Glossary of Terms


One of the basic conditions that must be met in deciding whether a particular expenditure is appropriate to a particular federal account. In order to define if a charge is allocable, the purchase of the good or service must relate specifically to the project being charged.


One of the basic conditions that must be met in deciding whether a particular expenditure is appropriate to a particular federal account. In order to define if a charge is allowable, federal regulations must allow the use of federal funds for the purchase of such an item or service.

Conflict of Interest/Financial Conflict of Interest

A situation in which an employee has the opportunity to influence a university or sponsor decision that could lead to a financial or other personal advantage or that involves other conflicting official obligation that could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of research.

Effort/Effort Certification

Effort is an individual’s work on a project, whether the sponsor pays their salary or not. Effort certification is a requirement, in order to document the amount of time that has been devoted to a project.


Fringe benefits include the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll tax, retirement, disability insurance, worker’s compensation, life insurance, unemployment insurance, and health insurance.


The terms indirects, facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, and overhead are sometimes used interchangeably. They refer to costs that are not directly related to a project, such as operation and maintenance costs, depreciation, and administrative expenses. Augsburg’s indirect rate is calculated from a Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base, which excludes capital equipment items greater than $5,000, patient care, tuition remission, off-site facilities rental, scholarships, fellowships, and the portion of each subgrant or subcontract in excess of $25,000.

Person Month

Person Month is the metric for expressing the effort (amount of time) that PI(s), faculty and other senior personnel devote to a specific project. The effort is based on whether a person’s appointment is 12 months, 9 months, or a different duration. To calculate person months, multiply the percentage of your effort associated with the project times the number of months of your appointment. For example:

25% of a 9 month academic year appointment equals 2.25 person months (9 x 0.25= 2.25). 

Sponsored Program/Sponsored Project

Externally funded activities in which a formal written agreement (i.e., Memorandum of Understanding, grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or sub-agreement) is established between Augsburg University and the sponsor.

Uniform Guidance

The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (commonly called “Uniform Guidance”) was officially implemented in December 2014.  The Uniform Guidance – a “government-wide framework for grants management” – is an authoritative set of rules and requirements for federal awards that synthesizes and supersedes guidance from earlier OMB circulars. The citation for Uniform Guidance is 2 CFR 200. It can be accessed at the electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Unique Entity Identifier

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is a number or other identifier used to identify a specific commercial, nonprofit, or government entity. It is used within and consists of 12 alphanumeric characters. Starting in December 2020, the UEI will serve as a replacement to the DUNS number.