ORPA serves as a key resource for the management of subawards, from proposal development through close-out. ORPA's role in the support for this work is determined by the nature of the funding. Princeton can be considered either a Prime Recipient or a Subrecipient of a subaward. The distinction is whether Princeton is receiving the subaward (subrecipient) or granting the subaward (prime recipient).

Getting Started

Below, you will find an outline of the typical prime recipient subaward lifecycle, with details on common steps and documentation requirements. While every subaward situation is unique, this is a good place to begin. Refer to the Subrecipient/Contractor Classification Form (see Forms Library) to determine whether your research requires use of an Independent Contractor (Vendor) Agreement or a Subaward. For Independent Contractor Agreements, please review the information on paying independent contractors on the Finance and Treasury website.

As you get started, please review the University’s Subaward Policy and Procedures for further details and requirements. Please note that you must submit all required information to the Subaward Administration team for work to begin on subaward issuance. Have questions? Contact your Subaward Administrator.

Prime Recipient Subaward Lifecycle

The ORPA Subaward Administration team's focus is on sponsored projects conducted in partnership with other organizations, universities, or research institutions where Princeton is receiving the funding from the sponsor and is establishing a contractual relationship with its partners in order to complete the work. In this type of interaction, Princeton is considered the prime recipient issuing subawards for outbound funding.  

Proposal Development

At the proposal development stage, the ORPA Grant and Contract Administration team is your primary point of contact, with support from the Subawards team. Potential subawards are identified and documentation is completed and submitted as a part of the proposal to ensure that required approvals have been secured.

To be completed and submitted with your proposal:

  • Subrecipient / Contractor Classification Form
  • Approval Justification Statement for Fixed-Price Subawards: Subawards planned to be issued as a fixed price (in accordance with Uniform Guidance) must be described in the proposal (i.e. in the budget justification).
  • Subrecipient Intent to Collaborate which includes several attachments, such as:
    • Subrecipient Statement of Work: with timelines and deliverables
    • Budget and Budget Justification: If the subrecipient does not have a federally negotiated F&A rate, contact your GCA with questions.

Visit the forms library to access these documents.

Subaward Initiation

Once ORPA issues a Notice of Award (NOA), the next step is to complete and submit all required initiation documentation. Upon receipt of this material, the Subawards team then reviews the submitted documents, drafts and negotiates the agreement terms and conditions, performs a subrecipient risk assessment, and formally initiates the subaward.

To be submitted to the subaward administrator:

  • Subaward Initiation Form
  • Documented Sponsor Approval: Required if the subaward was not approved at proposal stage.  Contact your GCA for assistance.
  • Statement of Work, Budget, and Budget Justification if revised from the submitted proposal.
To be submitted as needed:
  • Principal Investigator Designee Form: Designation of invoice approval to another
  • Schedule of Payments: Required for fixed price subawards - no specific format for this item - project dependent
  • Financial Status Questionnaire (FSQ) Form: Required for subrecipients not subject to single audits in accordance with Uniform Guidance. Supporting financial documentation as listed on the FSQ must also be submitted concurrently.
  • IRB, IACUC, or IBC Protocol Approvals (available on the RIA website)
  • Cost-Sharing Documentation and Approvals if the subawardee is cost sharing 
  • Sole Source Justification Form (for contracts only)

Visit the forms library to access these documents.

Subaward Amendment

An Amendment to a subaward may be issued for a number of reasons, including: obligating or issuing incremental funding, extensions of period of performance, changes in the statement of work or budget, deobligations, and early terminations. The Subawards team will perform an updated risk assessment upon modification of the subaward. 

To be submitted to the subaward administrator:

  • Subaward Amendment Form
  • Revised Budget and / or Statement of Work, as applicable
  • Revised Schedule of Payments, for fixed-price subawards
To be submitted as needed:
  • Updated IRB, IACUC or IBC Protocol Approvals
  • Revised Schedule of Payments for fixed-price subawards
  • Updated Financial Status Questionnaire (FSQ) Form and financial documents, as applicable
  • Revised Schedule of Payments

Visit the forms library to access these documents. 

Subaward Invoicing and Monitoring

In keeping with Princeton’s Subaward Policy, the University is responsible for ensuring that any funds provided to an outside entity are spent in accordance with applicable sponsor terms and conditions, as well as laws and regulations. 

ORPA takes responsibility for reviewing all invoices for compliance with the invoicing terms of the agreement and approved F&A rate. The PI is then responsible for tracking milestones and deliverables against the Statement of Work, and approving invoices per the agreed-upon budget and/or schedule of payments.

Subaward Closeout

To close out a subaward, you must complete the Subaward Closeout Form, available from ORPA. Upon receipt, ORPA will verify that the final invoice has been received and processed, and that all required reports have been submitted. If unspent funds remain, the Subaward team will deobligate subrecipient unspent funds and officially close out the subaward. 

Please note that as the PI or Departmental Administrator, you are responsible for retaining documentation in accordance with the University’s Record-Retention Policy and any additional subaward terms and conditions.

Subrecipient Subaward Lifecycle

When you are named as a research partner on a funding proposal awarded to another university or research institution, it is an inbound award and Princeton is considered the subrecipient. These types of awards are managed by the ORPA Grant and Contract Administration team.

Proposal Stage

As a participant on a project submitted to the sponsor by another institution, you may need to complete certain forms or prepare documents as part of the proposal. The ORPA Grant and Contract Administration team is available to assist you with the completion of these materials, which may include:

  • Subrecipient Commitment Form
  • Statements of Work
  • Budget and Budget Justification 
  • Other information, as applicable
Award Stage

When our collaborator receives their funding from the Sponsor, they will forward a subaward agreement for review and acceptance.  The ORPA Grant and Contract Administration team is available to assist with any Sponsor or Partner requirements. They will review and execute the subaward agreement so that the work can commence.