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An abbreviated summary (typically 1 page) of a research subject or discipline.

Advance Account

sponsored project account established in advance of receipt of the formal award notice.

Agency/Funding Agency

See “Sponsor.


A formal written change to an existing agreement.


A formal examination of an organization's or individual's accounts or financial situation. An audit may also include examination of compliance with applicable award terms, laws, regulations and policies.


The document that funds a successful proposal. May be in the form of a grant, contract or cooperative agreement.



Bayh-Dole Act

The Bayh-Dole Act, formerly known as the Patent and Trademark Act Amendments, is a federal law enacted in 1980 that enables universities, nonprofit research institutions and small businesses to own, patent and commercialize inventions developed under federally funded research programs within their organizations. 

Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)

The Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is a competitive solicitation procedure used to obtain proposals for basic and applied research and that part of development not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. The BAA is described in FAR 6.102, "Use of Competitive Procedures," and FAR 35.016, "Broad Agency Announcements." 


Budgets generally include two different types of costs: (1) direct costs and (2) facilities and administrative (F&A) costs. The tests of allowability for direct costs budgeted and charged to sponsored programs are that: they must be reasonable; they must be allocable; they must be given consistent treatment (as either direct or indirect); and they must conform to any limitations or exclusions set forth in the sponsored agreement. 

Budget Justification

A written description of the cost estimation methods used in preparing a budget and that also explains or describes the types of individual costs. 

Budget Period

The interval of time, usually 12 months, into which the project period is divided for budgetary and funding purposes. 




Unexpended funds carried from one budget period to another.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) is a government-wide compendium of Federal programs, projects, services, and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the American public. It contains financial and non-financial assistance programs administered by departments and establishments of the Federal government. 

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number

Each program is assigned a unique number by agency and program that follows the program throughout the assistance lifecycle enabling data and funding transparency. The complete CFDA number is a five digit number, XX.XXX, where the first two digits represent the Funding Agency and the second three digits represent the program. CFDA serves as the authoritative source for all CFDA numbers. 

Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA)

A Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA) is a legally binding agreement that manages the relationship between the sponsor that may be providing the study drug or device, the financial support and /or proprietary information and the institution that may be providing data and/or results, publication, input into further intellectual property. 

Close Out

The act of completing all internal procedures and sponsor requirements to terminate or complete a research project. 

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a codification (arrangement of) the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. 


Drexel’s electronic research administration system of record that facilitates the web-based development of proposals and management of awards.  Coeus enables electronic approval of proposals by faculty, Department Heads, Deans and the authorized official of the Office of Research. 

Collaborative Agreement

A binding document between organizations that are cooperating in the conduct of a research program. These agreements are generally unfunded and describe the actions that each organization have agreed to undertake, and defines the obligations each party has to the others participating in the collaborative research effort. 

Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code

A Commercial and Government Entity (“CAGE”) Code is a five-character ID number necessary for all companies looking to be awarded contracts by the federal government. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) issues CAGE Numbers, and it is the only entity authorized to do so.  There is no cost to obtain or update a CAGE Code. 

Confidentiality Agreement

An agreement requiring the recipient of certain information to keep that information in confidence. 

Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA)

A legal agreement between at least two parties which outlines information the parties wish to share with one another for certain evaluation purposes, but wish to restrict from wider use and dissemination. 

Conflict of Interest (COI)

The term “conflict of interest in research” refers to situations in which financial or other personal considerations may compromise, or have the appearance of compromising a researcher's professional judgment in conducting or reporting research. 

Contracting Officer

The individual within a contracting agency who has the authority to commit that agency to legal obligations, such as to spend funds or to agree to specific contract terms. 


The individual or organization performing the work under a contract. When used in a contract between a funding agency and Drexel University, Drexel is the Contractor. In the case where Drexel subcontracts a portion of the project to an external organization, the party who performs that work is sometimes called the “Contractor” or “Subcontractor.” 

Cooperative Agreement

An award similar to a grant, but in which the sponsor anticipates having substantial involvement in research activities. Also called “Collaboration Agreement” or “Joint Development Agreement."


