Glossary of Terms

Awards and Agreements

Contract - A "Contract" is an exchange of promises that gives rise to legally enforceable rights and duties. Funding is provided in exchange for a particular product (services, reports, or materials) required by the sponsor (procurement). A legally binding contract has three major elements: offer (what is going to be done, i.e. the statement of work), acceptance (a formal acceptance, including specific names of responsible parties) and consideration in the form of payment (the amount agreed upon for the specific outcomes as defined in the SOW). In the case of a research contract, the sponsor agrees to finance the award to allow the PI to conduct and complete the research on behalf of the university under written terms and conditions.

Contractor - A contractor is an entity from whom the university purchases property or services needed to carry out the project or program.

Cooperative Agreement - A Cooperative Agreement is a type of federal assistance; essentially, a variation of a discretionary grant, which is awarded by the department when it anticipates having substantial involvement with the grantee during the performance of a funded project. Substantial agency involvement may be necessary when an activity: is technically or managerially complex; requires extensive or close coordination with other federally supported work; or helps assure suitability or acceptability of certain aspects of the supported activity.

DUNS Number - The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) was developed and is regulated by Dun & Bradstreet. It is a unique 9-digit number. The number does not convey any information about the recipient. A number is assigned to each business location in the D&B database having a unique, separate, and distinct operation to businesses for the purpose of identifying them. GW has multiple DUNS numbers. For research related activity, the DUNS number is #04-399-0498.

Grant - A Grant is a type of assistance award and a legal instrument which permits an executive agency of the Federal government to transfer money, property, services or other things of value to a grantee when no substantial involvement is anticipated between the agency and the recipient during the performance of the contemplated activity.

Independent Contractor Agreement - Independent Contractors are proposed to help carry out the objectives of a PIs sponsored project. Independent Contractors (“ICs”) have unique expertise, provide professional advice and guidance, provide a distinct service or product, typically a report, translation, analysis, or the like. The work is usually performed off University premises and often offered to many different buyers within normal business operations. ICs are not employees of the University and may not use GW resources to perform their services.  Formerly, these agreements were called Consulting/Services Agreements. Effective July 1, 2007, GW will enter into Independent Contractor Agreements.

Prime Award - A “Prime award” is a Grant, Cooperative Agreement or Contract issued by the sponsor directly to the university.

Subaward - A “Subaward” means an award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a recipient to an eligible subrecipient or by a subrecipient to a lower tier subrecipient. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include procurement of goods and services (service agreements or consultants).

Subcontract - A “Subcontract” is a formal contractual document in which the organization that receives the award directly from the sponsor (the “Prime Contractor”) parcels out a portion of the work of a larger contract to another party (the “Subcontractor” or “Subrecipient”).

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Effort Confirmation

Effort - University compensated effort includes research, teaching, administration, clinical activity and any other activity for which an individual receives compensation of salary, wages, supplementary salaries and overloads (but not bonuses) from the university. Any effort expended for sources providing compensation other than the university, such as outside consulting fees, is excluded from total compensation for effort reporting.

2 CFR 200 requires that the university have a system in place for approving salaries and wages associated with federally sponsored agreements. The reports should reasonably reflect effort allocated to the activities for which the employee is compensated and they are to be signed by the employee and the principal investigator or other responsible official using suitable means of verification that the work was performed.

The Effort Reporting Policy (PDF) offers additional information.

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Income and Expenses

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs - Costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project. Expenditures identified as F&A cannot be directly charged to an award. The university negotiates an F&A rate with the federal government and this rate is then the basis for recovering F&A costs. The current F&A rate (PDF) is available for download.

Program Income - any income earned by the recipient of a sponsored award that is directly generated by a supported activity, or earned as a result of the award. Such income may include income from fees for services, use of property acquired under a sponsored program, the sale of goods or items developed under the sponsored program, license fees and royalties on intellectual property such as patents and copyrights.

Recharge Center - A Recharge Center only recovers cost of materials (excludes salaries & wages) within a department. Redistribution methodology recoups direct costs.  An example would be departmental copier charges. Please see the Interdepartmental Service Centers/Recharge Centers policy (PDF).

Service Center - An independent entity or department that provides goods or services, for a fee. The fee charged must comprise only direct salaries and benefits, material costs, plus associated F&A costs. An example would be Telecommunications. Please see the Interdepartmental Service Centers/Recharge Centers policy (PDF).

Stipend - A taxable fellowship typically known as a stipend is used as a living allowance, and includes payments to the student or credits to a student’s account. In no instance is a stipend a payment involving services. There is also a non-taxable fellowship that can be awarded to a student. This is used only for tuition and required fees, books, supplies or equipment. Such an award would be a tuition award.

Unliquidated Obligation - An expense for which a firm commitment of funds against a grant or contract has been made but for which funds have not been disbursed. They are encumbered in the university’s accounting system. All other funds awarded by the grant or contract but not encumbered constitute the unobligated balance of the award and are treated as required by the university’s policies and the policies of the grantor or the contractor.

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Common Acronyms:

BAA - Broad Agency Agreement
C/I - Conflict of Interest
CAS - Cost Accounting Standards
CBD - Commerce Business Daily
CDA - Confidential Disclosure Agreement
CFDA - Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
CFR - Code of Federal Regulations
CIR - Capital Investing and Reporting Department
COS - Community of Services
CRO - Chief Resource Officer
DFAR - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation
EAR - Export Administration Regulations
EAS - Enterprise Accounting System
EROC - Executive Research Oversight Committee
EVP&T - Executive Vice President & Treasurer
EVPAA - Executive Vice President Academic Affairs
F&A - Facilities & Administrative
FAR - Federal Acquisition Regulation
GCAS - Grants & Contracts Accounting Services
HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act
IACUC - Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee
IDC - Indirect Costs (F&A)
IPA - Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment
IRB - Institutional Review Board
IRIS - Illinois Researcher Information Service
ITAR - International Trafficking in Arms Regulations
MTA - Material Transfer Agreement
NCURA - National Council of University Research Administrators
OGC - Office of the General Counsel
OHRCTT - Office of Health Research Compliance & Tech Transfer
OVPR - Office of the Vice President for Research
PI - Principal Investigator
RA - Research Administrator (GCAS)
RFP - Request for Proposal
RFQ - Request for Quotation
ROC - Research Oversight Committee
SLA - Service Level Agreement
SPA - Sponsored Research Administrator (OVPR)

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