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Subaward Basics

An ASU subaward is a legally binding agreement issued when a substantive portion of the sponsored project will be performed by another entity. ASU also issues subawards to other entities when they will be working in collaboration with an ASU PI to perform a substantive portion of a grant or contract’s programmatic effort.

Additional information about subawards can be found at the Research Administration page.

Sole Source Justification

A sole source justification is an explanation of why a sub-recipient is uniquely qualified for this particular project. Cost alone is not a satisfactory reason. It must also address the technical expertise of the Sub-recipient PI.

Additional information about source justification can be found at the Research Administration page

Subaward Agreements

Subaward agreements are issued as cost reimbursable or fixed price. A cost reimbursable agreement is based on actual project expenditures incurred during the performance period, up to an agreed amount. Fixed price agreements are issued when performance is based on deliverables, each of which is assigned a lump sum amount.

The type of subaward is determined on the individual factors of project. The following chart compares the two types of subawards.



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Before ASU will issue a subaward there are some requirements. Both proposed cost reimbursable and fixed price subawards need to be clearly described in the sub-recipients scope of work – clearly outlining sub-recipient responsibilities, required deliverables and specific due dates for each milestone. Wherever possible, the request for a subaward should be included in the proposal to expedite sponsor approvals, where required.

Sponsor approval is required for fixed price subawards to be issued by ASU using federal/federal flow through funds. There is also a cost limitation on fixed price subawards with caps. Federal sponsors do not have the ability to approve over the cap with fixed price subawards.

More information about subawards and their requirements can be found at the Research Administrative page.