Sponsored Projects Administration


  • 42 CFR Part 50: Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for Which Public Health Service Funding Is Sought and Responsible Prospective Contractors; Final Rule
  • "2 CFR 200" eCFR uniform guidance in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations and supersede previous regulations.


  • Account Establishment, Grants Internal Process; The process begins with Pre-award receiving an agreement from a sponsor and ends with PAF creating an account in FMS.
  • Account Types: FMS Account Types 
  • Administrative and Financial Packet: The Administrative & Financial (A&F) packet consists of all the documents related to the administrative and financial portions of a grant or contract application.
  • After the Fact Proposals: In accordance with HOOP 64, all proposal submissions seeking external support for research and other sponsored projects should be submitted to Pre-award for review and approval prior to submission.
  • Allowable Costs, Resources: Funding from awards must be expended in accordance with governing regulations and agency policy. Pre-award reviews budgets to determine costs are allowable, allocable, and appropriate to grants in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, the agency’s policies and guidelines, and institutional policy.
  • Authorized Signing Official: Select employees that have signature authority and are thereby authorized to sign contracts or agreements, either oral or written, on behalf of UTHealth. Contracts and agreements must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate institutional office prior to their execution. No University employee, other than those designated as Authorized Signing Officials, may enter the University into a legal or binding agreement
  • Auxiliary Accounts: FMS Funds 16000 to 17999. These funds are generated by operating entities within the University that provide services as a convenience to students, faculty, or staff or a fee. 


  • Budget Journals: FMS function used to move the entire year-to-date (YTD) activity or a partial amount of an expense. 
  • Budget Transfers: function performed to transfer funds from one budget to another. 
  • Budget ModificationsGrantees are allowed to rebudget within and between budget categories to meet unanticipated needs and to make other types of post-award changes, provided they are for activities in the approved budget period.


  • Career Development (K) Award Recipients: Career Development (K) Awards provide support for individuals who have demonstrated independent research accomplishments and need additional experience to establish or sustain an independent research program. 
  • Clinical Trial, NIH: A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.
  • Clinical Research, NIH: Research with human subjects that is: 

Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. It includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b), therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies.

Epidemiological and behavioral studies.

Outcomes research and health services research


  • Definitions for Principal Investigator(PI): Principal Investigator (PI, also referred to as Program Director or Project Director) - The one individual designated by the applicant organization to direct the project or program to be supported by the grant. The PI is responsible and accountable to the applicant organization officials for the proper conduct of the project or program.
  • Definitions for Co-Investigator (Collaborator): Co-Investigator (Collaborator) - An individual involved with the principal investigator in the scientific development or execution of the project. These individuals typically devote a specific percent of effort to the project and are identified as key personnel. The individual(s) may be employed by, or affiliated with, the grantee organization or an organization participating in the project under a consortium or contractual agreement.
  • Designated Accounts Funds for receipt and use of unrestricted funds which have been "designated" for specific purposes by the University.


  • ECC: (Employee Compensation Compliance) is the on-line effort certification system used to facilitate UT Health’s effort reporting process. In addition, it can be used by departmental administrators to monitor payroll distributions. Effort Certification and Reporting Technology (ecrt®) is a web-based system that integrates financial, payroll, and research administrative functions and is designed to enhance compliance management, improve financial information for academic units through comprehensive reporting, and significantly reduce the administrative burden of the effort reporting process.
  • Effort: The reasonable estimate of work performed by the employee on a sponsored project during the period covered by the effort report. Effort is based on total institutional activities and does not assume a 40-hour work week or any other standard work week. Effort worked during the period must support any amount compensated. To ensure this, effort must be greater than or equal to funding during the period. If effort is greater than funding, cost sharing may need to be reported.
  • Effort Statement/Card: Effort Card/Statement: Screen portraying an individual’s salary and effort distribution for an effort report period that will be certified. It documents the proportion of total effort devoted by an employee to each account. When certified, the effort card is the official verification of effort attributed to and salary paid by a sponsored project. Salary paid by a sponsored project may not be greater than effort, and is subject to sponsor-imposed salary caps.

An effort card must be completed by someone with suitable means of verification of the effort expended on a project. This may be the individual or it may be the direct supervisor. Confirmation of the effort expended must be made by a Primary Individual on the project (see definition below). A Supporting Individual may not confirm the effort expended on the effort report.

