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NIAID Glossary of Funding and Policy Terms and Acronyms—M

For Institute program-specific acronyms, go to NIAID Profile and Fact Book.

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Term Definition
majority group

Human subjects term indicating a white person, not Hispanic, having origins in the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.

marketing application

Application submitted to FDA for a new drug or a product license application for a biological product.

Go to definitions in 21 CFR 312.3 and full 21 CFR 312.


Process congressional committees and subcommittees use to debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation.

matching or cost sharing

Value of third-party contributions; the portion of costs of a federally funded project not paid for by the federal government.

Material Transfer Agreement

Legal document defining the conditions under which materials can be transferred and used among research laboratories, usually for unpatented biological materials transferring to non-profit entities or for-profit entities for research purposes only.

Go to NIAID's Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office.


See Minority Biomedical Research Support.


Materials Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. See cooperative research and development agreement.


Budget activity or grouping of related activities that may vary for budgetary or reporting purposes. May also be called award instrument.

Mechanisms usually combine activity codes; for example, the training mechanism includes career (K), fellowship (F), and training (T) activity code groups. Other frequently used mechanisms are research project grants, small business awards, and contracts.

Often used interchangeably with activity code.

Go to these NIAID resources:

medical device

Diagnostic or therapeutic article that does not work through chemical action, such as a diagnostic test kit.


One of the National Library of Medicine's databases of scientific publications. Go to NLM Databases & Electronic Resources.

Go to the National Library of Medicine and NLM Databases & Electronic Resources.


See Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT, R37).

Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT, R37)

Five-year grant that NIAID awards investigators with stellar records of research accomplishment.

Go to NIAID's MERIT Awards and Extensions SOP.

Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee (MIDRC)

NIAID scientific review group for grant applications in microbiology and infectious diseases. Go to the MIDRC rosters for Subcommittee A and Subcommittee B.


See Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee.

minimal risk

Human subjects term indicating that the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in research are not greater than those encountered in daily life or routine tests. See risk.

Go to 45 CFR 46.102 and 21 CFR 50.3.

minority group

Human subjects term indicating a subset of the U.S. population distinguished by racial, ethnic, or cultural heritage.

Categories are American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander.

NIH policy requires members of a minority group be included in clinical research barring a compelling rationale not to do so. See Planned Enrollment Report and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report.

Inclusion of a group should be determined by the scientific questions under examination and their relevance. Not every study will include all minority groups or subpopulations. Also see underrepresented group.

Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS)

Program to increase the number of researchers who are members of minority groups that are underrepresented in biomedical science. Go to MBRS.

minority, underrepresented

See underrepresented minorities.

misconduct in science

See research misconduct.

misuse of grant and contract funds

NIH term denoting any unauthorized or inappropriate use of grant or contract funds that violates federal regulations, HHS policy, terms of an award, or regulations or policy not directly tied to the misuse of funds.

The term is used for policies for fraud, waste, and abuse in NIH programs by NIH employees, grantees, contractors, or others doing business with NIH.

Go to NIAID's Reporting Fraud, Waste, and Abuse SOP.

model organism

Animal, plant, or other organism used to study basic biologic processes to provide insight into other organisms. See model organism sharing.

model organism sharing

Policy stating that an investigator must submit plans for sharing mammalian and non-mammalian eukaryotic models to comply with NIH policy.

Go to these resources:

modification, contract

See contract modification.

modified summary statement

Former term for a summary statement containing reviewer critiques; now standard practice.

modified total direct costs (MTDC)

Cost base educational institutions use to calculate facilities and administrative costs, consisting of:

  • Salaries, wages, and fringe benefits
  • Materials and supplies
  • Services
  • Travel
  • Subawards and subcontract up to the first $25,000 for the initial award period

MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, patient care, tuition, rentals, scholarships and fellowships, and subcontract costs exceeding $25,000. Go to OMB Circular A-21 for details.

Modular Budget, PHS 398

See PHS 398 Modular Budget.

modular budget

Grant budget type that eliminates the need for details by requiring applicants to request budgets in modules of $25,000.

Used for grant applications requesting $250,000 or less in annual direct costs for R01, R03, R15, R21, R34, and some requests for applications and program announcements.

Go to NIH's Modular Research Grant Applications and NIAID's Modular Grants SOP.


Person designated by a sponsor or contract research organization to oversee an investigation. A monitor may be an employee, contractor, or consultant to a sponsor.

Monitor also means to oversee an investigation. See clinical trial monitoring. Go to definitions in 21 CFR 812.3 or full 21 CFR 812.

Go to these resources:

monitoring, clinical trial

See clinical trial monitoring.


Multiple project assurance.


See material transfer agreement.


See modified total direct costs.

multiple PI

Describes a grant application or grant that has more than one principal investigator at one or more institutions. Each is a full-fledged PI who has responsibilities appropriate to that role.

Go to these resources:

Multiple PI Leadership Plan

Part of a multiple PI grant application that describes how the principal investigators will manage the project, including making decisions on scientific direction, allocating resources, and resolving conflicts.

multipotent stem cell

Stem cell usually derived from an early embryo or embryonic germ cell that can differentiate into many types of cells of the endoderm, ectoderm, and mesoderm. Compare with oligopotent, pluripotent, totipotent, and unipotent stem cells.

multiproject grant

Single grant that funds at least two related research projects. For some grant types, multiproject applications may be investigator-initiated or must respond to a request for applications or program announcement.

Go to these NIAID resources:

multiyear funded grant

Grant that has a project period longer than one year but receives all funding in the first year only, e.g., an Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA, R15).

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Last Updated March 29, 2016

Last Reviewed May 08, 2012