Instructions for phs 398 and sf 424(R&R) Form Approved Through 08/31/2015




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3. Definitions


Activity Code. A 3-character code used to identify a specific category of extramural research activity, applied to various funding activity codes. NIH uses three funding activity codes for extramural research awards: grants, cooperative agreements and contracts. Within each funding activity code, NIH uses 3-character activity codes (e.g., F32, K08, P01, R01, T32, etc.) to differentiate the wide variety of research-related programs NIH supports. A comprehensive list of activity codes is on the NIH Web site at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/ac_search_results.htm.

AHRQ. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which is a component of HHS.

AIDS Related. Includes: (1) projects relating to the etiology, epidemiology, natural history, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of AIDS; (2) various sequelae specifically associated with the syndrome; and (3) preparation and screening of anti-AIDS agents as well as vaccine development, including both preclinical and clinical studies. Not all applications examining various influences on T-lymphocytes or retroviruses will be appropriate for the expedited AIDS review process. Applications only indirectly related to AIDS will be evaluated by established Scientific Review Groups (SRGs) appropriate to the scientific discipline during regular NIH review cycles and should not be submitted in response to the expedited AIDS receipt dates. Applicants are urged to take note of the yearly NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research and indicate how their application addresses the NIH priorities set forth in that Plan. The Plan can be found on the NIH Office of AIDS Research homepage.

Affiliate. This term has the same meaning as set forth in 13 CFR part 121 – Small Business Size Regulations, §121.103, “What is affiliation?”

Animal. Any live vertebrate animal used or intended for use in research, research training, experimentation or biological testing or for related purposes. The generation of custom antibodies constitutes an activity involving vertebrate animals.

Applicant. For purposes of the SBIR/STTR programs, the organizational entity that, at the time of award, will qualify as a Small Business Concern (SBC) and that submits a grant application for a funding agreement under the SBIR or STTR program.

Applicant Organization Types.


Federal: A cabinet-level department or independent agency of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government or any component part of such a department or agency that may be assigned the responsibility for carrying out a grant-supported program.

State: Any agency or instrumentality of a state government of any of the United States or its territories.

Local: Any agency or instrumentality of a political subdivision of government below the State level.

Nonprofit: An institution, corporation, or other legal entity no part of whose net earnings may lawfully inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

For profit: An institution, corporation, or other legal entity, which is organized for the profit or benefit of its shareholders or other owners. A “for profit” organization is considered to be a small business if it is independently owned and operated, if it is not dominant in the field in which research is proposed, and if it employs no more than 500 persons. Also see definition for Small Business Concern.

Small Business Concern: For purposes of the SBIR/STTR programs, a small business concern is one that, at the time of award of Phase I and Phase II, meets all of the following criteria:

1. is organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States, which operates primarily within the United States or which makes a significant contribution to the United States economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor;

2. is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust or cooperative, except that where the form is a joint venture, there can be no more than 49 percent participation by business entities in the joint venture;

3. is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, except in the case of a joint venture, where each entity to the venture must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States; and

4. has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees.

Control can be exercised through common ownership, common management, and contractual relationships. The term “affiliates” is defined in greater detail in 13 CFR part 121, as is the process for calculating “number of employees.”



Business concerns include, but are not limited to, any individual (sole proprietorship), partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, or cooperative. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Small Business Administration Size District Office at http://www.sba.gov/size/.

Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Business Concern: A socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern is one that is at least 51% owned by (a) an Indian tribe or a native Hawaiian organization, or (b) one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Women-Owned Small Business Concern: A small business concern that is at least 51% owned by a woman or women who also control and operate it. “Control” in this context means exercising the power to make policy decisions. “Operate” in this context means being actively involved in the day-to-day management.

CFR. Code of Federal Regulations.

Clinical Research. See Human Subjects Research Definitions and Terms.

Clinical Trial. See Human Subjects Research Definitions and Terms.

Coded. See Human Subjects Research Definitions and Terms

Co-Investigator. An individual involved with the PD/PI in the scientific development or execution of a project. The co-investigator (collaborator) may be employed by, or be affiliated with, the applicant/grantee organization or another organization participating in the project under a consortium agreement. A co-investigator typically devotes a specified percent of effort to the project and is considered senior/key personnel. The designation of a co-investigator, if applicable, does not affect the PD/PI’s roles and responsibilities as specified in the Grants Policy Statement.