  • Educational/Instructional Grants: Educational grants from external sponsors serve as a valuable source of funds to support professional education activities such as medical education programs, grand rounds lectures, scientific conferences, and the development of publications.
  • eRA CommonseRA Commons is an online interface where grant applicants, grantees, and federal staff at NIH and grantor agencies, such   as AHRQ and CDC, can access and share administrative information relating to research grants.


  • F&A Cost Rate Agreement (Indirect Costs): Mechanism used to reimburse the University for the Infrastructure Support costs associated with sponsored research and other sponsored projects.
  • FDP Institutional Clearinghouse  The Federal Demonstration Partnership is a cooperative initiative among 10 federal agencies and 154 institutional recipients of federal funds for Phase VI.
  • Financial Status Report (FSR) - A financial report due 90 days after the end of each budget period for those awards not under SNAP, and at the end of the competitive segment for those awards under SNAP, showing the status of awarded funds for that period.


  • Grants: Grants are sponsored projects that are typically awarded to the University in response to a detailed statement of work, usually supported by both a project schedule and a line-item budget, both of which are essential to financial accountability. The purpose of a grant is to transfer money or anything of value to a recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose. Grants can support research, training and educational activities, travel, and conferences. Pre-award must review all sponsored projects grant applications and proposal submissions prior to submission to the agency.
  • Gift: As defined by HOOP 203, is an in-kind contribution given to the University by a donor with no expectation of benefit other than the University expending the contribution for any mutually-agreed upon purposes.
  • Guarantee Account: Account type that is setup for new and renewal projects prior to receiving the official notification of the award or execution of the contract. Setting up an account before an award is received allows expenditures to be charged to the correct project and therefore limits cost transfers and retroactive personnel actions.


  • HOOP/University Policies for Sponsored Projects Administration: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") Handbook of Operating Procedures or HOOP. The HOOP contains the official policies for the university.
  • Human Subjects: A living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains data (including tissue, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) through intervention or interaction, whether identifiable or not, or private information.


  • Indirect Cost Rates: IDC rate is the federally approved rate for reimbursement of facilities and administrative costs on projects
  • Indirect Cost Waiver Template: A waiver or reduction of Indirect costs (IDC) associated with a grant proposal, award, or contact, may be requested in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Institutional Information: Contains common institutional data required by sponsors and needed for proposals.


  • JIT (Just-in-Time): The JIT feature of the eRA Commons allows an authorized signing official (ASO) to electronically submit additional grant application information when requested by the grantor agency. The additional information is requested after a peer review of a grant application has been completed and prior to funding. Requests may come in the form of eRA-system generated e-mails or contact made directly from the awarding agency via e-mail and/or phone.


  • Key Personnel In addition to the principal investigator, Key Personnel are defined as individuals who contribute in a substantive, measurable way to the scientific development or execution of the project, whether or not salaries are requested. Typically, these individuals have doctoral or other professional degrees.


  • Lab Study/Lab Testing Agreements: Lab Study Agreements (LSA) are typically used when a sponsor wants an investigator to analyze samples and provide them with results or other scientific information related to the samples. This work may result in new intellectual property which is defined in the agreement.
  • Lab Testing Agreements (LTA) are used when a sponsor requests an investigator to run routine tests on the samples and give the results back to them without analysis. There is no new intellectual property involved in this type of Agreement.  
  • Ledgers: Understanding Ledgers
  • Limited Submissions: Limited Submissions are grant opportunities that restrict the number of applications from qualified institutions. In these cases, UTHealth will post opportunities on this page as they become available and specify the requirements needed to launch an internal competition to select the university's applicant(s).


  • Master Agreements (UT System): These agreements are available as starting points for negotiations with particular research sponsors for clinical and, in some cases, preclinical or other types of studies. Faculty members are welcomed to use these documents as starting points; however, all contracts must be processed through the appropriate office at each UT institution.
  • Material Transfer/Data Use Agreements: A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) or Data Use Agreement (DUA) is a contract that establishes terms and conditions governing the transfer of research-related materials or data between the University and another institution or company. An MTA or DUA between a providing entity and a receiving entity should be fully-executed before any materials or data are sent or received.
  • Modular Grant Applications, NIH: The Modular Grant concept establishes specific modules or increments in which direct costs must be requested, as well as a maximum level for requested budgets of $250,000 direct costs per year (excluding any consortium F&A costs). The Modular Grant application does not require a categorical breakdown of direct costs requested in the application; however, other requirements still apply. Application directions should be reviewed for specific modular instructions.
  • Multi PI: The multi-PD/PI option presents an important opportunity for investigators seeking support for projects or activities that require a team science approach. This option is targeted specifically to those projects that do not fit the single-PD/PI model, and therefore is intended to supplement and not replace the traditional single PD/PI model. The overarching goal is to maximize the potential of team science efforts in order to be responsive to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.


