AUM Frequently Asked Questions | AUM

AUM Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions and Recruitment

Official transcripts are required to process your application and provide an admission decision.

With extenuating circumstances or questions please call the Office of Admissions at 334-244-3615

No, you will not need a new student ID number, however you will need to contact the Registrar’s Office at 334-244-3125 and update your student file.

Yes. To check on the status of your application, please call Admissions at 334-244-3615. It can take up to two weeks for a complete application to be entered and processed into our system. A complete application includes an online application and all needed transcripts, forms, and test scores. An application has to be complete before it can be evaluated for admission.

Fill out a Change of Student Information Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. These forms can be picked up at the Registrar’s Office. You will also need to bring valid identification. The Registrar’s Office is located in the Taylor Center and can be reached at 334-244-3125.

Yes, as long as the student can show an official transcript from that institution with a detailed listing of classes taken from 9th through 12th grade.

You will receive your acceptance letter within two to three weeks after all documents required for admission have been received and processed for admissions. If you meet all admissions requirements and are accepted to AUM, we will then send you an acceptance letter along with an acceptance packet, which includes all information needed to get you started as an official AUM student.

If you are a current student and wish to add a second major, contact your academic advisor to discuss your options for adding an additional major.

If you have already received a bachelor’s degree from AUM, please submit an application (no transcript request is needed). If you have received a bachelor’s degree from another four-year college or university, please submit an application at an official final transcript for processing.

Please send transcripts to: Office of Admissions, Auburn University at Montgomery, PO Box 244023, Montgomery, AL 36124

Yes, our application is available online only and there is no application fee for undergrads! If you need accommodations or assistance with the online application, please call the Admissions Office at 334-244-3615

Yes, GED applicants who are under 21 years of age may be eligible for regular admission with a GED score of 500 and a minimum composite score of 18 on the ACT. Applicants who are over 21 years of age are not required to submit ACT/SAT scores for admission to the university.

Even if you do not fully meet all the requirements for admission to AUM, you still may find a home here through our Bridge Program. This program is designed for students who meet specific academic criteria in order to enroll them in courses structured to prepare them for full admission. Students who have graduated from high school more than three years ago who do not meet all regular admissions requirements may also be eligible for our Bridge Program.

If the courses are from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, they will be considered for articulation. An official transcript must be submitted for review. Transcripts can be mailed to Admissions at P.O. Box 244023, Montgomery, AL, 36124.

If you have specific questions about how your courses will transfer, please call Admissions at 334-244-3615.

A first time freshman is a new student who has not previously matriculated at a college or university at any time after graduation from high school or receipt of a GED

We accept undergraduate applications year round, but there are specific deadlines for admission each semester.

The official transcripts are formal university documents, printed with a watermark, the signature of the Registrar, and AUM’s official seal. Advising transcripts are unofficial documents used for advising purposes.

To obtain an official transcript, visit or contact the Registrar’s Office at 334-244-3125

If you are a current student, you may print an unofficial transcript on My AUM:

Yes, you can request information online or by calling the Admissions office at 334-244-3615.

Information Request Form

For full admissions, a minimum GPA of 2.3 or higher and a minimum ACT score of 18 (SAT score of 860) or higher is required. Even if you do not fully meet all the requirements for admission to AUM, you still may find a home here through our Bridge Program. This program is designed for students who meet specific academic criteria in order to enroll them in courses structured to prepare them for full admission.

Schedules are posted on the AUM website within a month of semester registration. You can check the Course Schedule online at under the “Academics” tab.

You will submit an undergraduate application at If you have been out of high school for more than three (3) years, we will not need your ACT/SAT scores; your official HS transcript will suffice for documentation to evaluate for admission into AUM. If you have been out of high school two (2) years or less, you will need to submit both your ACT/SAT scores and official HS transcript. If you have earned your GED, you will only need to submit the GED official score sheet; no ACT/SAT scores are needed. Once you have applied and an admission decision has been made, you will receive a letter from the Office of Admissions. If you have been accepted, you will receive information about orientation sessions for new students. All admitted students are highly encouraged to attend. You will meet with an academic advisor and register for your classes and choose your schedule at an orientation session.