Collaborator. An individual involved with the PD/PI in the scientific development or execution of the project. These individuals would typically devote a specific percent of effort to the project and would be identified as senior/key personnel. The collaborator may be employed by, or affiliated with, either the grantee organization or an organization participating in the project under a consortium or contractual agreement.

Commercialization. The process of developing markets and producing and delivering products for profit (whether by the originating party or by others). As used here, commercialization includes both government and private sector markets.

Consortium Agreement. A formalized agreement whereby a research project is carried out by the grantee and one or more other organizations that are separate legal entities. Under the agreement, the grantee must perform a substantive role in the conduct of the planned research and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties. These agreements typically involve a specific percent of effort from the consortium organization’s PD/PI and a categorical breakdown of costs, such as personnel, supplies, and other allowable expenses, including Facilities and Administrative costs.

Consultant. An individual who provides professional advice or services for a fee, but normally not as an employee of the engaging party. In unusual situations, an individual may be both a consultant and an employee of the same party, receiving compensation for some services as a consultant and for other work as a salaried employee. To prevent apparent or actual conflicts of interest, grantees and consultants must establish written guidelines indicating the conditions of payment of consulting fees. Consultants may also include firms that provide paid professional advice or services.

Consulting Fees. The fee paid by an institution to a salaried member of its faculty is allowable only in unusual cases and only if both of the following conditions exist: (1) the consultation crosses departmental lines or involves a separate operation; and (2) the work performed by the consultant is in addition to his or her regular workload.

In all other cases, consulting fees paid to employees of recipient or cost-type contractor organizations in addition to salary may be charged to PHS grant-supported projects only in unusual situations and when all of the following conditions exist: (1) the policies of the recipient or contractor permit such consulting fee payments to its own employees regardless of whether Federal grant funds are received; (2) the consulting services are clearly outside the scope of the individual’s salaried employment; and (3) it would be inappropriate or not feasible to compensate the individual for these services through payment of additional salary.

For additional clarification on the allowance and appropriateness of consulting fees, refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Contract. An award instrument establishing a binding legal procurement relationship between a funding agency and the recipient, obligating the latter to furnish an end product or service and binding the agency to provide payment therefore.

Cooperative Agreement. A financial assistance instrument under which substantial Federal involvement is anticipated between the Federal agency and the recipient during performance of the contemplated project or activity. "Substantial involvement" means that the recipient can expect Federal programmatic collaboration or participation in carrying out the effort under the award.

Early Stage Investigator. An individual who qualifies as a New Investigator and is within 10 years of completing his/her terminal research degree or is within 10 years of completing medical residency (or the equivalent). See NOT-OD-09-034 for information concerning an extension of ESI status.

Employees. The number of employees of a firm is its average number of persons employed for each pay period over the firm's latest 12 months. Any person on the payroll must be included as one employee regardless of hours worked or temporary status. The number of employees of a firm in business under 12 months is based on the average for each pay period it has been in business.

Equipment. An article of tangible, nonexpendable, personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, or the capitalization threshold established by the organization, whichever is less.



Essentially Equivalent Work. This term is meant to identify “scientific overlap,” which occurs when (1) substantially the same research is proposed for funding in more than one contract proposal or grant application submitted to the same Federal agency; or (2) substantially the same research is submitted to two or more different Federal agencies for review and funding consideration; or (3) a specific research objective and the research design for accomplishing that objective are the same or closely related in two or more proposals or awards, regardless of the funding source.

Expanded Authorities. The operating authorities provided to grantees under certain research grant mechanisms that waive the requirement for NIH prior approval for specified actions. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_ch8.htm#_NIH_Standard_Terms) and the NIH Guide Notice (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-01-070.html) which expanded the authorities (other than Phase I carry-over) to include Phase I SBIR/STTR.

Facilities and Administrative (Indirect) Costs. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs are defined as costs that are incurred by a grantee for common or joint objectives and that, therefore, cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program.

Feasibility. The extent to which a study or project may be done practically and successfully.

