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Engineering Research and Graduate Programs

Engineering Research and Graduate Programs
1042 Rathbone Hall
1701B Platt St.
Manhattan, KS 66506


Terms and Definitions

Award:  An acceptance of support from an agency through a signed document from the sponsor notifying the University that a project is being funded at a specified level, usually for a specified term. Notification of an award comes in various forms, such as by a letter, grant, contract, cooperative agreement, service agreement, or purchase order. Official awards must be accepted by both the sponsor and the University. That is, communications such as phone conversations, letters of intent, or unsigned documents are not official awards and will not be honored. Awards are reviewed in PreAward Services for acceptance and negotiation as needed.

Cayuse SPThe sponsored programs certification and approvals process is completed in Cayuse SP. Once a proposal, award or modification (any preaward-related activity) is ready for review and approvals, all personnel related to activity certify or approve through Cayuse SP. 

Consultant:  A consultant is an individual who provides professional advice or services for a fee, but normally not as an employee of the engaging party. Consultants also include firms that provide professional advice or services (per NIH Grants Policy Statement). Note intra-university consulting is assumed to be undertaken as a university obligation requiring no compensation in addition to full-time salary. All costs for the consultant should be included in the K-State budget as a single line item with the following footnote: “In order to facilitate payment, consultant fees, travel and per diem are combined in one payment.”

Cost Sharing, matching and in-kind contributions:  This is commitment of university resources in support of a project beyond the funds provided by the sponsor. These funds may be required by the sponsor. This commitment may be from the University's resources, from a third party, or from a combination of both. Regardless of the source, the University is responsible for maintaining records that satisfy state and federal audit requirements. The identification of all sources of matching funds is required at the proposal stage. Third party contributions, whether monetary or in-kind, must be documented in the proposal by a binding letter of commitment or via an existing agreement which includes details. 

Facilities &Administrative (F&A) costs:  These are real costs incurred by the University and the project that are not so readily identifiable. In essence, facilities and administrative costs are "pooled research support costs", averaged over many users at the University that benefit from those facilities or services. These pooled costs, which are separated into two categories called facilities costs and administrative costs, include such diverse items as: research library expenses, computer facilities, electric power, building use and depreciation, heating and air conditioning of research space, janitorial services, research administration in departmental or college offices, etc. As these are clearly real costs that must be paid by sponsored program activities, it is critical that each project pay its appropriate share. F&A may also be referred to as Sponsored Research Overhead (SRO) or indirect costs.

Internal Processing Form (IPF):  This is a university control form used for recording sponsored project related information. As an official document of the University it must accompany proposals, revised proposals, award notifications, and project modifications. All University commitments of personnel, matching funds, and additional space requirements, along with certifications regarding research compliance issues such as conflict of interest, use of human subjects, use of biohazards, use of animals, etc. are made on this form, and these must have signature approval of all parties responsible for making these commitments and or certifying compliance.

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA):  For non-federal sponsors that do not have a standardized format for making awards or that do not require that their format be used, the University's standard Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is recommended.

Modification (or amendment):   A modification is a change in the initial terms of the award which must be reviewed by the University (PAS) and is subject to the approvals for the initial proposal or award. Initiation of a modification varies by sponsor terms. Typically where not stated, a letter of request is submitted.

Expanded Authorities Request:  Under this system the University is empowered to authorize to approve preaward costs, no-cost time extensions, carryover of funds, rebudgeting of funds from one category to another, spending for non-budgeted items. Under expanded authorities, the University cannot authorize change in principal investigator, Change in scope of work, or expenditures not directly related to the agency-approved scope of the project. Expanded authorities guidelines require that any changes approved by the University must be in advance of the action, that all changes must be deemed necessary to carry out most effectively the goals for which the original award was made, and must be adequately justified in writing. Federal agencies that delegate expanded authority to Kansas State University include: AFOSR, DHHS, DOE, EPA, NASA, NEH, NSF, and USDA.

