The information on this page provides an introduction to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
(in brief, the Uniform Guidance), published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
What Is the Uniform Guidance?
The Uniform Guidance is an effort to by OMB to streamline guidance for the management of federal grant awards and to strengthen oversight of federal funds. To help achieve this, the Uniform Guidance consolidates eight previous OMB publications (called OMB circulars) on federal award management into one central document.
For universities, the Uniform Guidance consolidates and replaces three previous OMB circulars: A-21 (Cost Principles), A-110 (Administrative Requirements), and A-133 (Audit Requirements).
What Does It Include?
The Uniform Guidance covers all aspects of federal grants administration, from pre-award to audit. To help make the information accessible, OMB has divided it into six subparts.
Where Can I Find It?
The Guidance has been incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contains the rules published by the various departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
How Does It Differ from Previous Federal Guidance?
Much of the content of the Uniform Guidance has been carried over from the OMB circulars that were consolidated into it. However, there are some key changes that Principal Investigators and those supporting the financial management of federal grant awards should be aware of. (See the key changes.)
Does It Apply to My Federal Grant Awards?
That depends on when they were issued. The Uniform Guidance applies to:
New federal grant awards issued on or after 12/26/2014.
New funding increments issued on or after 12/26/2014 for previously funded federal awards. (See two scenarios.)
How are Agencies Such as NSF and NIH Affected?
Federal agencies that issue grant awards are required to implement the Uniform Guidance by issuing their own policies, rules, and regulations for grantees that are consistent with the Guidance. Currently, this process is ongoing. (See implementation by agency.)
Where Can I Learn More About This?
The Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR), an interagency group established to help guide grants management reform, provides extensive web-based resources on the Uniform Guidance, including background materials, F&Qs, and training materials, among other things.