Characteristics of Subawards/Subcontracts, Consultants & Vendors

Characteristics of Subawards/Subcontracts, Consultants & Vendors

Characteristics of Subawards/Subcontracts, Consultants & Vendors


  • Subcontractor must have a tax identification number
  • A principal investigator is identified for the subcontractor and has responsibility for programmatic decision-making (conduct, direction and reporting of research)for the subcontractor
  • A letter of intent is provided and signed by subcontractor’s institutional official
  • A scope of work is provided
  • A budget and budget justification areprovided (indirect cost requested must be based on a federally negotiated rate)
  • The subcontractor uses the funds to carry out a program within the organization as compared to providing goods or services for a program
  • Is responsible for adhering to applicable program compliance requirements i.e., OMB circulars, agency regulations, etc.
  • Subcontractor’s Principal Investigator may be a co-author on publications or may seek patent protection for inventions
  • Prime (the organization that received the award from the sponsor) has a limit on the indirect cost allowed on subcontracts
  • The Subcontractor may provide cost sharing or matching funds
  • A subcontract agreement is executed between the subcontractor and the prime institution


  • The vendor must have a tax identification number
  • Provides the goods or services within normal business operations
  • Provides similar goods or services to the general public (goods or services are commercially available)
  • Operates in a competitive environment
  • Provides goods or services that are ancillary to the operation of the research project
  • Not subject to monitoring or reporting requirements of the prime award
  • Indirect cost is applicable to the total cost of the goods or services
  • Who does the work is not generally known
  • No Intellectual Property rights
  • Competitive price
  • Must meet all vendor requirements under state statutes such as insurance, licensed, or certifications


  • The consultant must have a social security number
  • Does not meet the requirements for subcontractor or vendor
  • Is not classified as an employee
  • An individual who is clearly a bona fide consultant (expert advisor) who pursues this line of business for him/herself
  • Are paid for their time at a daily or hourly fixed rate
  • A consultant is considered a “work for hire” thus all intellectual property and copyrightable information is assigned to Florida Atlantic University
  • Federal funds cannot be used to pay for federalconsultants

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