Terms relevant to the grant proposal process Project: The proposed plan, program or research activity for which grant funds are requested and which is implemented and overseen by the Project Director.
Grant proposal/application: A formal request for funding made to a grant maker (government entity, foundation, corporation, other) for financial support in the form of a grant. A proposal outlines a proposed project or activity, a budget to carry out the project, and usually includes measurable objectives and outcomes. The content and format must meet the grant maker’s guidelines and should make a strong case for support.
Granting Letter/Notice of Award: The formal notification to the requesting institution that a grant has been awarded. It includes the terms and conditions of the grant, funding limits, and obligations of the grantee.
Request for Proposal (RFP): A notice sent to eligible grant recipients of a grant opportunity. An RFP will often have a distinct focus and a design that encourages specific objectives, goals, and outcomes.
In-kind Support: A non-cash commitment (often contributed personnel effort or facilities use) to share with the grant maker the costs of a project. The value of in-kind services/support is determined and included in a budget as an amount that is counted toward satisfying the total project budget.
Matching Funds/Matching Grant: A commitment by a grant applicant/grantee to help bear the costs associated with a grant-supported project. Depending on the grant maker’s funding guidelines, a matching commitment (match) will be satisfied with either cash or an ‘in-kind’ amount. A requirement for matching funds is often expressed as a ratio of the grantee’s commitment to that of the grant maker.
Cost Sharing: A commitment by a grant applicant/grantee to help bear the costs associated with a grant-supported project. Depending on the grant maker’s funding guidelines, a cost-sharing commitment (cost-share) will be satisfied with either cash, or an ‘in-kind’ amount. A requirement for cost-sharing is often expressed as a percentage of the total project cost. (See: Matching Funds/Matching Grant.)
Direct costs: Costs to support a particular project or activity, or that can be directly assigned easily with a high degree of accuracy. These are costs identified as line items in a budget. These do not include overhead or other administrative (indirect) costs.
Indirect costs: Project overhead or administrative costs that are reimbursement for actual institutional expenses that support a project but that are not part of the line item budget. These costs result from shared services such as libraries, plant operations and maintenance, utility costs, general, department and sponsored projects administrative expenses, and depreciation or use allowances for building and equipment. (These costs are also known as “facilities and administrative costs.”)