Glossary: Terms and Abbreviations

To help our investigators and other team members through the application and proposal process, we've put together a list of abbreviations, acronyms and terms you might come across. These might include agency names or common funding programs.

Vocabulary of Research Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | M | N | O | P | R | S | T |


ACUC: Animal Care and Use Committee (also called IACUC elsewhere) - campus committee that reviews protocols for animal subject research

AHRQ: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

AOR: Authorized Organization Representative

AREA: Academic Research Enhancement Award - NIH grant program


BAA: Broad Agency Announcement


CA700U: California Form 700U Statement of Economic Interest

CCLI: Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement - NSF grant program

CDC: Center for Disease Control - federal agency

CFDA: Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

CFR: Code of Federal Regulations

COI: Conflict of Interest

CSR: Center for Scientific Review – NIH component responsible for review of scientific merit of all applications submitted to NIH

CSREES: Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service - funding arm of USDA


DARPA: Defense Advanced Research Project Agency

DHHS: Department of Health and Human Services (also HHS) - federal agency

DoD: United States Department of Defense

DoE: United States Department of Energy

DoED: United States. Department of Education

DoJ: United States Department of Justice


EPA: Environmental Protection Agency - federal agency

Equipment: The federal definition of “equipment” means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year that has a cost (including tax, shipping, and installation) of more than $5000. Anything under this threshold is considered Supplies.

eRA: Electronic Research Administration


F&A: Facilities and Administrative costs – also called indirect costs or IDC

FAR: Federal Acquisition Regulation

FICA: Federal Insurance Contributions Act – the combined taxes withheld for Social Security and Medicare

FIPSE: Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Schools – US Dept. of Education grant program

Fringe Benefits: Employee benefits paid by the employer (FICA, Worker’s Compensation, Withholding Tax, Insurance, etc.).

FOA: Funding Opportunity Announcement

FY: Fiscal Year. Any twelve-month period. The SJSU Research Foundation fiscal year is July 1 through June 30; the federal fiscal year is October 1 through September 30.


GSA: U.S. General Services Administration


HBCU: Historically Black College and University

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – The 1996 government regulation that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information.

HSI: Hispanic-Serving Institution

HUD: Department of Housing and Urban Development – federal agency


IACUC: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

IC: Independent contractor

ICR: Indirect Cost Recovery – what we collect in F&A

IDC: Indirect costs – also called F&A or Facilities and Administrative costs

IHE: Institute of Higher Education

IP: Intellectual property

IRB: Institutional Review Board – campus committee that reviews protocols for human subject research


LOI: Letter of Intent


MRI: Major Research Instrumentation – NSF grant program

MSI: Minority Serving Institution

MTDC: Modified Total Direct Cost


NCURA: National Council of University Research Administrators – professional society

NDA: Non-disclosure Agreement

NEA: National Endowment for the Arts

NEH: National Endowment for the Humanities

NIA: National Institute on Aging (NIH)

NIBIB: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

NICHD: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH)

NIDA: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH)

NIDCD: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

NIEHS: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH)

NIH: National Institutes of Health

NIJ: National Institute of Justice

NINDS: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH)

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOI: Notice of Intent

NSA: National Security Agency

NSF: National Science Foundation


OCR: Office for Civil Rights

OIG: Office of the Inspector General (or just IG)

OER: Office of Extramural Research (NIH)

OMB: Office of Management and Budget – US government office that sets rules for receiving and administering federal grants

ORI: Office of Research Integrity (HHS office)


PA: Program Announcement

PAPPG: Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide – National Science Foundation’s guidelines for proposal and award processes

PD: Program Director sometimes also used to refer to the principal investigator

PHS: Public Health Service

PI: Principal Investigator – individual who directs the project or program to be supported by the award

PO: Program officer or project officer

PPC: Proposal Preparation Checklist

PRAF: Proposal Routing and Approval Form


R&D: Research and Development

R01: NIH Research Program Grant

R03: NIH Small Grant Program

R21: NIH Exploratory Research Grant

REU: Research Experience for Undergrads – NSF grant program

RFA: Request For Application; Request for Funding Assistance

RFP: Request For Proposal

RFQ: Request for Quotation

RISE: Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement – NIH grant program

ROI: Return on Investment

RPPR: Research Performance Progress Report


SAM: System for Award Management

SBA: Small Business Administration

SBIR: Small Business Innovation Research

SCORE: Support of Continuous Research Excellence – NIH grant program

SOW: Statement of Work – needed for subcontracts

SPIN: Sponsored Programs Information Network – RF Subscription: Funding opportunity search service

SRA: Society of Research Administrators – professional society

STEAM: An educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

STEM: Curriculum based on four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

STTR: Small Business Technology Transfer Program

SWAMP: Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program


TDC: Total Direct Cost – cost base for applying an F&A rate

Time & Effort: Official reports on the time and/or effort someone expends working on an externally funded project.  Also called Effort Reporting

TIN: Taxpayer Identification Number


USAID: United States Agency for International Development

USDA: United States Department of Agriculture

USDE: United States Department of Education