Issuing the Subaward Agreement

Subawards are issued only after a fully executed award is received by OSP from the prime sponsor. After receipt of a fully executed award from the prime sponsor, the award is distributed to the PI and the unit by OSP. 

The PI and unit are responsible for initiating the request to issue a subaward to OSP via RASS. See step-by step directions.

PIs/Units should initiate this request as soon as possible after they receive a fully executed prime award distribution notification. The information requested via RASS is necessary for the OSP Subward Team to draft the subaward and ensure that the proper steps and determinations have been made prior to the issuance of the subaward.

  • If the subrecipient was not proposed in Cornell's original proposal, prime sponsor approval may be necessary prior to issuance of the subaward.
  • Prior approval may also be necessary even if the subrecipient was proposed in the original proposal.
  • In some very rare instances, prime sponsors request to review and approve the proposed subaward prior to Cornell's release of the subaward to the subrecipient.

Advance Payments to Subrecipients

Requests for advance payments to subrecipients will be considered only in very unusual circumstances and on a case-by-case basis. Advance payment terms are written into the subagreement and the advance payment, if approved by OSP and Sponsored Financial Services (SFS), is issued after a fully executed subaward agreement is in place.

Advance payments are generally not allowed because:

  1. Sponsor guidelines typically state that subrecipients are reimbursed for expenses incurred for performing the work.
  2. Cornell does not usually receive advance funding from its sponsors, therefore as a matter of practice, Cornell does not advance funds to a subrecipient.
  3. Prepaying an award reduces the university’s leverage for ensuring that the scope of work is delivered, therefore it is considered poor fiscal management to advance funds to a subrecipient.