Grant Application Technical Assistance Resources
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Commonly Used Definitions in Grant Application Packages

Applicant is the entity requesting a grant.

Application Control Center is located in the Department of Education and is officially authorized to receive applications for discretionary grants.

Application for Federal Education Assistance (also known as ED Form 424) is the grant application form, sometimes referred to as the application "cover page," used by the Department of Education.

Application notice is published in the Federal Register and invites applications for one or more discretionary grant competitions. It provides basic program and fiscal information on each competition, informs potential applicants when and where they can obtain applications, and cites the deadline date for a particular competition.

Application package contains the application notice for one or more programs, and all the information and forms needed to apply for a discretionary grant.

Appropriations legislation is a law passed by Congress to provide a certain level of funding for a grant program in a given year.

Assurances are a variety of requirements, found in different Federal laws, regulations, and executive orders, which applicants agree in writing to observe as a condition of receiving federal assistance.

Authorizing legislation is a law passed by Congress that establishes or continues a grant program.

Authorized Representative is the official within an applicant organization with the legal authority to give assurances, make commitments, enter into contracts, and execute such documents on behalf of the applicant as may be required by a grant maker. The signature of the Authorized Representative certifies that commitments made on grant proposals will be honored and ensures that the applicant agrees to conform to the grant maker's regulations, guidelines, and policies. Note that the Authorized Representative is not necessarily the Project Director.

Budget period is an interval of time into which a project period is divided for budgetary purposes, usually 12 months.

Budget narrative explains the budget. Explanations can include the derivation of amounts (for example, a $1,250 budget item derives from 100 people at five meetings each using a $2.50 expendable item), the itemization of totals, the purpose of purchased supplies and services, and the justification of the size of salaries, fringe benefits, and indirect costs.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) is a publication and database produced by the General Services Administration that lists the domestic assistance programs of all Federal agencies. It gives information about a program's authorization, fiscal details, accomplishments, regulations, guidelines, eligibility requirements, information contacts, and application and award process.

Certification is a statement, signed by an applicant or grantee as a prerequisite for receiving Federal funds, that it meets or will adhere to certain conditions and/or will undertake or not undertake certain actions.

CFDA number is an identifying number for a Federal assistance program, composed of a unique two-digit prefix to identify the Federal agency (e.g., 84 for the Department of Education), followed by a period and a unique three-digit code for each authorized program.

Combined Application Notice is a notice published by the Department of Education in the Federal Register that identifies programs and competitions under which the Secretary has invited, or plans to invite, applications for new awards for a particular Fiscal Year. The notice provides the actual or estimated information on the date the competition will be announced in the Federal Register; the date application packages will be available; the application deadline date; the deadline for Intergovernmental Review; the range of awards; the average size of awards; and the number of awards. The Combined Application Notice also provides a contact name and phone number to get further information.

Competitive review process is used by the Department of Education to select discretionary grant applications for funding, in which applications are scored by subject-area experts and the most highly scored applications are considered for funding.

Deadline date is the date by which an applicant must mail a discretionary grant application for it to be considered for funding by the Department. Under some competitions, the Department requires that the application be received by the deadline date.

Discretionary grant is an award of financial assistance in the form of money by the Federal government to an eligible grantee, usually made on the basis of a competitive review process.

D-U-N-S Number is a nine-digit number assigned to an organization by Dun & Bradstreet. The number does not convey any information about the recipient. A built-in check digit helps assure the accuracy of the D-U-N-S Number. The ninth digit of each number is the check digit, which is mathematically related to the other digits.

ED is the acronym for the U.S. Department of Education (i.e., Education Department).

Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) governs the Department's discretionary grant programs.

Federal Register is a daily compilation of Federal regulations and other Federal agency documents of public interest, which is prepared by the National Archives and Records Administration for public distribution by the Government Printing Office.

Funding priorities are a means of focusing a grant competition on the areas in which the Secretary is particularly interested in receiving applications. Priorities can be absolute, which the applicant must address in order to be considered for funding; competitive, which the applicant has the option of choosing whether or not to address and for which they may receive additional points, or invitational, which the applicant is encouraged but not required to address.

Grant application reviewer is an individual who serves the Department by reviewing new discretionary grant applications; also referred to as "field reader" or "peer reviewer."

Grantee is an individual or organization that has been awarded financial assistance under one of the Department's discretionary grant programs.

Grant Award Notification is an official document signed by the authorized official stating the amount and the terms and conditions of an award for a discretionary grant.

Human subject is defined as "a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or obtains identifiable private information."

Indirect costs are costs an organization incurs for common or joint objectives that cannot be readily and specifically identified with a particular grant project or other institutional activity.

Indirect cost rate is a percentage established by a Federal department or agency for a grantee organization, which the grantee uses in computing the dollar amount it charges to the grant to reimburse itself for indirect costs incurred in doing the work of the grant project.

Institutional Review Boards are authorized to approve, request modification in, or disapprove research activities and to conduct continuing reviews of the research activities at intervals appropriate to the degree of risk, but not less than once a year.

Program regulations implement legislation passed by Congress to authorize a specific grant program, and include applicant eligibility criteria, nature of activities funded, selection criteria under which applications will be selected for funding, and other relevant information.

Project period is the total amount of time during which the Department authorizes a grantee to complete the approved work of the project described in the application. Project periods of more than one year are divided into budget periods.

PR/Award number is the identifying number for a discretionary grant application (e.g., S184H001203), which is issued when the application is received by the Department's Application Control Center.

Research is defined as "a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge." It includes activities that meet this definition, whether or not conducted under a program considered "research" for other purposes. For example, if an activity follows a deliberate plan whose purpose is to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge, such as an exploratory study or the collection of data to test a hypothesis, it is research.

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Last Modified: 10/31/2007