Ability to exclude others for a limited period of time from using original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression which can be perceived, reproduced or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device (typically used for texts, software and visual and audio materials). 

Co-Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator (Co-PI /Co-I)

Co-PIs/Co-Is are key personnel who have responsibilities similar to that of a PI on research projects.  While the PI has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of a research project, the Co-PI/Co-I is also obligated to ensure the project is conducted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research. 

Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)

41 U.S.C. chapter 15, Cost Accounting Standards, requires certain contractors and subcontractors to comply with Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) and to disclose in writing and follow consistently their cost accounting practices. 

Cost Reimbursement Contract/Grant

A contract/grant in which the sponsor only reimburses for actual costs incurred. 

Cost Sharing

A type of Project Contribution in which the University bears the costs associated with the conduct of a sponsored project that the University may otherwise charge to the extramural funds. Typically, these costs are not separately budgeted, but are part of the department’s operating expenses. Cost sharing can be either mandatory (requested by the sponsor) or voluntary (the University makes the contribution on its own initiative). 



Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)

The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is administered by the Department of Defense (DoD). The DFARS implements and supplements the FAR. The DFARS contains requirements of law, DoD-wide policies, delegations of FAR authorities, deviations from FAR requirements, and policies/procedures that have a significant effect on the public. The DFARS should be read in conjunction with the primary set of rules in the FAR.  

Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. 




Effort is the portion of time spent on a given professional activity and expressed as a percentage of the total professional activity for which an individual is employed by Drexel.

Effort Certification System

As recipients of federal funding, educational institutions must abide by Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), part 220 (formerly Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21). 2CFR, part 220 requires an effort certification system that: encompasses all employee activities (100% effort); confirms effort expended after-the-fact; requires certification to be performed by an individual who has first-hand knowledge or used suitable means of verification to determine if the work was performed; and requires certification to be encompassed in the institution's official records. 

Effort Reporting

Effort reporting is the method used to confirm to sponsors that the effort spent on a sponsored agreement reasonably reflects the salary and wages charged to that agreement. An effort report is an after-the-fact reporting of activities for which the employee was compensated by the institution. Effort reports are required for all employees paid from federally sponsored agreements. If any portion of pay was from a federally sponsored agreement during the reporting period, an effort report is required. 

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is a federal identification number issued by the IRS to identify a business entity. It is also known as a Tax ID number. Drexel’s EIN is 23-1352630. 


A standalone article of nonexpendable tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. 

Equipment Use Agreement

Agreement made by and between the university and a sponsor to rent equipment. 

Extramural Funding

Awards made to the University by agencies and other third parties for research, instruction, or public service projects.



Facilities & Administration Costs (F&A)

Those costs that are incurred by a project that cannot be clearly identified and assigned to that project (local telephone charges, administrative support, library use, building costs, and utility charges). Also called Indirect Costs. 

Federal Acquisition Regulation

The Federal Acquisition Regulations System is established for the codification and publication of uniform policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies. The Federal Acquisition Regulations System consists of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which is the primary document, and agency acquisition regulations that implement or supplement the FAR. The FAR System does not include internal agency guidance of the type described in 1.301(a)(2). 

Fiscal Year (FY)

Any 12-month period. (Drexel = July 1st through June 30th; Federal = October 1st through September 30th; calendar year) 

Fixed Price Contract/Grant

Fixed-price types of contracts provide for a firm price or, in appropriate cases, an adjustable price. Fixed-price contracts providing for an adjustable price may include a ceiling price, a target price (including target cost), or both. Unless otherwise specified in the contract, the ceiling price or target price is subject to adjustment only by operation of contract clauses providing for equitable adjustment or other revision of the contract price under stated circumstances. The contracting officer shall use firm-fixed-price or fixed-price with economic price adjustment contracts when acquiring commercial items, except as provided in 12.207(b). 

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The laws that allow the general public the right to review certain federal government records upon request. It does not automatically apply to proposal and award documents, or to the data generated by research funded by the federal government. 

Fund Account

This term is used by the University to describe a particular account. As it relates to sponsored projects, a specific fund number is designated to each grant/award.  

