Award Definition Types

Grant
A grant is the appropriate agreement to be used in a relationship between the federal government and a recipient whenever (1) the principle purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to the state or local government or other recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a federal statute, rather than acquisition, by purchase, lease, or barter, or property or services for the direct benefit or use of the federal government; and (2) no substantial involvement is anticipated between the executive agency, acting for the federal government, and the state or local government or other recipient during performance of the contemplated activity.

Contract
A contract is the appropriate agreement to be used in a relationship between the federal government and a recipient whenever (1) the principle purpose of the instrument is the acquisition, by purchase, lease, or barter of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the federal government; or (2) an executive agency determines in a specific instance that the use of a type of procurement contract is appropriate.

Cooperative Agreement
A cooperative agreement is the appropriate agreement to be used in a relationship between the federal government and a recipient whenever (1) the principle purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to the state or local government or other recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a federal statute, rather than acquisition, by purchase, lease, or barter, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the federal government; and (2) substantial involvement is anticipated between the executive agency, acting for the federal government, and the state or local government or other recipient during performance of the contemplated activity.

Definitions of Grant, Contract, and Cooperative Agreement from O.L. 95-224 (1978)

 
Grant Cooperative Agreement Contract
Basic Purpose
Provide assistance with few restrictions
Provide assistance with substantial involvement between parties
Procure tangible goods and services
Solicitation Method
Application kit or guidelines
Request for Application
Request for Proposal or Request for Quote
Award Instrument
Short, may refer to general conditions
Describes involvement, party relationships
Detailed specs, clauses, regulations, and expected results and deliverables
Involvement by sponsor
Generally none
Substantial involvement
May be extensive
Rebudgeting
Flexible
Usually flexible
More restrictive
Equipment Title
Grantee
Varies
Varies
Performance Period
Specified in Grant
Specified in Cooperative Agreement
Specified in contract
Patent Rights
Usually favor recipient
May be involved
Provision in contract
Publications
May ask to be informed
May ask to be informed
May require prior review/approval
Technical Reports
Annual summary report
Frequent reports
Detailed, may be monthly