Please contact the Office of Admissions with questions at 334-244-3615

Admission requirements:

Free online Application: 

Please send transcripts to: Office of Admissions Auburn University at Montgomery PO Box 244023 Montgomery, AL 36124-4023

Yes, it is best to be advised by an Academic Advisor that advises students in the field that you have decided to pursue. You would want to make sure that you are on the right track for graduation and that you are not taking classes that are not needed for your degree.

National Student Clearing House is Auburn University at Montgomery’s third party verifier for enrollment and degree verifications. Students can long on to Webster, our class registration tool, through their MyAUM account ( and go to the Clearinghouse link to print out an official verification letter of enrollment status. For further questions about this, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 334-244-3125.

A completed application, an official transcript mailed directly to our office by your high school. (If you have not graduated yet send the transcript anyway, then have a final copy mailed after graduation), and official ACT or SAT test scores.

Housing and Residence Life

Security for the housing areas is provided by the AUM Campus Police. Patrols are maintained by officers and they will be glad to provide assistance to residents and stranded motorists. AUM police officers will provide escort service to or from cars or classes at unusual times or under unusual circumstances. Residents should report any concerns and/or incidents regarding safety and security to the housing staff and Campus Police as soon as possible.

Campus Police can be reached at 334-244-3424.

Roommate assignments are made based on the compatibility survey which is included in the Housing application. We do our best to provide students with roommates who are compatible with them.

While we take special care to select compatible roommates, sometimes our selections (and sometimes the resident’s selections) don’t seem to work. First and foremost, we recommend that the roommates attempt to work out their differences. Each resident is encouraged to develop a relationship based on respect for each other’s personal life, appreciation for human diversity and cultural differences, and a commitment to have an open discussion and resolution of problems, which arise while they are living together. Resident Assistants in each building are trained to offer additional guidance in this, so each roommate should feel free to contact the Resident Assistant for help.
If either roommate still feels uncomfortable, he/she can request a room assignment change simply by coming to the Housing Office (The Nest, Suite 1H35) and completing a room change request form. All room change requests must be approved by Housing and Residence Life. When approved, the resident(s) will then be contacted by the Housing and Resident Life Office to arrange the details of the proposed move. Requests for room changes will be accepted following the first week of classes.

No, there are no curfews. However, quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. Reasonable quiet and consideration is expected at all times. Residents are encouraged to make the initial effort in controlling noise. Usually a simple request to the persons responsible for loud and disturbing noises will suffice. If such a request does not get results, residents should contact the Resident Assistant on duty or the Housing Office.

Campus Police Number: (334) 244-3424

Rent for a term covers residence from the first day of scheduled move-in until 12 hours after the last examination for the term. Residents may remain in their apartments during scheduled vacations and during periods between terms, provided the rent for the upcoming term has been paid by the published rent due date and the campus remains open during scheduled vacations and breaks.

Yes.  The applications for housing are for the current academic year. This means that your son/ daughter will need to reapply again for each new fall semester. Normally, notices are given beginning in January prior to each fall semester that it is time to re-apply.

All utilities (gas, power, garbage and water), including basic and expanded cable service, high-speed internet service and unlimited laundry are included in the rent. Telephones are not provided in student apartments. 

AUM provides a variety of meal plans for students.

AUM Meal Plans

Guests of AUM residents are expected to abide by all university and housing policies. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests while on campus. Overnight guests must be at least 18 yeas of age. Overnight guests of the same sex are limited to staying in a resident’s room no more than three nights per month. Consent of the roommate(s) must be obtained. Residents are only permitted to have guests of their same gender stay the night in their apartment.

When moving out of student housing, residents must properly check out at the Housing Office, The Nest, Suite 1H35, in person. Written instructions regarding move-out procedures are available in the Housing and Residence Life Office. To check out, the room must be vacated according to these instructions, all personal property removed, all access cards/keys and parking decal returned, and a completed vacating notice form placed on file in the Housing Office.

The move-out deadline for students not returning to university housing is usually the day following the last day of final exams of each term. Failure to check out properly or on time may result in charges of $100 per day past the published move-out deadline as well as additional charges being filed against the resident’s student account.

