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Sponsored projects definitions


Activity distribution report. See Effort Report. ADR’s were used to document effort prior to the 2007 establishment of the current Effort Reporting System within PeopleSoft.

Advantage. The legacy centralized information system that processed purchasing / financial documents, provided financial status updates and used to produce monthly accounting reports. Advantage was maintained by the ASU Financial Services, which reports to the Office of the Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer and was replaced by the University’s new financial system, Workday, effective July 1st, 2018.

After the fact. If a proposal was submitted to a sponsor without using the internal routing process, then the subsequent routing of internal forms for approval is considered “after the fact.”

Agency/org. Short for Agency/Organization. Also known as an account number, this code uniquely identifies each award within the university financial system.

Allocable cost. A cost that is chargeable or assignable to a cost objective on the basis of relative benefits received or other equitable relationship.

Allowable costs. Determined by the Office of Management and Budget, the sponsor’s requirements and/or university policy. Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) defines allowable costs as those that are: 1. Reasonable; 2. Allocable to the project; 3. Given consistent treatment by use of generally accepted accounting principles; 4. Conform to any limitations or exclusions set forth by the sponsored agreement or Uniform Guidance.

Amendment. See Modification.

Anticipated Future funding. When a sponsor plans to give funding in increments, they will indicate an amount obligated (committed), plus the additional amount of funding anticipated in the future. Generally, the sponsor’s commitment for future funding is contingent on the availability of funds and satisfactory technical progress. See Understanding Your Notice of Award (NOA).

Application fees. Fees or charges required by a sponsor in order to submit a proposal or application or funding.\

Arizona Board of Regents. The governing body of Arizona’s public university system, providing policy guidance to Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, The University of Arizona and their branch campuses.

Arizona State University Foundation. The applicant for charitable grants and the receiver of unrestricted gifts to ASU.

Assurances. See Certifications.

Audit Generally a verification of compliance. Audits can be programmatic or financial and involve different types of testing and assessments, depending upon the audit purpose, source of funding and auditor affiliation.

Award. Funds provided from an external sponsor for support of a project at ASU. This term is used for both original award and supplements; it can mean monies or equipment.

Award management Team. The Award Management Team is part of Research Operations and provides oversight and interpretation of agency and other federal regulations for determining if adequate systems are in place for proper charging, documentation, reporting and reimbursement of expenditures to sponsored accounts.


Background intellectual property. IP that was conceived, created, or developed prior to, or independent of, any research performed pursuant to the Agreement and necessary for or used in the performance of the project.

Basis limit. WorkDay term which refers to the ceiling on the amount of direct costs to which F&A may be applied.

Broad agency announcement. An announcement that is general in nature and that identifies areas of research interest, including criteria for selecting proposals, and soliciting the participation of all offerers capable of satisfying the government’s needs.

Budget. A detailed statement outlining estimated projects costs to support the sponsored project.

Budget category. A portion of the budget designated for certain kinds of expenditures. A budget must be directly related to the research project. Reviewers will look for a reasonable budget based on the needs of the sponsored project. Typical budget categories include: Personnel Costs (Salaries, Fringe Benefits), Travel, Equipment, Subcontractors, etc).


Capital equipment. An article of property that is not permanently attached to buildings or grounds and that has an acquisition cost of at least $5,000 (exclusive of sales and/or use tax, freight, and installation) and a life expectancy of at least one year. To be considered equipment, computer software must be at least $5 million. Fabricated equipment (constructed from individual parts by ASU and identifiable as a discrete item) is also capitalized as long as the completed fabrication is at least $5,000 (See RSP 505-06).

Certifications. Requirements from external entities where anyone that wishes to apply for awards must complete. Requires entities to represent/certify to a a variety of statements ranging from environmental rules to entity size representation.

Charitable grant. As determined by the Internal Revenue Code, charitable organizations are tax-exempt; categorized as a 501(c)(3); and gifts/grants are provided to support activities for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes.

For ASU purposes, in order for a charitable grant proposal to be submitted by the ASU Foundation as the applicant and for the award to be administered by Research Operations, on behalf of Arizona State University, at least one of the following criteria must be met:

  • Specific statement of work
  • Budget
  • Specific PI or PD named

Classified information. Per The Federal Acquisition Regulations System, means any knowledge that can be communicated or any documentary material, regardless of its physical form or characteristics, that:

  • (i) Is owned by, is produced by or for, or is under the control of the United States government; or (ii) Has been classified by the Department of Energy as privately generated restricted data following the procedures in 10 CFR 1045.21; and
  • Must be protected against unauthorized disclosure according to Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security Information, April 17, 1995, or classified in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

Classified material management group. Responsible for the negotiation, execution, and administration of user agency contracts involving classified material; each member of the Classified Material Management Group shall have an appropriate security clearance. MG shall be designated to review classified materials on behalf of Arizona Board of Regents.

Clinical research. Investigation or experiment that involves research with one or more human subject (or on material of human origin such as tissues or specimens) that is patient oriented. Not all research meeting this definition meets the criteria for a clinical trial.

Clinical trial. A prospective, biomedical or behavioral research study of human subjects that is designed to answer specific questions about biomedical or behavioral interventions (drugs, biologics, treatments, devices, or new ways of using known drugs, biologics, treatments, or devices). Behavioral interventions are intended to prevent or treat an acute or chronic disease or condition. Clinical trial research involves the evaluating effects of an intervention on biomedical or behavioral human health related to outcomes. This definition is not intended to be inclusive of all clinical research activity.

Cognizant audit agency. The Federal agency designated with responsibility for performing audit-related activities on behalf of the federal government for federally-funded activity at the University. The cognizant audit agency for ASU is the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Collaboration. A collaboration exists when key personnel from different institutions have substantive involvement in the development and performance of the scientific aspects of a project and the sponsor chooses to make only one award, thereby requiring the lead institution to issue subawards to the other collaborating institutions.

Collaborators. Individuals, external to ASU, whose expertise is required by the Principal Investigator to perform the sponsored project scope of work.

Collaborator roles

  • Consultant: Collaboration provided by independent contractors that provides professional services to the university as paid contributors.
  • External investigator: Collaboration provided by researchers from other organizations that provides expertise as unpaid contributors.
  • Subrecipient: Collaboration provided by individuals of a legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to ASU for the use of the funds provided.
  • Partner: Collaboration provided by others external to ASU through a formal partnership agreement that splits the shared responsibility of the project and cooperative effort with ASU.
  • Joint Appointment with ASU: Collaboration provided through an appointment based on a formal Memorandum of Understanding that is agreed to between an external organization and one of their employees and ASU to establish a dual appointment of that individual as an ASU adjunct faculty member.
  • Other: Collaboration provided through means not defined above.