Foreign Component. The performance of any significant scientific element or segment of a project outside of the United States, either by the grantee or by a researcher employed by a foreign organization, whether or not grant funds are expended. Activities that would meet this definition include, but are not limited to, (1) the involvement of human subjects or animals; (2) extensive foreign travel by grantee project staff for the purpose of data collection, surveying, sampling, and similar activities; or (3) any activity of the grantee that may have an impact on U.S. foreign policy through involvement in the affairs or environment of a foreign country. Foreign travel for consultation is not considered a foreign component.

Full-Time Appointment. The number of days per week and/or months per year representing full-time effort at the applicant/grantee organization, as specified in organizational policy. The organization's policy must be applied consistently regardless of the source of support.

Grant. A financial assistance mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity. A grant is used whenever the NIH Institute or Center anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities.

Grantee. For purposes of the SBIR and STTR programs, “grantee” means the organization awarded a grant by NIH that is responsible and accountable for the use of the funds provided and for the performance of the grant-supported project or activity. The grantee is the entity legally responsible and accountable to NIH for the performance and financial aspects of the grant-supported project or activity.

HHS. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone). A small business concern meeting the following criteria:

1. Located in a “historically underutilized business zone” or HUBZone area located in one or more of the following:

a. A qualified census tract (as defined in section 42(d)(5)(C)(i)(l) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

b. A qualified “non-metropolitan county” (as defined in section 143(k)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) with a median household income of less than 80 percent of the state median household income or with an unemployment rate of not less than 140 percent of the statewide average, based on U.S. Department of Labor recent data; or

c. Lands within the boundaries of Federally recognized Indian reservations.

2. Owned and controlled by one or more U.S. Citizens.

3. At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

Human Subjects Research Definitions and Terms.

Autopsy Materials. The use of autopsy materials is governed by applicable federal, state and local law and is not directly regulated by 45 CFR part 46.

Child. The NIH Policy on Inclusion of Children defines a child as an individual under the age of 21 years. The intent of the NIH policy is to provide the opportunity for children to participate in research studies when there is a sound scientific rationale for including them, and their participation benefits children and is appropriate under existing Federal guidelines. Thus, children must be included in NIH conducted or supported clinical research unless there are scientific or ethical reasons not to include them.

DHHS Regulations (45 CFR part 46, Subpart D, Sec.401-409) provide additional protections for children involved as subjects in research, based on this definition: "Children are persons who have not attained the legal age for consent to treatments or procedures involved in research, under the applicable law of the jurisdiction in which the research will be conducted." Generally, state laws define what constitutes a “child.” Consequently, the age at which a child's own consent is required and sufficient to participate in research will vary according to state law. For example, some states consider a person age 18 to be an adult and therefore one who can provide consent without parental permission.

Clinical Research. NIH defines human clinical research as research with human subjects that is: (1) 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. Patient-oriented research includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b) therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies. (2) Epidemiologic and behavioral studies. (3) Outcomes research and health services research. Note: Studies falling under Exemption 4 for human subjects research are not considered clinical research by this definition.

Clinical Trial. The NIH defines a clinical trial as a prospective biomedical or behavioral research study of human subjects that is designed to answer specific questions about biomedical or behavioral interventions (drugs, treatments, devices, or new ways of using known drugs, treatments, or devices).

Clinical trials are used to determine whether new biomedical or behavioral interventions are safe, efficacious, and effective.

Behavioral human subjects research involving an intervention to modify behavior (diet, physical activity, cognitive therapy, etc.) fits this definition of a clinical trial.

Human subjects research to develop or evaluate clinical laboratory tests (e.g. imaging or molecular diagnostic tests) might be considered to be a clinical trial if the test will be used for medical decision making for the subject or the test itself imposes more than minimal risk for subjects.

Biomedical clinical trials of experimental drug, treatment, device or behavioral intervention may proceed through four phases:

Phase I clinical trials test a new biomedical intervention in a small group of people (e.g., 20-80) for the first time to evaluate safety (e.g., to determine a safe dosage range and to identify side effects).

Phase II clinical trials study the biomedical or behavioral intervention in a larger group of people (several hundred) to determine efficacy and to further evaluate its safety.

