Awards Management Tutorial

Glossary of Terms

Administrative Requirements

The general practices that are common to the administration of grants, such as financial accountability, reporting, equipment management, and retention of records.

Advance Payment

A payment made to a recipient upon its request either before cash disbursements are made by the recipient or through the use of predetermined payment schedules.

Allocable Cost

A cost that is allocable to a particular cost objective (i.e., a specific function, grant project, service, department, or other activity) in accordance with the relative benefits received. A cost is allocable to a Federal award where it is treated consistently with other costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances and (1) is incurred specifically for the award, (2) benefits both the award and other work and can be distributed in reasonable proportion to the benefits received, or (3) is necessary for the overall operation of the organization.

Allowable Cost

A cost incurred by a recipient that is: (1) reasonable for the performance of the award; (2) allocable; (3) in conformance with any limitations or exclusions set forth in the Federal cost principles applicable to the organization incurring the cost or in the NoA as to the type or amount of cost; (4) consistent with regulations, policies, and procedures of the recipient that are applied uniformly to both federally supported and other activities of the organization; (5) accorded consistent treatment as a direct or indirect cost; (6) determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; and (7) not included as a cost in any other federally supported award (unless specifically authorized by statute).

Approved Budget

The financial expenditure plan for a grant-supported project, program, or activity, including revisions approved by the OPDIV and permissible revisions made by the recipient. The approved budget consists of Federal (grant) funds and, if required by the terms and conditions of the award, non-Federal participation in the form of matching or cost sharing. Expenditures under an approved budget that consists of both Federal and non-Federal shares are deemed to be borne by the recipient in the same proportion as the percentage of Federal/non-Federal participation in the overall budget.

Budget Periods

The intervals of time (usually 12 months each) into which a project period is divided for budgetary.


Unobligated Federal funds remaining at the end of any budget period that may be carried forward to another budget period to cover allowable costs of that budget period (whether as an offset or additional authorization). Obligated but unliquidated funds are not considered carryover).


The process by which an OPDIV determines whether all applicable administrative actions and all work required under the award have been completed by the recipient and the awarding office.

Cooperative Agreement

A financial assistance support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that OPDIV program staff will collaborate or participate in project or program activities as specified in the Notice of Award.

Direct Costs

Costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.

Entity Identification Number (EIN) 

A three-part coding scheme of 12 characters used in PMS to identify organizations and individuals. The first character identifies the recipient as an organization or an individual. The next 9 characters are the Internal Revenue Service tax number identification (TIN) for organizations or the social security number (SSN) for individuals. The last 2 characters are a suffix to provide distinction between organizational entities that are assigned a single EIN and those that have more than one EIN. The entities could be subsidiaries, divisions, branches, subdivisions, or other organizational groupings of a major organizational entity.


An article of tangible nonexpendable personal property that has a useful life of more than 1 year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit or the capitalization threshold established by the recipient, whichever is less. 

Expanded Authorities

Operating authorities provided to recipients that waive the requirement for OPDIV prior approval for specified actions.

Federal Funds Authorized

The total amount of Federal funds obligated by the OPDIV for use by the recipient. This amount may include any authorized carryover of unobligated funds from one of the two preceding budget periods.

Federal Share

The amount, generally expressed as a percentage of total project costs, of financial, property, and other direct assistance provided by the OPDIV, as specified in the NoA.

Financial Status Report

A standard Federal form, SF 269 (long form) or SF 269A (short form), that shows the status of funds in non-construction programs and is used to monitor the financial progress of awards. The forms require information on total outlays (Federal and recipient shares) and unobligated balances of Federal funds. The long form is used for grants that involve program income.

Funding Opportunity Announcement

An OPDIV’s formally issued announcement of the availability of Federal funding through one of its financial assistance programs. The announcement invites applications and provides such information as eligibility and evaluation criteria, funding preferences/priorities, how to obtain application kits, and the submission deadline (see Part I).


A financial assistance support mechanism providing money, property or other direct assistance in lieu of money, or both, to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity in support of a public purpose and not the direct benefit of the government. A grant is used whenever the OPDIV anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities.

Indirect Costs

Costs that are incurred by a recipient for common or joint objectives and cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program. These costs also are known as “facilities and administrative costs.” 