Facilities Use Agreement

Agreement made by and between the university and a sponsor to rent facilities. 




Funds donated irrevocably for unrestricted or designated purposes by extramural organizations or individuals. As opposed to a grant, gifts typically have no contractual requirements and there are no deliverables to the donor. At Drexel, GIFTS are processed through the Office of Institutional Advancement, while GRANTS are processed through the Office of Research.


A type of financial assistance award in which the sponsor anticipates little to no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the activities.


The recipient of a grant.

Grants Officer

The individual within a sponsoring agency who has the authority to commit that agency to spend funds.

Grant Agreement

Generally issued by foundation and non-profit sponsors, grant agreements outline the award terms and conditions, which awardee institutions are required to sign in acceptance. Sponsors utilizing this mechanism generally do not anticipate substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the activities.



Human Subjects Committee

See Institutional Review Board.




Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. An institutional committee with federally mandated oversight responsibilities related to the proper use and care of laboratory animals.

Indirect Cost (IDCs)

Indirect costs are those costs which are not readily identifiable with a particular cost objective (e.g., direct organizational activity or project), but nevertheless are necessary for the general operation of an organization. Examples of indirect costs include the salary and related expenses of individuals working in accounting, personnel, purchasing functions, rent, depreciation and utilities. Indirect costs are not normally charged directly to a Federal award, but are allocated equitably to all of the organization’s activities. Indirect costs are generally charged to Federal awards through the development and application of an indirect cost rate (ICR). 

Indirect Cost Rate

An indirect cost rate is simply a device for determining fairly and expeditiously the proportion of general (non-direct) expenses that each project will bear. It is the ratio between the total indirect costs of an applicant and some equitable direct cost base. 

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the institution with which it is affiliated. 

Intellectual Property

A property interest granted by the Government that gives a person or entity ownership of the intellectual creations that it develops and the ability to exclude others from using or copying such creations. Types of intellectual property include patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)  

An institutional committee with federally mandated oversight responsibilities related to the proper use and care of laboratory animals. 

Intellectual Property (IP) 

Intellectual property is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others.  The ownership of intellectual property inherently creates a limited monopoly in the protected property.  Intellectual property is traditionally comprised of four categories:  patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets

Inter-Agency Agreement

A written arrangement between two or more Federal agencies that specifies the goods and services one agency (the servicing agency) will furnish in support of the other (the requesting agency). 

Intra-governmental Payment and Collection System (IPAC)

A standardized IAA fund transfer mechanism for Federal Program Agencies (FPAs). The IPAC facilitates the intragovernmental exchange of funds, with descriptive data from one FPA to another. 

Independent Contractor Agreement

Drexel requires completion of a determination checklist to ensure that the individual providing services is appropriately categorized based on the work being performed. At Drexel, Independent Contractor Agreements are reviewed and negotiated by the Office of General Counsel in coordination with Drexel’s Tax Office. 



Key Personnel

Personnel considered of primary importance to the successful conduct of a research project. The term usually applies to the senior members of the project staff; however, sponsors may have differing definitions of Key Personnel.




Legal permission from a patent owner to practice an invention. License agreements include miscellaneous financial and diligence terms.

Letter Agreement



Master Agreement

A comprehensive contra ct that governs all research activities supported by a particular sponsor. Individual project specific addendums (or task orders) are issued each time a new project is engaged. Each addendum details such aspects as the personnel, funding amount, performance period, and scope of work for the individual project, along with any deviations from the terms of the Master Agreement that may be necessary for performance of the specific project. Also called “umbrella” agreements, this mechanism often takes much longer to establish than a traditional agreement, however it virtually eliminates any need to negotiate the individual project addendums.


A type of Project Contribution in which the sponsor requires the University, as a condition of the award, to “match” the sponsor’s support in a fixed amount.

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

A written agreement in which one organization agrees to send another organization a physical research sample (such as a chemical compound, bacterial strain, etc.) for internal, non-commercial research use.

