(Note: You may also wish to visit the UI-DSP Acronym Directory.)
AAALAC Accreditation: The University of Iowa has been accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. Accreditation by the AAALAC denotes excellence in animal care and use. Application forms requesting an AAALAC accreditation number are asking for the date of the University of Iowa’s accreditation.
Administrative Invention Agreement: The Administrative Invention Agreement, which is distributed to the principal investigator with the Award Activation Authorization Notice, documents the principal investigator and DEO’s acceptance of responsibility for managing a project in accordance with sponsor and University of Iowa policy. The agreement must also be signed by all key personnel to confirm their intent to abide by the UI’s Patent Policy and Conflict of Interest policy. Completion of the Administrative Invention Agreement is mandatory.
Advance Master File Key: principal investigator may request an advance master file key number when it is known that the award for their project will be made effective on a certain date. An advance master file key number enables PI’s to begin spending funds from their grant or contract before it is formally awarded. The PI’s department must agree to accept full responsibility for these expenditures if the project is not eventually funded. A request for an advance master file key number must be made using the Request for Advance MFK Account Submission form in UIRIS.
Allowable Costs: A project’s allowable costs are those direct costs that are eligible, reasonable, necessary, and allocable to the project according to the Uniform Guidance (200.403 - Factors affecting allowability of costs).
Applied Research: Applied research is the application of scientific knowledge to the solution of a specific, defined problem.
Assurances: Each grant application to a federal sponsor requires that a variety of assurances and certifications be verified by the signature of the Institutional Official signing for the University. Grant applications may include one or more forms that address these requirements or include a statement that the signature of the Institutional Official automatically certifies to the federal agency that the University is in compliance. For standard assurances, see Assurances.
Authorized Signature/Authorized Official: An authorized official is the person legally authorized to sign outgoing proposals, contracts, and agreements on behalf of the University of Iowa. The authorized signature is that person''s signature. An authorized signature implies that the UI endorses the proposed project and is prepared to accept responsibility for it. Daniel Reed, Vice President for Research, is the authorized official for most proposals. Division of Sponsored Programs assistant and associate directors and director have the authority to sign for Vice President Reed. A contract, however, is not legal until it has been signed by one of a limited number of authorized officials - see Authorized UI Signatures and Contract Information.
Award: An award is the actual provision of funds to the University of Iowa by the sponsor. Awards are made for approved proposals, and represent an agreement between the sponsor and the UI to carry out the proposed research. With the acceptance of an award, the UI assumes Project Management Responsibilities.
Award Activation Authorization Notice (AAAN): An Award Authorization Activation Notice is issued by the Division of Sponsored Programs authorizing the opening of an account and the assignment of a grant program number by the Grant Accounting Office, as well as notifiying departmental and collegiate officials of the award and its stipulations. The AAAN is sent to principal investigators and departmental contacts as official notification that the University has accepted an award and that an MFK number has been established for the project. The AAAN identifies the sponsor, the sponsor’s identification number, the amount of the award, the start and end dates for the budget and project periods, the MFK number, and the names and phone numbers of contacts in Sponsored Programs and Grant Accounting.
Budget: A budget is an estimation of the costs of a proposed project, including direct costs and F&A costs. Budgets generally consist of an itemized list of expenses, an explanation of the expenses, and a justification of why those expenses are necessary.
CFDA (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance): The CFDA is a listing of all federal domestic assistance programs, including grants and contracts. Each federal program is given a CFDA identification number. This CFDA number may be used by agencies to identify the specific division or program accepting grant applications, and is occasionally requested on budgets.
CFR (Code of Federal Regulations): The CFR is a collection of the general and permanent rules of the Executive departments and agencies of the federal government. The CFR is divided into 50 titles which represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each title is divided into chapters which usually bear the name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts covering specific regulatory areas. The CFR is available online at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html.
Challenge Grant: A challenge grant is a grant in which a sponsor provides funds to help institutions and organizations secure long-term support for improvements in the institution. Most challenge grants provide one dollar for every three or four dollars raised by the recipient through a special fund or pledge drive. The amount of funding an institution receives from the sponsor generally depends on the amount of funding the institution can provide, within fixed upper and lower limits.
