Below are Frequently Asked Questions and
definitions for some commonly used terms and acronyms:
Q: I'm interested in applying for a
grant, where do I begin?
A: Please see
Grant Proposal Preparation
on this web site.
Q: What is the difference between
F&A costs and fringe benefits?
A: Fringe benefits include
those benefits paid by RHIT which are a part of the employee compensation
package (eg. health insurance, life insurance, retirement, etc.).
F&A costs are the costs incurred by RHIT as a result of performing
research which are NOT directly assignable to a particular project (eg.
purchasing, sponsored programs, facilities, utilities, etc.)
Q: When estimating personnel costs
for a project, how do I apply the fringe benefit and F&A rates?
A: The fringe benefit rate
is applied to salary and wages (remember different rates for faculty
salary, depending upon when work is performed). The F&A rate
is applied to total salary and wages only (exclude fringe benefits).
Q: I'm going to collaborate with
another Institution on a proposal (RHIT will be a subrecipient).
What are the approval requirements for this situation?
A: The proposal preparation and
review process is the same as that for a proposal submitted directly by
RHIT to an external sponsor.
Q: What am I verifying on the
Activity Distribution Report and why?
A: The report is a requirement
of OMB Circular A-21 and is generated from the RHIT payroll system.
The purpose of the report is for you to verify that the effort charged to
a grant or contract during the reporting period accurately reflects how
you spent your time during the period. Inaccurate reports should be
reported or returned to Sponsored Programs for correction.
Definition of Terms
Matching Funds- Funds the
Institution commits to spend on a
particular project from its own
resources (3rd party sources may be allowed). Cost-share
or matching funds may be required by the sponsor. Additionally, the
sponsor may specify what sources of funds and/or what type of expenditures
will meet the cost-share or match requirement.
These costs are directly attributable to the performance of a research
project, eg. salary and benefits, supplies, travel, equipment, etc.
Facilities and Administrative Costs. This term replaced the term
Cost". These costs are also referred to as "overhead" and represent the
costs of performing research at an institution that are NOT directly
assignable to a particular project, eg. the cost of administration,
purchasing, accounts payable, sponsored programs, Dean's office,
facilities, utilities, etc.
Facilities and Administrative Cost Rate.
Entities engaged in federal research negotiate an F&A rate agreement with
a cognizant agency of the federal government. RHIT prepares an F&A cost
proposal every 3-4 years based on government prescribed guidelines. Be
careful when comparing F&A rates from school to school! There are several
different possibilities for the base of an institution's F&A rate. For
some schools the rate is applied to all direct costs except equipment and
a portion of subcontract expense (modified total direct cost base or MTDC
base). For others, like RHIT, F&A rates are applied to salary and wage
costs only (salary and wage base or SW base).
Fringe benefits are those benefits RHIT pays for as a part of an
employee's compensation package. Included in fringe benefits are:
employer share of FICA/medicare tax, health insurance, life insurance,
retirement contribution, and disability insurance.
Rate- The fringe benefit rate is calculated by RHIT each year and represents
the pooled fringe benefit cost as a percent of pooled salary cost for the
Institute. The fringe benefit rate is applied to salary to determine the
cost of fringe benefits associated with salary expense.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Committee responsible for
reviewing and approving research involving animals. See "Compliance"
for more information.
IDC- Indirect costs. This term has been replaced with a new term,
Administrative Costs" or "F&A" costs.
IDC Rate- Indirect
Cost Rate. See "F&A Rate"
Review Board. The body responsible for reviewing and approving
human subject research. See "Compliance" for more information.
NGA- Notice of
Grant Award. The official
document received from federal government notifying an Institution of an
award and the terms and conditions applicable to the award.
Institutes of Health.
OSP- Office of
Announcement. Document announcing the availability of funds for
a particular (usually government) program or initiative.
Investigator. The individual responsible for oversight, compliance
and directing the research project.
RFA- Request for