Subrecipients and Contractors

Outside entities engaged through a formal agreement to support a specific sponsored program are classified as Subrecipients or Contractors. 

Each entity is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the entity’s characteristics and proposed role in a sponsored program, classification of the same entity may vary across different sponsored programs. During the pre-award phase, Principal Investigators complete the Subaward Proposal Form to document the classification of any planned sub-recipients or contractors. 

Subrecipients

Planned subrecipients are required to provide additional organizational information through the completion of a Subrecipient Financial Questionnaire.  Planned subrecipients must also provide a detailed statement of work, budget, and budget justification for their assigned role in a sponsored program. The Subrecipient Financial Questionnaire will be administered by SPA upon classification of an outside entity as a subrecipient.

Additional subrecipients identified in the post-award phase of a sponsored program may be requested through SPA Administrative Action Form.

Contractors

Planned contractors are not required to complete a pre-award questionnaire and will be contacted in the post-award phase to establish needed contractual arrangements. 

Additional contractors identified in the post-award phase of a sponsored program may be requested through the SPA Administrative Action Form

Outside entities supplying goods or services as needed throughout the conduct of a sponsored program without the need for a program-specific agreement are considered contractors and can be engaged through the normal Charging Sponsored Awards process.

Definitions for Collaborations

  • Prime Award
    An agreement provided by a sponsor to a Prime Recipient for the Prime Recipient to carry out a sponsored program.
  • Prime Recipient

    An entity that receives a Prime Award directly from the sponsor to carry out a sponsored program.

  • Pass-Through Entity
    An entity in receipt of an award (Prime Award or Subaward) that in turn provides a Subaward to a Subrecipient to carry out a specific component of a sponsored program.
  • Subrecipient
    An entity that receives a Subaward from a Pass-Through Entity to carry out a specific component of a sponsored program. The following characteristics are representative of a Subrecipient: 
    1. Entity’s performance is measured against the objectives of the sponsored program as defined in the Prime Award. 
    2. Entity is responsible for some level of programmatic decision making, or participates in the design or conduct of the sponsored program. 
    3. An individual at the entity is designated as an entity-level Principal Investigator and functions as a Co-Investigator on the sponsored program. 
    4. Individuals at the entity may be involved with authorship of publications related to the sponsored program.
  • Subaward
    An agreement provided by a Pass-Through Entity to a Subrecipient for the Subrecipient to carry out a specific component of a sponsored program.
  • Contract
    An agreement provided by a Prime Recipient or Subrecipient to a Contractor for the Contractor to provide property or services needed to carry out a sponsored program.
  • Contractor
    An entity that receives a Contract from a Prime Recipient or a Subrecipient to provide property or services needed to carry out a sponsored program. The following characteristic are representative of a Contractor: 
    1. Entity provides the goods and services within normal business operations. 
    2. Entity provides similar goods or services to many different purchasers. 
    3. Entity normally operates in a competitive environment. 
    4. Entity provides goods or services that are ancillary to the operation of the sponsored program.