Key Personnel

The PI/PD and other individuals who contribute to the programmatic development or execution of a project or program in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive salaries or compensation under the grant. 

Matching or Cost Sharing

The value of third-party in-kind contributions and the portion of the costs of a federally assisted project or program not borne by the Federal government. Costs used to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements are subject to the same policies governing allowability as other costs under the approved budget. 

Non Federal Share

The portion of allowable project costs not borne by the Federal government. 

Objective Review

An advisory review of discretionary grant applications conducted by unbiased reviewers with expertise in the programmatic area for which applications are submitted. 


The amounts of orders placed, contracts and subawards, goods and services received, and similar transactions by a recipient during a budget period that will require payment during the same or a future budget period. 

Outlays or Expenditures

The charges made to the federally sponsored project or program. They may be reported on a cash or accrual basis. 

Preaward Costs 

Costs incurred prior to the beginning date of the project period, in anticipation of an award and at the applicant’s own risk, for otherwise allowable costs. 

Prior Approval

Written consent or issuance of an award by the OPDIV GMO in response to a written request from the recipient to incur a specific direct cost or take other action that requires such approval (as specified in Part II of the HHS GPS). If the costs or other actions are specifically identified in an application, approval of the application, and issuance of an award based thereon, constitutes such authorization. Prior approval for components of indirect costs must be obtained from the cognizant agency or as specified in the applicable cost principles. 

Program Income

Gross income earned by a recipient that is directly generated by the grant-supported project, program, or activity or earned as a result of the award. 

Progress Report

Periodic, usually annual, reports submitted by the recipient and used by the OPDIV to assess progress and, except for the final progress report, to determine whether to provide funding for the budget period subsequent to that covered by the report. 

Project Period 

The total time for which support of a project has been programmatically approved. The total project period comprises the initial competitive segment, any subsequent competitive segments resulting from a competing continuation award, and any non-competing extensions. 

Real Property

Land, including land improvements, structures, and appurtenances, but not movable machinery and equipment. 

Reasonable Cost

A cost whose nature or amount does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the  circumstances prevailing when the decision was made to incur the cost.


The organization or individual that receives a grant or cooperative agreement award from an OPDIV and is responsible and accountable for the use of the funds provided and for the performance of the grant-supported project or activity. The recipient is the entire legal entity even if a particular component is designated in the NoA. The term includes “grantee.” 

Significant Rebudgeting

A threshold that is reached when expenditures in a single direct cost budget category deviate (increase or decrease) from the approved budget amount for that budget category for that budget period by a specified amount, usually more than 25 percent of the total costs awarded. Significant rebudgeting is one indicator of change in scope. 


Financial assistance in the form of money or property in lieu of money provided under an award by a recipient to an eligible subrecipient (or by an eligible subrecipient to a lower-tier subrecipient). The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include either procurement of goods or services or, for purposes of this policy statement, any form of assistance other than grants and cooperative agreements. The term includes consortium agreements. 


An entity that receives a subaward from a recipient or another subrecipient under an award of financial assistance and is accountable to the recipient or other subrecipient for the use of the Federal funds provided by the subaward. 


Personal property other than equipment, intangible property, and debt instruments. The category of “supplies” includes items that could be considered equipment, but do not meet the threshold definition. 

Terms and Conditions 

All legal requirements imposed on a grant by the OPDIV, whether based on statute, regulation, policy, or other document referenced in the NoA, or specified by the NoA itself. In addition to general terms and conditions, the NoA may include other conditions that are considered necessary to attain the award’s objectives, facilitate post-award administration, conserve grant funds, or otherwise protect the Federal government’s interests. 

Unallowable Cost 

A cost specified by law or regulation, Federal cost principles, or term and condition of award that may not be reimbursed under a grant or cooperative agreement.

 Unliquidated Obligations 

The amount of obligations incurred by the recipient that has not been paid (for financial reports prepared on a cash basis) or the amount of obligations incurred by the recipient for which an outlay has not been recorded (for reports prepared on an accrual basis). 

Unobligated Balance

The portion of the funds authorized by the Federal agency that has not been obligated by the recipient. 


Date Last Reviewed:  April 2017


Contact Us HRSA Exit Disclaimer

Payment Management Contacts

Contact your Project Officer or Grants Management Specialist with specific questions about the administration and management of your grant or cooperative agreement. Their contact information is on the last page of the Notice of Award.