Contractual documents used for the acquisition of various biological and research materials, and occasionally data, developed by nonprofit, government and private industry. At Drexel, MTA’s are reviewed, negotiated, and signed by the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC).

Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC)

The total direct costs against which indirect costs are applied. Certain items of direct costs, such as equipment, participant support costs, tuition remission, patient care, rental space, fellowships and the amount of a subcontract in excess of $25,000 are excluded prior to calculating the indirect cost on a given project.


Material Transfer Agreement.


Modified Total Direct Costs.


Memorandum of Understanding. An agreement that establishes the basic principles that will guide the implementation of programs. It is less formal than a contract.




National Council of Research Administrators. A nation-wide organization that serves its members and advances the field of research administration through professional development, the sharing of knowledge, and fostering of community.


Non-Disclosure Agreement. See “Confidentiality Agreement.

No-Cost Extension

An extension of the period of performance beyond the expiration date to allow the Principal Investigator to finalize a project. No additional funds are provided.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

See “Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA)” above.




Office of Management and Budget (federal). The principal staff office under the United States Office of the President for administrative and financial matters.

Option Agreements

An option agreement typically gives a company the exclusive right to evaluate a technology for a short period of time prior to executing a full license agreement. In most cases, the option agreement provides for the company to reimburse UMSL's patent expenses. Options may also include research funding and nominal fees.


Office of Research Integrity (federal). The ORI promotes integrity in biomedical and behavioral research supported by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) at about 4,000 institutions worldwide. ORI monitors institutional investigations of research misconduct and facilitates the responsible conduct of research (RCR) through educational, preventive, and regulatory activities.

Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)

Often issued by federal contracting officers, OTA’s are used for obtaining or advancing research and development (R&D) or prototypes.




A patent is the grant of a property right to inventor(s), issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A patent right is "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling" the invention in the United States or "importing" the invention into the United States.

Patent Application

Document submitted to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (or Foreign Patent Office) requesting that a patent be issued. Issuance usually takes two years or longer.

Project Director (PD)

A Project Director is the primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research. 

Principle Investigator (PI)

A Principal Investigator is the primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research. 

Period of Performance (POP)

A non-Federal entity may charge to the Federal award only allowable costs incurred during the period of performance and any costs incurred before the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity made the Federal award that were authorized by the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity. 2 CFR 200.309 

Pre-Award Costs

Costs incurred prior to the start date of an award. In order to be charged to a sponsored project, prior approval from the sponsor may be required.


A brief description of research plans and estimated budget that is sometimes submitted to determine the interest of a particular sponsor prior to submission of a formal proposal.

Prior Art

Public knowledge existing before the date an invention was made that is related to the invention or in the field of the invention. Can include published journal articles and abstracts, previously filed patents, and in some cases, non-written knowledge made public, such as material presented at a scientific conference. In order to obtain a patent, an applicant (inventor) must prove that their invention is both novel over the prior art and non-obvious to someone of ordinary skill in the art.

Program Announcement

Describes the existence of a research opportunity.

Program Director/Program Officer/Scientific Officer/Technical Officer

The individual within a funding agency who is concerned with the technical, programmatic aspects of the project. Usually a Ph.D., with whom the University’s Principal Investigator communicates on technical matters. Program Directors do not have the authority to make contractual obligations or changes.

Program Income

A type of Project Contribution in which the money that is earned by the University during the project period, and the opportunity to earn that income is provided, in whole or part, by the funding of the project.

Progress Report

Periodic, scheduled reports required by the sponsor summarizing research progress to date.

Project Contribution

Resources that are contributed to a sponsored project over and above the support provided by the extramural sponsor of that project.

Project Director

Same as the Principal Investigator (PI). The term Project Director is generally used for training and public service grants.

Project Period/Performance Period

The period of time, defined by a begin and end date, during which the project will take place. Typically, the project or performance period runs from one to five years.


A written offer submitted to a funding agency to conduct a project for research, instruction, or public service, which typically includes a description of the project and a budget for expenses associated with the project, as well as additional documentation requested by the agency.

