Glossary

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Program Announcement

A PA is a formal statement about a new or ongoing extramural activity or program. It may serve as a reminder of continuing interest in a research area, describe modification in an activity or program, and/or invite applications for grant support. Most applications in response to PAs may be submitted to a standing submission date and are reviewed with all other applications received at that time using standard peer review processes. NIH may also make funds available through PARs (PAs with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations) and PASs (PAs with set-aside funds).

PAs may be used for any support mechanism other than construction awards. Unless otherwise specified in the PA, new applications (and associated renewal and revision applications) submitted in response to PAs are treated as investigator-initiated. PAs also are used to annually solicit applications for the SBIR and STTR programs. Those applications must be received by the dates specified in the PA.

Program Announcements (PA) are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Go to Program Announcements. Learn more about types of funding opportunity announcements.

A

Activity Code

A 3-character code used to identify a specific category of extramural research activity, applied to financial assistance mechanisms. NIH uses three funding mechanisms for extramural research awards: grants, cooperative agreements and contracts. Within each funding mechanism, NIH uses 3-character activity codes (e.g., F32, K08, P01, R01, T32, etc.) to differentiate the wide variety of research-related programs NIH supports. Comprehensive List of Activity Codes

Additive Alternative

A use of program income earned during or after the project period that permits income that is generated under a grant to be added to funds committed to the project by the Federal awarding agency and recipient and used to further eligible project or program objectives. (See definitions for deductive alternative and cost sharing or matching alternative and the NIH Grants Policy Statement: 8. Administrative Requirements 8.3 Management Systems and Procedures-Program Income

Administrative Expenses

Expenses incurred for the support of activities relevant to the award of grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements and expenses incurred for general administration of the scientific programs and activities of the National Institutes of Health.

Advance Payment

A payment that a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity makes by any appropriate payment mechanism, including a predetermined payment schedule, before the non-Federal entity disburses the funds for program purposes.

Advisory Council/Board

National Advisory Council or Board, mandated by statute, providing the second level of review for grant applications for each Institute/Center awarding grants. The Councils/Boards are comprised of both scientific and lay representatives. Council/Board recommendations are based on scientific merit (as judged by the initial review groups) and the relevance of the proposed study to an institute's programs and priorities. With some exceptions, grants cannot be awarded without recommendations for approval by a Council/Board.

Alteration and Renovation (A&R)

Work that changes the interior arrangements or other physical characteristics of an existing facility or of installed equipment so that it can be used more effectively for its currently designated purpose or adapted to an alternative use to meet a programmatic requirement. See also definitions for Major A&R and Minor A&R.

Application Cycle

NIH accepts applications for most programs in three cycles. The applications received within a cycle are typically reviewed within the same council round. Many NIH Funding Opportunity Announcements are open for up to three years with standard due dates falling in each cycle.

Average Programmatic Reduction

The dollar amount a grant award is reduced from the amount recommended by the study section (scientific review group). This is done so Institutes can maintain a sufficient number of grants in their portfolio and to combat inflation of grant costs.

C

CAP

Commercialization Accelerator Program

Center Grants

Center grants are awarded to institutions on behalf of program directors and groups of collaborating investigators. They support long-term, multi-disciplinary programs of research and development.

Close Date or Closing Date

The Close Date of a funding opportunity announcement is the date the funding agency lists in Grants.gov as the last submission due date for the announcement.

Cluster of Programs

A grouping of closely related programs that share common compliance requirements. The types of clusters of programs are research and development (R&D), student financial aid (SFA), and other clusters. "Other clusters" are as defined by OMB in the compliance supplement or as designated by a state for Federal awards the state provides to its sub-recipients that meet the definition of a cluster of programs. When designating an "other cluster," a state must identify the Federal awards included in the cluster and advise the sub-recipients of compliance requirements applicable to the cluster, consistent with 45 CFR § 75.352(a). A cluster of programs must be considered as one program for determining major programs, as described in 45 CFR § 75.518, and, with the exception of R&D as described in 45 CFR § 75.501(c), whether a program-specific audit may be elected.

Common Fund

The NIH Common Fund supports cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs, including those referred to as NIH Roadmap programs. See The NIH Common Fund.

Contact PD/PI

When multiple PD/PIs are designated, NIH requires that the applicant organization identify one of the PD/PIs as the Contact PD/PI to serve as a primary point of contact. Serving as Contact PD/PI confers no special authorities or responsibilities within the project team. The Contact PD/PI must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status. However, as with the single PD/PI model, if the Contact PD/PI is not an employee, the applicant organization must have a formal written agreement with the Contact PD/PI that specifies an official relationship between the parties. (See NIH Grants Policy Statement: 9 Multiple Program director/Principal Investigator Applications and Awards)

Contract Transaction Types

Type 1 New contract
Type 2 Renewal
Type 3 Modification
Type 4 Letter contract
Type 5 Continuation of an incrementally (typically, in one year increments) funded contract
Type 6 Task orders and subsequent modifications relating to existing ordering agreements
Type 7 Exercise of option

Cost Objective

A program, function, activity, award, organizational subdivision, contract, or work unit for which cost data are desired and for which provision is made to accumulate and measure the cost of processes, products, jobs, capital projects, etc. A cost objective may be a major function of the non-Federal entity, a particular service or project, a Federal award, or an indirect (Facilities & Administrative (F&A)) cost activity, as described in 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles.

