Subawards on your Proposal

Subawards on your Proposal

A subaward is the funding mechanism used when a project requires the participation of a separate, external entity (also known as a “subrecipient” or “subawardee”).

Funding would flow from the prime funding agency, through Northeastern (otherwise known as the “pass-through” entity), and onto the subrecipient. However, it’s important to distinguish the difference between a subrecipient versus a contractor or vendor:

SubrecipientContractor/Vendor
Has a programmatic, substantive role in the projectHas not participated significantly in the design of the work
Named on publication as co-author or publishes their own workWould not be named on publication or seek to publish on own
Participates in design/conduct of the programNot directly responsible for determining research or project results
Some independent decision makingLittle or no independent decision making

More guidance on determining a subrecipient versus a contractor/vendor can be found on the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Subaward Forms website under “Tools.”

When considering the inclusion of a subrecipient within your proposal, it’s also important to consider the funding agency’s guidelines, as the documentation requirements can vary. However, at minimum, NU-RES will always require the following elements from participating institutions being included as to be a subrecipient on any Northeastern award:

Letter of Intent or Commitment– Formalizes the subrecipient’s intent to participate on Northeastern’s projects as a subrecipient, and it must be signed by the subrecipient’s authorized official. Subrecipients can use this Letter of Intent template or their own form, Non-U.S. Subrecipients on NIH proposals must use this template.

Statement of Work – Describes the work to be performed by the subrecipient’s personnel. In addition to being programmatically significant, it’s important that the work is clearly defined and milestones or deliverables are listed as appropriate.

Detailed Budget – Broken out by year, and includes detailed line items. Pay attention to funding agency guidelines, as there may be specific budget templates required of subrecipients.

Budget Justification – A budget justification or budget narrative must be provided in addition to the line-item budget. This document provides written justification for each cost included in the subrecipient’s budget. Again, pay attention to funding agency guidelines as the required level of detail can vary greatly.

Last Updated on January 9, 2024