Texas Tech University

Subcontract Information

Subaward (subrecipient agreement, subcontract, subgrant)

Subaward means an award of financial assistance in the form of money made under an award (i.e., grants and other agreements) by a recipient to an eligible subrecipient or by a subrecipient to a lower tier subrecipient. The term includes financial assistance (grants or cooperative agreements) and procurements (contracts) when provided by any legal agreement whether it is called a contract or a purchase order, but does not include procurement of goods and services.

In general, subawards are used when the intent is to have another organization help carry out a portion of the scope of work described in the proposal and assigned under the subsequent award. It does not matter what the agreement is called (subcontract, subaward, subgrant, etc.), but it is directed at cooperatively working with another entity to carry out the program for which funding has been granted.

Typical subaward situations include arrangements in which two or more qualifying institutions work collaboratively on a sponsored project. Each institution has its own principal investigator; however, one of the collaborating institutions functions as the prime awardee and is the legal contact with the sponsor.

Documents Required for Subcontracts

The following documents are required to be submitted with a proposal before the proposal will be submitted to a funding agency (if Texas Tech is the prime). If Texas Tech will be working as a sub-recipient, we will be required to submit the same documentation to the prime institution's sponsored programs office.

  • Sub-recipient institutional approval (in form of a letter of commitment from the institutions authorized representative)
  • Scope of work
  • Biographical sketches of sub-recipient personnel
  • Budget and budget justification

Budgeting Subcontracts

For budgeting purposes, the subcontract (or subgrant) should be identified in the proposal budget as a separate line item. The item should be noted and a cost breakdown for the subcontract should be referenced as an attachment to the main proposal budget. The subcontract budget should reflect all appropriate direct and indirect (F&A) costs. (Educational institutions should include F&A costs at their current federally negotiated rates.) Subcontract budgets must be approved by appropriate officials of the proposed subcontractors, preferably before the proposal is submitted.


  • The first $25,000 of each subcontract in your proposed budget will be included in the MTDC base used for calculating F&A cost.
  • This University will not limit the F&A recovery by the subcontractor unless required to do so by the agency (which most will not do).
Letter of Intent to Collaborate

Office of Research Services