January 2004, Issue 1


If you are applying for funding and you plan to have parts of the project performed by one or more collaborators at another institution, you need a subcontract in place with each collaborating institution. A subcontract or subaward is the formal agreement between your and your collaborator's institution. You are the direct (prime) recipient of the sponsor's funds, and your institution is the primary (home) institution. Your collaborator, who agrees to perform parts of your research, is the subrecipient, and your collaborator's institution, which will receive funds from the primary institution, is the subcontracting institution. Subcontracts are administered by the Office of the Vice Provost, Grants and Contracts Administration, and are used to transfer grant money between institutions.

If you are planning a collaborative project, either as a prime recipient or a subrecipient, please contact the following associate directors of grants and contracts administration: William Edington (617-627-2085) for work in the social and behavioral sciences or arts and humanities, Theodore Liszczak (617-627-5187) for work in sciences and engineering on the Medford campus, or Gerald Wodehouse (617-636-6709) for projects on the Boston and Grafton campuses.

Grants involving subcontracts require extra time for internal review, because of the two institutions. Please see to the following items before submitting your grant proposal:

When you are the prime recipient of a grant and Tufts is the primary (home) institution, your subrecipient(s) should send you

1. An itemized budget including direct and facilities and administration (F&A) costs
2. A statement of work detailing exactly what the subrecipient will do
3. An official letter of commitment to the project cosigned by the principal investigator of the subcontract and by the authorizing official from the grants office of the subcontracting institution
4. Certification that any review process necessary at the subcontracting institution is complete or pending (for example, review of studies involving human or animal subjects, recombinant DNA or pathogens)

As prime recipient you must then

5. Enter the total subcontract cost as a line item on your budget
6. Submit the full proposal (including items 1-4 above) for review by the Tufts grants office
7. Send the grants office of the subcontracting institution a letter of intent to cooperate on the project. This letter should be cosigned by you and the appropriate associate director of grants and contracts administration, and a copy should be appended to your proposal. If your proposal is successful, grants officers at Tufts and the subcontracting institution will sign a subcontract agreement prior to receipt of funding.

When you are the collaborator (subrecipient) and Tufts is the subcontracting institution, please anticipate an expectation from the grants office of the primary institution that you will supply items 1-4. Please also obtain a letter of intent to cooperate from your colleague at the primary institution.

Additional information on subcontracts can be found at http://www.tufts.edu/central/research/ProposalType.htm.


Tufts University, Office of the Vice Provost
Health Sciences Campus: (617) 636-6550
Medford Campus: (617) 627-3417
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