Those allowable costs that actually benefit the grant or contract to which they are being charged.

A method of distributing costs (e.g., fringe benefits and F&A costs) to sponsored project accounts in proportion to the benefits received by the project.

Those categories of costs that can be charged to a grant, such as salaries and equipment. Certain types of costs, such as the cost of alcoholic beverages are not allowable and may not be charged to a contract or grant.

An area of potential control weakness, policy violation, financial misstatement, or other issue identified during an audit.

A formal examination of an organizations' or individual's accounts or financial situation. An audit may also include examination of compliance with applicable terms, laws, and regulations.


A rate, established by RIT and approved by the federal government, used to allocate benefit expenses to departments and projects. The RIT and NTID benefit rate includes tuition waivers; the Government rate does not. Current benefit rates are available on the Controller’s Office web page.

A detailed statement outlining estimated project costs to support work under a grant or contract.

The act of amending the budget by moving funds from one category or line item to another.


The Federal agency which, on behalf of all Federal agencies, is responsible for implementing the requirements of the Single Audit Act which include: reviewing, negotiating, and approving cost allocation plans, indirect cost rate and similar rates; receiving and approving non-federal audit reports; conducting federal audits as necessary; and resolving cross-cutting audit findings.

Conforming to certain accepted standards, i.e. RIT policies and procedures, federal, state or local laws and regulations, or other principles and standards.

A project account that is set up prior to receiving a final award agreement so work may begin. All contingent accounts must be supported by an alternative account (department, discretionary, etc.) should the award not be received.

Contingency, extension pending

An award instrument used for the acquisition of goods and services.

A contract/grant for which the sponsor pays for the full costs incurred in the conduct of the work up to an agreed-upon amount.

A general term, used as a noun or adjective, that can describe virtually any type of arrangement in which more than one party supports research, equipment acquisition, etc. Example: RIT receives a grant for a project estimate to have a total cost of $100,000. The sponsor agrees to pay 75% ($75,000) and the university agrees to pay 25% ($25,000). The $25,000 is the cost-sharing component.

A cost transfer is the movement of expenses to a sponsored project that were originally charged in error to an operating, discretionary, or other sponsored project account.

Cost Transfer Cover Sheet


Expenditures exceed funds available.

Clearly identifiable costs related to a specific project. General categories of direct costs include but are not limited to salaries and wages, benefits, supples, contracted services, travel, etc.

Department of Justice


Employee Action Form

External Cost Share

Uniform Guidance outlines that charges to Federal awards for salaries and wages must be based on records that accurately reflect the work performed. These records must be supported by a system of internal control which provides reasonable assurance that the charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated. At RIT, our internal control structure includes an effort reporting statement which is incorporated into the official records, reasonably reflects the employee's Institutional Base Salary and encompasses both federally assisted and all other activities compensated for.

Funds that have been set aside or "claimed" for projected expenses pending actual expenditure of the funds.

Effort Report

Effort Report Grad. Research Asst.

An additional period of time given by the sponsor to an organization for the completion of work on an approved grant or contract. An extension allows previously allocated funds to be spent after the original expiration date.


Costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and, therefore, cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity. F&A costs are synonymous with Indirect Costs.

Final Grant Statement

The final technical or financial report required by the sponsor to complete a research project.

A contract/grant for which one party pays the other party a predetermined price, regardless of actual costs, for services rendered.

Employee benefits paid by the employer (FICA, Worker's Comp, Withholding tax, etc.)


Grant Award Notification

Graduate Research Assistant

A type of financial assistance awarded to an organization for the conduct of research or other program as specified in an approved proposal.


Human Subject Fees


Internal Cost Share

An individual who performs services which are not subject to the will and control of RIT as to what must be done and how it must be done. RIT has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not the means and methods accomplishing the result.

Costs related to expenses incurred in conducting or supporting research or other externally-funded activities but not directly attributable to a specific project. These costs generally include general administration (accounting, payroll, etc.) sponsored project administration, depreciation, buildings and equipment, etc. Indirect Costs are synonymous with Facilities and Administrative Costs.

Invoice Payment Form


Cost sharing either required by the terms and conditions of the award or by federal statute that requires the University or an approved third party sponsor to contribute toward the project as a condition of receiving the award.

A type of cost sharing, matching funds are provided internally or raised from external sources in support of a sponsored project. In general, the sponsor will provide funds equal to the matching funds raised by the University for the project. Normally, this is done on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

An award document that modifies any aspect of an existing award.

The basic indirect costs are calculated on a subset of direct costs, normally excluding equipment >$5,000 and subcontracts in excess of the first $25,000.


An extension of the period of performance beyond the expiration date to allow the principal investigator to finish a project. Usually additional funds are not provided.

National Institute of Health

National Science Foundation


Other Direct Costs

Organized Research Financial Adjustment (move overspending off project)

Office of Management and Budget


SPA and SRS conduct this meeting with the Principle Investigator once a project is established to review the fiscal administration and sponsor requirements of the grant or contract.

Proposal Routing Form

Participant Support Cost

The individual responsible for the conduct of research or other activity described in a proposal for an award.

The requirement for written documentation of permission to use projects funds for purposes not in the approved budget. 


The description of the work to be performed and completed on a research project.

The organization that funds a research project.

Sponsored Research Services

A payment made to an individual under a fellowship or training grant in accordance with pre-established levels to provide for the individual's living expenses during the period of training.

A document written under the authority of, and consistent with the terms and conditions of an award that transfers a portion of the research of the prime award to another institution or organization.

An entity receiving federal pass through funding from a prime recipient.


Travel Expense Report


The OMB has combined many circulars, including A-21, A-110, and A-133, into a single guidance document known as Uniform Guidance. The Uniform Guidance establishes cost, administrative, and audit requirements for Federal grant and contract recipients.

Funding amounts not fully expended.

The difference between the negotiated facilities and administrative (F&A) cost rate and a lower rate that is charged on the sponsored award. With prior approval from the sponsor, un-recovered F&A can be used as cost sharing on a sponsored project.


A cost associated with a sponsored project, which was specifically identified in the proposal such as a percentage of faculty effort, but was not required or funded by the sponsor.

Voluntarily Uncommitted Cost Share