– A –
An academic period is a portion of an academic year during which CSU holds classes. CSU is on a semester period division of the academic year, fall through spring. Many faculty appointments align with the 9-month academic period.
An allowable cost is one that is eligible for reimbursement. Generally, costs are considered allowable when they are necessary, reasonable, and allocable to the project/program; comply with the limitations of the award agreement as well as other applicable laws and regulations, and are accounted for consistently and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
– C –
Carryover (aka, Carry forward)
Carryover is a process by which unobligated funds remaining at the end of a budget period may be carried over or carried forward to be used in the next budget period. Some awards have automatic carryover whereas others do not.
The process of submitting all the required final administrative and financial reports and certifications required by an award so the award can be closed in CSU’s Kuali Financial System (KFS).
Cognizant Federal Agency (DHHS)
A cognizant federal agency is defined by 48 CFR 2.101 as “the federal agency that, on behalf of all federal agencies, is responsible for establishing final indirect cost rates and forward pricing rates, if applicable, and administering cost accounting standards for all contracts in a business unit.” The Cognizant Agency for CSU is the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Confidentiality Agreement (aka, Non-disclosure Agreement or NDA)
A non-financial agreement that ensures disclosed information is kept confidential and only used for the purposes defined in the confidentiality agreement.
A legal instrument by which a non-Federal entity purchases property or services needed to carry out the project or program under a Federal award (2 CFR Part 200.22).
A legal instrument of financial assistance between a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity and a non-Federal entity. It is distinguished from a grant in that it provides for substantial involvement between the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity and the non-Federal entity in carrying out the activity (2 CFR Part 200.24).
Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)
A set of standards and rules for use in determining costs on negotiated procurements in order to ensure consistency in estimating, accumulating and reporting costs; allocating costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances; accounting for unallowable costs, and establishing cost accounting periods (2 CFR Part 200.419).
Found in Subpart E of 2 CFR Part 200, cost principles establish standards for the allowability of costs, provide detailed guidance on the cost accounting treatment of costs, and set forth allocability principles for select items of costs.
Cost Reimburseable Award
Under a cost reimburseable award or agreement, sponsor invoicing is based on actual costs expended at the time of invoicing. Costs cannot exceed the award amount and excess spending or spending outside the award terms and conditions must be borne by the Institution.
Reassignment of an expense from one account to another after the expense was initially recorded in the CSU financial accounting system or an after-the-fact reallocation of expenses.
Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)
Association of research universities, medical centers, and independent research institutions that provides information on financial and regulatory infrastructure and compliance as related to sponsored research.
– D –
Data Management Plan
A document that outlines how data are to be handled during a research project and after the project’s completion. NSF or other sponsors may require a data management plan as part of a proposal or as a condition of an award.
Data Use Agreement (DUA)
A non-financial agreement used to restrict data use when there is a transfer of data, a dataset, or software that is non-public. DUAs may or may not consist of human subject data.
– E –
The mechanism used to provide assurance to federal or other external sponsors that salaries charged or cost-shared to sponsored awards are reasonable in relation to the work performed. Effort statements are also referred to as “certifications” or “reports.” CSU uses the Effort Certification & Reporting Technology (ecrt) application for effort reporting.
As defined by 2 CFR Part 200.33, “Equipment means 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.” CSU uses the $5,000 threshold.
– F –
An item of equipment that is built or assembled. When a completed item of fabricated equipment has an aggregate cost of $5,000 or greater, it is considered capital equipment.
Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs (aka, Indirect Costs or Overhead)
Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs are real costs that the Institution incurs in support of extramural activities but which cannot be readily identified with a particular sponsored project or institutional activity.
F&A Intro Video – University of Idaho
University of Idaho staff provides a general overview of what goes into determining an institution’s Facilities & Administrative (F&A) cost rate and how F&A recovery is used to support the people and facilities used to conduct sponsored programs.
F&A Rate Agreement
The CSU F&A rate agreement sets forth approved rates for use on grants, contracts and other agreements with the Federal Government for organized research, instruction, and other sponsored activities. The agreement is negotiated ~5 years and includes negotiated fringe benefit rates.
An F&A waiver is an institutional agreement that F&A costs will be charged at a lower rate than the sponsor’s published rate. These waivers are obtained on a case-by-case basis from the Associate Vice President for Research.
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
The Federal Acquisition Regulations system governs the acquisition process for all executive agencies of the U.S. federal government for the purchase or lease of goods and services by contract with appropriated funds.
Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP)
A cooperative initiative between member Federal agencies and institutions of higher education that receive federal funding.
Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.
Under a fixed-price award or agreement, the sponsor agrees to pay an amount for deliverable(s) irrespective of costs incurred. If costs incurred are more than the award amount, the cost overrun must be borne by the Institution. Sponsor invoicing is typically based on a pre-determined schedule or by milestones/deliverables.
