Washington University in St. Louis | OVCR


The SUBSystem provides the WUSTL Principal Investigator the ability to authorize OSRS to process subagreements for specific work scope and funding to external collaborators. For a more comprehensive summary of the subaward process, including an overview of the SUBSystem and a sample statement of work, please see this guide​.

The Department Administrator shall utilize the SUBSystem to collect all the required documentation needed from Subcontractors for OSRS to issue a subaward. The attached training materials​ include guidance in issuing new subawards and issuing modifications to existing subagreements.

SUBSystem Security is required for the Department Administrator to manage the appropriate departments.  The SUBS Security form is located here.

For questions about the SUBSystem or subagreements issued to external collaborators, please contact wucontracts@wumail.wustl.edu.  

Funding Types

There are several funding mechanisms available to use when issuing subawards. The appropriate mechanism may be dependent upon the scope of work. The scope of work needs to provide sufficient detail to understand when payments shall be made. For example, when the collaborator is performing experiments, and the costs are for salary and materials, a Cost Reimbursable mechanism is the appropriate funding type. This means the subrecipient would invoice​ monthly for the actual costs of the work performed in the previous month.

For work involving enrollment of patients, or per event type actions required for payment, a Fixed Fee mechanism is used. A fixed amount is established to be paid for each event. Invoices may be submitted on a predetermined schedule, or at a milestone. The scope of work description would include the required deliverables for payment and a payment schedule.

A Fixed Price mechanism is used when the subrecipient will be paid a predetermined amount, based on costs during a project period, for a specific deliverable.

Funding for subrecipients is not typically provided in advance of the work performed.

Sample Scopes of Work

For sample statement of work language for fixed price and fixed fee subawards, please see the attached document​.

Gift, Grant or Contract?

Subawards are funding agreements issued to a collaborating institution under a grant or contract. It is useful to understand the differences between grants, contracts and gifts. Please review this summary for more details.

Subrecipient, Vendor or Consultant?

How can you determine if your planned collaborator is a subrecipient, a vendor or a consultant? Here is a guide describing the characteristics of these three categories of supportive work performed under sponsored research awards.

The FDP and WUSTL have adapted a checklist under the Uniform Guidance to assist in determining the relationship with external entitites. 

Subrecipient Monitoring Checklist

Federal agencies require funding recipients to be registered in Sam.gov with a DUNS number specific to their organization. Washington University prefers our subrecipients to be registered in Sam.gov with a DUNS number. You may provide this informational sheet to pending subrecipients to facilitate their obtaining a DUNS number.

Obtaining a DUNS number

The Department Administrator with or on behalf of the Principal Investigator is responsible to review invoices from the subrecipient for allowability, allocability, reasonableness and to obtain supporting documentation as applicable. The attached checklist​​ is a helpful reference tool for subrecipient invoice review.

Uniform Guidance Risk Assessment

The Uniformed Guidance (2 CFR Chapter 1, Chapter II, Part 200) implemented December 26, 2014 requires Awardee Institution  to perform risk assessments of all subrecipients under federal grants and contracts.  Please contact wucontracts@wumail.wustl.edu  with any questions.

Additional information about the Uniform Guidance and Washington University's implementation may be found here:


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