University of Vermont

Sponsored Project Administration - SPA

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Subaward / Subcontract Requirements

If a proposal involves collaboration with another institution, the relationship may require the issuance of a subaward (also called a subcontract) to that organization. In these cases, the UVM is considered the Prime organization. The UVM Principal Investigator must obtain from the subcontract organization a budget and statement of work to be included in the UVM proposal being submitted. The prime proposal usually includes a description of the role of the collaborators.

The program description / RFP / RFA / solicitation will describe any specific requirements for subrecipients included in a proposal.

Subaward or Vendor?

Required Documents from Subaward/Subcontract Organization

SPA requires the following prior to institutional endorsement of a proposal:

1. Detailed Budget in Sponsor's Required Format

2. Statement of Work

  • The Statement of Work is the section of a subaward that describes the work to be undertaken by the subrecipient.  
  • The Statement of Work does not have to be long and detailed. It should be a concise narrative summary of the work to be undertaken by the subrecipient. 
  • If the prime proposal does not clearly distinguish between the prime award and subaward efforts, the Principal Investigator (in collaboration with the subrecipient) must write a separate Statement of Work for the subaward. 
  • The Principal Investigator knows better than anyone what he/she expects from the subrecipient.
  • The following items may be included in the Statement of Work:
    • Objective or purpose
    • Period of performance
    • A general description of the actions to be performed by the subcontractor and the expected results
    • A list of detailed work requirements. List tasks and what is expected. This should provide both technical and performance specifications
    • Performance, quality and timeliness requirements. This includes required or acceptable levels of performance on each specific task measured in terms of accuracy, response time, and speed
    • Workload requirements. A description of levels or size of contractual effort
    • Personnel requirements. Minimum qualifications or skill levels expected in the contractor's staffing
    • Government-furnished equipment and other resources to be furnished to the subcontractor
    • Reporting requirements. Describe any reports to be submitted by the contractor to show progress
3. Subrecipient Commitment & Audit Certification Form - new 4/1/14
  • The Subrecipient Commitment & Audit Certification Form serves as the subrecipient's institutional endorsement of the proposed subagreement
  • Effective 4/1/14, this form replaces the previously used "Letter of Intent Subaward/Consortium Agreement" and the old "Subrecipient Commitment" form
  • This new form brings together in one place all the necessary information about the Subrecipient's Principal Investigator, Administrative Contacts, A-133 and audit certifications and Subrecipient's authorized instituional signature for use by SPA in issuing and monitoring subawards.

Issuing a Subaward

  • If your proposal is awarded, SPA will develop subaward agreements with the organization(s) you intend to collaborate with.  

  • SPA reviews UVM’s history with the subrecipient and its audited financial statements, then prepares a subaward agreement with appropriate terms and conditions. 

  • The UVM Principal Investigator will be asked to review the budget and statement of work for accuracy and provide feedback on reporting requirements and any other programmatic conditions that should be incorporated into the document. 

  • The subaward agreement will then be forwarded to the subrecipient’s Sponsored Programs Office (or equivalent) for review and signature.

Subaward Payments

  • Payments to the subrecipient for work performed will not be made until both parties have signed the agreement.

  • The UVM Principal Investigator will be asked to review all invoices submitted by the subrecipient for accuracy and appropriateness in relation to the work performed.  

  • The UVM Principal Investigator is responsible for the overall scientific and technical progress of the subrecipient and should notify SPA if work performance of the subrecipient is insufficient.

  • Changes in the circumstances of a subaward may require and amendment/modification to the agreement.  If this occurs, the UVM Principal Investigator should contact SPA to determine what action may be required. These changes might include a change in the period of performance, a change in the amount of funding, or a change in key personnel or scope of work.

National Science Foundation Proposals with Subrecipients

The National Science Foundation guidelines now require a description of mentoring activities that will be provided for postdoctoral researchers included in NSF requests for funding:

  • Each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include, as a separate section within the 15-page Project Description, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals.  

  • Examples of mentoring activities include, but are not limited to: 

    • career counseling

    • training in preparation of grant proposals, publications and presentations

    • guidance on ways to improve teaching and mentoring skills

    • guidance on how to effectively collaborate with researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary areas, and 

    • training in responsible professional practices.

  • The proposed mentoring activities will be evaluated as part of the merit review process under the Foundation's broader impacts merit review criterion.

  • Proposals that do not include a separate section on mentoring activities within the Project Description will be returned without review.

  • The Statement of Work described above for Subawardees included in NSF proposals must include a description of the mentoring activities for postdoctoral researchers included in the Subawardee’s request for support as described in the preceding paragraph.

Last modified April 01 2014 03:00 PM

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