All incoming students will receive a list of items to bring to Housing, as well as items to leave at home, via their AUM email accounts. Rooms are furnished with beds, mattresses, desks, and living room furniture, but students are welcome to bring items such as decorations, posters, pictures, and personal items.

Students who are of age to drink legally in the United States (21 or older) are permitted to possess alcohol in their apartments if all occupants of the apartment are of age. If a resident is of age but has underage roommates, the resident may consume alcohol only in their private bedrooms. For residents without private bedrooms, alcohol may not be stored or consumed if all residents of the apartment are not of age. Residents who are not 21 or older are not permitted to consume alcohol on campus.

Housing costs are assessed to the resident's Webster Bill Pay account and can be paid online, via credit or debit card. Housing fees can also be paid in person at the Office of Student Accounts.

Office of Student Accounts

Mandatory fees are necessary to provide a complete range of student services that support the academic environment.  They are paid by all students as a condition of enrollment regardless of whether the student utilizes the services.

The university meal plan is required for all full-time undergraduate students. For additional information visit

No, all billing statements for currently enrolled students are issued online only through WebPay, accessible through MyAUM. Students and authorized users will receive an email notification when a new billing statement is issued.

You should access WebPay by first logging into your MyAUM account. Then click the WebPay icon on the Launch Pad. You should be taken directly into the system. If the system does not open, contact the Computer Help Desk by email at or by phone at 334-244-3500.

A student can update his/her address in Webster, accessible through MyAUM, under the Personal Information tab.

If a student ID will not work in the cafeteria and the student has been assessed a meal plan, the student should go to the Warhawk Shop Bookstore to confirm the meal plan is active and has a remaining balance.

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. Schools must have written permission from the student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. To comply with the provisions of the FERPA, AUM will not release information to anyone without the student’s permission. The student must grant access for parents or others to obtain any information about students’ records. The student can authorize access by completing a disclosure form available in the Registrar’s Office in the Taylor Center Room 150.

If a student’s schedule is cancelled as a result of registration cancellation, he/she must have the instructor and department head of each course sign a memorandum form and bring the signed form along with full payment to the Office of Student Accounts to re-enroll. The memorandum forms are available in the department offices.

If a student wants to add a class after the last date to add classes for the term, they must have the instructor and department head of each course sign a memorandum form and bring the signed form along with full payment to the Office of Student Accounts to have the course added. If a student drops a class within the time frame to receive 50% refund on tuition and fees, they will only receive 50% refund for the course(s) being dropped. However, they must pay full price for the course(s) being added including technology fees and a late registration fee.

If a student drops a class and adds another class during the timeframe for 50% refund of tuition and fees, they will only be reimbursed 50% of the course they are dropping. However, the student must pay full price for the course being added. The difference between the two will result in a balance.

If a student drops or adds a class after receiving a refund check, it could result in a new balance. New charges could also result from Warhawk Shop Bookstore transactions, parking fines, library fines, housing fees, graduation fees, etc. The student should monitor their account throughout the term to insure that any new balances are paid in full.

Any credit balance on an account that is caused by overpayment with a credit card will result in a credit back to the card.

Other refunds are disbursed to students by direct deposit to a bank account or by paper check. For instructions on setting up direct deposit, click the link below. Direct deposit refunds normally take three to four business days to be deposited into the bank account.

Accounts that do not have direct deposit information in the system will receive a check mailed to the mailing address on record. Please allow seven to ten business days to receive a paper check.

No, a direct deposit authorization remains in effect as long as the student is in school. If a student’s checking account information changes or the account is closed, the student will need to update his/her direct deposit information in the system.

Contact the Office of Student Accounts to complete a “Request for Duplicate Check” form.

The student should contact the Office of Student Accounts. The Office of Student Accounts will check to see if the original check has been cancelled. If the original check has been cancelled, the student should destroy the original check or return it back to the Office of Student Accounts.

The 1098-T form is an information return filed by colleges and universities with the IRS. A copy is also provided to the student. The purpose of the 1098-T is to help students determine if they are eligible for the Hope Scholarship Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit.

The Cashier Office issues the 1098-T forms and can answer many of your questions. Additional information can also be found on the Office of Student Accounts website

In WebPay, accessible through MyAUM, click on “View Account Activity” and view transactions by each term.

