Outgoing Subcontracts
The Nuts and Bolts
Amy Carver, Assistant Grants Officer
The following humorous drawings are from the
• Process overview
• A few specifics
Sub request checklist
Carry Forward
Agreements Tab
Follow Up
• Subcontract/Subaward: A legal instrument by which
a recipient provides funds to an eligible subrecipient
to perform a substantive portion of the grantsupported program or project. (NIH Glossary)
• Outgoing Subcontract: one in which Northwestern is
seeking out subrecipient(s) to perform a substantive
role in research being conducted by Northwestern.
Prequel: What Happens First
Sponsor issues an award to Northwestern.
PI determines how much money to give the sub(s).
Northwestern obtains approval to issue subcontract.
RA prepares an OSR-3. Sends to the GA.
GA creates a chart string.
Note: previous agreement/amendment must be fully
executed before any additional amendment requests
are made.
Asking for a Subcontract
• RA/department prepares a subcontract request…
• Complete the OSR-6, -7, or ESPR form.
• Include supporting documentation (e.g. budget,
• Route for signature.
Who Are Your friends?
• Is this subcontract allowed? Has it been approved? –
Friend: your GO
• How much to obligate? What SOW? – Friend: PI,
note: within sponsor’s approval
• Where do I get a budget? – PI and/or subrecipient
• Invoices? Leftover balances? – your GCFA
• I am also your friend.
Once I Receive It…
• Check the request against the prime award.
• Analyze any risk the subrecipient institution or
individuals might pose.
• Contact the RA about any questions or concerns.
• Prepare the subcontract.
• Send to the sub.
• Start the InfoEd record of the subcontract’s progress.
(“Agreements” tab)
In Their Court
• Subrecipient receives the subcontract, reviews, and
requests revisions (if any).
• I negotiate the subcontract with input from the RA,
PI, and GO as needed.
• The sub signs and returns.
• I have the subagreement counter-signed and return
it to the sub, department, and ASRSP.
Occasional Extra Loops
• Subrecipient Questionnaire
– Investigator: any person regardless
of title or position who is responsible
for the design, conduct, or
reporting of research.
What does a good subcontract request look like?
New Subcontract
• OSR-6 form or ESPR “Request to Issue New
• Chartstring (see “prequel”)
• Documents: budget (matching the dollar amount on
the OSR-6/ESPR), budget justification, and SOW
• Dates: must be inside or equal to prime award dates
• NU-Chicago does not allow automatic carry forward
• Any other notes for OSR or special documentation
(e.g. letter of approval from sponsor)
Amendment to a Subcontract
• OSR-7 form or ESPR “Change to Existing Subaward”/
“Continuation Subaward”
• Chartstring or SP* number
• Any documentation to support change (e.g. adding
funds, include budget)
• Dates: inside prime award dates, no gap in subaward
• Reminder: indicate if carry forward is allowed
• Subrecipient contact information (if changed)
Carry Forward Approval
• Prime award – sometimes requires carry forward
approval from sponsor, sometimes not
• Outgoing subcontracts – we do not allow automatic
carry forward on any outgoing subcontracts
• Who needs to approve?
– Automatic carry forward on prime award: Northwestern PI
– No automatic carry forward on prime award: Sponsor & PI
Carry Forward Amount
• Full amount – general language (e.g. “Carry forward
is approved from year x (mm/dd/yyyy –
mm/dd/yyyy) to year y (mm/dd/yyyy –
• Restricted (either by sponsor or PI) amount– requires
specific dollar amount.
A Note on No-Cost Extensions
• A no-cost extension request on an outgoing
subcontract that does not mention carry forward is
essentially saying the subrecipient intends to work
for free.
Tracking your subcontract request in InfoEd
Follow Up Responsibilities
• Subcontract GO (me) after 30 days
• RA/department…
– In pressing situations
– Knowledge of a better contact
– At will
Contact Info
Amy Carver
Assistant Grants Officer
Northwestern University, Chicago Campus
[email protected]
Presentation date: 3/20/14

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