Commingling. The act of mixing funds belonging to one party with those of another party, especially when a fiduciary has responsibility to keep the funds separated.

Complainant. The person who submits a written allegation of misconduct to the senior vice president for the Knowledge Enterprise.

Companion account. Advantage uses specific agency/orgs referred to as companion accounts to account for university funded direct cost project expenditures. The exclusive use of companion accounts for these expenditures permits the University to meet federal accounting requirements regarding sponsored project accounting.

Confidentiality clause. A specific clause in a contract that provides for protection of confidential proprietary information as allowed by Arizona Revised Statutes § 15–1640.

Conflict of interest (disclosure of financial interest) certification. See Certifications.

Consideration. Consideration is anything of value that changes hands between the two parties of contract. Although we usually think of consideration as an exchange of money and goods (or services), consideration may take other forms as well. For example, the waiver of a legal right has been found to be adequate consideration.

Consortium. A consortium is defined as any project that will have multiple members that have come together to jointly fund research projects through pooled membership fees.

Consultant. An individual or business whose expertise is required to perform the project. Services are temporary, special, or highly technical. A consultant may not serve as senior personnel (e.g., Co-Investigator, Principal Investigator).

Continuation proposal/renewal proposal. Additional funding increments for projects beyond the original grant period. See specific sponsor guidelines for submission requirements.

Contract. A mechanism for the procurement of a product or service with specific obligations for both sponsor and recipient. Typically, the sponsor specifies a research topic and the methods for conducting the research in detail, although some sponsors award contracts in response to unsolicited proposals.

Contractor. One who enters into a binding agreement to perform a certain service or provide a certain product in exchange for money, goods, or services.

Contractor purchasing systems review. A complete and in-depth review and evaluation by the U.S. government of ASU’s purchasing system. This evaluation includes the Purchasing Department’s system and ORSPA’s system established for procurements issued under sponsored projects.

Contributed effort. Effort expended on a sponsored project that is not paid for by the sponsor; a form of cost sharing.

Cooperative agreement. A form of federal Assistance. This mechanism is used by federal agencies when a program requires more agency involvement and restrictions than a grant but requires less agency supervision than a contract.

Co-principal investigator. Senior personnel on the project. The internal ERA system only recognizes one principal investigator of record, which is the person with the principal investigator role. Some sponsors may recognize the named Co-PI as sharing equal responsibility for the direction of a research program. In these cases, there is still only one PI of record on the internal documentation. See PI Eligibility.

Cost reimbursement. A contract or grant whereby the sponsor agrees to reimburse ASU based on actual project expenditures incurred during the performance period, up to an agreed amount.

Cooperative research and development agreement. A CRADA provides an opportunity for governmental investigators to join with their colleagues from industry and academia in the joint pursuit of common research goals. The purpose of a CRADA is to make government facilities, intellectual property, and expertise available for collaborative interactions to further the development of scientific and technological knowledge into useful, marketable products.

Cost sharing. The portion of project or program costs not borne by the sponsor. Cost sharing should not be confused with other commitments of internal university resources to the principal investigator’s program, staff, equipment or facilities that are not specifically or solely related to a specific project. For further information about cost sharing, see Cost Sharing.


Danger pay. An allowance for ASU employees who work temporarily in a foreign area designated as a danger pay post by the US Department of State. Danger Pay is based on the employee’s institutional base salary stated in PeopleSoft and the Department of State Allowance Rate. This allowance is calculated using US Department of Labor standards (eight hour work day, five day work week). ASU follows Federal agencies’ policies that maximize the danger pay allowance to a 40-hour work week. Eligible days are weekdays (Monday – Friday, including university observed holidays) on which the ASU traveler spends 4 hours or more in a Danger Pay location.

Travel time to and from the Danger Pay location does not qualify for Danger Pay. Danger Pay begins when the employee’s plane initially lands in the danger pay location.

Debarment and suspension certification See Certifications.

Deemed export. A release of technology and/or software subject to export control regulations to a foreign national inside the United States. A deemed export is considered an export to the home country of the foreign national.

Define opportunity. The process which describes the search for opportunities, institutional and PI eligibility criteria and the requirement for seeking approval where submissions are limited by the sponsor.

Delinquent federal debt certification. See Certifications.

Deliverable. A quantifiable good or service that will be provided as a result of a project. Examples include, but are not limited to, technical reports, software, devices.

Develop proposal. The process of completing a proposal which adheres to sponsor specifications, complying with ASU requirements, including obtaining campus approvals and forwarding the final proposal to PNT for review and submission.

Direct costs. Direct costs charged to sponsored agreements must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable. Those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy. Examples:

  • compensation of employees for performance of work under the sponsored agreement, including related fringe benefit cost;
  • the costs of materials consumed or expended in the performance of the work;
  • other items of expense incurred for the sponsored agreement, provided such costs are consistently treated in like circumstances.

Donated property. Property provided by an outside party for specific activities related to sponsored project and/or research activities of the university; title to the property passes to the university at essentially no cost.

Drug-free workplace certification. A certification where ASU is asked to certify that they will provide a drug-free workplace by notifying employees that unlawful drug use is prohibited and specifying what actions will be taken against employees for violations. Establish an on-going drug-free awareness program that includes employee notification and, as appropriate, rehabilitation. Comply with agency-specific regulations as applicable.


Effort. The amount of time, usually expressed as a percentage of total effort, that an ASU employee spends on activities. Effort on sponsored projects is certified and documented through the Effort Reporting System in PeopleSoft. For the purpose of the Effort Reporting system, effort is all the work performed for compensation by the university. It does not include work done for supplemental pay. The total effort is always equal to 100%even if the employee is part-time or worked only part of the reporting period. If the employee is salaries and works more than 40 hours per week, total effort is still 100%.

Effort report. Effort reporting and certification form required for compliance with federal regulation.

Employee related expenses. Employee related expenses, also known as fringe benefits, is a normal and required direct cost category for most educational institutions. These costs need to be estimated for all employees proposed to work on a project. (Do not be confused by some agency budget forms that call ERE/fringe benefits “overhead.”) ERE comprises the ASU or employer-paid portion of FICA; health, dental, and life insurance; unemployment and worker’s compensation; and retirement costs. ERE represents costs paid by ASU (not the employee).