Allowances and services provided by employers to their employees as compensation in addition to regular salaries and wages. Fringe benefits may include costs associated with leave (vacation, holiday, sick leave pay and other paid absences), employee insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefit plans. CSU negotiated fringe benefit rates are found in the F&A Rate Agreement. Rates are negotiated yearly, so look for a new rate agreement document each year.
– G –
As defined by 2 CFR Part 200.51, “Grant agreement means a legal instrument of financial assistance between a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity and a non-Federal entity that,…is used to enter into a relationship for the principal purpose of which is to transfer anything of value from the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity to the non-Federal entity to carry out a public purpose…”
U.S. Federal Government initiative that provides a single access point to find and apply for assistance programs offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies.
Grants.gov & Workspace applicant training
This site provides training resources and videos for using Grants.gov and Workspace.
– I –
Indirect Costs (aka, F&A or Overhead)
Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs are real costs that the Institution incurs in support of extramural activities but which cannot be readily identified with a particular sponsored
Indirect Cost Recovery
Indirect cost recovery is the “recovery” of institutional costs incurred to support research, including research infrastructure (including space and equipment) and administrative personnel. The recovery is then reallocated to centrally funded functions to ensure continued support for future research endeavors.
Institutional Base Salary (IBS)
Compensation guaranteed by the University for an employee’s appointment (9 or 12 months), whether that individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, or other activities. IBS does not include bonuses, one-time payments, or incentive pay. Additionally, IBS does not include supplemental payments from other organizations or income that individuals are permitted to earn outside of their University responsibilities, such as consulting. IBS must be used as the base salary on all grant proposals unless there is a statutory limit on compensation.
– M –
Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)
A non-financial agreement used when sending or receiving physical materials or software to/from CSU. An MTA protects the intellectual and other property rights of the provider while setting parameters around the use, transportation, disclosure of, and return/disposal of the shared materials.
Material & Supplies
Items with an acquisition cost less than $5,000, regardless of the length of useful life. Costs incurred for materials, supplies, and fabricated parts necessary to carry out a scope of work are generally allowable. General-purpose items used by units should not be directly charged to awards.
– N –
National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)
A member organization of research administration professionals. “NCURA advances the profession of research administration through education and professional development programs, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and the fostering of diverse, collegial, and respected global community.”
NIH eRA Commons
The eRA Commons is an online interface where signing officials, principal investigators, trainees and post-docs at institutions/organizations can access and share administrative information relating to research grants. Users can shepherd their application in eRA Commons through the grants lifecycle from receipt to closeout.
NIH Help & Tutorials
Provides resources for applicants, grantees, and reviewers to help navigate eRA systems by providing step-by-step instructions, video tutorials, and online assistance.
NIH Required Individual Development Plans (CSU Policy)
In 2013, NIH encouraged institutions to develop a policy that required individual development plans for mentoring graduate students and postdoctorals.
Extends the end date of an award without additional funding from the sponsor.
Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) (aka Confidentiality Agreement)
A non-financial agreement that ensures disclosed information is kept confidential and only used for the purposes defined in the non-disclosure (aka, confidentiality) agreement.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports basic research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Information on upcoming NSF grant conferences, webcasts from previous conferences, and other NSF grant-related resources can be accessed here.
NSF Account Management
Information site for NSF Research.gov and FastLane account setup and management. Video tutorials, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and information on registering new organizations and adding account roles are provided.
Research.gov provides grants management services for NSF programs including account management, award cash management, notifications & requests, password management, proposal preparation & submission, project reporting, proposal status, and more.
– O –
An ORCID id is a unique identifier for researchers, and is used across the project lifecycle, from proposal through publication. Some sponsors require now, or will soon require, that key personnel have their ORCID id number included in proposals or publications. The CSU faculty activity system Digital Measures is integrated with ORCID.
An over-expenditure exists when the actual expenditures in any project account are greater than the sponsor-approved budget for a given budget period, or when the actual expenditures are less than budgeted on a cost-reimbursable award but exceed the final billed amount sent to the sponsor. Over expenditures must be corrected following University procedures.
– P –
Participant Support Costs
As defined by 2 CFR Part 200.75, “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.”
Principal Investigator (PI)
The individual judged by the applicant/awarding organization as having the level of authority and responsibility to direct the sponsored project or program. The PI is responsible for ensuring expenditures are in accordance with sponsor and institutional regulations, policies, and procedures and responsible for regulatory compliance, effort reporting, and technical reporting to the sponsor.
As defined by 2 CFR Part 200.209, pre-award costs are costs or expenses incurred by the applicant prior to the award start date of the period of performance. Pre-award costs should be necessary for effective project execution, require sponsor approval, and follow the same cost principles as expenses charged during the project period. Not all sponsors or award types allow for pre-award costs.
