U.S. Government Policies

Grants and Cooperative Agreements

The OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Circulars are the documents that govern all federal grants.  The following are the circulars that are pertinent to research conducted at educational institutions: 

Research.gov:  The Research.gov Policy Library is the U.S. Government’s electronic portal for accessing Federal policies, guidelines and procedures. 

A-21: Cost Principles for Educational Institutions;

A-110: Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations;

A-133: Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations;

Code of Federal Regulations  is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) is a cooperative initiative among 10 federal agencies and 92 institutional (university) recipients of federal funds; its purpose is to reduce the administrative burdens associated with research grants and contracts.  

OMB Uniform Guidance: On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al.) The Uniform Guidance consolidates, streamlines and supersedes eight existing OMB Circulars, including Circulars A-21, A-110 and A-133. The Uniform Guidance became effective December 26, 2014. New and incrementally funded awards issued on or after the effective date will be subject to this guidance.


The FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) governs all federal contracts.  The agency specific contract regulations can also be accessed from the FAR.


An IPA (Intergovernmental Personnel Act) Agreement is one in which Georgetown faculty members may take a one year leave of absence to work at a federal agency.  The concept of the program is one of mutual benefit so while the GU faculty member works full time at the government agency, he or she remains a University employee with all customary benefits.  When an IPA Agreement is negotiated, the budget lines include salary and fringe benefits only.  Additional details about this program can be found at the Office of Personnel Management site.