Enterprise research administration. An integrated system that ASU uses to develop proposals, ensure research integrity and assurance as well as the negotiation and management of awards.

Equipment. Generally, articles of non-expendable tangible personal property having a useful life and an acquisition cost which meet or exceed the established thresholds for defining equipment. Equipment is not a replacement part or component returning a piece of equipment to its original condition. If a component increases the capability of the original equipment and has an acquisition cost that meets or exceeds the established equipment cost thresholds, it is considered a capital item.

Expanded authorities. Policy implemented by some federal granting agencies which delegates certain prior approval authorities to grantee institutions. This delegation allows for internal university approval of administrative and spending actions, thus avoiding delays in project progress.

Export. The (1) actual shipment or transmission of any goods or items subject to export control regulations out of the United States; and (2) release of any covered technology, software (including source code), or technical data to any foreign national whether in the U.S. or abroad.

Export administration Regulations The EAR, codified at 22 CFR Parts 730-774, govern the export of items or technologies that are commercial or “dual use” in nature (i.e., they have both military and commercial applications) and are identified on the Commerce Control List. The EAR are administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, which is responsible for licensing exports of items on the CCL.

Export controls. Governs the shipment, transmission, or transfer of certain sensitive items, information, or software to foreign persons or entities. Where applicable, authorization from the U.S. government in the form of an export license may be required. The sources of export control regulations include: the U.S. Department of Commerce (Export Administration Regulations); the U.S. Department of State (International Traffic in Arms Regulations); and the U. S. Department of the Treasury (Office of Foreign Assets Control).

Extramural support. Funding for research, training or public service programs provided by federal or private sources external to the university.


Fabrication. Equipment that is constructed by combining or assembling modular components and/or materials into one identifiable unit. Procurement of the components and/or materials may preclude open competition and will require the cooperation of the project director, research operations, and purchasing.

Facilities and administrative costs. Overhead, administrative allowance, or occasionally, institutional allowance – these are costs incurred in support of sponsored programs, in general, but not identifiable with any single project. F&A costs are real, auditable costs incurred by the university each time it accepts an award for a sponsored project. Including requests for facilities and administrative costs allows ASU to recover some of its real costs. If the university does not collect full reimbursement for these costs, other university resources must be used to subsidize them. For additional information, see Facilities and Administrative Costs.

Facilities and administrative cost rates. The rates used to recover the facilities and administrative costs of a sponsored project. Negotiated, approved rates are to be used for all agreements with the federal government and for most non-federal projects, as allowable. Information on current facilities and administrative cost rates is available from the Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration.

Facility security officer. The position designated by the Arizona Board of Regents responsible for the oversight and handling of classified materials and obtaining, maintaining, and adequately controlling security clearances held by the university. The director of the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance currently serves in this capacity.

Faculty member. An employee of the board in teaching, research, or service whose notice of appointment is as lecturer, senior lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, or regents professor, or whose notice of appointment otherwise expressly designates a faculty position. Graduate students who serve as assistants, associates, or otherwise are academic appointees as well as graduate students but are not faculty members.

Faculty positions. All ranks of professors; visiting, clinical, and adjunct faculty; lecturers; and faculty associates.

Federal acquisition regulations. The Federal Acquisition Regulations System is established for the codification and publication of uniform policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies. It consists of rules and regulations governing business with federal government. These regulations govern all aspects of federal procurement.

Federal identifier number. When a grant is awarded by a federal agency, it is assigned a unique federal award identifier number specific to that grant. This identifier is required in order to apply for a supplemental, competing continuation or noncompeting continuation application.

Federal-wide assurance. A contract with the federal government stipulating responsibilities of institutional officials, Office of Human Research Administration, the Institutional Review Board, and principal investigators for the conduct of research involving human subjects.

Fixed-price agreement/award. In a “fixed price” award, the principal investigator/ASU agrees to accomplish project objectives within a specific timeframe for a set dollar amount. If the deliverables are not completed within the award period, the PI must continue the project until the deliverables are met. Although this may result in an extension of the project period of performance, an amendment to the agreement is not necessary. The award amount also remains constant, even if actual costs for the project are above or below the amount received from the sponsor.

Fixed-price contract. An award whereby payment is for a set lump sum payment upon satisfactory performance of the terms of the agreement.

Fixed-price residual. The amount of payments exceeding final expenses on a fixed-price sponsored project. The institution retains these funds upon successful completion of the project.

Foreign national. A “foreign national” is anyone who is not a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. (i.e., a “green card” holder) or a “protected individual” as defined in 8 U.S.C. §1324b(a)(3) (e.g., refugees or persons seeking asylum in the U.S.). A foreign national also means any foreign corporation, business association, partnership, or any other entity or group that is not incorporated or organized in the U.S., including international organizations, foreign governments and agencies, and subdivisions of foreign governments. Where a foreign national is a citizen of more than one foreign country, or has citizenship in one foreign country and permanent residence in another, the general rule is that the last permanent resident status or citizenship obtained governs.

Foreign travel. Travel outside of the United States (i.e., the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories and possessions). A trip is considered foreign travel for all legs of the itinerary if the traveler does not return to his or her post prior to departure for a foreign destination.

Freedom of Information Act. Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act is a federal law that established the public’s right to obtain information from federal government agencies. The FOIA is codified at 5 United States Code §552. “Any person” can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, organizations, associations, and universities. In 1974, after the Watergate scandal, the Act was amended to force greater agency compliance. It was also amended in 1996 to allow for greater access to electronic information.

Fringe benefits. See Employee Related Expenses.

Full and open competition. The solicitation of bids from prospective suppliers which is used to assure that all responsible bidders are permitted to compete for the procurement.

Fully burdened F&A rate. ASU’s proposed federal F&A rate without the 26% administrative cap imposed by federal requirements and final rate negotiations. In addition, this rate includes actual costs for the president’s office, general counsel, cost overruns, etc.

Fundamental research. Basic or applied research in science and engineering performed or conducted at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community. Fundamental research is distinguished from research that results in information that is restricted for proprietary reasons or national security reasons or pursuant to specific U.S. government access and dissemination controls.

University research will not be deemed to qualify as fundamental research if:

  1. the university or its researchers accept any restrictions on publication of the scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity, other than limited prepublication reviews by research sponsors to prevent inadvertent disclosure of proprietary information provided to the researcher by the sponsor or to insure that publication will not compromise patent rights of the sponsor, or
  2. the research is funded by the U.S. government and specific access and dissemination controls protecting information resulting from the research have been accepted by the university or the researcher. [The citation for the official definition of fundamental research under the EAR is 15 CFR §734.8; the ITAR citation is 22 CFR §120.11(8).]

