Managing Subawards

PI/Department & ORA Roles & Responsibilities

During the course of the subaward, the University principal investigator (PI) is responsible for the following oversight:

  • Monitors scientific progress and subrecipient’s adherence to the terms of the agreement
  • Verifies that cost sharing commitments are met via the invoicing process
  • Verifies compliance approvals are current for subrecipient’s portion of statement of work (human subjects, animal subjects, biosafety)
  • Document and store required reports submitted by subrecipient throughout the project, and send to ORA for inclusion in the subaward file.
  • PI must personally approve invoices for payment. See invoicing section below for more detail on this process.

About documentation: As a PI, you may document the subrecipient’s review of progress reports in whatever format is easiest (e.g., email confirmation of review, or by indicating “Reviewed, Approved” with a signature and date on the report itself). Remember that the evidence of the subrecipient’s review may be requested by auditors. You are responsible for documenting their review, storing reports, and providing them in the event of an audit. An inability to produce a report could result in increased federal oversight and prior approvals in the future or even payback of subaward or award funding.

During the course of the subaward, ORA will ensure annual audit, insurance certification, and FFATA reporting are up to date, and also ensure corrective action plans are implemented. We will receive, track, and pay invoices, with PI and ORA approval, during the course of the agreement.

Subaward Invoicing

Once your subaward is officially approved and executed, ORA will set up a declining balance purchase order (PO) in Marketplace. The PO will be set up with the funds awarded, as a declining balance PO. You will see the PO as an encumbrance in GL (General Ledger) Inquiry under the corresponding budgeted account and class codes lines for each subrecipient. The encumbrance will decrease as invoices are paid and applied against it, and you will see the invoice payments as current expenses.

The subrecipient will begin to invoice UMaine for reimbursement as they work on the project. The subrecipient invoice template may be helpful to some subrecipients. ORA will review the invoice and submit it to the PI (and their project manager if applicable) for approval. For a more detailed process please click here.


During the subaward period of performance, it may be necessary to modify the amounts, dates, or terms of a subaward. Some changes may require prior approval from the prime sponsor, such as a change to the scope of work or investigator.

The ORA Subaward Officer will help you determine whether approval is needed from the prime sponsor. The University PI and/or department administrator must contact the Subaward Officer when an amendment is required and must provide all information needed to issue the amendment (e.g. revised budgets, dates, reporting requirements, etc.). When an award is incrementally funded, we will initiate the amendment process upon receipt of the prime award. Prior to issuing the subaward amendment for incremental funding, ORA will verify the amounts with the PI and/or department administrator.  ORA Subaward Officer will review the status of invoicing, including spend rates, date of last invoice received, that reporting is up to date, that the subrecipient is in compliance with reporting, insurance, audit, F&A rate agreements, etc. ORA Subaward Officer will reach out to the subrecipient for required compliance information as applicable.

Amendment Negotiation & Execution

The subrecipient may want to negotiate changes or request clarification of the terms and conditions of the subaward amendment. ORA Subaward Officer will negotiate these changes with the subrecipient, and seek approval from PI and/or department personnel as needed.

Once the subaward amendment is signed by the subrecipient and ORA, a copy of the fully executed subaward amendment will be sent to the PI and subrecipient via email. The subaward amendment funding will be added to the PO in Marketplace and the encumbrance in GL will be increased.