Glossary & Terms

NCURA National Council of University Research Administrators

Allowable Cost is a cost for which an institution may be reimbursed under a research support agreement or any other contract type with the federal government.  The determination of allowability for educational institutions is governed by cost principles published as OMB Circular A-21 (revised 8/8/00)

Applied Research has the purpose of meeting a specific goal.  The goal (beyond the research itself) is well defined, and the research is narrowly focused on obtaining that goal.  The goal may or may not be commercial, but it always includes putting something into practical use.

Basic Research has the purpose of general increases in knowledge.  No specific intent is required other than learning.  The Basic Research may be narrowly focused on a particular field of study, but there is no specific particular use that drives the direction of the research.

Chartfield String s consist of the MoCode, Business Unit, Fund Code, Dept Id, Program, and Project Number associated with a specific award.

Consortium Grant is a grant made to one institution in support of a project in which the program is carried out through a cooperative arrangement between or among the grantee institution and one or more participating institutions.  The cooperative agreement is subject to approval by the grantor and should be negotiated prior to submission of the proposal.

Contract is an exchange of promises which gives rise to legally enforceable rights and duties.  Contracts with the federal government are subject to an extensive body of law and regulations which governs, among other subjects, the manner of contract formation, terms and conditions, and remedies and sanctions available to the parties.

Cooperative Agreement is a financial assistance instrument used between parties to transfer money or property when the principal purpose of the transaction is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by federal statue, and substantial involvement between the parties is anticipated during the performance of the contemplated activity.

Cost Reimbursable Contract is a contract based on the estimated costs to perform the work arrived at by negotiations between the government and the contractor.  The contract provides for payment to the contractor for costs actually incurred up to the ceiling amount stated in the contract.  The contractor is excused from further performance after his costs reach the ceiling, unless the government increases the ceiling by modification.

Cost Sharing is the respective share of Total Project Costs required to be contributed by the applicant and the agency.  The required percentage of Applicant Cost Share is to be applied to the Total Project Cost (the sum of applicant plus agency cost shares) rather than to the agency contribution alone.

Direct Costs are costs that can be identified and charged to a specific project (contract) relatively easily with a reasonable degree of accuracy and without an inordinate amount of accounting.  These costs could include salaries, wages, services, materials, and equipment.  It is not the nature of the goods or services that determines direct cost classifications; rather, it is the ease of identification with the sponsored work or a final cost objective.

Equipment is a single item with a value or purchase price of $5,000 or more with a life expectancy of one (1) year of more (e.g., test equipment, tools).

Fixed Price Contract is a contract in which the contractor guarantees to deliver or to perform the contract work within the period specified at a fixed price agreed upon in advance and payable no matter what the actual costs are.

Flow Through is a term used to describe the requirement that a contract clause appearing in a prime contract has to be included in the subcontracts.  This requirement may apply to first tier subcontracts (contractor to subcontractor) or to all tiers (contractor to subcontractor to subcontractor).  The requirement may be triggered by certain characteristics of the clause or regulations, (e.g., dollar value of contract or subcontract, by law, etc.)

Fringe Benefits are composite rates negotiated by the university of Missouri system.  They may be escalated every fiscal year.  The rates consist of benefits (e.g., health & life insurances, social security, vacation) for all employee levels (instructors, support staff, etc.)

Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A) are costs that have been incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore, cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or activity.  F&A costs are such things as a library system, building maintenance, or utilities.  F&A used to be referred to as "Indirect Costs."

Grant is an exchange of property or funds for assurances that a particular use will or will not be made of it.  The assurances required may be extensive and detailed, taking the form of conditions to which the grantee agrees.  A breach of any of these conditions is subject to remedy by law as the grant constitutes a contract.

Grantee is the institution, public or private nonprofit corporation, organization, agency or other legally accountable entity that receives a grant and assume legal and financial responsibility and accountability for both the awarded funds and performance of the grant-supported activity.

Indirect Costs See "Facilities and Administrative Costs."

Modified Total Direct Costs is the sum of the total direct costs minus those items exempt from F&A.  The items usually exempt from F&A are permanent equipment, subcontracts (the portion of each that exceeds $25,000), fees, and expense to lease space.

Prime Contract is any contract entered into directly between the Missouri University of Science and Technology and federal agency or other entity.

Project Grant is the most common form of grants.  It provides funding for a specific project or program with a reasonably well defined scope of work.

Shared Credit is negotiated between the Principal Investigator (PI) and the Co-PI(s).

Subcontract is a contract between the Missouri University of Science and Technology and other entity in the performance of a prime contract.  Missouri S&T can either by the prime contractor or the subcontractor.  These contracts can be for materials, equipment, or services.

Supplies are expendable items, such as lab equipment, office supplies, small hand tools, etc.