Funding opportunity announcement. Describes a program and available funds as well as requirements for proposal preparation and submission.

Funding proposal. An ERA proposal record. All ASU sponsored projects are initially entered in the system as an ERA Funding Proposal. Internal forms, departmental reviews and approvals, and (in some cases) submission to funding sponsors takes place in the Proposals module of ERA Grants.


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

Gift. A unilateral transfer of money, property, or other assets from a donor to the recipient for the recipient’s ownership and use, without restrictions on the recipient in connection with the gift. Unrestrictive gifts and grants normally have the following characteristics:

  1. the statement of work allows the principal investigator significant freedom to manage the project and determine how the assets will be utilized
  2. the award does not require deliverables or detailed technical reports
  3. the award does not require separate accounting procedures or detailed financial reports
  4. the award does not include provisions for audit by or on behalf of the sponsor
  5. the award does not require regulatory oversight in areas such as animal care, human subjects, biosafety, or financial conflict of interest and
  6. the award does not utilize background intellectual property nor stipulate the ownership rights for foreground intellectual property.

Charitable gifts that are unrestricted or in support of a general purpose (versus a project with a scope of work, budget, and PI) will be reviewed, accepted, and administered solely by the ASU Foundation.

Governmental donated property. Property donated or transferred to the institution by a municipality, county, state agency, or the federal government.

Government-furnished equipment. Equipment provided to the university by the federal government or government contractor; title may or may not remain with the government.

Grant. Financial assistance mechanism providing funds to carry out a sponsored project. An agreement to transfer money, property, services, or anything of value to accomplish a purpose, such as support or assistance in an area of interest to the grantor. For an award to be considered a grant, it normally will contain the following elements:

  1. the statement of work allows the principal investigator significant freedom to change emphasis within the general area of work as the project progresses
  2. deliverables are minimal, usually consisting of reports only and
  3. separate accounting procedures are required.

Grant and contract officer. An individual who reviews and submits proposals, and/or provides oversight to ensure that ASU meets the terms of awards and all legal and regulatory requirements and/or ensures that all sponsored project fiscal matters are properly addressed.

Grantee. Organization or individual awarded a grant or cooperative agreement. When the university accepts a grant award, on behalf of an individual, it becomes the grantee.


“High-risk” receivable. Any performance-based contract or award from a private, for-profit company with insufficient advance funding to cover current obligations.

Human subjects. A living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains: 1. Data through intervention or interaction with the individual. 2. Identifiable private information.


Incentive payment. A cash or cash equivalent (such as gift card or course credit) payment to a human subject participant in a research study.

Indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity. A US federal government contracting acronym meaning indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity. This is a type of contract that provides for an indefinite quantity of supplies or services during a fixed period of time.

Identifiable information. Information from which the identity of the subject is or may be readily ascertained or associated.

Indirect costs See Facilities and Administrative Costs.

Indirect cost rates. See Facilities and Administrative Cost Rates.

Informal proposal. See pre-proposal.

Informed consent. A person’s voluntary agreement (or the subject’s legally authorized representative), based upon adequate knowledge and understanding, to participate in human subject research or related activity (e.g., undergo a diagnostic, therapeutic, or preventive procedure), before participating in that activity. In giving informed consent, subjects may not waive or appear to waive any of their legal rights, or release or appear to release the investigator, the sponsor, the institution or agents thereof from liability for negligence. The consent must permit the individual (or legally authorized representative) to exercise free power of choice without undue inducement or any element of deceit, fraud, force, duress, or other form of coercion or constraint.

Infrastructure support. Resources available to conduct research, in general, but which are not specifically committed in quantifiable terms to individual sponsored projects.

In-kind contribution. A non-cash commitment (such as contributed effort, facilities use, or supplies) to share the costs of a sponsored project.

Inquiry. Information-gathering and fact-finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of misconduct warrants investigation.

In-state travel. Travel within the state of Arizona that may, at the discretion of the university, include travel to adjoining states within 100 miles from the Arizona border, excluding travel to Mexico (see RSP 504–01: Sponsored Projects Travel for ASU Employees).

Institutional authorized officials. Individuals authorized by the Board of Regents to sign grants, contracts, and agreements on behalf of ASU.

Institutional eligibility. The criteria which an institution must meet in order to apply for a funding opportunity. See the topical guide, Institutional Eligibility, for additional information.

Intellectual property. Intellectual property is a broad term that encompasses the various intangible products of the intellect of inventors. These include patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, know-how, and other proprietary concepts, including an invention, scientific or technological development, and even computer software and genetically engineered microorganisms.

Institutional review board. A board or committee organized at the university to provide review at the institutional level for ethical concerns in research, such as laboratory animal care and the use of human subjects in research.

Institutional certifications. Certifications containing organizational data and declarations relating to Arizona State University as an institution. These certifications are used to qualify ASU as an eligible, capable and/or compliant sponsored-project recipient. Institutional Certifications may be required with proposal, but they are not project or PI specific.

Interaction. Communication or interpersonal contact between researcher and subject.

Intergovernmental agreement. Two or more public agencies, by direct contract or agreement, may contract for services or jointly exercise any powers common to the contracting parties and may enter into agreements with one another for joint or cooperative action, so long as each agency has been authorized by their legislative or other governing body. (A.R.S. § 11-952).

Internal control. A process, effected by an entity’s management and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in

  1. effectiveness and efficiency of operations
  2. reliability of financial reporting and
  3. compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

International agreement. Any agreement with a foreign country or an agency of a foreign country (including companies, organizations, or governments), or any agreement in which the university will be acting in a foreign country.

International traffic in arms regulations. The ITAR, codified at 22 CFR Parts 120-130, govern the export of articles, services, and related technical data that are inherently military in nature. The U.S. Munitions List identifies the defense articles, services, and related technical data that are inherently military in character and could, if exported, jeopardize national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The ITAR are administered by the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.

International travel. Travel outside of the United States (i.e., the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories and possessions). A trip is considered international travel for all legs of the itinerary if the traveler does not return to his or her post prior to departure for an international destination.

Interrelated projects. Projects supported by multiple federal awards whose interrelationship is demonstrable on the basis of the following criteria: Either (a) the theoretical approaches are interrelated; (b) studies of the same phenomena are conducted by the same or different techniques; or (c) studies of different phenomena are conducted by the same technique.