Public Safety

The safety of our students, visitors, faculty and staff is a priority.  With all the advantages of a small campus, Auburn Montgomery also has many amenities of a larger university, including our own police department.

The AUM Police Department is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week police and security department. We take a proactive approach to safety. Auburn Montgomery offers:

  • A well-lit campus
  • Required parking tags for students, faculty and staff, and temporary parking passes for visitors, to easily identify all vehicles on campus
  • Campus police completing hourly rounds of the parking lots, residential areas, and campus

AUM Police may be contacted by calling (334) 244-3424. We suggest programming this number into your telephone. You can call 911, however we suggest calling the AUM Police Dispatch at (334) 244-3424 for immediate assistance.

  • To prepare before an emergency situation arises, faculty, staff, and students should review AUM's Critical Operations Manual.
  • Threat Assessment Team
    • The AUM Threat Assessment Team advises and makes recommendations on incidents involving individuals and situations that pose a threat to the safety and well-being of the AUM Community. This includes individuals exhibiting behavior that is disruptive, threatening, or causing concern. Anyone who becomes aware of such a situation can report the matter to the team.
    • In the event of a threat, the Threat Assessment Team will recommend actions to the appropriate chancellor, provost, or vice chancellor(s) in order to protect student(s), employee(s), and the university community. Auburn University at Montgomery takes any and all threats of violence very seriously, and is committed to seeing a civil or criminal case through to its conclusion. To support the mission of the AUM Threat Assessment Team, all employees or supervisors MUST echo this point.

Student Health Services

Students, faculty, staff and their dependents may be seen at the health center.

The nurse practitioner in SHS is able to treat most illnesses and/or injuries. An exception to this would be a possible fracture (we don't have x-ray capability) or an illness severe enough to warrant an Emergency Department referral. We also perform health maintenance services such as physical exams, female annual PAP exams, and sexually transmitted disease testing.

The clinic is open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday -Friday, when classes are in session.

Student Health Services is in Irma B. Moore Hall 102

Cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. We do not accept American Express.

Yes, while we don't see the public as "patients" in SHS, we do have a travel vaccine program available to the community.

Please call SHS for more information at 334-244-3281.

IT Services

Scanners and copiers are available in the library and in the Taylor Center Computer Lab (room 117). There is a nominal fee for use of the copier. Printers are available to students in Business 217 and Education 208 Open Computer Labs.

This problem could be Java related:

Second, if you have the latest version of Java, clear your Java cache. Clearing the Java Plug-in cache forces the browser to load the latest versions of web pages and programs.

To clear your Java cache in Windows:

  • Click Start > Control Panel.
  • Locate and double click the Java icon in the Control Panel.
  • Click Settings under Temporary Internet Files.
  • Click Delete Files.
  • Select all boxes and click OK on Delete Temporary Files window. Note: This deletes all the Downloaded Applications and Applets from the cache.
  • Click OK on Temporary Files Settings window.
  • Click OK to close the Java Control Panel.
  • To clear your Java cache in Mac OS X:
    • Double click your Macintosh hard drive.
    • Double click Applications.
    • Double click Utilities.
    • Double click Java Preferences.
    • Click the Network tab.
    • Click the Delete Files... button.
    • You are prompted to delete your temporary files for Java. Make sure all boxes are selected with check marks. Click OK.
    • Close the Java Preferences window.

Blackboard access is provided when you register for class. You can access your Blackboard class on the official first day of class.

You can login to Blackboard by logging in to My AUM portal login page ( and clicking on the Blackboard icon located on the left side of the portal home page.

You can also log directly into Blackboard by typing into the web address bar (

Enter your same username and password that you use to login in to the My AUM portal and your AUM email account.

You must be a student enrolled at AUM and registered for the current term in order to use the AUM email system.

Go to My AUM portal login page (

Click First Time Users located under the login information.

The Looking Up your AUM Student Account page opens.

