In the beginning, check the Proposal File

The UAA proposal reviewed and approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at the University of Alaska Anchorage should have determined the type of relationship UAA would have to enter into should the project be funded.  Post-award Grant Coordinators will review the Proposal File to verify that a Subrecipient Commitment Form was agreed to prior to the submission of the initial proposal to the funding agency.  The Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at UAA should have already clarified if this is a vendor or a subaward relationship.


Subaward Agreement or a Professional Services Agreement--which do I request?

Subaward and Professional Service Agreements

Characteristics of a Subaward Agreement versus Professional Services Agreement

How to Choose the Correct Agreement Flowchart


When to request a Subaward Agreement?

A subaward may be appropriate if you can answer yes to any of the following:

  • Does the entity's statement of work represent an intellectually significant portion of the programmatic effort of the overall project?
  • Does the entity have responsibility for programmatic decision-making?
  • Is there an identified Principal Investigator for the entity? Is he or she a Co-Investigator on the primary proposal?
  • Could the entity's work result in Intellectual Property developed?
  • Are publications anticipated from the entity? Will individuals at the entity be co-authors on articles?
  • Will the entity need animal (IACUC) and/or human subject (IRB) approval for its portion of the work?
  • Is the entity providing cost sharing or matching funds?

UAA requires specific documentation to certify commitment of each subrecipient. Remember, the university claims F&A recovery on only the first $25,000 of each subaward, even if the project spans multiple years.

Note regarding "Subsubrecipients": Unless substantial justification can be made, a subrecipient should generally not request any further subawarding of their portion of work. Instead, the prime awardee should budget all subawards/subcontracts so that they fall under the prime's authority.


When to request a Professional Services Agreement?

A professional services agreement may be appropriate if you can answer yes to any of the following:

  • Provides similar goods and services to different clients within normal business operations
  • Operates in a competitive environment
  • Provides goods and services ancillary to the operation of the program
  • Is not subject to the compliance requirements of the prime sponsor

Services not requiring a subaward are covered by the financial policy of UAA Procurement Services.


Can current UAA employees be paid as consultants?
Current employees, whether staff or faculty, may not be paid as a a consultant to the University of Alaska.  However, Emeritus Faculty can be paid on a Professional Services Agreement as consultants on UAA proposals only if:

  • They have not been paid as a UA employee in the past 12 months
  • They are not doing a service that would fall under the normal scope of work of any UA employee
  • They are not using university resources such as office space, equipment, labs, etc. to perform the service(s)
  • They are not being supervised on a day-to-day basis
  • They are given a set task to complete with an expected deliverable