Prime Recipient (aka, Prime Awardee or Prime Contractor)
The recipient initially receiving the award that launches the project or program. In cases where CSU is a subrecipient, the prime recipient may be another institution of higher education.
Prior Written Approval
As defined by 2 CFR Part 200.407, a non-Federal entity may seek prior written approval in advance of incurring special or unusual costs (such as pre-award costs).
“Program income means 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…” For more on program income, see 2 CRF Part 200.80.
– R –
Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC)
Independent non-profit organization which is comprised of active certified research administrators. Provides certification on fundamental knowledge to be a professional research or sponsored programs administrator (Certified Research Administrator; Certified Pre-award Research Administrator; Certified Financial Research Administrator).
Research Administration Listserv (RESADM-L)
A discussion list focused on research administration topics such as grant funding, proposal submissions, project budgeting, eRA, regulatory compliance, educational opportunities, and job postings. Subscribers include professionals from universities, hospitals, government, and non-profit research labs.
Residual Funds (aka, Residual Revenue)
Revenue remaining in a fixed-price fund after all obligations to the sponsor have been met and after all allowable costs have been charged. At CSU, after a fixed-price agreement has ended, residual funds are reclassified as unrestricted funds through a Sweep process.
Records associated with federally-funded sponsored programs must be retained for the later of six (6) years following submission of the final financial report or until all existing audit questions have been resolved.
– S –
SciENcv (Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae)
SciENcv is a tool that allows investigators to enter professional information such as expertise, employment history, education, and professional accomplishments in one place and propagate it to multiple places. For example, research profile data entered into SciENcv can be used to create biographical sketches for NSF, NIH, and the US Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences (IES).
Service Centers (aka, Specialized Service Facilities)
Some CSU departments or units have centers or facilities that charge for goods or services that directly support the research or academic mission of the University and recover costs through charges to internal and external users. These centers are expected to recover no more than aggregate costs of their operations through charges to users. Service center fees and charges are allowable as a direct charge and should be charged in accordance with the established service center rates.
Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI)
A member organization of research administration professionals with a mission “To develop, define and promote international best practices in research management, administration, knowledge transfer, and growth of the research enterprise.”
State of Colorado (Colorado.gov)
Provides links to all of Colorado’s State Agencies and online resources.
Small Business Subcontracting Plan
Federal contractors are required to have a small business subcontracting plan in place for federal contracts exceeding $700K. The subcontracting plan must specify dollar and percent goals for subcontracting to small, HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business) small, small disadvantaged, small women-owned, veteran-owned small, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. This plan must be in place prior to award and should be updated annually.
A sponsored program is a project or activity supported wholly or in part by external, restricted funds that are awarded to the University. These projects often originate with a faculty or staff member and may take the form of research, instruction, or public service.
Sponsored projects usually include a line item budget that reflects the monetary needs of the proposed project. This budget may or may not include indirect (aka, Facilities and Administrative) costs. The absence of indirect costs does not exclude the project from being designated as a sponsored project. Even the terms “grant” or “gift” do not determine how the funds should be administered. It’s not the name of the funds, the process by which funds are acquired, nor the source of the funds, that determines how funds are to be administered. It is the terms and conditions surrounding the funds that determine if the funds belong to the sponsored programs sub-fund (at CSU, often referred to as the 53 number).
Statement of Work (SOW)
A statement of work (SOW) describes the work to be performed on a given project. The SOW should address the tasks to be performed, the deliverables to be provided and may contain dates deliveries are to be made or a timeline for project performance.
A subaward (or subcontract) is provided by a pass-through entity to a subrecipient to carry out part of a Federal or non-Federal award received by the pass-through entity. For example, when CSU receives an award that includes other institutions or organizations that will be programmatically and financially responsible for completing part of the project’s scope of work, a subaward agreement is issued.
A subrecipient is the entity that receives a subaward or subcontract from a pass-through entity to carry out part of a program. Subrecipients have responsibility for the programmatic decisions related to their part of the work and must meet the same performance requirements as the pass-through entity with respect to the terms and conditions of the award.
Sweep is the process of reclassifying unspent direct dollars from fixed priced agreements to “unrestricted,” as any residual funds become institutional funds once the project is completed.
– U –
An unallowable cost is one that is not eligible for reimbursement. Generally, costs are considered allowable when they are necessary, reasonable, and allocable to the project/program; comply with the limitations of the award agreement as well as other applicable laws and regulations, and are accounted for consistently and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Costs that do not meet these criteria should be excluded from any proposal or billing.
Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200)
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirement is a set of rules and requirements for Federal awards that provides a “government-wide framework for grants management.”
Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)
UEI is a number used to uniquely identify business entities (formerly DUNS). The UEI is generated in the System for Award Management (SAM) and is required for doing business with the government.
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