Subaward Processing


The following sections outline the process for requesting and executing a new subaward agreement, amending an existing subaward agreement, requesting subaward pre-award spending, and monitoring subawards through the Research and Sponsored Programs office. If you have questions or need more information, please contact our subaward specialistsPlease download the University Policy for more detail regarding Subrecipient Issuance and Modification.

Executing New Subawards

Note: A subaward should never be issued to an individual. Please see Subaward Preparation for other important subaward information including preparing proposal documents and distinguishing between subawards vs. service contracts.

  1. Upon receipt of a fully executed agreement, the Grants Specialist will send the Principal Investigator and/or Department Administrator an initial award notice email with follow-up actions, including any related to subawards.
  2. Our team may utilize the initial documents provided at proposal submission to initiate the subaward process if no changes are requested by the department. Please see Subaward Preparation for more information.
  3. If needed, the Principal Investigator and/or Department Administrator submit any revised subrecipient documents to the Grant Specialists:
    • Subaward Commitment Form: Including institutional contact information and any compliance documents (such as IRB/IACUC).
    • Budget and Budget Justification: Including the subrecipient’s direct and indirect costs, calculated using the subrecipient’s approved facilities and administrative (F&A) and fringe benefit rates, and any committed cost sharing.
    • Scope of Work: Including a clear description of the work to be performed, the proposed timelines and deliverables, and other information such as bio sketches of subrecipient key personnel if necessary.
    • Compliance Protocols/Information: Including approval letters for IRB, IACUC, Biosafety, etc.
    • It is the responsibility of the PI / Department Administrator to ensure that the Subrecipient is registered as a Vendor / Supplier in PaymentWorks, the Rutgers supplier Portal, by the time all subaward documentation has been provided to the RSP Subaward Team.  Please visit Cornerstone-Supplier Portal for information and instructions on how new Suppliers / Vendors can be added.  RSP will not be able to create the subaward’s requisition and associated purchase order until the Subrecipient’s registration has been completed. Please reach out to Procurement Services for any additional questions you may have or assistance you may need.
    • The PI must be activated in Marketplace in order to be able to approve subrecipient invoices. Please reach out to Procurement Services for any additional questions you may have or assistance you may need.
  4. Grant Specialist reviews the subrecipient documents against the Prime Award File, verifying consistency and denoting any special clauses, flow-down, or unusual requirements. Grant Specialist sends finalized documents to the Subaward Specialist for review and execution.
  5. Subaward Specialist completes an internal subrecipient risk assessment and prepares a subaward agreement using the appropriate template for execution.
  6. Subaward Specialist negotiates terms and conditions with the subrecipient and receives a partially executed subaward agreement.
  7. The Research and Sponsored Programs / Research Contract Services Director/ Associate Director approves and fully executed the subaward agreement via an authorized institutional signature. Subaward agreements cannot be fully executed until the Project ID number is established for the associated Rutgers award.
  8. The purchase order is established by the Subaward Specialist. Please be sure to provide the following information:
    • Project Number
    • Expenditure Type
    • Unit-Division-Organization (UDO) code
    • Location code
    • Business Line
  9. Subaward Specialist distributes the fully executed subaward agreement to the Subrecipient, Rutgers PI/Department, and to the Research Financial Services team.

Amending Existing Subawards

Note: If a new account number or index number is established, then a NEW subaward will need to be issued.

As research relationships and projects evolve, changes may need to be reflected in the existing subaward. Common reasons for amending a subaward include providing additional funding, extending the period of performance, or modifying the reporting schedule. It is important to note that some changes, such as scope of work changes, change in the subaward recipient's principal investigator or transferring the subaward from one recipient to another, may require the prior approval of the prime sponsor.

If an amendment is needed, then a Subaward Modification Checklist is completed by the Principal Investigator (PI) and forwarded to along with the following documents:

  • Subrecipient’s Scope of Work for next increment if necessary
  • Subrecipient’s Budget and Budget Justification for next increment if necessary
  • Subrecipient’s IRB/IACUC or other compliance approval documents if necessary

Subaward Pre-Award Spending

When Rutgers is the Prime institution, the sponsor may give notice of a pending award, but receipt of the official award notice may be delayed. In such cases, an Intent to Subcontract Letter can be issued to the Subaward institution so that the collaborating institution can begin work. This option would pertain to:

  • New awards under pre-award spending
  • Continuation years on an existing award

It is important to note that just as Rutgers assumes liability for its spending prior to receipt of the actual award notice, the liability for any expenditures of the Subaward institution is assumed by said institution for any expenditures prior to issuance of a fully executed subcontract. The Intent to Subcontract Letter is prepared by the department and then signed and submitted by the Research and Sponsored Programs office.

Subaward Monitoring

Once a subaward agreement is issued, the Principal Investigator is responsible for monitoring subrecipient costs and performance. Please download the Subrecipient Monitoring Policy for more information. The Department Checklist for Subrecipient Monitoring is also available to help guide review of subrecipient invoices and progress towards programmatic goals.