  • No Cost Extension, Pre-award:No-cost extensions (NCE) are a formal extension of the grant termination date which gives the Principal Investigator (PI) time to complete the scope and objectives of the project without additional funds being provided by the sponsor. Although requests may not be made for the sole purpose of spending remaining funds, you may expend remaining funds during the no-cost extension period. All requests for NCEs must be approved prior to the expiration of the grant.


  • Other Significant Contributors: This category identifies individuals who have committed to contribute to the scientific development or execution of the project, but are not committing any specified measurable effort to the project. These individuals are typically presented at zero percent effort or as needed. A biosketch, including research support information, will be required for these individuals as this highlights their accomplishments as scientists. However, if an award is to be made, other support information will not be required or accepted for other significant contributors since considerations of overlap do not apply to these individuals. Should the level of involvement change for an individual listed in this category, they should be re-designated as Key Personnel.
  • OMB Circular A-21: OMB A-21 addresses Federal Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.


  • Personnel Actions: Personnel costs comprise the bulk of costs associated with most projects and effective personnel oversight can alleviate many of the issues most often encountered in contract and grant management. Timely application of personnel costs and/or necessary changes for personnel affects effective project budget use and the effort reporting process, so getting a handle on the distribution of personnel can save much time and effort in the future.



  • R&A Form: R&A forms are internal forms required for all sponsored research projects (exclusive of Non-NIH continuations/progress reports). R&As must be submitted to SPA for all grant proposals and applications, and for all industry-sponsored projects.
  • Relinquishing Statement: A Relinquishing Statement is required as part of the Change of Institution process that allows an extramural grantee institution to transfer an active grant to another institution. The process is initiated by the Signing Official of the institution that holds the award, who submits a Relinquishing Statement in eRA Commons and identifies the institution that will take over the award.
  • Residual Balance: The Residual Balance Procedure establishes an institutional procedure for residual revenue earned on restricted fixed-price or fee-for-service contracts.
  • Retroactive Personnel Actions, HOOP: A Retroactive Personnel Action is any personnel action that affects a prior payroll period (HOOP 96).  It is the policy of the University to assure that submitting and processing Retro PAs that affect funding, salary, or position is truly on an exception basis only. It is also the policy of the University to assure that all Retro PAs are accurate and in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is a philanthropy dedicated solely to health. They fund program and policy initiatives in four areas which are each critical to health equity. There are resources which help to keep RWJF properly informed about grant activities, and undertake projects more effectively.
  • RPPR - Research Performance Progress Report: The RPPR is used by grantees to submit progress reports to NIH on their grant awards. This page provides an overview of the annual RPPR, the final RPPR and the interim RPPR and provides resources to help you understand how to submit a progress report.


  • Salary Cap: A legislatively-mandated provision limiting the direct salary (also known as salary or institutional base salary, but excluding any fringe benefits and F&A costs) for individuals working on NIH grants, cooperative agreement awards, and extramural research and development contracts. 
  • Subrecipient vs. Vendor: Subrecipient: An entity that expends awards received from a pass-through entity to carry out a project. According to A-133 and A-81, a subrecipient relationship exists when funding from a pass-through entity is provided to perform a portion of the scope of work or objectives of the pass-through entity’s award agreement with the awarding agency. A pass-through entity is an entity that provides an award to a subrecipient to carry out a project.
  • Supplemental Material: Post-submission grant application materials are those submitted after the agency deadline but prior to the initial peer review. This option is used when an unexpected event such as the departure of a participant, natural disaster, etc., has occurred, but should not be used to correct oversights or errors discovered after submission of the application. Refer to NIH notice NOT-OD-10-115 for more information. 


  • Transfer In: New University faculty may bring grant or contract awards with them when they join the institution. In such a transfer, both Pre-Award and PAF (post-award) assist in different capacities.
  • Travel Restrictions, Effort: Faculty are encouraged to certify effort cards in a timely manner to ensure compliance with UTHealth, UT System, and federal policy and regulation. A certification period of 30 days is provided for faculty to certify their effort for the previous six month reporting period. Travel restrictions will be implemented on outstanding effort certification cards after the 30 day certification window has closed. These restrictions will include travel on University funds or using University time.