Initiating a Subaward

Choosing a Subawardee -

The University of Iowa uses a competitive bidding system for selecting subawardees.

To begin the competitive bidding process, the PI should contact Purchasing to prepare a Request for Quotations (RFQ) and a list of qualified Subawardees. Special attention will be given to providing subawarding opportunities to small businesses owned by minorities and women. The RFQ should contain a statement of work and/or a description of each item of material required, plus standard University of Iowa terms and conditions. Purchasing will forward the completed RFQs to qualified Subawardees.

Interested Subawardees should return their bids to Purchasing, which works with the PI to select the best Subawardee. Selection should be based on the Subawardee's willingness and ability to meet project specifications, the proposed price, the Subawardee's ability to meet the delivery and performance schedule, as well as any additional criteria included in the RFQ.

Although the competitive bidding process is mandatory, there are circumstances in which Subawardees other than the lowest bidder may be selected. These circumstances include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Subawardee is the only known source for acceptable supplies or services, or has proposed a technically superior offer.
  • Subawardee has unique prior experience or expertise in the project area.
  • Subawardee has unique capabilities, facilities, or personnel.
  • Subawardee is required or preferred by the project's original sponsor.
  • Subawardee's equipment and services are compatible with the University of Iowa's existing equipment and services.

Prior Approval - Before a subaward is created as part of a grant or contract, the University of Iowa must have permission from the sponsor to issue a subaward. Principal Investigators may obtain prior approval in two ways:

  • Request approval for a subaward as part of a grant or contract's initial proposal. Guidance for including outgoing subawards in UI proposals can be found here. The subaward must be incorporated into the proposal and into the proposal budget. To request prior approval as part of the proposal, Subawardees should already have been chosen. Please share this checklist with potential subrecipients.
  • Request approval from the sponsor to issue a subaward as part of an existing grant or contract. The request should include all details of the subaward including the proposed Subawardee, scope of work, cost, and a justification for the subaward. Requests must be forwarded through DSP, either in hard copy or electronically. Check with DSP to verify the exact format required by the sponsor. DSP will sign a request letter on behalf of the Vice President for Research, if necessary, and forward the request to the sponsor.

Requesting a Subaward through DSP - In order to create and process a subaward, DSP must receive the following:

  1. PReq. The category code on the PReq should be 99990000. You must complete the Sole Source Justification if the subaward exceeds $25,000. Completion of the PReq assumes that the Principal Investigator has verified that the proposed subaward costs are reasonable for the nature of the work to be performed and the scope of work and budget are in compliance with UI and sponsor policies, including the terms of the prime award.
  2. Statement of Work. The subaward statement of work must be labeled with the Req ID number and attached to the PReq.
  3. Subaward Budget. The subaward budget must be labeled with the Req ID number and attached to the PReq. If the subawardee is required to provide cost share or matching funds, a cost share budget should also be provided.
  4. Audit Certification and Financial Status Questionnaire. Audit Certification and Financial Status Questionnaire must be attached to the Preq, if applicable. The questionnaire is required for all new subawards issued to individuals or entities that are not US accredited institutions of higher education.
  1. Audit Certification and Financial Status Questionnaire
  2. Instructions to Complete Audit Certification and Financial Status Questionnaire
  3. Audit Certification and Financial Status Questionnaire FAQ