Subawards in Proposals

Sections on this page:

Subrecipient Selection

The PI selects a subrecipient based upon the organization's technical expertise and potential ability to perform a portion of the scope of work successfully, within an infrastructure that meets certain federal internal control and policy requirements.

  • PIs/DLCs are responsible for assessing the technical adequacy of subrecipients and the appropriateness of their proposed budget.
  • The RAS Subawards Team validates the adequacy of the internal control and policies of the selected subrecipient via its risk assessment process and ensures that the organization meets the criteria of a subrecipient (not a consultant or a vendor).

Once a potential subrecipient has been identified, the DLC must take the following steps to ensure that the chosen organization is qualified to be an MIT subrecipient.

Subaward Organization Evaluation Process

The purpose of this process is to ensure that the chosen organization should have a subrecipient relationship with MIT on the project and that it has sufficient ability to manage and administer the terms of the agreement, including legal and regulatory requirements mandated under the prime award, in a timely manner. Because the proposed subaward is part of the proposal, the subaward organization evaluation is subject to the same 5-day deadline as the final proposal. While it is possible to submit proposals where the subaward organization is still in red or yellow status, it is important to get started as soon as possible in the proposal process to allow adequate time to gather information, review and assess risk, and make a determination.

What you will need:

  • A detailed budget, to be included in MIT's proposal to the sponsor. Budget to include Direct and F&A costs for the subawardee (typically in the same budget format as the MIT budget).
  • Note that if an organization does not have a negotiated F&A rate, MIT may be able to request a 10% MTDC rate from federal sponsors. For-profit entities may include a fee; profit is allowable under federal contracts, but not under grants or cooperative agreements.
  • A brief description of the scope of work proposed by the subawardee
  • A face page or cover sheet bearing the signature of the subawardee institution's authorized official or a cover letter from the authorized official at the subawardee organization stating that it will perform the scope of work within the budget provided in accordance with the sponsor's terms should an award be made
  • Other documentation as required, such as the PI's curriculum vitae as well as current and pending support

Once the DLC has received at least a preliminary scope of work and budget from the subaward organization, the DLC Administrator should review it to confirm that the relationship with the organization would definitely be that of subrecipient, rather than vendor or consultant. Contact your Contract Administrator or a member of the RAS Subaward Team if you have questions about the proper designation.

Subaward vs. Vendor vs. Consultant

Subaward vs. Vendor vs. Consultant

Show Subaward Organization in Kuali Coeus Proposal

To initiate the Subaward Organization Evaluation process, the DLC adds an organization to the “Performance” screen in the Kuali Coeus (KC) Proposal Development module.

Kuali Coeus Screen

If the organization is listed in KC, there are three possible risk status markers: green, yellow or red:


See "Evaluating and Managing Subaward Risk."

If the organization is not listed in KC, the DLC must submit a request for assessment of the organization.

Requesting Assessment of a New Organization

To initiate the risk assessment of a new subrecipient organization, the DLC must submit a request via KC, using the online subaward organization request form.

RAS will enter the new Organization into KC with a “Risk Undetermined” (yellow) status and will begin the risk assessment process. RAS will ask the new Organization to complete a Subrecipient Profile Questionnaire [PDF] and return it to the RAS Subaward Team for review. Once the RAS Subaward Team receives the response, plus the project scope of work, and budget, we can begin the evaluation.

Requesting Assessment flowchart