  • Enter your 9 digit S number (make sure the S is capitalized) in Student ID.
  • Select your Birth Date.
  • Click Submit
  • Go to My AUM portal login page (
  • Click Forgot Password located under the login information.
  • Enter your Username and click OK.
  • Answer the three security questions you created when setting up your My AUM account.
  • Click OK.
  • The system will assign a temporary password for you to login.
  • After logging in with your temporary password, you can use the Reset Password tool under the Launchpad to create a new and never before used password. (Passwords must be at least eight characters in length, with at least one capital letter and one number.)
  • If additional assistance is needed, please contact the Help Desk at 334-244-3500 or email

Currently enrolled students MUST request their transcript through My AUM portal login page (

  • On the My AUM page, click Webster from the LaunchPad. Select Student Services and Financial Aid. Select Student Records and request printed official transcript.
  • Or, on the My AUM page click Academics under QuickLaunch Navigation. Click the Request Official Transcript link and follow the instructions.
  • If you need assistance acquiring an official transcript, please contact the Registrar’s office at 334-244-3125.

Former students MUST request their transcripts via National Student Clearinghouse ( There is a nominal fee for obtaining your transcript.

To access Blackboard and Webster, you must be a registered student and have a valid and current AUM email account.

You must login to Blackboard using the same username and password you use to access your AUM email. If you are a registered student who cannot login to Blackboard, sign on to your AUM email to verify it is valid and current.

For additional assistance, please contact the Help Desk at 334-244-3500, send an email to, or stop by the first floor of Taylor Center Computer Lab.

Please stop by the Help Desk at the Taylor Center Computer Lab (room 117), on the first floor, and request additional funds be made on your account (Pharos Account).

You will be required to complete paperwork to have funds added to your account.

Only currently enrolled students will have a printing account.

Sometimes it will be necessary to change your course schedule after your initial registration. The tutorial below will show you how to make a change to your schedule by dropping or adding a class.

Dropping and Adding Courses

  • Go to My AUM portal login page ( and click on the Webster icon located on the left side of the home page.
  • Click on Student Services and Financial Aid.
  • Select the Registration box.
  • Scroll down and select the Select Term text box.
  • Click the Submit button.
  • Select the Register for and/or Drop Classes text box.

Career Development Center

Individual career advising appointments are available to Warhawks through AdvisorTrac on the MyAUM portal.  Students are welcome to visit the Career Development Center office at Taylor Center 323 during office hours, 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.

We assist Warhawks with career/major decision-making, career planning and preparation, and job search/networking strategies within a chosen career field. Some of the services provided by the Career Development Center include:

  • Individual major/career advice
  • Career action planning
  • Internship/co-op search strategies
  • Professional development workshops/seminars
  • Opportunities to engage with employers (Career Fairs, on-campus recruitment, Handshake, etc.)
  • Job search materials assistance (resumes, cover letters, CVs, etc.)
  • Interview preparation
  • Part-time job search assistance

For a full list of services from the Career Development Center, please visit MyAUM.

We encourage Warhawks to begin engaging in career development as early as the first semester, in order to make an informed career decision, with a greater understanding of personal interests, values, and priorities and a thorough exploration of career options available. 

A typical career advising appointment lasts approximately 30-45 minutes. Initially the Career Advisor will help you unpack your interests, values, and priorities in order to develop a criteria of factors important to you, and provide you with strategies to compare career options. Once you have chosen a career path/field of study, we will help you develop a career action plan to gain accomplishments that articulate knowledge, skills, and competencies needed for long-term career success. Follow-up appointments may include internship/job search advice, resume/cover letter assistance, mock interview exercises, and more.

Employers are always searching for talented people to add to their organization. The Employer Spotlight program is designed to let Warhawks know that an employer organization will be at the Auburn University at Montgomery campus to recruit and network with students – through display tables in Taylor Center, informational presentations, classroom interactions and career fair events. Just look for the Employer Spotlight logo!

AUM Bookstore

There is no additional charge for the cap and gown from the AUM Bookstore. The cost to each student is covered in the graduation fee.  However, students must order their cap and gown from the AUM Bookstore to participate in graduation. Deadlines vary - contact the AUM Bookstore directly.

The AUM Bookstore is open 7:45 a.m. – 6 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, 7:45 a.m. – 5 p.m., on Fridays. AUM Bookstore opens during special campus events and the first Saturday of each semester. Students may review our store hours at our website:

Yes, students who have financial aid in the form of a Stafford Loan and/or Federal Pell Grant may use any of the excess funds after tuition and fees are applied to purchase textbooks in the AUM Bookstore.  These funds are normally available until the Office of Student Accounts processes student's refund checks.


