Subgrant Agreements

Subgrant Agreements: Understanding the Basics

Subgrant agreements, also known as subawards, are contracts between a primary grantee and a subgrantee, where the primary grantee distributes some of its funding to the subgrantee to carry out specific aspects of the project or program. Subgrant agreements play a crucial part in the funding process for many organizations and institutions, especially in the world of research and academia.

Subgrant agreements help to distribute funds in an efficient manner while allowing for collaborations and partnerships between organizations. However, it is important to ensure that subgrant agreements are executed properly to protect the interests of all parties involved. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the basics of subgrant agreements and what you need to know about them.

Subgrantee Eligibility

Before entering into a subgrant agreement, it is essential to ensure that the subgrantee is eligible to receive the funding. Eligibility criteria may vary based on the funding agency, but typically, the subgrantee must meet certain qualifications such as expertise and experience in the project area, financial stability, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Scope of Work

The scope of work outlines the tasks and deliverables that the subgrantee will perform under the subgrant agreement. The scope of work should be clear and specific to avoid any misunderstandings or discrepancies between the parties involved. It is also essential to ensure that the scope of work aligns with the broader goals of the primary grant.


A well-crafted budget is integral to the success of a subgrant agreement. The budget should be detailed and comprehensive, outlining the costs associated with the subgrantee’s work under the agreement. It should include all direct and indirect costs, including salaries, travel expenses, equipment, and supplies. The budget should also align with the overall budget of the primary grant.

Reporting Requirements

Reporting requirements are a vital component of subgrant agreements. The primary grantee should establish the reporting requirements upfront, outlining the frequency and format of reports. These reports should include updates on the progress of the subgrantee’s work, financial reports, and any issues or challenges encountered. Establishing reporting requirements upfront will help to ensure that all parties involved are on the same page.

Termination and Dispute Resolution

It is essential to include provisions for termination and dispute resolution in subgrant agreements. Termination provisions should outline the circumstances under which the agreement can be terminated and the steps that should be taken to do so. Dispute resolution provisions should outline the steps that should be taken if a disagreement arises and the process for resolving the dispute.


Subgrant agreements are a valuable tool for organizations and institutions to collaborate and distribute funding efficiently. However, it is essential to ensure that subgrant agreements are executed properly and contain all necessary provisions to protect the interests of all parties involved. By understanding the basics of subgrant agreements, you can ensure that your organization or institution is equipped to navigate the funding process successfully.