Subawards

Last updated on January 30, 2017

The new guidance emphasizes the prime recipient’s responsibility to monitor subrecipient’s performance. It requires the prime recipient to honor the subrecipient’s negotiated F&A rate or pay up to a de minimus rate of 10% if they do not have a negotiated rate, and limits fixed-price subawards on non-NIH federal awards to $150,000, with prior approval.

UCSF Summary (click to expand)

• The Uniform Guidance allows federal sponsors to require documentation of how Subrecipients and Contractors are determined.
• The Uniform Guidance increases emphasis on risk analysis prior to issuing a subaward.
• With prior approval, fixed price subawards of up to the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (currently $150,000) on federal awards are permissible under the Uniform Guidance.

Application at UCSF (click to expand)

The Uniform Guidance is effective for federally sponsored agreements and new funding increments awarded on or after December 26, 2014. Federal awards received before December 26, 2014 must continue to follow the requirements in OMB A-21 and UCSF’s policy on Subawards.

UCSF MUST DETERMINE, DOCUMENT AND MONITOR SUBRECIPIENT RELATIONSHIPS
The Uniform Guidance reiterates the definition of Subrecipients and Contractors, and gives federal agencies the option to require us to document how we make this determination. To this end, Research Management Services (RMS) will standardize its business process to ensure consistency across UCSF.
• Subrecipients are collaborators who contribute to the design, implementation and reporting of research. Example: Study sites that recruit and enroll patients.
• Contractors perform “work for hire” as part of their regular business model. The service provided is routine and not unique to the project. Example: Whole-genome testing conducted by Affymetrix.
Importantly, Subrecipients have publishing rights to their portion of the project, while Contractors do not.
UCSF is obligated to monitor Subrecipients for compliance with all applicable federal guidelines. The PI’s signature on Subrecipient invoices indicates that the work performed fulfills the Subrecipient’s commitment to the project.

THE SUBRECIPIENT'S NEGOTIATED F&A RATE OR AN ALTERNATIVE RATE AS DESCRIBED BELOW MUST BE USED FOR ALL SUBAWARDS INCLUDED IN COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS
If a federal program has a published statutory F&A cap, that rate must be used by UCSF and all of its subrecipients. For instance, NIH has published statutory caps of 8% for:
• Subawards to foreign institutions, except for the American University of Beirut and the World Health Organization, which are authorized to collect their full F&A rate
• Institutional training grants (T awards)
• Career development grants (K awards)
For all other federal programs and sponsors, the prime recipient is obligated to honor the subrecipient’s federally negotiated F&A rate. If the entity does not have a negotiated F&A rate, a de minimis rate of up to 10% may be applied.
PIs may not negotiate or agree to lower rates with their subrecipients, nor may they waive UCSF’s F&A rate when we receive a subaward from another institution.
There is no change to UCSF’s recovery of its own F&A – UCSF collects F&A on the first $25K of each subaward.

AGENCY PRIOR APPROVAL IS REQUIRED TO ENTER INTO FIXED PRICE/RATE SUBAWARDS, WHICH MAY NOT EXCEED THE SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION THRESHOLD (CURRENLTY $150K)
Prior approval is required to issue into a fixed price/rate subaward rather than a cost- reimbursement subaward, and the total value of each fixed price/rate subaward may not exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold. Fixed price subawards are most commonly used for clinical trial site agreements, foreign subrecipients, and small businesses. To expedite agency approval of fixed-price subawards, the rationale for the fixed-price subaward must be included in the proposal budget justification.

Agency Specific Guidelines (click to expand)

• National Science Foundation - Grant Proposal Guide
Chapter II.C.2.g.vi.(e) Subawards
• National Science Foundation - Award and Administration Guide
Chapter II.B.3 Subawarding, Transferring or Contracting Out Part of an NSF Award (Subaward)
• National Institutes of Health - Grants Policy Statement
Part I, General Information
Part II, Section 8.1.2.11 Provide Subawards Based on Fixed Amounts
Part II, Section 15.2.3 Allowable and Unallowable Costs