Clinical Trial: A clinical trial is a contract supported by a corporation, generally a pharmaceutical company, that involves evaluation by the university of the corporation’s technology or product. Clinical trials almost always involve human subjects. Clinical trials are processed by the Division of Sponsored Programs.
Co-investigator: A co-investigator is a researcher on a project other than the PI (lead researcher). A co-investigator may be designated as a sub-investigator by having a funding sub-increment established in his or her name.
Committed Cost Sharing: Committed cost sharing is a type of cost sharing in which cost sharing is not required by the sponsor but is shown on the budget, usually in the form of contributed effort of the principal investigator or other project staff, and is paid from university or non-federal funds.
Community of Science (COS): COS is a commercial web-based database to which the University has a paid subscription. Through COS, faculty and staff members may search for funding sources, previously funded research, and researchers at other institutions. UI researchers can create individual COS profiles that detail their research interests and academic careers. COS is accessible to anyone with a uiowa.edu address.
Competitive Renewal: A competitive renewal is a request for additional funding after a funded project has been completed. For instance, a PI would submit a competitive renewal application if his or her 5-year grant were completed but he or she wanted another year of funding. Competitive renewal requests must be routed through the Division of Sponsored Programs in the same way as new proposals.
Consortium Agreement: A consortium agreement is a collaborative arrangement in support of a research project in which some portion of the research is carried out through a formal agreement between the university and one or more outside organizations.
Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA): Also referred to as Non-Disclosure Agreements, confidential disclosure agreements are executed whenever confidential information is disclosed, received, or exchanged by or within the University of Iowa. The purpose of the agreement is to protect the disclosing party’s information from being disclosed to third parties without the knowledge or prior approval of the disclosing party. CDA’s are commonly used to protect proprietary information on industrial technology or products; intellectual property; or unpublished research advances so that information can be exchanged during the development of industrial sponsored agreements with the UI. More information regarding CDAs.
Confidential Information: Confidential information is information exchanged between two parties that the receiving party is required to keep confidential and not disclose to a third party. (see also proprietary information and Proprietary Data)
Conflict of Interest: Federal regulations and University policies and procedures require disclosure and management of actual or apparent conflicts of interest related to sponsored programs. Any personnel involved in a sponsored program in which they have a significant financial interest must complete and submit the Financial Interest in Research Disclosure Form. For more information, please see the Conflict of Interest website.
Contract: A contract is a legally binding agreement between the university and a sponsor to provide a service in return for compensation. Both the university and the sponsor receive benefit from the contractual relationship. A contract obligates the university to provide a product or service. It also obligates the sponsor to pay an agreed-upon amount for that product or service. All University of Iowa contracts must be signed by an authorized official. Contracts are processed by the Division of Sponsored Programs. For a sample University of Iowa standard industrial contract, click here.
Cooperative Agreement: A cooperative agreement is a type of grant requiring a written agreement in which substantial cooperation and interaction is anticipated between the sponsor and the University during the performance of the project.
Cost Sharing: Cost sharing, or matching, refers to the portion of project costs borne by the University, rather than the sponsor. Some sponsors require organizations to reflect their commitment to a project by sharing in its costs. Types of cost sharing include mandatory cost sharing, committed cost sharing, voluntary cost sharing, matching, and in-kind contributions, as well as equipment and non-equipment cost sharing.
Departmental Executive Officer (DEO): The Departmental Executive Officer is responsible for assuring that costs incurred under sponsored projects conducted within their department comply with sponsor and University of Iowa policies and are within the resources available to project directors. If project overexpenditures occur, the DEO is responsible for covering those overexpenditures from other departmental resources.
Direct Costs: Direct costs are the costs of a project that can be clearly identified with that specific project. They include: salaries and fringe benefits of investigators and staff, equipment and supplies, consultant fees, patient costs, travel costs, etc.
DUNS Number: The DUNS number is a nine-digit number assigned to businesses and organizations by the Dun & Bradstreet corporation as a means of identification and classification.