AUM Bookstore offers a number of titles for rent each semester. AUM Bookstore also offers a number of titles in an e-book form. An AUM Student ID is required to rent textbooks.

Students may get their AUM Student ID card at the ID card office next to the AUM Bookstore on the main floor of the Taylor Center. Your first ID is no charge. Replacement copies are $10 each.

AUM Bookstore conducts student textbook buybacks at the end end of each semester.  An AUM Student ID is required.

Human Resources

For information regarding part-time or Adjunct faculty vacancies, contact the appropriate University department. For information regarding Student employment opportunities, contact the Career Development Center at 244-3342 or email

Job vacancies for full-time positions can be found on Jobs@AUM

Learning Center/Instructional Support Lab

At the Learning Center (225/226 Library), you need an appointment. However, you do not need one in advance and walk-ins are welcomed! Please walk in or call (334-244-3470) to set an appointment.

At the Instructional Support Lab (202/203 Goodwyn Hall), you do not need an appointment.

No. That center is the Early Childhood Center and may be reached at 334-244-3779.

No, we only provide tutoring services for currently enrolled AUM students.

No, we do not proctor tests. You may contact the AUM Center for Disability Services (334-244-3728) or a local public library for guidance finding test proctors.

Yes. If you are an AUM student considering a graduate degree, we have many study guide books for graduate placement tests and can help you prepare for them.

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Please visit the OIE website and click on the link entitled AUM Data found on the Institutional Research page:

You may also find information on student achievement on AUM's Consumer Information site.

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Typically an ORSP --- also known as the office for research administration, the office for contracts and grants, or some variation thereof --- is in place to support the research mission of the institution. The ORSP plays a key role in monitoring the many compliance and risk areas that are such a large part of the conduct of sponsored research in the world today. The ORSP operation is one of stewardship, management and oversight of the administrative aspects of the research enterprise at the institution. The ORSP has authority to submit federal grant proposals on behalf of the Chancellor of the institution.

Fariba S. Deravi, Director
Debbie Tomblin
Research Compliance Manager
Assisting faculty in locating funding sources and submitting proposals for support of research and other faculty-driven activities.
Accepting awards and ensuring they are administered consistent with sponsor and institutional policies.
Mediating the award process with the sponsor to ensure university research policies, such as those relating to publication rights and other intellectual property rights, are adhered to, and that other financial and programmatic terms and conditions are acceptable to the institution.

It works with principal investigator (PI) and their fiscal officers to manage and monitor awards received at the University, so our researchers can focus their time and effort on their research.  The Post-Award responsibilities are:

  • Establishing Accounts
  • Monitoring Expenditures
  • Managing changes to research project (including changes to personnel, budget, scope, timeline, or subcontracts)
  • Invoicing and billing
  • Reporting
  • Closing out awards

A Principal Investigator (PI) is an individual who has primary responsibility for the design, execution, and management of a research project and who will be involved in the project in a significant manner.

A Project Director (PD) is an individual who has primary responsibility for the design and management of a training or public service project and who will be involved in the project in a significant manner.

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are most likely to be used by government agencies, although foundations sometimes issue them as well. RFPs are published so that organizations that might be qualified to participate can apply. RFPs are published by all the federal departments on their websites or at, where people can search for RFPs by program titles, departments, key words, or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers that are assigned to each RFP. People can sign up with to receive regular notices of newly released RFPs. Such notices contain a brief description of the grant program and a link to the RFP.

A grant proposal is an exercise in logic. Similar to a lawyer pleading a case or a debater making a point, the proposal writer must build a logical argument that justifies funding. The proposal’s point must be well thought out, and the argument must flow rationally through all of the proposal’s various sections, building the impression that funding of the proposed project is reasonable, sensible and desirable.

The basic concept is very simple.  A proposal:

  • Identifies a problem (Need Statement);
  • Explains the project’s intent to resolve the problem and sets measurable markers of success (Objectives);
  • Describes steps that will be taken to reach the objectives (Activities);
  • Introduces the individuals who will carry out the activities (Personnel);
  • Outlines procedures for measuring the project’s success in meeting its objectives (Evaluation); and
  • Estimates the funding needed to carry out the project (Budget).