Cost Sharing or Matching Alternative

An alternative use of program income whereby income accrued during the period of grant support may be used to satisfy a cost sharing or matching requirement. (See also definitions for additive alternative and deductive alternative and NIH Grants Policy Statement: 8 Administrative Requirements 8.3 Management Systems and Procedures 8.3.2 Program Income.)

Covered Small Business Concern

For purposes of the SBIR/STTR programs, a small business concern that:
  1. Was not majority-owned by multiple venture capital operating companies (VCOCs), hedge funds, or private equity firms on the date on which it submitted an application in response to a solicitation under the SBIR program; and
  2. Is majority-owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, or private equity firms on the date of the SBIR award.

D

Deductive Alternative

An alternative for the use of program income earned during the period of grant support under which allowable costs of the project or program to be paid by the Federal government are offset by the amount of the program income. (See also definitions for additive alternative and cost sharing or matching alternative and NIH Grants Policy Statement: 8 Administrative Requirements 8.3 Management Systems and Procedures 8.3.2 Program Income.)

Dual Review System

Peer review process used by NIH. The first level of review provides a judgment of scientific merit. The second level of review (usually conducted by an ICD's advisory Council) assesses the quality of the first review, sets program priorities, and makes funding recommendations.

E

Early Established Investigator (EEI)

A Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who is within 10 years of receiving their first substantial, independent competing NIH R01 equivalent research award as an Early Stage Investigator (ESI).

Early Stage Investigator (ESI)

A Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award. A list of NIH grants that a PD/PI can hold and still be considered an ESI can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/list-smaller-grants.htm.

Entity Identification Number (EIN)

A three-part coding scheme of 12 characters used in the Program Management System (PMS) to identify organizations and individuals. The first character identifies the recipient as an organization or an individual. The next nine characters are the Employer Identification Number. The last two characters are a suffix to provide distinction between organizational entities that are assigned a single EIN and those that have more than one.

Expiration Date

In context of awarded grant:
The date signifying the end of the current project period, after which the grantee is not authorized to obligate grant funds.

In context of funding opportunity announcement key dates:
The day after the last submission due date for the announcement. As of the Expiration Date, the announcement is no longer active and applications will not be accepted unless either the late policy or system issue policy apply.

F

Federal Program

(1) All Federal awards which are assigned a single number in the CFDA.

(2) When no CFDA number is assigned, all Federal awards to non- Federal entities from the same agency made for the same purpose should be combined and considered one program.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2) of this definition, a cluster of programs.

The types of clusters of programs are:

(i) Research and development (R&D);

(ii) Student financial aid (SFA); and

(iii) "Other clusters,'' as described in the definition of Cluster of Programs.

Federal Register

An official, daily publication communicating proposed and final regulations and legal notices issued by federal agencies, including announcements of the availability of funds for financial assistance. Go to Federal Register.

Financial Management Plan

A Financial Management Plan, also known as Funding Policy, is a policy to establish consistency in funding which specifies levels for items such as the payline, programmatic reductions, and caps for re-competing grants.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

A publicly available document by which a Federal Agency makes known its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. Funding opportunity announcements may be known as program announcements, requests for applications, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the Agency and type of program. Funding opportunity announcements can be found at Grants.gov/FIND and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.

G

Graduate School

In the context of NIH's R15 program, a graduate school offers advanced degrees, beyond the undergraduate level, in an academic discipline. Advance degrees include M.A., M.S., and Ph.D.

Grants Management Officer (GMO)

An NIH official responsible for the business management aspects of grants and cooperative agreements, including review, negotiation, award, and administration, and for the interpretation of grants administration policies and provisions. GMOs are delegated the authority from the CGMO to obligate NIH to the expenditure of funds and permit changes to approved projects on behalf of NIH. Each NIH IC that awards grants has one or more GMOs with responsibility for particular programs or awards. See also Chief Grants Management Officer definition.

Grants Management Specialist (GMS)

A NIH staff member who oversees the business and other non-programmatic aspects of one or more grants and/or cooperative agreements. These activities include, but are not limited to, evaluating grant applications for administrative content and compliance with statutes, regulations, and guidelines; negotiating grants; providing consultation and technical assistance to grantees; and administering grants after award.

Grants.gov

Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/) has been designated by the Office of Management and Budget as the single access point for all grant programs offered by 26 Federal grant-making agencies. It provides a single interface for agencies to announce their grant opportunities and for all applicants to find and apply for those opportunities.

