For determination of Subaward vs. Contractor relationship at the proposal stage, see the OSP Subrecipient vs. Contractor Guidance.

Subaward Proposal Development Tips (Collecting Information):

What documentation is needed from a subawardee at the New or Renewal application stage?

ORA always requires the following:

  • Statement of Intent (SOI) provide our version (see forms for individual school's version). If the subcontract institution uses its own form page, review to ensure all requested information is provided.
  • Statement of Work (SOW)
  • Detailed Budget and Justification (per sponsor requirements)

Additional documents commonly collected:

  • Biosketch or CV, as applicable, for all key personnel
  • Facilities & Other Resources
  • Equipment, if applicable
  • Letters of support, if applicable

Other documents that may be required (review sponsor guidelines carefully and discuss with your ORA representative as needed):

  • IACUC, IRB, or other project approvals - some sponsors require these at proposal stage
  • Other Support/Current & Pending Support for key personnel
  • Representations and Certifications (for federal contract proposals)
  • If the prime award is a federal contract, subcontracts that will exceed $700,000 (total costs over the entire project period) may need to submit a Small Business Subcontracting Plan, per FAR 52.219-9.
Evaluating Subaward Proposal Materials:
  • Has the Subawardee’s PI described the proposed work accurately, adequately and appropriately?
  • Do the budget line items seem reasonable, allowable, and allocable given the Subawardee’s proposed Statement of Work?
  • Verify subawardee’s indirect cost rate.
  • For subawards outside the U.S. under NIH awards, NIH allows F&A costs for foreign and international organizations at a fixed rate of 8% of modified total direct costs (MTDC), exclusive of tuition and related fees, direct expenditures for equipment, and subawards in excess of $25,000.
  • For subawardees without a federally negotiated rate, consult ORA.
  • Work with collaborating institution's administration to address any questions or concerns.
Factoring Subaward costs into Harvard’s F&A Base (Federal Funds):
  • For federal proposals, the first $25K of the subawardee’s total costs (the “cap”), may be included in the School's MTDC. 
  • If the subaward's total costs (TC) in year 1 are less than $25K, then the School's F&A for the 2nd year must include the balance.
  • Note the $25K cap routinely applies to Federal awards. Some non-federal sponsors use the same cap.
Non-Federal Funds:
  • The base for applying F&A varies among non-federal sponsors.
  • A ceiling or limitation similar to the $25K federal cap may apply; check sponsor guidelines.
  • If there is no ceiling specified in the sponsor’s guidelines, F&A must be applied to the full subaward amount (TDC).
Federal and Non-Federal Funds:
  • The Subawardee’s total costs (direct costs + their F&A) are part of the School’s direct costs.
  • For new and renewal applications to NIH, subaward F&A should not be factored into direct costs for purposes of determining if a submission should be in modular format or if prior approval is needed to submit an application requesting $500k or more in direct costs in any one year.