Developing and Monitoring Subrecipient Relationships

Guideline Date: September 2017      Revision: 1     Last Review: August 2017

As the prime recipient of a grant, the University may collaborate with other organizations to carry out a portion of the project. Such organizations are referred to as "subrecipients." Subrecipients receive their funding from the University in the form of a subaward from the prime award. 

Determining whether the relationship with an outside provider will be considered a subaward or a vendor procurement transaction is important. Therefore, before developing a proposal, the principal investigator (PI) should discuss any necessary outside providers with his or her pre-award research administrator in Sponsored Projects. If the relationship is appropriately characterized as a subrecipient relationship, Sponsored Projects prepares the subaward once the prime award is received. 

Subrecipients must comply with all terms and conditions of the prime award. The PI is responsible for monitoring the subrecipient for compliance with award terms and conditions and for satisfactory performance of their portion of the project including the completeness and acceptability of work performed, reasonableness of expenditures and fulfillment of cost sharing commitments. PIs should understand that federal awards can be at risk if they sign an invoice authorizing payment of funds to a subrecipient without first evaluating the subrecipient's progress.

Subawards are monitored using one or more of the following mechanisms:

  • Reporting: Review of financial and performance reports submitted by the subrecipient.
  • Contact: Regular contact with subrecipients about program activities and progress.
  • Invoice review: Invoices are approved by the PI and processed for payment by Sponsored Projects.

Who to Contact

Sponsored Projects

Additional Information