Subcontracts

Definition

Generally a subcontract or subrecipient, as compared to a consultant or fee for service vendor, is defined as an entity, often another university, who helps the grantee carry out the activities of the award by independently performing a portion of the research work using their own facilities.

Documentation needed by OGCA

  1. A letter signed by the subcontractor's business official (OGCA equivalent) endorsing the work referenced in an attached statement of work and budget 

  2. Statement of work (subcontractor specific – does not include UMass effort)

  3. Subcontractor budget, use sponsor budget forms as applicable

  4. Additional sponsor forms,  including certifications as applicable

  5. Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (if subcontractor charging indirects)

  6. Sole source justification.

Items 1-5 must be handled by the subcontractor's PI and grant's office and then forwarded to the UMass PI..  Item 6 is addressed by the UMass PI.  The Sole source justification would explain why the sub is uniquely qualified to carry out the work needed.  Sole source justifications can be forwarded to the OGCA pre-award administrator assigned to the proposal  via email or campus mail.

The subcontractor's grant's office should forward items 1-5, listed above, to the UMass PI well in advance of the deadline.  The UMass PI will review their budget and statement of work, and if it looks in keeping with expectations, incorporate the subcontractor budget in the lead proposal.  All other items are not typically incorporated into the proposal but forwarded to OGCA for review and held on file in case of audit.

Formatting Budget

UM budget should not blend subcontractor costs with UM project costs. That is, two budgets should be submitted to the sponsor:

  1. The UM budget with an annual line item for Subcontractor Total Costs with a note: "see attached Subcontractor budget for detail"; and
  2. The Subcontractor line item budget. Call the OGCA Proposal Team with questions

See Basic Budget Building Tutorial for example of subcontract budget format.

Indirect costs

Overhead is assessed on the first $25,000 of each and every subcontract. For example, if the subcontract has only $15,000 the first year, then overhead is assessed on that amount, and then on $10,000 of the next year, if it’s a multiple year contract, see Indirect Costs (**link to IC in this node).

Sole Source

Any federal procurement over $1,000 must be put out to bid. If it’s a subcontract and bids were not solicited, sole source justification is required and must be kept on file at OGCA for auditing purposes.

A sole source justification will explain why the chosen subcontractor is the only qualified entity to perform the work in question, and how its selection will benefit the government. This should be provided at proposal stage.

Subcontract vs. standard procurement

If the individual or company in question provides a service for which a flat fee is charged for the work to be done and they are not involved in the research effort but simply provide a service, this transaction of services is classified as a standard procurement rather than a subcontract. As such, no statement of work, budget, or letter of intent is needed. Standard procurements are budgeted as "Other".  See Fee for Service.