H

Health Professional School or College

In the context of NIH's R15 program, health professional schools and colleges are accredited institutions that provide education and training leading to a health professional degree, including but not limited to: BSN, MSN, DNP, MD, DDS, DO, PharmD, DVM, OD, DPT, DC, ND, DPM, MOT, OTD, DPT, BME, MSEE, MS-SLP, CScD, SLPD, AuD, MSPO, MSAT, and MPH. Eligible health professional schools/colleges may include schools or colleges of nursing, medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, public health, optometry, allied health, chiropractic, naturopathy, podiatry, rehabilitation medicine, physical therapy, orthotics & prosthetics, kinesiology, biomedical engineering, occupational therapy and psychology. Accreditation must be provided by a body approved for such purpose by the Secretary of Education.

Hedge Fund

For purposes of the SBIR/STTR programs, hedge fund has the meaning given that term in section 13(h)(2) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1851(h)(2)). The hedge fund must have a place of business located in the United States and be created or organized in the United States, or under the law of the United States or of any State.

Historically Underutilized Zone (HUBZone)

A small business concern meeting the following criteria:
1. Located in a “historically underutilized business zone or HUBZone area located in one or more of the following:

  • A qualified census tract (as defined in section 42(d)(5)(C)(i)(l) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
  • A qualified ‚Äúnon-metropolitan county (as defined in section 143(k)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) with a median household income of less than 80 percent of the state median household income or with an unemployment rate of not less than 140 percent of the statewide average, based on U.S. Department of Labor recent data; or
  • Lands within the boundaries of Federally recognized Indian reservations.

2. Owned and controlled by one or more U.S. Citizens.
3. At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

I

IACUC

An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) appointed by the Chief Executive Officer or designee, is federally mandated to oversee the institution's animal program, facilities, and procedures.

IACUC

An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) appointed by the Chief Executive Officer or designee, is federally mandated to oversee the institution's animal program, facilities, and procedures.

Indian tribe

Any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. Chapter 33), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians (25 U.S.C. 450b (e)). See annually published Bureau of Indian Affairs list of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services.

Institute or Center (IC)

The NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC" or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award.

Acronym Full Name Organizational Code
CC Clinical Center CC
CSR Center for Scientific Review RG
CIT Center for Information Technology CIT
FIC John E. Fogarty International Center TW
NCATS National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) TR
NCCIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health AT
NCI National Cancer Institute CA
NCRR National Center for Research Resources (dissolved 12/2011) RR
NEI National Eye Institute EY
NHGRI National Human Genome Research Institute HG
NHLBI National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute HL
NIA National Institute on Aging AG
NIAAA National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism AA
NIAID National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases AI
NIAMS National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases AR
NIBIB National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering EB
NICHD Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development HD
NIDA National Institute on Drug Abuse DA
NIDCD National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders DC
NIDCR National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research DE
NIDDK National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases DK
NIEHS National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ES
NIGMS National Institute of General Medical Sciences GM
NIMH National Institute of Mental Health MH
NIMHD National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities MD
NINDS National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NS
NINR National Institute of Nursing Research NR
NLM National Library of Medicine LM
OD Office of the Director OD

Intergovernmental Personnel Act

The Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program provides for the temporary assignment of personnel between the Federal Government and state and local governments, colleges and universities, Indian tribe.

M

Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)

The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Branch of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) provides research training opportunities for students and faculty from minority groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences relevant to biomedicine, including mathematics and engineering.

Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS)

A program to strengthen the biomedical research and research training capability of ethnic minority institutions. The intent is to increase the involvement of minority faculty and students in biomedical research.

Modernization

Alteration, renovation, remodeling, improvement, and/or repair of an existing building and the provision of equipment necessary to make the building suitable for use for the purposes of a particular program. The entire purpose of the modernization grant is to modernize biomedical research facilities. A modernization grant cannot support the conduct of any research.

Monitoring

A process whereby the programmatic and business management performance aspects of a grant are assessed by reviewing information gathered from various required reports, audits, site visits, and other sources.

MSTP

Medical Scientist Training Program - MTSP supports the integrated medical (or equivalent professional clinical) degree and graduate research training required for the investigation of human diseases

N

Non-Federal Share

When cost sharing or matching is required as a condition of an award, the portion of allowable project/program costs not borne by the Federal government.

NOSI

Notices posted in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts that succinctly highlight a specific topic of interest, for example a specific area of research or program. These notices direct applicants to one or more active funding opportunity announcements (often parent announcements) for submission of applications for the initiative described. Many program announcements will be issued as Notices of Special Interest going forward.

NOSI

Notices posted in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts that succinctly highlight a specific topic of interest, for example a specific area of research or program. These notices direct applicants to one or more active funding opportunity announcements (often parent announcements) for submission of applications for the initiative described. Many program announcements will be issued as Notices of Special Interest going forward.

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Form Approved OMB# 0925-0648 Exp. Date 05/31/2021