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Types of Extramural Awards Defined

AWARD: The term award is a generalized term used for all sponsored program funds. An award may be further classified as being a contract, cooperative agreement, or grant. A sponsored program or project is a transaction in which there is a specified project plan or statement of work with a reciprocal transfer of something of value (e.g., a monetary payment). The award document will generally indicate the type of award received.

GIFT: A gift is defined as any item of value given to UMBC by a donor who expects nothing significant of value in return other than recognition and disposition of the gift in accordance with the donor’s wishes. See UMBC Policy on Sponsored Projects and Gifts for more information.

CONTRACT: A contract is a mechanism for procurement of a product or service with specific obligation for both the sponsor and recipient. Each contract document contains a statement of the work or services to be performed and represents a legal obligation by the University. Since a contract is a purchase, there will always be a deliverable. Contracts are more detailed than grants and cooperative agreements in both the technical requirements and accountability for the use of funds. A purchase order is treated as a contract. There are a few types of contracts you might encounter:

  1. FIXED PRICE CONTRACT: A fixed price contract indicates that specific objectives and outputs are to be delivered within a specific time frame for a fixed price, regardless of how much it costs. All fixed price contracts require a letter from the PI’s Department Head stating they understand the project is a firm fixed price contract and in the event there are any cost overruns the department will cover the overage. Whenever possible, a fund number as to where the overrun will be charged should be included in the letter.
  2. COST REIMBURSEMENT CONTRACT: A cost reimbursement contract permits reimbursement for actual costs incurred in the accomplishment of the required research.

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT: A cooperative agreement is entered into when a government or industrial sponsor provides partial support for an existing or anticipated University program of mutual interest to the sponsor and the University. It is unique from the other types of awards in that it normally means the sponsor will have some involvement in the technical direction of the award.

GRANT: A grant is defined as financial assistance, and depending upon the provision of the award, a grant may be classified either as a gift or as sponsored funds.

COOPERATIVE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT (CRADA): A vehicle to transfer technology between the government and the university. CRADA’s can also be used to transfer equipment or supplies. CRADA’s do not transfer funds ($$).