Equipment: Equipment is defined as any item costing $5,000 (effective July 1, 2005) or more that can be used for two years. Each piece of equipment requested should be described in the budget section of a proposal.
Equipment Cost Sharing: Equipment cost sharing is a form of cost sharing in which the University bears some or all of the costs of a piece of equipment. At the University of Iowa, the Office of the Vice President for Research and External Relations maintains a fund that may be used for equipment cost sharing costs if the sponsor requires or "strongly encourages" equipment cost sharing. For more information, click here.
ERA / eRA (Electronic Research Administration): ERA is the umbrella term for research administration record keeping through computers and the Internet. The University of Iowa’s UIRIS system is an example of ERA, as is NIH’s RePORT database and NSF’s Fastlane proposal submission system.
Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A Costs): Also called “indirect costs,” F&A costs are the costs of research that cannot be easily identified with or charged to a specific project. Expenses such as facility maintenance, depreciation, utility costs, library expenses, sponsored programs administration, and general department administration may be fully or partially covered through F&A costs. Since F&A costs cannot be itemized for specific projects, they are calculated using a fixed percentage rate.
Federal Pass-Through Funds: Federal pass-through funds are funds from a federal sponsor that come to the University of Iowa through a third party. For example, if the National Institutes of Health give the University of Wisconsin a grant and the University of Wisconsin subcontracts some of the work involved in that grant out to the University of Iowa, the funds in that subcontract are federal pass-through funds.
Fellowship: Fellowships are a type of external funding that generally consists of a stipend for an individual''s research. Fellowships often give graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty members an opportunity to work closely with a senior scholar or develop their career in a specific manner.
Final Financial Report: A final financial report is required by all federal sponsors and many non-governmental sponsors. Final reports are prepared by the University of Iowa Grant Accounting Office based on sponsor regulations at the end of a funding period and sent to the principal investigator for approval before they are sent to the sponsor.
Final Invention Report / Final Patent Report: A final invention report must be sent to all federal sponsors at the end of a funding period. The report must list all inventions that were conceived or reduced to practice during the funding period. The principal investigator must prepare and sign this report and have it signed by an authorized university official, even if no inventions were conceived during the funding period.
Final Technical Report: A final technical report is the performance report submitted to federal sponsors by the principal investigator after the end of a funding period. The final technical report should include a comparison of actual accomplishments with the goals and objectives established for the period; reasons why goals were not met, if applicable; and other pertinent information, such as justification for high costs or overruns. Unless otherwise indicated, final technical reports are due to the sponsor 90 days after the end of the funding period. A copy of all final technical reports should be sent to the Division of Sponsored Programs.
Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits are the costs of keeping employees other than salary. These include health and life insurance, administrative costs, and retirement plan contributions. Fringe benefit rates are calculated using fixed percentages that vary depending on the employee’s classification and often change from year to year.
Gift: A gift is a type of funding voluntarily given by the sponsor to the university without anything being given in return to the sponsor. The university is free to use non-restricted gifts however it wishes. Restricted gifts must be used for the specific purpose designated by the sponsor. Gifts are generally processed by the University of Iowa Foundation.
Grant: A grant is a type of funding awarded to the university as additional resources to support previously approved instruction, research, or public service. Grants are usually given to accomplish a specific public purpose, and are generally solicited by the submission of proposals. The terms of a particular grant determine how the award is processed and used. Grants are processed by the Division of Sponsored Programs.
Grant Accounting Office (GAO): The University of Iowa Grant Accounting Office provides post-award services associated with the fiscal management of sponsored programs, including establishing and maintaining the accounting and budget records for sponsored programs, interpreting sponsor and University fiscal policies for faculty and staff, providing financial information relative to sponsored programs, monitoring expenditures under sponsored programs for compliance with sponsor and University policies and procedures, preparing financial reports to sponsors, and carrying out all cash management responsibilities associated with the funding of sponsored programs. The Grant Accounting Office is located at 118 S. Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA 52242. The main phone number is 335-3801.
Grant/Contract Number: The grant/contract number is a number assigned by the sponsor to a grant or contract for its own use and records. Each sponsor uses a different format for their grant/contract numbers.