Intervention. Physical procedure used to gather research data such as a blood test. The term can also refer to manipulating a participant or their surroundings for the purpose of research.

Intra-university consulting pay. Per Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), since intra-university consulting is assumed to be undertaken as a university obligation requiring no compensation in addition to full-time base salary, the principle also applies to faculty members who function as consultants or otherwise contribute to a sponsored agreement conducted by another faculty member of the same institution. However, in unusual cases where consultation is across departmental lines or involves a separate or remote operation, and the work performed by the consultant is in addition to his[/her] regular departmental load, any charges for such work representing extra compensation above the base salary are allowable provided that such consulting arrangements are specifically provided for in the agreement or approved in writing by the sponsoring agency. See ASU Policy ACD-510-04.

Investigation. The formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine whether misconduct has occurred.

Investigator. The principal investigator and any other person (“investigator”) who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research funded in whole or in part by either a public funding entity or a private, for-profit funding entity or that is proposed for funding, in whole or in part, by either.

Investigator allocation change. Investigator allocation changes are an entirely internal process to ASU. As such, they are also known as Internal Allocation Changes. An IAC is a specific type of Award Change Request and is used to update the allocations of REC/RID/IIA on an active sponsored award in ERA. See WI-EP-130 Manage Change.

Investigator incentive award. Investigator Incentive Awards are granted by the KE on awards containing F&A costs if PNT has been furnished the proposal in a timely manner (some restrictions apply). The purpose is to cover certain expenses associated with these activities and to develop additional programming (see RSP 106).

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


Key professional personnel. Key professional personnel (or key personnel) are all individuals who participate in the scientific development or execution of the project. Typically, key personnel have a PhD, EdD or MD, but may also include the master’s or baccalaureate level, provided they contribute in a substantive way to the research.

Knowledge Enterprise. The Knowledge Enterprise (formerly known as the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development) is responsible for the research programs and other sponsored activities of the university. This office provides leadership in the development of policies and procedures that will enhance the research mission while protecting programs and interests of the university.

Knowledge management system. A system for managing knowledge in organizations for supporting creation, capture, storage and dissemination of information. The researchadmin website functions as the KMS for Research Operations.


Lead unit. The academic unit to which the tenured or tenure-eligible principal investigator (PI) is assigned. This unit is designated on the faculty or academic professional’s Notice of Appointment or Joint Appointment. In the case of a Joint Appointment, an academic school, department or program appointment supersedes a center or institute appointment as lead unit.

Legal-age subjects. Persons over 18 years, except where research involves the legal age for consumption of alcohol (21 years).

Legal purpose. A contract must have a lawful purpose in order to be enforceable. For example, a contract to manufacture or sell whiskey would not have been enforceable during Prohibition.

Letter of inquiry. Sometimes referred to as a Letter of Intent, a pre-proposal, or a concept paper, the letter of inquiry is sometimes the first step in working with a sponsor. It allows a sponsor to easily determine whether there is a good match between the sponsor’s interest and the proposer’s project.

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

Limited submission. Occurs when there is a restriction on the number or proposals that an institution may submit to the sponsor for a particular funding opportunity.

Loaned equipment. Property provided by an outside party for use by the institution for sponsored project or research related activities; title to the property does not pass to the university.

Lobbying certification. Applicants for both Federal contracts and Federal grants over $100,000 must certify that no Federal funds were used to pay for lobbying activities. Any non-Federal funds so used, with certain exceptions, must be reported on Standard Form LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, along with the application. OMB A-21 mandates that the costs of lobbying activities cannot be charged directly or indirectly to Federally-sponsored projects.


Mandatory committed cost sharing. Cost sharing required by the sponsor in the application request. It must be quantified in the sponsor award notice, budget, or accompanying narratives. Mandatory cost sharing binds the university to provide and account for resources used in completing the award.

Matching funds. See Cost Sharing. Additional information may also be found on the Cost Sharing page.

Materials. Materials shall mean tangible materials, including but not limited to research tools, biological materials, prototypes, and records used or produced in the course of university research projects.

Material transfer agreement. An MTA is an agreement between two parties which describes the transfer of materials (i.e. biological and research), how they will be used and responsibilities of each party. There are two types of MTAs: Incoming and Outgoing. Incoming MTAs are agreements for materials transferring from an outside entity to ASU. Outgoing MTAs are agreements for materials transferring out of ASU.

Membership fees. Regular fees or charges paid to an organization, often at regular intervals, in exchange for affiliation and associated benefits. Fees may include membership dues, assessment costs, etc.

Minimal risk. The probability and magnitude of physical, psychological, or social harm that is normally encountered in daily life or in routine medical or psychological examination. In any assessment of degree of risk, the age of the subject must be considered.

Misconduct. Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, and other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. Instances of honest error and honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data are not considered misconduct.

Misconduct in science certification. See Certifications.

Modification. Any change made to an existing sponsored agreement.

Modified total direct costs. F&A is applied to all of the direct costs minus the following: equipment with a unit cost greater than or equal to $5,000, tuition/fees, participant support, in/out patient care costs, rental of outside facilities, amounts over the first $25,000 of each subcontract, and alterations/renovations. Alterations/Renovations are defined as having a cost of $15,000 or more per alteration or renovation. Costs of less than $15,000 are considered a miscellaneous expense.


NACUBO code. An expense classification that was established and defined by the National Association of College and University Business Officers to improve comparability of data among institutions of higher education. The NACUBO codes classify the major functions of university activity.

National Security Decision Directive 189. The concept of “fundamental research” was established by National Security Decision Directive 189, which established a national policy with regard to how such research should be treated for purposes of the various export control regimes.

No-cost extension. Provides for an additional period of performance to accomplish project goals. May be handled internally via Federal Standards Research Terms and Conditions in certain circumstances or sought externally from the sponsor.

Non-disclosure agreement. An NDA is an agreement between two or more parties which describes knowledge the parties would like to share with each other for a defined purpose and agree to not disclose information covered by the agreement for a specific period of time. NDAs are also known as Proprietary Information Agreements, Confidential Disclosure Agreements.

NSF survey codes. The National Science Foundation survey is the primary source of information on separately budgeted research and development expenditures by academic institutions in the United States and outlying areas. The survey collects information on R&D expenditures by academic field as well as by source of funds.


Obligated. The dollars committed by a sponsor in a notice of award or award agreement, releasing funding for project costs incurred in a specific period.

