Subawards in Proposal Stage

What is a subaward?

A subaward is a formal agreement that is legal and binding upon the institution. The University enters into these agreements when a substantive portion of the work outlined in the prime agreement is conducted at another institution. A subaward normally involves collaboration with another educational or research institution but may be entered into with any organization outside the University. The research is generally performed by the Subrecipient’s personnel using their resources, usually at their site. The Subrecipient takes full responsibility, including intellectual leadership, for the portion of the work statement that they will undertake.

URA prepares and signs all subaward agreements and subsequent amendments/modifications.

Planned subawards must be included in the proposal submitted to the funding organization. URA reviews proposals for both outgoing and incoming subawards. Outgoing subawards are when there are subrecipients on The University of Chicago application. Incoming subawards are when The University of Chicago is submitting a proposal to serve as a Subrecipient on another organization’s application.

A fixed amount agreement is recommended when a foreign subrecipient is a part of a sponsored award. Fixed amount agreements are issued when performance is based on milestones/deliverables, each of which is assigned a lump sum amount. This differs from a cost reimbursement agreement that is based on actual project expenditures incurred during the performance period, up to an agreed amount. The URA Pre-Award Administrator will work with the Unit to include a milestones based budget and scope of work that is reflective of the project milestones and objectives. Inclusion of the milestones based budget in the proposal notifies the sponsor of the intent to enter into a fixed amount agreement with the foreign subrecipient. A cost reimbursement agreement must be used if the federal subaward has mandatory cost share or the subaward amount (including supplements and modifications) is expected to be over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold. However, multiple fixed amount subaward agreements with separate and distinct scope of works can be issued to the subrecipient if the subaward amount is expected to be over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.

NOTE: The following are the minimum required documents for Subrecipients; please review the sponsor policies for additional guidance.

Indirect Costs on Outgoing Subawards:

Typically, non-federal subawards include indirect costs at the sponsor’s permitted indirect cost rate on total costs. The total costs of the Subrecipient are included as direct costs on The University of Chicago proposal.

For federal proposals, the University’s Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Rate Agreement defines the base for calculating F&A Costs as Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). The first $25,000 of the Subrecipient total costs is included in the University’s defined MTDC base. These are the University of Chicago’s indirect costs, and are not the same as or duplicative of the F&A costs which are included in the Subrecipient’s budget.

If there are multiple subawards to a single institution under a University grant or contract, the University will asses F&A on the first $25,000 only once, regardless of the number of subawards we may issue to that institution.