Federal Abbreviations

Here are some of the federal abbreviations you may encounter while working on a proposal:

A-21 OMB Circular: Cost Principles for Educational Institutions
A-110 OMB Circular: Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations
A-133 OMB Circular: Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations
AAAS American Association for the Advancement of Science (general science society)
AAUW American Association of University Women
ACH Automated Clearing House: primary electronic funds transfer system used by agencies to make payments
ACLS American Council of Learned Societies:  private non-profit federation of national scholarly organizations dedicated to the advancement of humanities
AFOSR Air Force Office of Scientific Research
AOR Authorized Organizational Representative: an individual authorized to submit grant applications of behalf of your organization
AREA Academic Research Enhancement Award – NIH grant program
BAA Broad Agency Announcement
CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention: US federal agency dedicated to protecting health and promoting quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability
CFDA Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: listing of all U.S. federal funding opportunities, often referenced by number (ex: 84.120)
co-PI Co-Principal Investigator
COS Community of Science: online searchable database of funding opportunities
CRA Certified Research Administrator: professional research or sponsored programs administrator who has passed the Research Administrators Certification Council’s exam
CRADA Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
CSR Center for Scientific Review: NIH office that organizes the peer review groups or study sections that evaluate the majority of the research grant applications submitted for funding
DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency: US federal agency, the research and development office for the U.S. Department of Defense
DHHS US Department of Health and Human Services: federal agency, U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services
DOC US Department of Commerce: federal agency mandated to advance economic growth and jobs and opportunities for the American people
DOD US Department of Defense:  federal agency that provides the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of the United States
DOE US Department of Energy: federal agency mandated to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex
DoEd US Department of Education: federal agency created to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access
DOL US Department of Labor: federal agency mandated to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights
EO Executive Order: legally binding orders given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch, to Federal Administrative Agencies
EFT Electronic Funds Transfer
EPA US Environmental Protection Agency: federal agency created to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment — air, water and land — upon which life depends
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.
F&A Facilities & Administrative costs (also called indirect costs or IDC): costs that are incurred by a grantee for common or joint usage and cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program
FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation: the FAR was established to codify uniform policies for acquisition of supplies and services by executive agencies
FDA US Food and Drug Administration: federal agency responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation
FDP Federal Demonstration Partnership: an association of federal agencies, academic research institutions with administrative, faculty and technical representation, and research policy organizations that work to streamline the administration of federally sponsored research
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency: US federal agency created to support our citizens and first responders to build, sustain, and improve US capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards
FIPSE Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education: US Department of Education funding program
FOIA Freedom of Information Act: a law ensuring public access to U.S. government records
FSR Financial Status Report: a statement of expenditures sent to the sponsor of a grant or contract, generally completed on SF269 short or long form
FTE Full-Time Equivalent: number of hours worked that add up to one full-time position
FWA Federalwide Assurance (number): authorization number designated by the federal government for an institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) certified to review research involving human subjects
FY Fiscal Year: the financial and budgeting year of an institution, i.e., the US government’s fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30
GAO US Government Accountability Office: supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people
GC-1 General Grant Conditions: the National Science Foundation (NSF) post-award guidelines
GPG Grant Proposal Guidelines: The NSF pre-award proposal submission guidelines
GPS Grant Policy Statement: post-award policy guide for all National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and cooperative agreements
GSA General Services Administration: the centralized procurement arm for the federal government that offers products, services, and facilities needed by federal agencies for serving the public
HACU Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
HBCU Historically Black Colleges and Universities
HEA Higher Education Act: legislation signed into United States law on November 8, 1965 intended to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.  The HEA has been reauthorized and amended several times, and before each reauthorization, Congress amends additional programs, changes the language and policies of existing programs, or makes other changes.
HSI Hispanic-Serving Institution
HUD US Department of Housing and Urban Development: federal agency with a mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all
IA Interagency Agreement
IACUC  Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee: campus committee that reviews protocols for animal subject research
ICR Indirect Cost Recovery: the indirect costs an institution collects on grants and contracts
IDC Indirect Costs (also called F&A costs): costs that are incurred by a grantee for common or joint usage and cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program
IP Intellectual Property: refers to creations of the mind (i.e., inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce) often protected by copyrights, patents, and trademarks
IRB Institutional Review Board: campus committee that reviews protocols for human subject research
MBRS Minority Biomedical Research Support: National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant program
MI Minority Institution: institutions of higher education enrolling populations with significant percentages of minority students, or that serve certain populations of minority students under various programs created by Congress
MRI Major Research Instrumentation:  NSF grant program
MSI Minority-Serving Institution: Colleges and reporting the enrollment of a single minority group, or combination of those minority groups, that exceeded 50 percent of its total enrollment. For the purposes of this list, “minority” is defined as American Indian, Alaska Native, Black (not of Hispanic origin) and Hispanic.  As this is also referred to as a Minority Institution (MI), carefully read the eligibility requirements that define the term prior to pursuing any related grant opportunity.
MTDC Modified Total Direct Costs: cost base for applying an F&A rate that generally includes all costs, exceptcapital equipment, leasing costs, tuition remission, participant support costs, and subrecipient costs above the first $25,000.
NCURA National Council of University Research Administrators: professional society that provides education and professional development programs to support the field of research administration
NEA National Endowment for the Arts: federal funding agency that supports artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities
NEH National Endowment for the Humanities:  federal funding agency dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities
NoA Notice of Award: formal notice documenting a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant award
NIFA National Institute of Food and Agriculture: the funding arm of the US Department of Agriculture (previous called CSREES)
NIH National Institutes of Health: federal funding agency whose mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: federal agency with a mission to understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs
NSA National Security Agency:  federal agency that delivers responsive, reliable, effective, and expert Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance products and services, and enables Network Warfare operations to gain a decisive information advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances
NSB National Science Board: governing board of the National Science Foundation and policy advisors to the President and Congress
NSF National Science Foundation: federal agency created to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and is the only federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences
OCR Office for Civil Rights: federal agency that oversees federal civil rights laws and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, which together protect your fundamental rights of nondiscrimination and health information privacy.  OCR also provides the information for the Minority Institutions lists.