New Proposal

A proposal for a new project to be funded for the first time by the agency, or for continued funding for a project when there has been a lapse between previous and proposed project periods.

Continuation Proposal

A proposal for subsequent budget periods within an already-approved project period. Continuation proposals do not have to compete for funding.

Renewal Proposal/Competitive Renewal

A proposal for continued funding of the project beyond the end of the current project period. Renewal proposals compete for funding with all new and renewal proposals submitted to an agency.

Supplemental Proposal

A request for additional funds within a previously approved funding period.

Provisional Patent Application

A U.S. provisional patent application establishes an early effective filing date over the prior art and has a pendency lasting 12 months from the date the application is filed. A corresponding non-provisional patent application must be filed during the 12-month provisional pendency period in order to benefit from the earlier filing of the provisional application. A provisional patent may be thought of as a "place-holder" at the USPTO, until a non-provisional application is filed.

Purchase Order




The act of amending the budget by moving funds from one category or line item to another.

Representations and Certifications (Reps and Certs)

Written guarantees that the institution is required to provide to sponsoring agencies. A representation is an account or statement of fact concerning an offeror and its capabilities and abilities to perform. A certification is the submission of documents that serve as guarantees that an award applicant meets certain standards or will comply with certain governmental acts.


Request for Applications. Announcements that indicate the availability of funds for a topic of specific interest to a sponsor. Proposals submitted in response to RFA’s generally result in the award of a grant.


Request for Proposal. Announcements that specify a topic of research, methods to be used, product to be delivered, and appropriate applicants sought. Proposals submitted in response to RFP’s generally result in the award of a contract.


Request for Quotations. A formal request to vendors for a price quotation on equipment or supplies to be purchased.




Small Business Innovative Research. Agency administered programs supported by federal funds, making grants to small business entities.

Signature Page

Funding agency’s signature page for grant proposals and contracts that requires signature by an authorized official of the University (Office of Research).


Statement of Work or Scope of Work.


An entity that provides funding for a project conducted by the University. May be a government sponsor or a private organization. Also referred to as “Agency.”


Small Business Technology Transfer. Grant programs to fund small businesses "teamed" with research institutions.


A purchase contract issued by the University to another institution, under an extramurally funded prime award, in order to implement a portion of the scope of work.

Services Agreement

Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA)

SRA’s are the most common agreement type governing sponsored projects with private and industry partners. This contract type can be used for both.

Subcontract/Subaward Agreement

A document written under the authority of, and consistent with the terms and conditions of a prime award (grant, contract, or cooperative agreement), that transfers a portion of the research or substantive effort of the statement of work to another institution or organization.



T & C

Terms and conditions.

Task Order

A document authorizing work and appropriating funds as a supplement to a basic contract or master agreement.

Teaming Agreement

Similar to a Collaborative Agreement, Teaming Agreements are generally unfunded, and are entered into by parties agreeing to participate in a collaborative effort. The preparation and submission of a single proposal from multiple collaborating institutions is an instance in which a teaming agreement may be utilized.

Task Order Agreement (TOA)

A legally binding document authorizing work and appropriating funds as a supplement to a basic contract.


Total costs.


Total direct costs. The total of all allowable direct costs of a project.

Technology Transfer

A formal transfer of rights to use and commercialize new discoveries and innovations resulting from scientific research to another party. Universities typically transfer technology through protecting (using patents and copyrights), then licensing new innovations. The major steps in this process include the disclosure of innovations, patenting the innovation concurrent with publication of scientific research and licensing the rights to innovations to industry for commercial development.


Tax identification number. An TIN is a federal identification number issued by the IRS to identify a business entity. It is also known as an Entity ID number. Drexel’s TIN is 23-1352630.


A name, word, symbol, or device that allows the trademark owner to dictate its use in identifying a product (e.g., logos and brand names).



VPR Vice Provost for Research. Amendment / Modification

A contractual award document that modifies any aspect of an existing award. Like contract, amendments require the signature of both party’s authorized official in order to effect change to the award. Common modifications include: increasing the obligated award amount, adding new terms or conditions, and extending the project period with no additional funding (no-cost extension).