In conducting extramurally funded research projects, investigators might want to enter into agreements with third parties to complete portions of the scope of work.
The third party, known as the subaward recipient, is required to provide the resources necessary to complete the work as a semi-independent project. This includes providing a responsible investigator at the work site of the cooperating institution or company to oversee program activities.
Proposals to sponsors should include the intent to establish a subaward; however, some sponsors may allow investigators to add subawards after the award has been made. Refer to the terms and conditions of the award to verify whether prior approval is required from the sponsor to transfer a portion of the scope of work to another entity.
The SPO formalizes the agreements in subawards. These agreements are also required when subaward recipients are other campuses within the UC system.
Initiation and Negotiation of Subawards
When the SPO receives an award containing a proposed subaward, the PI must provide information to the SPO including effective dates, amount of funding to be provided, frequency of reports to be submitted to the PI, information regarding potential regulatory committee approvals needed for the work being conducted at the subaward recipient site and information regarding selection of the subaward recipient.
In addition, it is important to provide the SPO with information regarding the scope of work to be performed, and the budget as it relates to the proposed scope of work. The PI should also include any information that is wanted in the subaward agreement. This could include advance payments and additional reporting or monitoring requirements.
Once the form is approved by the SPO, the agreement is drafted to include terms and conditions as required by the prime sponsor. The subaward recipient may request clarification or negotiation of any terms. This is negotiated by the SPO in coordination with the PI. Once an agreement has been executed by both parties, the SPO retains a copy of the completed document.
Post-Award Administration of Subawards
As the prime award recipient, UC Merced assumes the ultimate responsibility for the conduct and completion of each project. Subaward progress reports should be reviewed thoroughly by UC Merced's PIs and discussed with subaward recipients as needed. Subaward recipients are required to furnish reports as identified in their subaward agreement. It is important to notify the SPO if technical progress reports fall behind schedule or are not provided.
In accordance with subaward agreements, invoices are provided to UC Merced on a regular basis. Each PI should review requests for payments to ensure payments are consistent with the efforts performed. PIs should provide approval prior to payment of the subaward invoice. Amounts above the dollar amount included in the subaward agreement will not be paid, even with the approval of the PI.
Should it be necessary to change any portion of a subaward agreement, the PI should contact the SPO immediately. Common examples of issues that might need amendments to an agreement include providing additional funding, extending the period of performance or modifying the reporting schedule. Some changes, such as the scope of work being performed or the change of the subaward recipient may require the prior approval of the prime sponsor.
Each subaward recipient is required to submit a final technical report and final invoice at completion of his or her agreement. Additional reports might be necessary as required by the prime sponsor agreement. These may include a final inventory of property or an invention report. PIs should not approve final payments until all reports have been received.
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