Sponsored Projects Office (SPO)

MSC09 5220
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location:
1650 University Blvd NE
Second Floor, Suite 2200

Phone: (505) 272-9383
Fax: (505) 272-0159

Sub-Award Q & A

Below, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about sub-awards.  If you have a question which is not covered below, please contact Stacy Bigbie at (505) 272-9448 or via e-mail at scatanach@salud.unm.edu.

What Is A Sub-Award?

A sub-award is an agreement between a recipient of an award, called the primary award, and another institution in which a portion of the work proposed in the primary award is performed by the second institution. Typically, the sponsor of the primary award is a federal government agency, but it may be any kind of organization. The recipient of the primary award becomes the sponsor of the sub-award.

How Do I Arrange For A Sub-Award From My Primary Award To A Sub-Awardee?

If part of the project will be performed by another institution or a company, the estimated costs of the work to be done there is included in the proposed budget. Each sub-awardee needs a statement of work and a budget including both direct costs and F&A costs. To ensure that the sub-awardee has obtained official institutional endorsement, the proposal may contain a letter of commitment signed by the sub-awardee's  institutional representative or a signed PHS 398 face page. In  proposals to federal agencies, only the first $25,000 of each sub-award is included in the F&A calculation. For all other sponsors, the full amount of the sub-award is included in the F&A calculation. To ensure that the sub-awardee receives F&A, provide a copy of their F&A rate agreement or policy. When the primary award is received, the Pre-Award Administrator uses the sub-awardee's statement of work and budget to prepare a sub-contract.

How Do I Arrange To Receive A Sub-Award From Another Institution?

Submit a proposal for a sub-award with the same procedures as submitting any other proposal. In addition, send the sponsor institution (receiver of the primary award) a copy of our federally negotiated F&A rates.

What Is The Difference Between A Sub-Awardee And A Vendor?

If the work is routine and/or provided to a number of different institutions, the provider is probably a vendor. A vendor does not make a creative contribution to the concept or design of the project. A sub-awardee is more closely involved, has responsibility for decision-making, and provides substantive programmatic work. If the work is performed by someone that the PI considers to be "key personnel" or a scientific collaborator, the provider is probably a sub-awardee. The UNM Business Policies and Procedures Manual provides guidance for distinguishing between a sub-award and a regular procurement of services from a vendor.

What Is The Difference Between A Sub-Awardee And A Consultant?

A consulting agreement is a form of sub-contract for services too urgent, temporary, specialized, or technical to be provided by existing UNM HSC personnel. Consulting agreements are not appropriate for substantive programmatic work. Sponsors often set maximum allowable rates for consultants. In compliance with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor regulations, consultants are non-UNM entities or person(s) who are licensed to do  business in the state of New Mexico as evidenced by a number of criteria, including a New Mexico gross receipts tax number and the fact that they offer their services to the general public;  for example, on a web site. The cost of a contractor may include New Mexico gross receipts tax, and the tax should be included in the budget.