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A subaward is a formal legal agreement between the UW and another organization. These often occur when Principal investigators (PI) collaborate with colleagues at other institutions to enhance scientific or programmatic aspects of a research project or because a request for proposal (RFP) encourages multiple organizations participate together.

Outgoing subaward agreements are used when a substantive portion of the programmatic work outlined in a UW proposal is conducted at another organization. Commonly, the other organization is another education or research institution, but can be any organization outside the University.

The subaward process involves coordination with multiple internal and external parties and systems. It is important to start early, both when coordinating with your subrecipients at the time of proposal preparation and when coordinating the request for OSP to issue a subaward.

At the time of proposal, your subrecipients will need to go through their own internal routing and approval procedures in order to provide UW approved proposal documents.

An incoming subaward occurs when another institution receives funding and subawards a portion to UW. This is also referred to as Flow through funding. Learn more about incoming subawards.

Develop Scope of Work & Obtain Approvals

When a subaward is part of the UW PI's project, the UW PI in conjunction with the PI at the subrecipient institution will need to develop a scope of work for the project. The subaward PI will prepare a proposal which must be approved by the authorized business official of the subrecipient Institution on either a Letter of Intent (LOI) or signed PHS398 Face Page which must be submitted along with all required documents to the UW PI.

Subaward Preparation

Review the UW policy for Preparing a Proposal that Includes Proposed Subrecipients (GIM 7).

Communicate with the Subaward PI

When a UW-PI decides to include a subaward in the proposal, clear communication with the Sub-PI is critical to ensure all necessary documents signed by the institutional official are received with enough time to route and submit the proposal at the UW.

The subaward process involves multiple internal and external parties, systems and processes.

From receipt of an outgoing subaward request and all required supporting documentation in the Office of Sponsored Programs, issuance of an outgoing subaward agreement at the University of Washington takes approximately 6 weeks.

  1. Provide a deadline to the subrecipient that allows enough time for the documents to be incorporated into the UW proposal, attached to the eGC1 and routed for review in accordance with GIM 19 deadlines.
  2. Request all required documents according to the sponsor program announcement and UW requirements.
  3. Ensure the scope of work is detailed enough for reviewers to understand the value of this section of the project.

Budget Development

Subawards should be listed in the UW budget using sub-object code 03-62. Each subaward should be listed separately, and the F&A should be calculated following GIM 13 guidelines.

Calculating Facilities & Administrative Costs (F&A)

Each subaward will include both direct and F&A costs (when allowed by the sponsor). The negotiated F&A rate for the subrecipient will be used for this calculation. If the subrecipient does not have a negotiated rate, and in the absence of an F&A rate policy by the originating sponsor, the F&A rate the subrecipient should use is 10% Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). If a prime sponsor has a published F&A rate policy, the subrecipient should propose its F&A in accordance with this policy.

Calculating UW F&A on Subawards

The UW PI incorporates all subawards to the proposal as separate line items. When the F&A base type is Modified total Direct Costs (MTDC), each outgoing subaward anticipated in a UW budget will have UW F&A charged on the first $25,000 of the total subaward across all budget periods in the competing segment of the prime award.

Requesting Subawards via eProcurement (Ariba)

After a prime award has been awarded which includes subawards and after a UW budget number has been set up by Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA) you must requisition a subaward blanket purchase order (BPO) via eProcurement.

Prior to Requesting a Subaward via eProcurement Ensure:

Subaward Request Types

Subaward Type in eProcurement Types of Requests
New Brand new subaward.
Renewal Subaward under a competing segment of the prime award.
PAS Transition Creating a new BPO to transition existing subawardfrom PAS to eProcurement.
Edit Change(s) to the BPO that do not require changes to the subaward agreement. Examples: Final Invoice Date Adjustments, Changing departmental contact in eProcurement, Closeout w/Remaining Balance.
Modification-funding Changes that require a modification to the subaward agreement to add or decrease funding. Examples: Supplemental Funding, Approved carry forward requests, Reducing funded amount, Early Termination that includes de-obligation of funds.
Modification-no funding Changes, which require a modification to the subaward agreement, but do not change funding. Examples: Extend Period of Performance (no additional $), Change of PI, Change in the Scope of Work.

Contract Execution & Approvals

  • Departmental approvers review and approve Contract Requests (CR) in eProcurement (Ariba).
  • OSP reviews & emails subaward to subrecipient entity for signature as needed.
  • OSP approves CR upon final execution of the subaward.
  • OSP attaches subaward agreement to the eGC1 in SAGE that relates to the prime award.
  • Once CR is approved, a Blanket Purchase Order (BPO) is opened in eProcurement (Ariba).

Documents Required Prior to Subaward Issuance

Required to accompany the request for subaward as attachments in eProcurement (Ariba):

  • Letter of Intent (LOI) or PHS398 Face Page signed by the Authorizing Official of the subrecipient institution
  • Scope of Work (SOW), this should include background info/objectives & work to be performed
  • Budget: on prime sponsor budget forms, SF 424, PHS 398 forms, or spreadsheet
  • Budget Justification (BudgJust):Must tie specifically to budget details
  • Negotiated F&A rate agreement that validates what subrecipient entity is allowed to receive as F&A (if allowed by sponsor)
  • Federal Demonstration Project (FDP) template Attachment 4 that details reporting requirements ‐ required for new subawards if prime is federal and was issued under Uniform Guidance
  • Additional prime sponsor required documents if applicable

Required before issuance and/or UW signature of subaward agreement

Other Documents

Modifications, Edits & Closeout

  • Review the detailed instructions for editing, modifying and closeout of subawards via eProcurement (Ariba). These instructions explain required documents and provide handy tips for modifying, editing & closeout of a subaward.
  • Modifications are routed through the same approval path in eProcurement as the original request.
  • Upon execution of a modification, a new version suffix is added (e.g., V2) and OSP attaches the modified subaward in SAGE.


Questions on contract execution & approvals: email ospsubs@uw.edu

Subrecipient entity supplier registration & eProcurement (Ariba) questions: email pcshelp@uw.edu

Additional Resources