Budget Preparation: Subawards and Subcontracts

Proposals may include work to be done by one or more other institutions.  In these cases, the other participating institutions become subrecipients under the University of Idaho’s prime award.  If subrecipient institutions are being used, appropriate paperwork (e.g. a letter of support from an authorized signer) is required at the time the proposal is submitted to confirm the proposed subrecipient’s eligibility and willingness to participate.  A subrecipient letter of commitment form is available on the OSP website under the forms tab


When a subaward or subcontract has been included as part of a larger proposal, the total yearly cost for the subaward is included as a line item in the University of Idaho PI’s budget.  UI indirect costs are assessed on the first $25,000 of individual subawards.  The subrecipient may also include his/her institution’s indirect costs within the subaward budget, as long as they have a federally-negotiated rate agreement.  If a subrecipient does not have a federally-negotiated indirect rate, but indirect costs are included in its proposed budget, contact OSP to work with the subrecipient towards resolution.  Subawards are, in effect, mini-proposals.  They should therefore include essentially the same elements as proposals. At a minimum, each subaward proposal should contain the following:


  • Line-item budget in the same format and at the same level of detail as the budget provided in the prime proposal;
  • budget justification or narrative;
  • short statement of work;
  • CV or bio-sketch and list of publications for the lead PI at the subcontracting institution;
  • letter of support signed by an authorized organizational representative at the subcontracting institution (typically from their Sponsored Programs office);
  • cover sheet in the sponsor’s approved format;
  • representation or certification forms, and, if applicable;
  • Subcontract Cover Sheet or NIH Statement of Intent.


PIs must address specific questions regarding subcontractor suitability, selection, and potential conflicts of interest prior to the establishment of a subcontract; OSP staff preparing the subcontract will forward these questions to the PI for completion and inclusion in the project file.