Phase III studies investigate the efficacy of the biomedical or behavioral intervention in large groups of human subjects (from several hundred to several thousand) by comparing the intervention to other standard or experimental interventions as well as to monitor adverse effects, and to collect information that will allow the intervention to be used safely.

Phase IV studies are conducted after the intervention has been marketed. These studies are designed to monitor effectiveness of the approved intervention in the general population and to collect information about any adverse effects associated with widespread use.

NIH-Defined Phase III Clinical Trial. An NIH-defined Phase III clinical trial is a broadly based prospective Phase III clinical investigation, usually involving several hundred or more human subjects, for the purpose of evaluating an experimental intervention in comparison with a standard or controlled intervention or comparing two or more existing treatments. Often the aim of such investigation is to provide evidence leading to a scientific basis for consideration of a change in health policy or standard of care. The definition includes pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, and behavioral interventions given for disease prevention, prophylaxis, diagnosis, or therapy. Community trials and other population-based intervention trials are also included.

Coded. With respect to private information or human biological specimens, coded means that:


  • identifying information (such as name or social security number) that would enable the investigator to readily ascertain the identity of the individual to whom the private information or specimens pertain has been replaced with a number, letter, symbol or combination thereof (i.e., the code); and

  • a key to decipher the code exists, enabling linkage of the identifying information with the private information or specimens.

Research that involves only coded private information/data or coded human biological specimens may not constitute human subjects research under the DHHS human subjects regulations (45 CFR 46) if:

  • the specimens and/or information/data are not obtained from an interaction/intervention with the subject specifically for the research; and

  • the investigator(s) cannot readily ascertain the identity of the individual(s) to whom the coded private information or specimens pertain (e.g., the researcher's access to subject identities is prohibited).

Individuals who provide coded information or specimens for proposed research and who also collaborate on the research involving such information or specimens are considered to be involved in the conduct of human subjects research.

(See the following guidance from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) for additional information and examples: http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/cdebiol.html.)



Data and Safety Monitoring Plan. For each clinical trial, NIH requires a data and safety monitoring plan that will provide oversight and monitoring to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. The level of monitoring should be commensurate with the risks and the size and complexity of the clinical trial. A detailed data and safety monitoring plan must be submitted to the applicant’s IRB and subsequently to the funding IC for approval prior to the accrual of human subjects. The reporting of Adverse Events must be reported to the IRB, the NIH funding Institute or Center, and other required entities. This policy requirement is in addition to any monitoring requirements imposed by 45 CFR part 46.

Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). NIH requires the establishment of a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the participants, and generally for Phase III clinical trials.

Exemptions. The six categories of research exempt from the DHHS human subject regulations are:



Exemption 1: Research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, involving normal educational practices, such as (i) research on regular and special education instructional strategies, or (ii) research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management methods.

Exemption 2: Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior, unless:

(i) information obtained is recorded in such a manner that human subjects can be identified directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects and (ii) any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability, or reputation.

Exemption 2 for research involving survey or interview procedures or observation of public behavior, does not apply to research with children (see 45 CFR part 46, Subpart D), except for research involving observations of public behavior when the investigator(s) do not participate in the activities being observed.

Exemption 3: Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior that is not exempt under paragraph (b)(2) of this section if: (i) the human subjects are elected or appointed public officials or candidates for public office; or (ii) Federal statute(s) require(s) without exception that the confidentiality of the personally identifiable information will be maintained throughout the research and thereafter.

Exemption 4: Research involving the collection or study of existing data, documents, records, pathological specimens, or diagnostic specimens, if these sources are publicly available or if the information is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that subjects cannot be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects.

The humans subjects regulations decision charts (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/checklists/decisioncharts.html) of the Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) will determine whether the research falls under the human subjects regulations and if so, whether it meets the criteria for Exemption 4. The NIH Office of Extramural Research Web site also contains information that is helpful for determining whether human subjects research meets the criteria for Exemption 4. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/index.htm.



Research that meets the criteria for Exemption 4 is not considered “clinical research” as defined by NIH. Therefore, the NIH policies for inclusion of women, minorities, and children in clinical research, and targeted/planned enrollment tables, do not apply to research projects covered by Exemption 4.

