MSU Denver

Sub-award Proposal Items

First determine the partner relationships for the sub-award. During the proposal development stage, Principal Investigators will work with OSRP Proposal Development Staff (Tim Hawkins, Stephanie Huber, Kristin Schneider Baldwin) to determine if the proposed partnerships qualify as Sub-awards or Vendors.


General Guidelines for Determining the Relationship


  • Subcontractor services are uniquely designed in response to each project, and not provided commercially.
  • Subcontractor technical lead is usually a scientific collaborator, or even a co-PI on the UCF project.
  • Subcontractor retains rights to intellectual property.
  • Subcontractor participates in development and execution of statement of work.


  • Vendor provides the goods or services within normal business operations
  • Vendor provides similar goods and services to many different purchasers and in a competitive environment
  • Vendor retains no rights to intellectual property.
  • Vendor provides the goods or services ancillary to the operation of the federal program.
  • Vendor is not subject to compliance requirements of the federal program Vendor Agreement

Selecting a Subrecipient

The Principal Investigator (PI) for the Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) is generally in the best position to select the Subrecipient to be included in the proposal. The selection is based on the potential Subrecipient’s technical experience and the ability to perform the portion of the scope of work being proposed to the Sponsor.

Subrecipient Commitment Form

If it is determined that a Sub-award is needed, the proposal development specialists will notify the Post Award Manager who will then send a Subrecipient Commitment form to the Sub-awardee prior to proposal submission.  The Subrecipient Commitment Form provides all the necessary sub-award information to draft a Sub-award Agreement once we are notified that the application has been awarded.

Additional Subrecipient Documents Required for the Proposal

For all proposed sub-awards that will be included in a grant or contract application, MSU Denver Principal Investigators are asked to obtain the following documentation from the subrecipient.  The documents MUST be administratively approved by the subrecipient’s authorized official. This authorized sub-award proposal shall be submitted to MSU Denver along with the rest of the MSU Denver proposal package.

At a minimum, a subrecipient’s proposal should include the following:

  • Endorsement from the Subrecipient’s Authorized Official. This endorsement is provided in many different formats such as a signed letter of commitment (LOC) or a letter of intent (LOI) which covers the subcontract proposal.
  • A clear description of the scope of work (SOW) to be performed by the subrecipient, separate from the overall scope of work of the entire application. The SOW clearly outlines the subrecipient responsibilities, deliverables, and timelines/due dates.
  • A copy of the subrecipient’s Indirect Cost Rate Agreement.
  • budget and budget justification for the subrecipient’s portion of the project. The budget and budget justification should provide MSU Denver sufficient detail regarding the proposed expenses for the sub-award. Some sponsors require the sub-award budget and justification on the Sponsor’s forms.
  • Any additional documentation required by the funding agency, such as:
    • Biographical Sketches of Key Personnel
    • Current and Pending Support of Key Personnel
    • Representations and Certifications

Note: When you are creating a multi-site program where all sites have not been determined prior to submission of the proposal, the MSU Denver budget justification should clearly identify this situation, and all required Sponsor approvals for issuing sub-awards will be sought when the parties are identified.

Office of Sponsored Research and Programs

Supporting faculty and staff fundraising goals

Phone: 303-605-5297

Email: [email protected]

Office Location:
Jordan Student Success Building (JSSB)
890 Auraria Parkway
3rd Floor – #350

Mailing Address:
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP)
Campus Box 4
P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362