Subawards at the Time of Proposal Preparation

Subaward – What is it?

A subaward is the award mechanism UF will issue to an outside organization for the acquisition of scientific or programmatic support under an award made to the University of Florida. The Subcontractor (or subrecipient) will be responsible for managing the technical and administrative aspects of its part of the project being performed for the University of Florida under the prime award.

Subrecipient Selection Process:

At UF the Principal Investigator is in the best position to select a subrecipient that will be included in a proposal. In general the selection is based upon the subrecipient’s faculty and staff’s technical expertise and their ability to perform a portion of the scope of work being proposed to the sponsor.

  • PIs are responsible for assessing the technical capabilities of any proposed subrecipients and the reasonableness of the subrecipient’s proposed budget.
  • PI or the department’s staff are asked to obtain from the subrecipient, a subaward proposal that has been administratively approved by the subrecipient’s authorized official.

What is needed at the time of Proposal Submission?

For all proposed subawards that will be included in a UF grant or contract application, Principal Investigators are asked to obtain from the subrecipient, a subaward proposal that has been administratively approved by the subrecipient’s authorized official. This authorized subaward proposal shall be submitted to DSP with the UF proposal package. Advance planning and communication with the subrecipient is necessary to meet this requirement.

At a minimum a subrecipient’s proposal should include the following:

  1. Endorsement from the Subrecipient’s Authorized Official. This endorsement is provided in many different formats, for example, signed budget pages, a letter of intent which covers the subcontract proposal, or a signed agency cover sheet or face page.
  2. A clear Description of Work to be performed by the subrecipient.
  3. A corresponding Budget and Budget Justification.

When required, subcontractors may need to provide additional information, such as:

  • Biographical Sketches of Key Personnel
  • Current and Pending Support of Key Personnel
  • Representations and Certifications
  • Detailed Budget Information
  • Negotiated Facilities and Administrative Cost Agreement

Budgeting Subaward or Subcontractor Costs

When preparing the overall project budget, include the total costs of each subaward or subcontract (Directs + Indirects =  Total costs), as one line item in the UF direct cost budget. If using the federal base of MTDC, only the first $25,000 of each subaward or subcontract is included in the calculation of UF indirects.

Budgeting for Fixed Price outgoing Subawards (UG Sections 200.201, 200.332)

Federal sponsor prior approval will be required in order for UF to issue a fixed price subaward rather than a cost-reimbursement subaward.   The total cost of each fixed price subaward may not exceed $150,000.

Budgeting: UF typically uses fixed price subawards with foreign subrecipients, clinical trial site agreements and occasionally with small businesses or organizations. To expedite sponsor approval, Investigators who are contemplating a fixed price subaward must include the following or similar statement in the budget narrative:

“The budgeted subaward for (Insert Subrecipient name) will be issued as a fixed price subaward. The University of Florida will consider this fixed price subaward approved if the award is made and no contrary guidance has been provided by the Sponsor to the University in the award notice.”

Need Assistance: If you need assistance in determining whether the anticipated subaward would be issued as a fixed-price subaward or cost-reimbursable, please contact

For Clinical Trials, please contact RAC.

At time of Award:  UF will work with the PI and department to determine whether a fixed price or cost-reimbursement subaward is appropriate. UF will make the final determination whether to use a fixed price or cost-reimbursement subaward regardless of whether a fixed price statement was included in the proposal. If the fixed price subaward statement was missing in the budget narrative and a fixed price subaward is deemed most appropriate, UF will assist in generating the request for sponsor approval.

Subaward Indirect (F&A) Costs  (UG sections 200.331, 200.414) 

Under the Uniform Guidance, Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs should be budgeted for subrecipients as follows:

Budgeting: If the subrecipient has a federally negotiated F&A rate, the negotiated rate must be included in all proposed subawards. If the subrecipient does not have a federally negotiated F&A rate, under the Uniform Guidance “may elect to charge a de minimis rate of) 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely.”

Sole Source Justification

The UF Principal Investigator, if required by the sponsoring agency, may need to provide a sole source selection justification to DSP, who will in turn review and transmit to the sponsoring agency.

Unusual Circumstances

DSP understand there will be unusual circumstances that do not fit the traditional model of what is needed at the time of proposal submission. Advance warning is always appreciated in these cases.

One example of an unusual circumstance is as follows: A UF proposal anticipates issuing subcontracts and has budgeted an amount for this purpose. However, the subcontractors have not been predetermined, rather a Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued and a certain number of proposals will selected for funding. Thus in this circumstance there would not be any official subcontract proposals in the file until after the award and RFP were issued.

DSP Assistance

Principal Investigator’s may use the sample letter requesting an authorized subcontract proposal be submitted to UF, if needed.

Subawards at Time of Award

Please visit the outgoing Subawards website for more information about how UF issues outgoing Subawards to our subrecipients under UF’s prime award. Our team works closely with PI’s and their grants staff to ensure a proper subaward or subcontract is prepared and executed between UF and the collaborating institution.