Exemption 5: Research and demonstration projects that are conducted by or subject to the approval of Department or Agency heads and that are designed to study, evaluate, or otherwise examine: (i) public benefit or service programs (ii) procedures for obtaining benefits or services under those programs (iii) possible changes in or alternatives to those programs or procedures or (iv) possible changes in methods or levels of payment for benefits or services under those programs. Note: It is uncommon for investigators applying for an NIH grant to qualify for this exemption. Please see guidance from the relevant NIH IC or from the OER Human Subjects Protections staff if you think your project is eligible for Exemption 5.

Exemption 6: Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies (i) if wholesome foods without additives are consumed or (ii) if a food is consumed that contains a food ingredient at or below the level and for a use found to be safe, or agricultural, chemical, or environmental contaminant at or below the level found to be safe, by the Food and Drug Administration or approved by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Human Subjects. The DHHS regulations "Protection of Human Subjects" (45 CFR 46, administered by OHRP) define a human subject as a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains:



  • data through intervention or interaction with the individual or

  • identifiable private information.

Italicized words and phrases in the definition of human subjects are defined as follows:

Investigator. The OHRP considers the term investigator to include anyone involved in conducting the research. OHRP does not consider the act of solely providing coded private information or specimens (for example, by a tissue repository) to constitute involvement in the conduct of the research. However, if the individuals who provide coded information or specimens also collaborate on other activities related to the conduct of the research with the investigators who receive such information or specimens, they will be considered to be involved in the conduct of the research. (See OHRP’s Guidance on Research Involving Coded Private Information or Biological Specimens: http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/cdebiol.html.)

Research. DHHS regulations define research at 45 CFR 46.102(d) as follows:
Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities which meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program which is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities.

Obtains. In general, obtaining identifiable private information or identifiable specimens includes, but is not limited to:

(a) observing or recording private behavior;

(b) using, studying, or analyzing for research purposes identifiable private information or identifiable specimens provided to investigators from any source; and

(c) using, studying, or analyzing for research purposes identifiable private information or identifiable specimens already in the possession of the investigators.



Intervention includes both physical procedures by which data are gathered (for example, venipuncture) and manipulations of the subject or the subject's environment that are performed for research purposes. (45 CFR 46.102(f))

Interaction includes communication or interpersonal contact between investigator and subject. (45 CFR 46.102(f))

Private information includes information about behavior that occurs in a context in which an individual can reasonably expect that no observation or recording is taking place, and information that has been provided for specific purposes by an individual and that the individual can reasonably expect will not be made public (for example, a medical record). Private information must be individually identifiable (i.e., the identity of the subject is or may readily be ascertained by the investigator or associated with the information) in order for obtaining the information to constitute research involving human subjects. (45 CFR 46.102(f))

Individually Identifiable Private Information. According to its guidance for use of coded specimens, OHRP generally considers private information or specimens to be individually identifiable as defined at 45 CFR 46.102(f) when they can be linked to specific individuals by the investigator(s) either directly or indirectly through coding systems. Conversely, OHRP considers private information or specimens not to be individually identifiable when they cannot be linked to specific individuals by the investigator(s) either directly or indirectly through coding systems.

Sex/Gender. Refers to the classification of research subjects into two categories: male and female. In some cases, representation is unknown, because sex/gender composition cannot be accurately determined (e.g., pooled blood samples or stored specimens without sex/gender designation). In addition, sex/gender classification is based on the self-reporting of participants enrolled in the research study. Investigators should consider the scientific goals of their study when requesting this information particularly if the research may include individuals whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth.



Significant Difference. For purposes of NIH policy, a "significant difference" is a difference that is of clinical or public health importance, based on substantial scientific data. This definition differs from the commonly used "statistically significant difference," which refers to the event that, for a given set of data, the statistical test for a difference between the effects in two groups achieves statistical significance. Statistical significance depends upon the amount of information in the data set. With a very large amount of information, one could find a statistically significant, but clinically small difference that is of very little clinical importance. Conversely, with less information one could find a large difference of potential importance that is not statistically significant.

