What is a Subcontract?

Subcontracting is the practice of assigning, or outsourcing, part of the obligations and tasks under a contract to another party. 

When is a Subcontract Used?

A subcontract may be required if part of the research effort under a grant or contract is to be performed by another organization.  If the subcontract is part of a proposal to a federal sponsor or from federal funds, it is important to determine whether the subcontractor should be treated as a subrecipient or a vendor.

What is the Difference Between Recipent, Subreceipient, and Vendor?

In the federal grant world, the recipient is the organization receiving the award/grant/money from the federal agency. A recipient is sometimes called the “Prime Contractor” because they have the full responsibility for the federal funds.

A sub-recipient is involved in substantive activities of the award project. The recipient passes on some or all of its duties to the sub-recipient, who performs substantive work on the award project to accomplish the project’s purposes. All the terms and conditions from the grant award flow down to subrecipients through a subaward subcontract.

A vendor is a contractor who provides goods/services to a recipient or so a recipient can accomplish the project’s purposes. Selected terms and conditions might be passed through to the vendor.

For more information on outgoing subawards/subcontracts , see UF|Research Sponsored Programs Outgoing Subwards.