Grant/Program Number: The grant/program number is an eight-digit internal University of Iowa number that is part of the master file Key MFK number.
Human Subjects: Human subjects are individuals whose physiologic or behavioral characteristics and responses are the object of study in a research project. Under federal regulations, human subjects are defined as: living individual(s) about whom an investigator conducting research obtains: (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual; or (2) identifiable private information.
In-Kind Contribution: An in-kind contribution is a type of cost sharing that consists of a non-cash donation to a project. In-kind contributions are generally made by the university or non-federal third parties. In-kind contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, and the value of goods and services directly benefiting a specific project.
Increment: An increment is one distinct piece of funding (from a grant or contract). For example, a three-year grant is commonly divided into three separate pieces of funding, one per year for three years. Each of the three separate pieces of funding is separate increment and has its own sequence number. An increment can span several years, or just a part of a year, depending on how the funding is distributed by the sponsor. Increments can be further divided into sub-increments.
Indirect Costs: See Facilities and Administrative Costs.
Institutional Official: The institutional official is the person who provides the authorized signature.
Key Personnel: The term “key personnel” refers to the project director or principal investigator and other individuals associated with the technical direction of the project, generally senior project staff members.
Mandatory Cost Sharing: Mandatory cost sharing is cost sharing that is required by a sponsor as a condition for making an award. It generally requires the university to contribute a certain overall percentage of project costs.
Master File Key (MFK): The MFK is a forty-digit number assigned to grants and contract for University of Iowa internal accounting purposes. The MFK is made up of 11 elements and sub-elements that classify a grant or contract by department, division, etc. For more about the master file key.
Matching: The terms “matching” and “cost sharing” are often used interchangeably, although “matching” typically refers to a situation in which sponsors require the university to “match” sponsor funding according to a specified ratio.
Material Transfer Agreement (MTA): A material transfer agreement defines the terms under which research materials are exchanged between investigators and institutions and are to be used in research. MTA’s can apply to materials coming to the University of Iowa or materials owned by the UI that are being transferred to researchers outside the university. A special form is required for either purpose. For more information, please see Material Transfer Agreements.
New Application: A new application is a request for funding from a sponsor that has not been previously submitted to that sponsor.
Non-Competitive Renewal: A non-competitive renewal is a request for funding of a project that is not completed. For example, a PI would submit a non-competitive renewal application for the third year of funding in a five-year grant. Each successive year of funding is dependent on a renewal request that often includes a progress report and a budget for the upcoming year. These renewal requests must be routed through the Division of Sponsored Programs in the same way as new proposals. (Even if a budget is not required by the sponsor, the renewal request must be routed with a budget for internal UI use.)
Non-Equipment Cost Sharing: Non-equipment cost sharing is a form of cost sharing in which the University bears some of the non-personnel costs of a project, such as supplies or travel. At the University of Iowa, the Office of the Vice President for Research and External Relations maintains a small fund that may be used for non-equipment cost sharing costs if the sponsor requires or "strongly encourages" non-equipment cost sharing. For more information, click here.
OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Circulars (see Uniform Guidance): The federal Office of Management and Budget released the OMB circulars to set forth policies and procedures for grants and contracts that are used by the federal government and organizations that receive federal funds. Prior to December 26, 2014, the University of Iowa was subject to OMB A-21 for cost principles, OMB A-110 for administrative requirements, and OMB A-133 for audit requirements. OMB Circulars A-21, A-110 and A-133 were superseded by a new set of regulations (see Uniform Guidance), effective December 26, 2014.
Organized Research Unit: An organized research unit performs research and complements the activities of academic departments. To qualify as an organized research unit, a UI research unit must consist of more than one researcher, receive funding from sources other than departmental allocation, have access to UI facilities and services, be directed by an individual drawn from the faculty or equivalent ranks, participate in the university’s educational functions but not grant degrees, be more than a facilitator of research (such as a computer lab), and be located on central campus or be accountable to the university. For more information, please see the UI Centers Policy.