Valid Analysis. This term means an unbiased assessment. Such an assessment will, on average, yield the correct estimate of the difference in outcomes between two groups of subjects. Valid analysis can and should be conducted for both small and large studies. A valid analysis does not need to have a high statistical power for detecting a stated effect. The principal requirements for ensuring a valid analysis of the question of interest are: allocation of study participants of both sexes/genders (males and females) and from different racial and/or ethnic groups to the intervention and control groups by an unbiased process such as randomization; unbiased evaluation of the outcome(s) of study participants; and use of unbiased statistical analyses and proper methods of inference to estimate and compare the intervention effects by sex/gender, race, and/or ethnicity.

IC. An Institute or Center of the National Institutes of Health.

Innovation. Something new or improved, including research for (1) development of new technologies, (2) refinement of existing technologies, or (3) development of new applications for existing technologies. For the purposes of PHS programs, an example of “innovation” would be new medical or biological products for improved value, efficiency, or costs.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). An administrative body established to oversee the institution’s animal program, facilities and research activities.

Institutional Base Salary. The annual compensation paid by an organization for an employee’s appointment, whether that individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. Base salary excludes any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of duties for the applicant/grantee organization. Base salary may not be increased as a result of replacing organization salary funds with NIH grant funds.

Some PHS grant programs are currently subject to a legislatively imposed salary limitation. Any adjustment for salary limits will be made at time of award. Applicants are encouraged to contact their offices of sponsored programs or see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for current guidance on salary requirements.



Institutional Review Board (IRB). An administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities.

Intellectual Property. The separate and distinct types of intangible property that are referred to collectively as “intellectual property,” including but not limited to: patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, SBIR/STTR technical data (as defined in this section), ideas, designs, know-how, business, technical and research methods, and other types of intangible business assets, and including all types of intangible assets either proposed or generated by an SBC as a result of its participation in the SBIR program.

Joint Venture. An association of concerns with interests in any degree or proportion by way of contract, express or implied, consorting to engage in and carry out a single specific business venture for joint profit, for which purpose they combine their efforts, property, money, skill, or knowledge, but not on a continuing or permanent basis for conducting business generally. A joint venture is viewed as a business entity in determining power to control its management.

Market Research. For purposes of the SBIR/STTR programs, “market research” is defined as the systematic gathering, editing, recording, computing, ad analyzing of data about problems related to the sale and distribution of the subject of the research project. It includes various types of research, such as the size of potential market and potential sales volume, the identification of consumers most apt to purchase the product(s), and the advertising media most likely to stimulate their purchases. However, “market research” does NOT include activities under a research plan or protocol that require a survey of the public as part of the objective of the project to determine the impact of the subject of the research on the behavior of individuals.

Mechanisms. Extramural research awards are divided into three main funding activity mechanisms: grants, cooperative agreements and contracts. A funding mechanism is the type of funded application or transaction used at the NIH. Programs are areas within the funding mechanisms. Activity codes identify categories applied to the various funding mechanisms. Also known as award mechanism or support mechanism.

New Investigator. A PD/PI who has not previously competed successfully as a PD/PI for a significant independent research award is considered a New Investigator. For example, a PD/PI who has previously received a competing NIH R01 research grant is no longer considered a New Investigator. However, a PD/PI who has received a Small Grant (R03) or an Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21) retains his or her status as a New Investigator. A complete definition of a New Investigator along with a list of NIH grants that do not disqualify a PD/PI from being considered a New Investigator can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/new_investigators/resources.htm.

See also the definition of Early Stage Investigator.



NRSA Individual Fellowship. Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award provided to individuals for research training in biomedical and behavioral research.

OHRP. Office for Human Research Protections.

OLAW. Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare.

Other Significant Contributors. Individuals who have committed to contribute to the scientific development or execution of the project, but are not committing any specified measurable effort (i.e., person months) to the project. These individuals are typically presented at "zero percent" effort or "as needed." Individuals with measurable effort may not be listed as Other Significant Contributors. Consultants should be included if they meet this definition.

Payback. Requirement that the recipient of a NRSA postdoctoral fellowship engage in qualified research or teaching activities for a length of time equal to the period of NRSA support received. Only the first year of training incurs a payback obligation. In general, payback activity must involve at least 20 hours per week and be conducted over 12 consecutive months; special exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Person Months. The metric for expressing the effort (amount of time) that PD/PIs, faculty and other senior/key personnel devote to a specific project. The effort is based on the type of appointment of the individual with the organization, e.g., calendar year (CY), academic year (AY), and/or summer term (SM); and the organization's definition of such. The effort is expressed as a percentage of the total institutional appointment.

