Section 2 - Appropriate and Inappropriate Use

Appropriate Use of Subawards

  • The scope of work to be performed utilizes the facilities, employees and/or resources of a subrecipient;
  • The subrecipient is contributing substantively to the scholarly and/or scientific conduct of the project as described in the scope of work and has responsibility for programmatic decision making;
  • The subrecipient has responsibility for adherence to applicable federal program compliance and performance and is measured against whether the objectives of the federal program are met;
  • The subrecipient will bring a unique knowledge and expertise to the project and conduct the work mostly independent of UM’s direct supervision or control with only general technical direction and coordination exercised by the UM PI; and
  • The subrecipient, as part of its primary business operations, does not provide the same goods and services to others and will be using the subaward funds to carry out a program of the subrecipient organization rather than provide goods and services to complete a program for the sole benefit of UM (e.g. purchase, fabrication or repair of equipment, data processing, routine analytical or testing services).

Inappropriate Use of a Subaward

  • If the agreement is for the provision of goods or services within normal business operations;
  • If the organization/business provides similar goods or services to many different purchasers;
  • If the organization/business operates in a competitive environment for the provisioning of the goods or services to be procured;
  • If providing goods or services are ancillary to the operation of the funding agency; or
  • If the organization/business is not subject to the requirements of the funding agency.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) has created a Checklist for Determination of Subrecipient or Contractor to assist in determining if an institution should be a vendor or a subrecipient. When a subaward is not appropriate, check with the UM Office of Procurement Services for information on how to purchase the goods or services.