Original Sponsor: The original sponsor of a grant or contract is the agency or organization that initially provides the funding for a project. If NIH awarded funding to the American Heart Association, which then used all or part of that award to fund a project at the University of Iowa, NIH would be the original sponsor of the project. The American Heart Association would still be the sponsor. The original sponsor is also known as the prime sponsor.
Pass-through funding: funding that originates with one agency and is awarded through another, intermediary agency. Pass-through funding is at play, for example, in relation to subaward applications: If the NIH awards a grant to the University of Texas, and the University of Texas then subawards a portion of that funding to UI, the NIH funding would be passing through UT to arrive at UI.
Post-award Administration: Post-award administration refers to all administrative activities that take place after a grant or contract has been awarded. These may include a change of PI, a transfer of equipment, changes in the amount of effort put forth by key personnel, and the submission of progress reports.
Postmark Deadline: A postmark deadline is the date by which a proposal or application must be postmarked. The sponsor does not need to receive the proposal by the postmark deadline. In order for DSP to mail proposals with a postmark deadline, the proposal must be delivered to us by noon on the day of the postmark deadline.
Preliminary Proposal: Occasionally, sponsors will request preliminary proposals for a funding competition. These proposals are usually smaller and less detailed than full proposals. Sponsors generally use preliminary proposals to determine which projects merit the submission and review of a full proposal.
Prime Sponsor: The prime sponsor is the agency or organization that initially provides the funding for a project. If NIH awarded funding to the American Heart Association, which then used all or part of that award to fund a project at the University of Iowa, NIH would be the prime sponsor of the project. The American Heart Association would still be the sponsor. The prime sponsor is also known as the original sponsor.
Principal Investigator (PI): The PI is the lead researcher of a project, and is sometimes called the project director. Principal investigators may be faculty members, qualified Professional and Scientific staff members, or postdoctoral scholars.
Program Announcement (PA): Program announcements describe the availability of research opportunities in particular areas. The announcement may be for a new funding program, a new topic of interest in a scientific area, or an ongoing funding program.
Progress Report: Progress reports are scheduled periodic reports that may be required by the sponsor. Subsequent funding increments may be contingent on the timely submission satisfactory progress reports.
Project: A project can be either a grant or a contract, and is composed of one or more funding increments. For example, a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health is usually composed of five one-year increments which, when taken together, make up a project. Some projects have only one increment, while others can have dozens of increments. During the project period, the PI undergoes the research and activities described in his or her proposal.
Project Director: See “principal investigator.”
Proposal: A proposal is a request for the funding of a sponsored program. A proposal should include all the information necessary to fully describe research plans, including staff capabilities, resources, and a budget.
Proposal summary: see “Routing Form.”
Proprietary Information: Proprietary information is confidential information that constitutes a trade secret and/or information that is commercial or financial and confidential and privileged.
Receipt Deadline: A receipt deadline is the date by which a sponsor must receive a proposal or application. In order for DSP to mail proposals with a receipt deadline, the proposal must be delivered to us by noon on the day before the receipt deadline.
Request for Application (RFA): An RFA is an announcement by a sponsor that indicates the availability of funding for research in a specific area. The announcement generally includes the amount of funds the sponsor intends to spend in that research area, the number of awards likely to be made, and a unique deadline for applications.
Research Administration Handbook (RAH): A descriptive summary of basic information on the preparation, processing, and postaward management of applications for external funding.
Research Project Profile: The Research Project Profile documents the relationships of a corporate- or industry-sponsored program to the mission of the University of Iowa. The Research Project Profile is prepared by the PI prior to the initiation of the project, and must accompany the routing form when a contract proposal is routed through the department, college, and DSP. A University account will not be established for a project until the Research Project Profile has been evaluated to determine the account’s tax status.
Resource Information Center: Located in Room 100 of Gilmore Hall, the Resource Information Center provides grantseekers with tools for finding and applying for funding, including books, electronic databases, Internet resources, and directories.
Resubmission: 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 the proposal. 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 and should be routed through DSP.
