Proposal Terms Glossary

The following are a list of common terms that appear in request for proposals and grant materials. This list is not exhaustive and is meant to be a guide to help you when responding to a proposal.

Applied Research: Research that studies the relationship or applicability for theories or principles of a particular field to a particular problem.

Basic Research: Research which adds something new to the body of knowledge of a particular field.

Boiler Plate: those parts of a proposal that are standard and lifted from another document, i.e., affirmative action statement, institutional profile, negotiated indirect costs.

Concept Paper: An initial, short version of your project proposal, similar to a preliminary proposal.

Cost-sharing: financial contribution by an institution to a project supported primarily by a grant or contract.

Deadline: The due date of a proposal. Can be one of two types — a Receipt Deadline and a Postmark Deadline. Make sure you know which you must meet.

Direct Costs: those costs generated by a project of contract, including salaries, rents, costs of materials for the project, travel, computer time, etc.

Fellowship: An award to an individual to pursue study in his or her own field or to introduce that person to a related field. Emphasis is on the contribution to the individual's scholarly development and not to a specific piece of research. The funds are often supplemental or in lieu of salary and are called stipends.

Fiscal Year (FY): The budget year. October 1 to September 30 for Federal Government; July 1 to June 30 for UALR.

Formula or Block Grants: grants awarded by the federal government to the 50 similar state agencies by a mathematical formula previously established. These funds are often regranted by the state on a competitive basis.

Guidelines: The criteria by which a proposal is to be written.

Indirect Costs: Those costs not readily identifiable as costs generated by a specific project, but which occur in the general operation of the project. These costs include the expense of operating and maintain buildings and equipment, depreciation, administrative salaries, etc.

Indirect Cost Rate: A predetermined rate for indirect costs that can be charged by an institution. These are negotiated with UALR and individual agencies. Check with SRO.

In-Kind Funds: A type of matching fund that an institution contributes. These are not actual cash amounts, but cash equivalents in wages, rents, and supplies. For instance, UALR will match a grant with $1,200 in rent — at a rate of $100 a month — for a classroom that already exists.

Matching Funds: Funds that must be supplied by the grantee in an amount determined in the grant.

New Starts: Projects that are funded for the first time.

Non-responsiveness: Bureaucratic jargon for failure to comply with all the rules, regulations, and requests of grant guidelines. A major reason for proposal rejection.

Planning Grant: A grant intended to support activities necessary to the design and plan of a particular program of project. A planning grant often subsidizes the production of a subsequent grant request.

Postmark Deadline: The date by which a mail application must be postmarked.

Preliminary Proposal: A short, initial statement of your project. Sometimes called a concept paper.

Principal Investigator: The individual responsible for carrying out the terms of an award. This person is also called the project director.

Project Director: The principal investigator for an award.

Receipt Deadline: The date by which a mailed application must be received.

Request for Proposal (RFP): An agency solicitation for proposals from individuals or institutions to perform specific tasks.

Research Fellowship: An award to an individual to perform research. See fellowship.

Seed Money: Funds awarded to start up a project with the purpose of finding permanent financing from other sources.

Solicited Proposal: A proposal submitted in response to a request from the granting organization.

Stipend: The name of the awards made under a fellowship.

Training Fellowship: An award that supports the training of an individual in his or her own discipline or related field. This type of award is often made to an institution on behalf of an individual.

Unsolicited Proposal: A proposal you submit without a request. Must be more persuasive than a solicited proposal.

Wired: Slang for the idea that the selection of an organization to receive a grant has been decided prior to the submission of competitive proposals.