Formerly known as “Indirect Costs” and “Overhead,” F & A are expenses that colleges and universities incur in support of the institution’s major, mission-related activities, primarily identified as instruction, organized research, and public service.

The research F & A rate is composed of two general cost categories: facilities (“F”) costs and administrative (“A”) costs.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) maintains a set of circulars containing requirements federal agencies are required to follow when issuing federal funds.  Each of the funding agencies passes requirements established under the circulars to the recipients of the federal funds through the implementation of their own sponsor specific policies. The major circulars with respect to sponsored programs are:
  • OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions
  • OMB Circular A-87, cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments
  • OMB Circular A-122, Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations
  • OMB Circular A-102, Grants and Cooperative Agreement with State and Local Governments
  • OMB Circular A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations
  • OMB Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations


  • A type of financial assistance awarded to an institution for the conduct of research or other program as specified in an approved proposal. A grant, as opposed to a cooperative agreement, is used whenever the awarding office anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the activities. Grants are normally awarded by sponsors whose purpose in supporting research is scientific, cultural or philanthropic.


  • A mechanism for procurement of a product or service with specific obligations for both sponsor and recipient. Typically, a research topic and the methods for conducting the research are specified in detail by the sponsor, often in the Request for Proposal (RFP) which announces the funding opportunity. In general, there are greater performance expectations associated with contracts, including project milestones and detailed deliverables (e.g., reports). The arrangement is usually designed to benefit the sponsor by achieving an expected outcome or product.

Cooperative Agreement

  • An award similar to a grant, but in which the sponsor’s staff may be actively involved in proposal preparation and anticipates having substantial involvement in research activities once the award has been made.

A subaward is an agreement that is written under the authority of, and consistent with, the terms and conditions of a prime award, and which authorizes a portion of the research or substantive effort to be performed by another organization. A subaward should be written anytime a portion of the substantive effort is to be performed by another organization.

A subrecipient is a third party organization performing a portion of an externally funded project.
The federal regulations that describe Subrecipient monitoring are contained in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, Compliance Supplement, Part 6, Section M. This is available on the OMB website at:

It is the portion of a project or program cost not borne by the sponsor. Cost sharing occurs either when a sponsor requires, or the University commits in a proposal, funds beyond those awarded by the sponsoring agency to support a particular grant or contract.

Failure to successfully articulate and carry out an institution’s principles of operation may result in risks relating to non-compliance. Depending on the severity of the issue, an institution may experience the following:
  • Costly fines and/or penalties
  • Penalties under the False Claims Act, including treble damages and fines of between $5,000 and $10,000 per false claim
  • Reduced research funding either as a grantee or Subrecipient
  • Sponsor-imposed special award terms and conditions
  • Loss of expanded or waiver of authorities
  • Enhanced sponsor monitoring program
  • Designation as an “exceptional” or “high-risk” institution
  • Suspension/debarment from receiving federal funds
  • Reduction in student enrollment
  • Reduction in donations
  • Loss of public trust
  • Public demand for institutional accountability

For a scientist, integrity embodies above all the individual’s commitment to intellectual honesty and personal responsibility. It is an aspect of moral character and experience. For an institution, it is a commitment to creating an environment that promotes responsible conduct by embracing standards of excellence, trustworthiness, and lawfulness, and then assessing whether researchers and administrators perceive that an environment with high levels of integrity have been created.

The charge of IRB is to weigh risks and benefits of participation in research to protect the rights and welfare of the research participants.

All “research” involving human participants must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to beginning the research. When the answer is “YES” to all the following questions, you are conducting research:

  • Was information collected in a systematic manner (i.e., according to a pre-determined set of rules)?
  • Will information be used to draw conclusions about a general principle or question? (Conclusions must be directly drawn from the collected information - speculation not directly drawn from the collected information would not be considered generalizable.)
  • Will the information be disseminated beyond the immediate setting in which it was collected (e.g., a school or a laboratory)?

The determination to submit a project for IRB review is made by the faculty researcher, who is the principal investigator of the project. The IRB will then review and classify the project into one of three categories:“exempt,” “expedited,” or “full review.”