Subrecipient vs Contractor

It is important to correctly determine whether an entity should be considered a subrecipient or a contractor, so that the appropriate terms and conditions are applied and budget calculations are performed accurately.

A subaward is likely appropriate if you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions:

  • Does the entity’s scope of work represent an intellectually significant portion of the programmatic effort of the overall project?
  • Does the entity have responsibility for programmatic decision making?
  • Could the entity’s work result in intellectual property developed or publishable results (including co-authorship)?
  • Will the entity need animal and/or human subjects approval for its portion of the work?

An entity would be considered a contractor if they provide goods or services within normal business operations to many different purchasers and operates in a competitive environment.