Office of Research Development (ORD): ORD promotes and facilitates the research, education, and outreach missions of the university by supporting and administering activities involving extramurally sponsored programs. ORD Development Directors offer services to help faculty succeed in their research, scholarly, and creative activity and discovery efforts offering including Individual strategic consultations, group coordination for large, complex submissions, finding collaborators for interdisciplinary proposals, and coordinating critical review of proposal narrative drafts.

Overdraft:   Completion of an Overdraft Request Form establishes an account prior to actual receipt of the official award when a department has received either verbal or written notification that an award is forthcoming and believes that the risk is minimal. The financial risk for all overdraft requests is solely the responsibility of the College of Engineering department unless special arrangements are made with the Associate Dean for Research. The amount of funding requested in an overdraft should be limited to anticipated expenses to be incurred prior to receiving the official award notice. ERGP authorized eSigners can approve overdrafts of up to $10,000. For more than $10,000 the Associate Dean for Research must sign the overdraft request and documentation of sponsor’s intent to award must accompany the overdraft. If the PI receives verbal affirmation from the sponsor, the Associate Dean for Research will accept an email from the PI naming the sponsor, contact name, contact information, and estimated date of award receipt. If the project is not funded, the unit(s) indicated on the Overdraft Request Form assumes financial responsibility for all expenses incurred. 

PreAward Services (PAS):  This office provides assistance to faculty, staff and administrators in obtaining and administering funding from non-University sources to support K-State's creative and scholarly activities. PAS is responsible for providing value added services for K-State faculty in the form of budget/proposal development, review and University sign-off. In addition, PAS has the responsibility for contract and grant review, negotiation and University acceptance, along with serving as liaison with the sponsoring entities.

Proposal: A proposal is an offer made to an external agency for the purpose of requesting financial support for the proposed research, instruction, service, or other University programs including solicited proposals in the form of a Request for Quotation (RFQ), Request for Proposal (RFP), or Request for Application (RFA), unsolicited proposals in various formats, standard applications such as those to federal agencies or to foundations.

Schedule of Charges (SOC)A schedule of charges is established by a department/unitwith the Controller's Officewhen a department or unit of the University provides a service for a fee. The Schedule of Charges defines the service and states the fee charged for the service, and must include only the direct costs of providing the product or service. Line items contained in budgets to sponsors that propose the use of university service centers must be consistent with an approved schedule of charges and be verifiable prior to proposal approval.

Sole Source: When a subrecipient or a consultant is a "sole source" and the service is expected to exceed $5,000, the name of the source and the justification for the sole source are both required. "Sole source" justification may consist of 1) a statement or representation in the proposal that the named supplier/contractor is the only source for the desired supplies or services, or 2) a statement in the proposal that the named supplier/contractor is uniquely qualified to perform the desired services because of location, reputation, and expertise. Note if the sole source is not identified in the proposal, bids must be let at time of University’s receipt of the award. This is a standard purchasing mandate contained in both State and Federal laws and regulations.

Sponsored Programs Accounting (SPA):  Sponsored Programs Accounting provides fiscal administration services for grants and contracts funded from external sources for the purpose of research and other creative and scholarly activities at K-State.

Subaward (or subrecipient):   A subaward transfers a portion of the research or substantive effort of the prime award to another institution or organization, or in seeking professional advice or services from external sources, a determination must be made during the proposal development stage as to the appropriate mechanism for this transfer of effort, or outside consultation. Excluded from subawards is procurement of items such as commercially available supplies, materials, and equipment or general support services. Subaward agreements are prepared through PreAward Services. A subaward will be prepared upon receipt and acceptance of the prime award by PAS if such was part of the original proposal. PAS will consult with the PI/PD concerning the statement of work, budget details, billing requirements, and other issues not detailed in the original proposal and will provide a draft copy of the agreement to the PI/PD for review before sending originals to the consultant or subrecipient for signature. Subawards may also be referred to as subawards or subcontracts.