OFAC. The Office of Foreign Assets Control, in the U.S. Department of Treasury, administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Offer. An offer is a proposal, by one party to another, of intent to enter into a contract on the terms specified in the offer. In Government procurements, and Invitation for Bids, or Request for Proposals constitutes a request by the Government for offers of a certain nature. The bid or proposal submitted in the response to the solicitation is in fact an offer.

Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration. The Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration is the division of Knowledge Enterprise that provides oversight to ensure that the University meets the terms of awards and all legal and regulatory requirements and that all fiscal matters related to sponsored grants and contracts are properly addressed (including the negotiation of the University’s facilities and administrative cost rates). KE has designated ORSPA as the final institutional signature required for proposal submission and award acceptance.’

Out-of-state travel. Travel within the United States from a point of origin within the State of Arizona to a point of destination outside the State of Arizona and back.

ORSPA action form. The OAF is used for a) change requests; b) requests to establish at-risk accounts; or c) requests for approval of CAS exceptions. This system allows for university approval of administrative, budgeting and spending actions as delegated by certain federal sponsors, and documents the facts pertinent to a request for changes, including the institutional prior approvals.

Overhead. See Facilities and Administrative Costs. Additional Information may also be found at Facilities and Administrative Costs.


Pass-through entity. A non-federal entity that provides a federal award to a subrecipient to carry out a federal program.

Participant. An individual who is a recipient of a service or training session in a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium or other information sharing activity funded by an external grant or award. A participant is not involved in providing deliverables to ASU or to a third party.

Participant support costs. Participant support costs are small incentive payments to individual to attend an educational conference, seminar, workshop, or other training event.

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

Post-term expense. A charge that posts to an account after the end date of the sponsored project.

Pre-proposal. Pre-proposals (also referred to as informal proposals, letter proposals, miniproposals, preliminary proposals, pre-applications, concept papers, or white papers) are frequently requested by agencies in order to evaluate potential applicants. Preproposals require the signature of the lead principal investigator and approval by the Research Advancement staff member. If any university contribution/commitment is required, this should be discussed, in advance, with the appropriate parties. Please note that any university contribution/commitment outlined in a pre proposal is subject to final review and approval if the pre proposal is invited for submission as a formal proposal. Preproposals may take many forms, but typically the agencies request a brief summary (generally 2–5 pages) of the project, personnel, and cost estimate. Informal proposals do not involve a commitment of university resources or a signature on behalf of the university because they are not expected to result directly in an award. The purpose of an informal proposal is usually to inform and interest the potential sponsor reviewing such proposals and to persuade the sponsor to invite the applicant to submit a more detailed formal proposal application.

Principal investigator. The individual responsible for the conduct of the sponsored project. See PI Eligibility. See RSP 102 for further information on principal investigator eligibility requirements and RSP 103 for detailed principal investigator responsibilities.

Prime sponsor. The external funding source from which funding originated. Example: If NIH funds the University of Washington, which then funds Banner Health, which then funds ASU, ASU’s prime sponsor is NIH.

Private, for-profit funding agency. Any private partnership, unincorporated business, subchapter S corporation, or corporation to which an application for funding has been made or with which a contract for funding is being negotiated.

Private information. Information that an individual has provided for specific purposes and that the individual can reasonably expect will not be made public, or information about behavior that occurs in a context in which an individual can reasonably expect that no observation or recording is taking place.

Private use. The direct or indirect use of tax-exempt financed property or tax-exempt financed facilities to provide exclusive benefit to a non-qualified user. Qualified users include state and local government entities and, in some instances, charitable or non-profit organizations as described in the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). The term “qualified user” does not include Federal Government or instrumentalities thereof.

Program income. The definition of program income, according to 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance), is gross income earned by the University that is directly generated by a sponsored activity or earned as a result of an award during the period of performance. If a product or service is developed during the course of a sponsored project and the development of that product or service was funded by a sponsoring agency, then the net income received is considered program income.

For federal awards, if the federal awarding agency does not specify in its regulations or the terms and conditions of the federal award how program income is to be used, program income may be added to the federal award by the federal agency and the non-federal entity. The program income must be used for the purposes and under the conditions of the federal award. Interest earned on advances of federal funds is not program income. 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. For more details on program income, see authoritative references in RSP 101, “General Research Policy.”
For non-federal awards, stipulations around program income should be addressed in the sponsor’s terms and conditions or by contacting the sponsor through the Grant and Contract Officer.

Project director. See Principal investigator.

Project personnel. A sponsored project’s personnel include the principal investigator, co-investigators, other key personnel, external collaborators and project staff/students. See Key Professional Personnel and Collaborators.

Proposal. An application for funding. Any written presentation/application to a potential source of external funds, referred to as a sponsor, for a research or other sponsored project that provides pricing or cost estimates is considered a proposal. All proposals submitted by a university employee to an outside entity that may directly lead to a sponsored project award require initial review and coordination through the Office for Research and Sponsored Projects prior to submission to a potential sponsor, utilizing a Proposal Routing and Approval Form.

Proposal and negotiation team. The team with authority to review and submit proposals, as well as to negotiate and execute awards and subawards.

Proposal revision. Any substantive change made by the principal investigator to the proposal after submission to a potential sponsor and before an award has been received.

Proprietary information. Research sponsored by a non-governmental entity or individual that involves restrictions on the distribution or publication of the research findings or results following completion, for a specified period or for indefinite duration.

Public agencies. The federal government, any federal department or agency; all agencies, departments, boards, and commissions of the state of Arizona; counties; school districts; cities; towns; municipal corporations; and any other political subdivisions, including Indian tribal councils, of the state of Arizona or any other state.

Public funding entity. Any public agency to which an application for funding has been made, or from which a grant has been received.


Reasonable cost. A cost may be considered reasonable if the nature of the goods or services acquired or applied, and the amount involved, reflect the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision to incur the cost was made.

Rebudgeting. Process by which funds available for spending are reallocated between budget categories to allow best use of funds to accomplish project goals.

Recognition. The institutional measurement that provides credit to investigators for their sponsored projects activities.

Re-export. An actual shipment or transmission of tangible items, software, or information subject to export control regulations from one foreign country to another foreign country. The export or re-export of controlled tangible items, software, or information that will transit through a country or countries, or will be unloaded in a country or countries for reloading and shipment to a new country, or are intended for re-export to the new country, are deemed to be exports to the new country.

Regular employee. An employee who is employed to work for a period of six or more months at a minimum of 50 percent FTE.