Postdoctoral Scholar. An individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue his or her chosen career path.

Principal Investigator, Program Director, or Project Director. The individual(s) designated by the applicant organization to have the appropriate level of authority and responsibility to direct the project or program to be supported by the award. The applicant organization may designate multiple individuals as principal investigators (PD/PIs) who share the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. When multiple principal investigators are named, each is responsible and accountable to the applicant organization, or as appropriate, to a collaborating organization for the proper conduct of the project or program including the submission of all required reports. The presence of more than one PD/PI on an application or award diminishes neither the responsibility nor the accountability of any individual PD/PI.

Program Income. Gross income earned by the applicant organization that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the award. The NIH Grants Policy Statement contains a detailed explanation of program income, the ways in which it may be generated and accounted for, and the various options for its use and disposition.



Examples of program income include:

  • Fees earned from services performed under the grant, such as those resulting from laboratory drug testing;

  • Rental or usage fees, such as those earned from fees charged for use of computer equipment purchased with grant funds;

  • Third party patient reimbursement for hospital or other medical services, such as insurance payments for patients when such reimbursement occurs because of the grant-supported activity;

  • Funds generated by the sale of commodities, such as tissue cultures, cell lines, or research animals;

  • Patent or copyright royalties (exempt from reporting requirements); and

  • Registration fees generated from grant-supported conferences.

Prototype. A model of something to be further developed and includes designs, protocols, questionnaires, software, and devices.

Research or Research and Development (R/R&D). Any activity that is:

  • A systematic, intensive study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the subject studied; or

  • A systematic study directed specifically toward applying new knowledge to meet a recognized need; or

  • A systematic application of knowledge toward the production of useful materials, devices, and systems or methods, including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes to meet specific requirements.

Research Institution. A United States research organization that is:

  • A nonprofit college or university; or

  • A nonprofit research institution, including nonprofit medical and surgical hospitals. (A “nonprofit institution” is defined as an organization that is owned and operated exclusively for scientific or educational purposes, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.); or

  • A contractor-operated, Federally funded research and development center, as identified by the National Science Foundation in accordance with the Government-wide Federal Acquisition Regulation issued in accordance with section 35(c)(1) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (or any successor legislation thereto).

  • (Laboratories staffed by Federal employees do not meet the definition of “research institution” for purposes of the STTR program.)

SBIR/STTR Technical Data. All data generated during the performance of an SBIR/STTR award.

SBIR/STTR Technical Data Rights. The rights a small business concern obtains in data generated during the performance of any SBIR/STTR Phase I, Phase II, or Phase III award that an awardee delivers to the Government during or upon completion of a Federally-funded project, and to which the Government receives a license.

Senior/Key Personnel. The PD/PI and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of the project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not salaries or compensation is requested under the grant.

Typically these individuals have doctoral or other professional degrees, although individuals at the masters or baccalaureate level may be considered if their involvement meets the definition of senior/key personnel. Consultants and those with a postdoctoral role should also be included if they meet the definition of senior/key personnel. Senior/key personnel must devote measurable effort to the project whether or not salaries are requested--"zero percent" effort or “as needed” are not acceptable levels for those designated as senior/key personnel.



Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual. A member of any of the following groups: Black Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans; Asian-Pacific Americans; Subcontinent Asian Americans; other groups designated from time to time by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to be socially disadvantaged; or any other individual found to be socially and economically disadvantaged by SBA pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 637(a).

Sponsor/Co-Sponsor. One or more designated individual(s) responsible for providing the applicant with research training and career guidance throughout the grant award period.

Sponsoring Institution. Institution legally responsible for committing facilities for the Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Fellowship applicant and financially responsible for the use and disposition of fellowship funds.

Stipend. A payment made to an individual under a fellowship or training grant in accordance with pre-established levels to provide for the individual’s living expenses during the period of training. A stipend is not considered compensation for the services expected of an employee.

Summary Statement. The official agency record of the evaluation and recommendations made by peer review groups. It contains the essentially unedited, verbatim critiques of two or more individuals assigned to review the grant application.

United States. The 50 states, territories and possessions of the U.S., Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and District of Columbia.
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