Types of Awards

8.1 Types of Awards
An award is most broadly defined as financial support for a specific research project, training program, equipment purchase, or other activity. The federal government defines three types of awards: Assistance awards (including both grants and cooperative agreements), Contracts, and Other Transaction Agreements. Each is described below.

8.1.1 Grants are funds to support specific projects in which the sponsor has an interest but does not play an active role. Typically a grant is given without expectation of delivery of a specific product or service other than a final written report. Grants are written documents with general terms and conditions that usually stipulate a project period and minimal reporting requirements. They generally fund basic research, fellowships, and training.

8.1.2 Contracts provide support for a specific, often narrowly focused, set of tasks for the direct benefit of the sponsor and are written documents enforceable by law, typically with terms spelled out in greater detail than in a grant. The University is generally given less latitude to modify aspects of the scope of work and the budget than in the case of a grant. Contracts typically fund applied research, clinical trials, and services by the University.

8.1.2.1 Subawards/Subcontracts are awards issued to BU under a prime award (grant, cooperative agreement or contract), where a portion of the scope of work is delegated to BU by the prime awardee.

8.1.3 Cooperative Agreements create a collaborative relationship between BU and the sponsoring agency, which is often substantially involved with the project. The University does not have much latitude to modify the scope of work, and the reporting requirements are usually strict.

8.1.4 Other Transaction Awards are funding instruments which do not incorporate the standard terms and conditions included in A-21, A-110, or A-133. Rather, all terms and conditions are negotiated between the federal sponsor (currently only the Department of Defense and the NIH are legally authorized to award OTAs) on a case-by-case basis.