Release. Technology, software, or technical data is “released” for export through:

  1. visual inspection by a foreign national of U.S.-origin equipment, facilities, or documentation
  2. oral or written exchanges of information in the United States or abroad or
  3. the application to situations abroad of personal knowledge or technical experience acquired in the United States.

Renewal (proposal type). Additional funds to continue an existing project under a new, separate award.

Research. Interpreted in RSP 210, “Misconduct in Research,” to include scholarship and creative work, as well as scientific research.

Research advancement administrator. An individual who works with investigators to identify funding opportunities, develop proposals, and/or manage sponsored funds.

Research and related activities. All formal investigative efforts (whether funded or unfunded) by faculty, students, and staff that are designed to develop or contribute to generalized knowledge, including analyses of secondary data.

Research and sponsored projects policy manual. Provides policies and procedures relating to funded and unfunded research for all ASU faculty and staff involved in research at ASU.

Research incentive distribution. A percentage of the Facilities and Administrative costs recovered from sponsors by ASU that is returned to the responsible college and Provost-approved ABOR Centers as research incentive funds.

Respondent. The researcher accused of misconduct.

Resubmission. An unfunded application that is being modified following initial review and which will be resubmitted for new consideration.

Request for applications. Announcement of funding opportunity for applications which address a defined research topic. The resultant award is a grant or cooperative agreement.

Request for proposals. Official solicitation that communicates what a sponsor needs to buy/acquire and formally invites the submission of proposals. The resultant award is a contract.

Revision (supplemental funds). Proposal tied to an award modification to add funding directly to an existing award. For example: Application for additional funds to a current award (i.e., supplement requests or continuations) or a sponsor-initiated modification to add funds to a current award. (May also be referred to as a ‘Rev FP’ or ‘Rev Proposal’).


Salary. Compensation on a regular basis for work and services accomplished.

Select agent. The Select Agent and Toxin Program was established in its current form as part of the Patriot Act following the 2001 anthrax incidents. The program governs the use of all biological organisms or toxins that could potentially be used as agents of bioterrorism and is administered and overseen by the Center for Disease Control. The program requires that institutions that conduct research with any of these organisms/toxins register as participants of the program with the CDC. Each institution applying for participation must provide to the CDC information regarding the available layers of security, training, and medical surveillance. Prior to granting approval for participation, the CDC inspects each institution’s facilities and standard operating procedures. This inspection is repeated every two to three years, or if the institution changes any major aspect of its program.

Sensitive but unclassified information. SBU is information of a character such that its disclosure, loss, misuse, alteration, or destruction could adversely affect national security or other interests of the federal government. National security interests are those unclassified matters that relate to the national defense or the foreign relations of the U.S. government. Other government interests are those related, but not limited to, a wide range of government or government-derived economic, human, financial, industrial, agricultural, technologic, and law enforcement information, as well as the privacy or confidentiality of personal or commercial proprietary information provided to the U.S. government by its citizens.

Significant financial interest. Anything of monetary value, including but not limited to, salary or other payments for services (e.g., consulting fees or honoraria); equity interests (e.g., stocks, stock options, private equity, or other ownership interests), venture or other capital financing, and intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights, and corresponding royalties). The term does not include:

  1. salary, royalties, or other remuneration from ASU
  2. any ownership interests in the institution, if the institution is an applicant under the Small Business Innovation Research Program or Small Business Technology Transfer Program
  3. income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by public or nonprofit entities
  4. an equity interest that when aggregated for the investigator and the investigator’s spouse and dependent children meets both of the following tests: (i) does not exceed $10,000 in value as determined through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value, and (ii) does not represent more than a three percent ownership interest in any single entity; or salary, royalties, or other payments (excluding dividends) that, when aggregated for the investigator and the investigator’s spouse and dependent children over the next 12 months, are not expected to exceed $10,000.

Single source acquisition. Issuing an award to a subcontractor without full and open competition. This may be done if an award is the result of a collaboration (where the ideas, concepts, and methodology were developed by the two parties jointly). There are restrictions on the use of this means of procurement and documentation must show justification for using single source acquisition.

Site visit. An agency review of a sponsored project at the University.

SmartForm ERA. SmartForms are like wizards. They guide a user through the process of editing a project, such as a funding proposal (FP) or award (AW).

Sole source acquisition. A procurement that does not provide full and open competition, but is effected because only one source is available.

Solicited proposal. An application submitted by interested, eligible faculty or staff in response to a specific program announcement or call for proposals issued from a sponsor.

Special purpose equipment. Equipment which can be used only for research, scientific, or other technical activities.

Sponsor. An external funding source which funds a project with an award. Sponsors include private businesses, corporations, foundations and other not-for-profit organizations, other universities, and federal, state and local governments.

Sponsored project. A sponsored project is any externally funded activity for which there is a: 1) specific statement of work that is expected to be completed within a defined period of time; 2) a budget; and 3) a designated principal investigator or program director. A sponsored project may support university activities including but not limited to research, training, travel, conferences, instruction, public service, and construction. Sponsored projects are funded by numerous funding sources, including charitable grants. These can be under a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, purchase order, or any other mutually binding agreement that restricts the use of funds or property and stipulates conditions with which the university must comply.

Stipend. Payments made for periodic or fixed disbursements awarded to students. To a research administrator, the term “stipend” typically refers to payment for an individual (student or non-university employee) who is attending a conference/workshop or to someone on a training grant or fellowship. Since stipends paid for services rendered are considered wages under IRS regulations, it’s really important to make sure that the investigators who tend to use the terms “salary” and “stipend” interchangeably understand the difference between the two. Per the March 1, 2007 Policies and Practices: Compensation, Effort Commitments, and Certification issued by the Council on Governmental Relations, “…if a graduate student is receiving compensation (salary) for services performed on a grant, this effort should be certified. If the student is receiving a stipend, the conventional wisdom is that this is educational assistance (i.e., student aid), and this activity need not be certified through an effort report.” Per the NIH Grants Policy Statement (revised 10/2010), a stipend is defined as “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 (subcontract). An agreement issued under an award mechanism between Arizona State University and another organization to perform a substantive portion of an awarded grant’s (or contract’s) scope of work. It does not include payments to a contractor for the procurement of goods and services or payments to an individual that is a beneficiary of sponsored program. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the pass-through entity considers a contract.

Subrecipient (subawardee or subcontractor). A third-party organization that receives funding support from Arizona State University to collaborate in carrying out the performance of an externally sponsored project. The subrecipient plays an integral role in the project and is responsible for programmatic decision-making. Suitable means of verification Includes but is not limited to: first-hand observations of the work being performed, written confirmation from the individual, physically verifiable information, notebooks, and/or sign-in sheets.