OHRP Office for Human Research Protections: federal office that provides leadership in the protection of the rights, welfare, and wellbeing of subjects involved in research conducted or supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) by providing clarification and guidance, developing educational programs and materials, maintaining regulatory oversight, and providing advice on ethical and regulatory issues in biomedical and behavioral research
OIG (or IG) Office of the Inspector General: offices within each agency responsible for ensuring the integrity of agency programs, to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct, and to promote integrity, economy, efficiency, and effectiveness through a nationwide network of audits, investigations, inspections and other mission-related functions
OLAW Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare: federal agency that provides guidance and interpretation of the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, supports educational programs, and monitors compliance with the Policy by Assured institutions and PHS funding components to ensure the humane care and use of animals in PHS-supported research, testing, and training, thereby contributing to the quality of PHS-supported activities
OMB Office of Management and Budget – A branch of the Executive Office of the President that assists the president in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and supervising its administration in executive branch agencies.  OMB oversees and coordinates the administration’s procurement, financial management, information, and regulatory policies, including grants policies and procedures and governmentwide electronic grants initiatives, including Grants.gov.  OMB also maintains the Grants Mangement Circulars that specifically govern the budgeting and use of federal grant funds
ONR Office of Naval Research: federal executive branch agency within the Department of Defense that supports the President’s budget by providing technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy and oversees a portfolio of investments ranging from immediate, quick-turnaround technologies to long term basic research
ORI Office of Research Integrity: promotes integrity in biomedical and behavioral research supported by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) and monitors institutional investigations of research misconduct and facilitates the responsible conduct of research (RCR) through educational, preventive, and regulatory activities
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration: federal agency (part of the US Department of Labor) created to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance
PA Program Announcement: an announcement published by an NIH Institute or Center requesting applications in the stated scientific areas
PAR Program Announcement Reviewed in an Institute: NIH program announcement with special receipt, referral and/or review considerations
PD Program Director: An individual designated by the grantee to direct the project or activity being supported by the grant. He or she is responsible and accountable to the grantee and the sponsoring organization for the proper conduct of the project or activity
PHS US Public Health Services: umbrella organization in the U.S. Federal Government consisting of eight DHHS health Agencies, the Office of Public Health and Science, and the Commissioned Corps (a uniformed service of more than 6,000 health professionals).  The NIH is the largest Agency within the PHS.
PI Principal Investigator: An individual designated by the grantee to direct the project or activity being supported by the grant. He or she is responsible and accountable to the grantee and the sponsoring organization for the proper conduct of the project or activity.  Also known as Program Director or Project Director for non-research sponsored projects.
PL Public Law
PMS Payment Management System: Automated system for the delivery and tracking of funds; grant payments to non-Federal grantee institutions are made available through PMS.
PO Program Official or Program Officer: the sponsor agency/organization official responsible for the programmatic, scientific, and/or technical aspects of a grant
PR/Award number The identifying number used by US Department of Education for a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement application and award
R01 NIH Research Program Grant
R03 NIH Small Grant Program
R21 NIH Exploratory Research Grant
REU Research Experiences for Undergraduates: NSF funding program that supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
RFA Request for Applications: The official statement inviting grant or cooperative agreement applications to accomplish a specific program purpose. RFAs indicate the amount of funds set aside for the competition and generally identify a single application receipt date.
RFP Request for Proposals: Announces that NIH would like to award a contract to meet a specific need, such as the development of an animal model. RFPs have a single application receipt date and are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.
RRA Reimbursable Research Agreement
S&W Salaries and Wages: cost base for applying an F&A rate that generally includes only the primary applicant’s salary and wages costs.  ULV’s S&W rate also includes fringe benefits costs, as specified in our F&A rate agreement.
SBA US Small Business Administration: federal agency that provides support to small businesses and small-business owners across the nation
SBIR Small Business Innovation Research: funding programs designed to support small business concerns conducting innovative research/research & development with potential for commercialization.  Most federal funding agencies support SBIR projects.
SF Standard Form: government-wide forms commonly used for the request or reporting of federal funding (i.e., SF-424 is the Application for Federal Assistance used as a cover sheet for most federal funding applications)
SNAP Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process: simplified process for the submission of information prior to the issuance of a non-competing award. Funds are automatically carried over and are available for expenditure during the entire project period. All NIH award notices identify whether the grant is subject to or excluded from SNAP.
SOW Statement of Work: in a contract or subaward proposal, the detailed description of the work to be performed under the contract
SRA Society of Research Administrators International: professional society dedicated to the education and professional development of research administrators working in varied organizational settings as well as the advancement of research administration as a profession around the world
SSA  US Social Security Administration
STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
STTR Small Business Technology Transfer: funding programs designed to support cooperative research/research & development with potential for commercialization, through a formal cooperative effort between a small business and a U.S. research institution.  Most federal funding agencies support STTR projects.
TDC Total Direct Costs: cost base for applying an F&A rate that includes all direct grant costs
Time & Effort Official reports on the time and/or effort someone expends working on  a sponsored project; also called Effort Reporting.
TRIO  Refers to a group of federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, generally funded by US Department of Education
USAID US Agency for International Development: an independent federal government agency that supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance
USC United States Code: the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States
USDA US Department of Agriculture: federal agency that provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management
VA US Department of Veterans Affairs: federal agency with a mission to provide veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned – and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship