Subaward agreements are established to facilitate the collaboration of faculty and staff from multiple institutions. These legally binding agreements are approved and signed by authorized institutional representatives from each institution. The Vice President for Research, Kent State University’s Authorized Institutional Official, has designated the Director of Sponsored Programs to sign subaward documents.


Kent State University may receive awards as a subrecipient partner to prime awards from other institutions, or Kent may receive prime awards from which Kent issues subawards to subrecipient partners. In the former situation in which we are the recipients of a subaward, the procedures for proposal preparation and award receipt is the same as those followed for proposals submitted to and awards received from the prime funding agencies.

A subaward relationship is one in which an individual(s) outside of the submitting organization has a separate scope of work, is involved in the programmatic decision-making, adheres to applicable program compliance requirements, has the right to publish results, and has the option to develop patentable technology and IP resulting from the award.


The intent to subaward or subcontract with an investigator from a different institution is usually established at the proposal stage. A scope of work, project budget and budget justification, indirect cost rate agreement, institutional administrative and financial contact information, and institutional endorsement are collected at the proposal stage for each subrecipient partner. When the proposal is funded it signifies that the funding agency approves the arrangement. If a subaward is not anticipated in the proposal, funding agency approval generally must be obtained by the principal investigator working through the Sponsored Programs Office.


After the prime award is received and a sponsored project fund/index is established, Sponsored Programs personnel will initiate the process to establish a subaward agreement. A determination must be made whether the subrecipient can administer an award in compliance with federal and agency requirements. This is determined after the review of an audit certification and financial status questionnaire as prepared by the subrecipient agency. When the subaward agreement is prepared the terms and conditions of the funding agency are flowed down to the subrecipient as well as reporting requirements. Approval by the Kent PI of the agreement is secured before the agreement is transmitted to the collaborator’s research office for review, execution, and return to Kent. A copy of the fully executed subaward agreement will be transmitted to the PI with instructions on reviewing and approving subaward payment procedures. Subaward agreements that result from federal funding are recorded and reported by the Sponsored Programs Office as required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA).


Periodically (monthly or quarterly) the collaborating institution will submit invoices. For cost reimburseable agreements, this will be itemized by major cost category, for reimbursement of expenditures they have incurred in support of the project. The PI is responsible for reviewing the invoiced expenditures to determine that the expenses are reasonable for the progress made and tasks completed by the subrecipient before approving payment and processing for payment with a Subaward check request. The paperwork must be signed by the PI before being sent to Grants Accounting along with the invoice. The Grants Accounting office of the University initiates and tracks all payments to subaward recipients.



Modifications to the agreement are initiated upon receipt of changes to the prime award (e.g. additional funding has been received and/or a project has been extended), or after a request from the PI for such changes (e.g.,

time extensions, increases/decreases in the funding amount for the subaward recipient). The PI is responsible for notifying Sponsored Programs if a subrecipient is to receive a no-cost extension at the time of project period extension. Subawards may be modified only to the extent allowed by the prime agreement. Modifications are communicated to Grants Accounting.


Close Out

To ensure timely closeout of the Kent prime award, final invoices for the subaward must be received within 15- 60 days (as designated in executed subaward agreement) to allow for appropriate reviews, approvals and payment. This invoice should be labeled as “Final” and processed by the PI as quickly as possible.