facilitate post award administration of the project, conserve project funds, or otherwise protect the sponsor’s interests.
Trainee An individual that is undergoing training for a particular job, profession, or position. Fellows can be students, post-doctoral fellows, or faculty members. This requires additional management of the method of payment for Trainees.
Translational Research Translational research includes two areas of translation. One is the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans. The second area of translation concerns research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. Cost-effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies is also an important part of translational science.
Tuition Remission A practice of subsidizing the tuition of a student in lieu of salary and benefits provided for educational or research activities. Funding for the subsidy on sponsored programs is proportional to the amount of effort being dedicated by the student.
Uniform Guidance See Code of Federal Regulations: Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements, above.
Unilateral Amendment Any formal change to an existing agreement without the consent of all parties involved.
Unliquidated Obligations For financial reports prepared on a cash basis, obligations incurred by the non- Federal entity that have not been paid. For reports prepared on an accrual expenditure basis, these are obligations incurred by the non-Federal entity for which an expenditure has not been recorded.
Unobligated Balance The amount of funds authorized under an award that the recipient has not obligated.
Voluntary Committed Cost-Share The cost-sharing pledged in a sponsored projects proposal that is not required by the Sponsor. This type of pledge may be detailed in the narrative of the proposal or in the budget. Cost- share of this type is then required to be reported to the Sponsor. This is discouraged.
Voluntary Uncommitted Cost-Share Cost-sharing that was not pledged at time of proposal or required by the Sponsor.
Voucher ConnectCarolina process that allows expenses to post to an account, check requests and inDEPTh payments.
Workflow Functionality that automatically routes transactions, forms, and notifications through an approval process. It will be based on UNC business requirements and policies.

The three R’s of workflow:

  1. Rules are the UNC policies and procedures that dictate the workflow and specify the authorized users and approvers
  2. Routing is a defined path for transactions and notifications that link activities required for a task
  3. Roles are the authorized users who take action at each step in the workflow. Roles are controlled by rules
xTrain The NIH eRA Commons system that is used to appoint and terminate trainees and fellows affiliated with training grants, individual fellowships, career development awards, and research education awards.

Useful Acronyms

Term Definition
AOR Authorized Organization Representative
BAA Broad Agency Announcement
CAS Cost Accounting Standards
CDA Confidential Disclosure Agreement
CFDA Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
COI Conflict of Interest
DHHS Department of Health and Human Services
DLAM Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine
DUNS Data Universal Numbering System
EIN Entity Identification Number
eSNAP Electronic Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process
FDP Federal Demonstration Partnership
FFR Federal Financial Report
FOA Funding Opportunity Announcement
FOIA Freedom of Information Act
FSR Financial Status Report
FWA Federal-wide Assurance
FY Fiscal Year
GAAP Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
GMO Grants Management Officer
GMS Grants Management Specialist
GPS National Institutes of Health Grants Policy Statement
HIPPA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
IACUC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
IBC Institutional Biosafety Committee
IBS Institutional Base Salary
IDC Indirect Costs
IND Investigation New Drug
IPF Internal Processing Form
IRB Institutional Review Board
JIT Just-in-Time
LOI Letter of Intent
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MYF Multi-Year Funding
NCE No Cost Extension
NIH National Institutes of Health
NOA Notice of Award
NSF National Science Foundation
OCT Office of Clinical Trials
OHRE Office of Human Research Ethics
OIG Office of Inspector General
OLWA Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare
OMB Office of Management and Budget
ONR Office of Naval Research
PA Program Announcement
PAR Prior Approval Request
PHS Public Health Service
PMC PubMed Central
PO Program Officer
PPG Program Project Grant
REU Research Experiences for Undergraduates
RFA Request for Applications
RFP Request for Proposals
RFQ Request for Quotes
RPPR Research Performance Progress Report
RTC Research Terms and Conditions
SAM System for Award Management
SBIR Small Business Innovation Research
SF424 Standard Form 424
SO Signing Official
SOW Statement of Work
SPO Medical School Sponsored Programs Office
STTR Small Business Technology Transfer
TDC Total Direct Cost
UG Uniform Guidance