Supplemental pay. Compensation for work performed for a different department or different duties beyond normal work assignment.

Supplemental proposal. Additional support requested to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work.

System to system. The ERA includes an SF424 component designed to automate submission to Grants.gov. This system to System (S2S) process includes:

  1. search for and download funding opportunities from Grants.gov;
  2. the complete set of SF424 Research and Related forms available for submission;
  3. PDF application generation, allowing the user to view a completed SF424 as the agency would;
  4. submit application to Grants.gov and receive a tracking number;
  5. manage and verify validation with the granting agency.


Technology and research initiative fund. Proposition 301, passed by the voters of Arizona in November, 2000, authorizes a 0.6 percent sales tax increase to support education. Approximately 20 percent of the funding will be spent on research related to the New Economy in Arizona’s three universities. Proposition 301 research funds are formally referred to as the Technology and Research Initiative Fund and are administered by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Tuition. Is typically considered the amount of money charged to students for instructional services. Tuition may be charged on a per-term, per course, or per-credit basis.

Tuition remission. What exactly does this mean and is it the same thing as “tuition?” The two are not interchangeable terms although they are often used that way. “Tuition Remission” usually refers to the process by which the institution forgoes collecting the full tuition for a graduate research assistant appointment. There is no intent to collect the value of the tuition charge from the student on tuition remissions. Per OMB Circular A-21, Section J.10.f.(2): “Fringe benefits in the form of employer contributions or expenses for social security, employee insurance, workmen’s compensation insurance, tuition or remission of tuition for individual employees are allowable, provided such benefits are granted in accordance with established educational institutional policies, and are distributed to all institutional activities on an equitable basis.” Tuition remission is often treated as part of the compensation paid to a graduate student working on a sponsored project. On the other hand, “tuition” is typically considered the amount of money charged to students for instructional services. Tuition may be charged on a per-term, per course, or per-credit basis. Therefore, while they sound similar, they are usually budgeted differently on a proposal, expensed differently on a sponsored account, be subject to F&A costs if part of graduate student’s compensation (fringe benefits), yet not be subject to F&A if part of a training grant or fellowship. Knowing the difference between the two, and being able to describe that clearly to a PI is important so that, for example, you aren’t charging tuition on a research project (usually not allowed) vs. on a training grant (allowed).


Uncompensated effort. Effort expended by PI’s and/or key personnel on a sponsored project that the sponsor does not compensate and/or require and is not considered a form of cost sharing.

Uniform guidance. Common term used when referring to 2 CFR 200 implemented by Federal agencies on 12/26/2014 to govern the expenditure of Federal awards. 2 CFR 200 replaces OMB Circulars A-21, A-110 and A-133 in addition to five other OMB circulars.

University staff. University staff is an employment category comprised of non-academic staff and administrators. University staff are employed at will. As an at-will employee, university staff and ASU are entitled to terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason except an unlawful one.

Unlike circumstances. The ability to charge some costs which are normally considered Facilities and Administrative expenses as a direct cost when the expense will be greater or different in purposes than what is normally provided by departmental administration. For examples of eligible costs and the criteria for when unlike circumstances may exist, consult the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS).

Unsolicited proposal. A request for support submitted to a sponsor or donor without formal solicitation from the funding entity.


Vendor. An individual, business or other entity which supplies products or services to the University.

Voluntary committed cost sharing that is not required by the sponsor but is included in the proposal budget, budget narrative, and/or quantified in the proposal narrative. Like mandatory cost sharing, voluntary committed cost sharing binds the university to provide and account for resources used in completing the award.

Voluntary uncommitted cost sharing represents effort above and beyond commitments made in the proposal. It is not required by the sponsor and is not included in the proposal budget or budget justification. There is no contractual commitment by the university, nor is it tracked by the university.


Waived prior approval authority policy implemented by some federal granting agencies that delegates certain prior approval authorities to grantee institutions. This delegation allows for internal university approval of administrative and spending actions, thus avoiding delays in project progress.

Work instruction. Describes the steps to be taken to complete a task.

Workplace. All property owned, leased or controlled by ASU where university work is performed.

Sponsored projects acronyms

AAALAC Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care
AAU American Association of Universities
ABOR Arizona Board of Regents
ACO Administrative Contracting Officer
ADCRC Arizona Disease Control Research Commission
ADPE Automatic Data Processing Equipment
AICPA American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
AMT Award Management Team
APHIS Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
ARPA Advanced Research Projects Agency
A.R.S. Arizona Revised Statutes
ASPM Armed Services Pricing Manual
ASPR Armed Services Procurement Regulations
AUTM Association of University Technology Managers
BAA Broad Agency Announcement
BAFO Best and Final Offer
BOA Basic Ordering Agreement
CAS Cost Accounting Standards
COI Conflict of Interest
Co-PI Co-Principal Investigator
CR Cost Reimbursement
CRADA Cooperative Research and Development Agreement
CTR Cost Transfer Request (Non-Payroll)
ER Effort Report
ERA Enterprise Research Administration System
ERE Employee Related Expenses
F&A Facilities and Administrative Costs
FAR Federal Acquisition Regulations
FOA Funding Opportunity Announcement
FP Fixed Price
FP Funding Proposal (as referenced in the ERA system)
GCO Grant and Contract Officer
GFE Government-Furnished Equipment
IACUC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
IDIQ Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity
IAC Investigator Allocation Change (or Internal Allocation Change)
IAG Industry Agreements Group
IGA Intergovernmental Agreement
IIA Investigator Incentive Award
IP Intellectual Property
IRB Institutional Review Board
MTDC Modified Total Direct Costs
NCE No-Cost Extension
NCURA National Council of University Research Administrators
NORDP National Organization of Research Development Professionals
OAF ORSPA Action Form
KE Knowledge Enterprise
ORIA Office of Research Integrity and Assurance
ORSPA Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration
PA Program Announcement
PAF Personnel Action Form
PD Project Director
PI Principal Investigator
PNT Proposal and Negotiation Team
RA Research Advancement
RAS Research Advancement Services
RD Payroll Redistributions (payroll cost transfers)
ResOps Research Operations
RFA Request for Applications
RFP Request for Proposal
RIA Research Incentive Award
RID Research Incentive Distribution
RSP Research and Sponsored Projects Policies and Procedures Manual
SOW Statement of Work
SRA Society of Research Administrators International
TDC Total Direct Costs