Including a Subaward


A subaward is an agreement with a third-party organization to perform a portion of a research project or program. The terms of the relationship (sub-grant/subcontract) are influenced by the prime agreement, and all subawards must be monitored to ensure that the subrecipient complies with these terms.

As Defined by Uniform Guidance

A Subaward is an award provided by a pass-through entity to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of a federal award received by the pass-through entity.  It does not include payments to a contractor or payments to an individual that is a beneficiary of a federal program. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the pass-through entity considers a contract (Uniform Guidance §200.92).

Proposal Development Stage

  • The department works with the PI to collect both sponsor required and OSP required documents from a subrecipient.
  • OSP completes a risk assessment for all new subrecipients in the subrecipient’s organizational profile in GMAS.
  • The proposal review team reviews subrecipient proposal documents as part of the proposal review process and will submit the required documents with the prime proposal.

Required Elements

When a Harvard proposal includes a subaward, the following elements are required:

Calculating Subaward costs into Harvard’s F&A Base

Federal Proposals:

  • The first $25K of the subrecipient’s total costs, must be included in Harvard’s MTDC.
  • If the subaward in year 1 is less than 25K, then Harvard’s F&A for the 2nd year must include the balance.

Non-Federal Funds:

  • The process for applying F&A varies among non-federal sponsors.
  • The 25K federal cap may apply. Check sponsor guidelines.
  • If there is no sponsor cap specified in the sponsor’s guidelines, F&A must be applied to the full subaward amount.