Revised Budget: A revised budget is is a revision of the budget for a previously submitted proposal, and is submitted to a sponsor only at the request of the sponsor. The sponsor will usually suggest the areas and categories in which a budget should be revised. All revised budgets should be routed through DSP.
Routing Form: (also known as the Proposal Summary) The routing form is an internal University of Iowa document that summarizes important regulatory and legal information about a proposal. Routing forms must be filled out and submitted electronically and printed out to accompany the printed proposal to DSP. Routing forms must be signed by the PI, the department head, and the dean to ensure UI approval for the proposal. The routing form is available through the University of Iowa's UIRIS system. (When DSP staff members speak of "routing" a proposal, they refer to the process of filling out the routing form, obtaining the required signatures, and bringing the routing form and the proposal to DSP for review.)
Routing Number: The routing number is an eleven-digit number (beginning with an “R”) that DSP assigns to each submitted Routing Form in order to track and identify individual routing forms. The routing number is an internal University of Iowa number and is not used by sponsor.
Scope of Work: In a contract, the scope of work is a statement of all work involved in the contract that was fairly and reasonably within the contemplation of the parties at the time the contract was made.
Sequence Number: A sequence number is a unique seven-digit number that DSP assigns to each submitted proposal in order to track and identify the proposals. The sequence number is an internal University of Iowa number and is not used by the sponsor.
SPIN (Sponsored Programs Information Network): SPIN is a searchable funding opportunity database to which the University of Iowa maintains a paid subscription. SPIN is available to anyone with a uiowa.edu address.
Sponsor Award Number/Sponsor Identification Number: Also known as the grant/Contract Number, the Sponsor Award Number is a number assigned by the sponsor to a grant or contract for the sponsor’s own use and records.
SPRIE (Sponsored Programs Research Information Electronically): SPRIE is a searchable database of all external funding received by the University of Iowa over the past 30 years. In order to access SPRIE, UI faculty and staff must apply for access to UIRIS.
Statement of Work: The statement of work is the portion of a contract which describes the actual work to be done by the contractors, including precise specifications, performance dates, and quality requirements.
Subcontract: A subcontract is an agreement in which the university transfers some of funds from a grant or contract to another institution in exchange for specific services. If, for example, the University of Iowa receives a grant from the National Institutes of Health, but wants some of the research to be performed by the University of Wisconsin, the University of Iowa would negotiate a subcontract with the University of Wisconsin that specifies the research to be performed and the amount of funding that will be transferred.
Sub-increment: A sub-increment is a piece of a funding increment that is reserved for a specific sub-investigator. A funding increment may be broken up into several sub-increments, each belonging to a specific sub-investigator. Any PI or co-investigator that receives a sub-increment is also known as a sub-investigator.
Sub-investigator: Any investigator (including the PI) that receives a sub-increment is also known as a sub-investigator. A co-investigator may be designated as a sub-investigator by having a funding sub-increment established in his or her name.
Teaming Agreement: A teaming agreement is an arrangement in which two or more parties form a joint venture to act as one party or when an institution agrees with one or more parties to have them act as subcontractors.
UIRIS (University of Iowa Research Information System): UIRIS is the University of Iowa’s electronic, web-based system for tracking and storing external funding data. The searchable database SPRIE is part of UIRIS, as is the Routing Form. In order to use UIRIS, UI faculty and staff must apply for access privileges at http://uiris.research.uiowa.edu/.
UI WINS (Winning Institutional Nomination System): UI WINS is the university’s internal system for selecting nominees for prestigious prizes and awards that limit the number of applicants accepted from one institution. Faculty members electronically submit a two-page CV and a research abstract, which are reviewed by a committee of administrators and research deans.
Uniform Guidance (see also OMB Circulars): Effective December 26, 2014, the Uniform Guidance superseded OMB circulars (A-21, A-110, A-133) setting forth policies and procedures for grants and contracts used by the federal government and organizations (such as the University of Iowa) that receive federal funds. The University of Iowa now follows the Uniform Guidance policies and procedures for cost principles, administrative requirements, and for audit requirements, effective December 26, 2014.
Voluntary Cost Sharing: Voluntary cost sharing is a type of cost sharing in which cost sharing 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.
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