Set Up a Subcontract

A subcontract is needed when a Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) has identified an entity (at another institution) that will conduct some of the research, or contracted work, on a funded award. For example, a subcontract would be setup if a $500,000 award from NSF was awarded to Professor Jones (SSU), and $50,000 was needed to pay for work done by Professor Smith (at UC Berkeley), for that work. In most cases, subcontracts are written into proposals and would be approved by the agency via the budget included in the award notification. In the event that a subcontract is not preapproved by the funding agency, check with your PA to find out if it can be added later (noting that agency approval must be granted).

When a need for a subcontract has been identified on an award, the PI/PD should contact their PA to discuss and provide the PA with their colleague's contact information at the other university. The PA verifies that the subcontract is allowed on the project.

The PA reviews the budget for the subcontract (usually included in the awarded/funded budget) then works with the PI/PD to ensure the appropriate documents are sent to the Procurement Office who is primarily responsible for developing the contractual agreement. Only a Procurement Office official may sign the contractual agreement.

The PI/PD is responsible for creating the scope of work which must be included in documentation submitted to the Purchasing Office.

The Purchasing Office sets up the agreement, sends courtesy copies to both the subcontracted and SSU PI/PD and ORSP, and sends the agreement to the contracts office at the subcontracted PI's/PD's institution for them to execute.

The SSU PI/PD will typically have little involvement in the subcontract agreement after this point, as most contact will take place between the Purchasing Office and the subcontracted PI's contracts office.

After the subcontract has been fully executed the SSU PI/PD and the subcontracted PI/PD will collaborate on the work of the award as outlined in scope of work that has been approved by the sponsor.

Note: If the entity being subcontracted is programmatically involved with your award (not just providing a service), you will need to be aware of SSU's Subrecipient Monitoring requirements.

If the SSU PI/PD is being subcontracted to collaborate on research by a colleague at another institution, this is viewed as a regular award by ORSP and is setup in a similar fashion to regular awards granted to SSU.