Managing a Subaward

A subaward is an enforceable agreement, issued under a prime sponsored project, between a pass-through entity and a subrecipient for the performance of a substantive portion of the program; these terms do NOT apply to the procurement of goods or services from a contractor (vendor). (See Subrecipient vs. Contractor Guidance).

A Subrecipient (also called a subcontractor or subawardee) is an organization eligible to receive a financial award. A subrecipient’s performance is measured against whether the objectives of the sponsored program are met; subrecipients have responsibility for programmatic decision-making and for adherence to applicable program compliance responsibilities. Subrecipients are responsible for performing a substantive portion of the program, as opposed to providing goods and services.

Best Practices for Managing a Subaward

Proposal Development Stage

Please see additional information on adding subaward agreements during the proposal stage at Including a Subaward.

Just in Time Stage

The department collects both sponsor required and OSP required documents from a subrecipient. If a revised budget is needed, a signed revised Statement of Intent (SOI) should be provided. OSP Awards Management includes the subrecipient related documents with the JIT package when submitting to the prime sponsor.

Award Stage

Requesting a Subaward

  • During the award set up stage, the department notifies the OSP Award Management team If any of the following apply:
    • Subrecipient involvement in the awarded project that was not included in the proposal
    • Changes to the subrecipient’s awarded amount
      • If there is a change, the department may need to obtain revised documents from the Subrecipient
  • The OSP Awards Management team initiates a request to issue the subaward agreement:
    • The subaward documents are logged in JIRA for review and drafting the subaward agreement
    • After the document is drafted, a member of the OSP Negotiations team will review for compliance with the prime award terms and conditions
    • Once the draft has been reviewed, the Awards Management Portfolio Owner will share with the Department Administrator for review and comment
    • Once everyone has reviewed and approved of the content, the subaward agreement will be sent to the subrecipient by OSP
    • Subawards are issued with a one-year period of performance to ensure adequate monitoring of technical progress and compliance with university and sponsor requirements
  • If a subrecipient was not identified at the proposal stage:
    • The department enters a “Subagreement Addition at No Additional Cost” Request (under Changes to Existing Segment) in GMAS
    • The OSP Awards Management team will review Subagreement Addition at No Additional Cost requests once the GMAS request has all required signatures
    • The OSP Awards Management team will submit the request to the sponsor if prior approval is needed

Requesting an amendment to an existing subaward

When a subaward agreement needs to be changed/amended, the department contacts the OSP Awards Management Team Portfolio Owner to request that the amendment be drafted.

Subrecipient Monitoring

The following entities share Subrecipient Monitoring Responsibilities:

  • PI & Department/Local Level Managing Unit
  • School/Local Unit
  • OSP
  • University Subrecipient Monitoring Committee (USMC)
  • Office of the Provost

For more information, please refer to the OSP Subrecipient Monitoring Policy.