What is a Subaward?

Research endeavors often require the collaboration of multiple investigators. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (Rutgers) may seek to enter into a subaward agreement with an outside entity in order to engage in collaborative research efforts within a sponsored project.

The Prime Institution or Pass Through Entity (collectively “PTE”) is responsible to the Sponsor for the work of any subrecipient on a project.  The issuance of a subaward agreement is based on many important considerations, such as determining the appropriate type of subaward agreement to be used, as well as the appropriate terms and conditions to be included in the subaward agreement, based on the risk assessment which is prepared by the PTE. Please see Subaward Processing for more information.

At the present time, many Institutions / Organizations are participating in the Federal Demonstration Project (“FDP”) Expanded Clearinghouse to streamline the process of entering into collaborations.  The published organizational information listed in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse on-line system is routinely utilized by collaborating institutions to evaluate the risks of conducting business with others. The information in the system has been certified correct by the applicable institutional official and includes data regarding the entity’s most recent Single Audit, F&A and fringe benefit rates, as well as suspension and debarment, PHS financial conflict of interest policy status, Federal Wide Assurance number, other compliance-related information, and a wide variety of federal codes (DUNS, EIN, CAGE, etc.) and contact information (senior authorized official, FFATA, financial, COI, etc.) that are commonly needed for various types of subawards. The FDP Expanded Clearinghouse Steering Committee team monitors the profiles regularly to ensure the data is current.

FDP Expanded Clearinghouse

Rutgers campuses are current participants of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse and members of the Federal Demonstration Partnership:

  • Newark – UEI: T3NGNR66YK89
  • New Brunswick – UEI: M1LVPE5GLSD9
  • Camden – UEI: MPJFHQ7SMNH1

Subaward Preparation

Subrecipient Documents are due to the Research and Sponsored Programs Office at 12:00 p.m. five (5) business days in advance of the Sponsor’s proposal submission deadline. Please note that many forms require the signature of the requesting Principal Investigator, as well as that of an Authorized Official. Downloads for referenced forms can be found below.

    1. Use the Letter of Intent - Rutgers is the Subrecipient form. This form should be used INSTEAD of the PTE’s long Subrecipient Commitment Form. If the PTE insists on their long Subrecipient Commitment form, please use the recommended “push back” language (see appropriate document below).
    2. Provide all other documentation requested by the PTE.
    • If a subaward collaboration is anticipated, Rutgers (the PTE) must collect relevant documents from any Subrecipient(s) for submission to the Sponsor during the proposal stage. These documents consist of:

      1. Subrecipient Commitment Form / Letter of Intent

      It will be the PI / Department’s responsibility to find out if a potential subrecipient is an FDP Expanded Clearinghouse participant. Please follow the steps below to obtain this information:

      1. Go to https://fdpclearinghouse.org
      2. Click on “Find an Organization”
      3. Enter the Organization’s name in the “Search” box.

      Once a determination is made of an Institution/Organization’s status, follow the steps below to ensure that the appropriate forms are provided to the collaborator(s) to begin the subaward process:

      Scenario 1 - Rutgers is the PTE and the Subrecipient IS currently a participant of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse:

      Use the Letter of Intent - Rutgers is the PTE. The Subrecipient should be requested to complete this form INSTEAD of the Rutgers Subrecipient Commitment Form. This form requests far less information related only to the proposed subaward scope of work.

      Please note that many Institutions / Organizations that are FDP Expanded Clearinghouse participants, have developed their own Letter of Intent. This documentation is also acceptable instead of the Letter of Intent - Rutgers is the PTE form.

      Scenario 2 - Rutgers is the PTE and the Subrecipient is NOT currently a participant of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse:

      Use the Subrecipient Commitment Form. This form collects all necessary disclosure information from the subrecipient, such as compliance and institutional contact information, as well as specific information related to the proposed subaward scope of work.

      2. Scope of Work

      Required of the potential Subaward in order to outline expected work to be completed. Please see SOW guidelines below for more information.

      3. Budget and Budget Justification

      Required of the potential Subaward in order to categorize and justify expected costs of conducting research. Learn more about Budget Preparation.

      4. Other Documents (if applicable)

      Other documents may be necessary as identified by the specific Sponsor and/or the specific Sponsor announcement. These documents may include:

      • Biosketches
      • Current and Pending Support
      • Equipment
      • Letter of Collaboration / Letter of Support
      • Facilities, etc.

    Subawards vs. Service Contracts

    There is an important difference between a subaward and a service contract. A research subaward is issued by the Research and Sponsored Programs Office and involves financial assistance activities to perform a substantive portion of the Prime Award, whereas a contractor/consultant/vendor involves the procurement of goods and services.

    Note: A subaward should never be issued to an individual. Determine whether the prospective agreement is a subcontract or service contract based upon the graphic below:

    contact procurement

    Scope of Work Guidelines

    The scope of work content should be carefully tailored to address how the subrecipient will contribute to the success of the prime award objectives. The graphic below provides guidance for the information detail that the scope of work should include:

    Scope of Work Guidelines