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Subawards, Hybrid Agreements and Purchase Orders

Letter of Commitment Form for Subrecipients/Subrecipient Forms

Are you working with a Subrecipient or a Contractor? At U-M, knowing the difference impacts indirect costs and as well as whether your project is handled by the Office of Contract Administration or Procurement.  This page helps you determine if you need a  Subaward, a Hybrid Agreement, or a Purchase Orders page.

The Office of Contract Administration in Finance - Sponsored Programs handles Subawards, including Hybrid Agreements.  

Subaward, Subrecipients, Hybrid Purchase Order, or Purchase Order?

Before you work with a subrecipient, be sure that the services and agreement match those of a subrecipient. For questions regarding whether the collaboration involves a subrecipient, contractor, or hybrid agreement, please contact the Office of Contract Administration (OCA) at


To avoid budget shortfalls and non-compliance with sponsor requirements.


Characteristics of a Subrecipient

  • Collaborator/Key Personnel
  • Co-principal investigator at the subrecipient institution;
  • Share or be responsible for programmatic decision making;
  • Co-authors or writes the study protocol;
  • Independently responsible for ensuring a portion of the SOW is completed;
  • May determine who is eligible to participate in the federal program;
  • Has performance measured against objectives of a Federal program.

Instrument used: Subaward

Characteristics of a Contractor

(formerly called Vendor prior to the Uniform Guidance and called a Supplier in M-Pathways) 

  • U-M works with Contractors* in a Vendor/Supplier relationship;
  • “Work for Hire”
  • Intellectual property belongs to purchaser
  • Warranties on deliverables;
  • Offers products or services commercially to all;
  • Provides goods and services within normal business operations;
  • Operate in a competitive environment;

Instrument used: PO or Hybrid PO

Characteristics of a Hybrid 

  • Does not offer services commercially;
  • Provides services necessary to conducting the study; however, they could be done by others: the services are substitutable.
  • Investigator provides support to the study, but in role as adviser;
  • The Federal government considers these relationships procurement transactions.

Instrument used: Hybrid PO

Subawards, Hybrid POs, and Purchase Orders chart

Video Summary

Procedure to Obtain a Subaward or Hybrid Agreements

The procedure to obtain a subaward/subcontract or a hybrid PO from Office of Contract Administration begins in eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM). For full system instructions:

  Enter a Subcontract Procedure in eRPM

Note: If an existing PAF (in a non-Active state) that includes a subcontract requires editing you will also need to follow the Subcontract process outlined above to complete the Subcontract worksheet and re-route the PAF for unit or ORSP approval

To add a NEW subcontract to an awarded project, start the process from the Subcontracts tab in eRPM.

To change an active subcontract (e.g., extend funding, update investigators, initiate an early close):

  Request a Subcontract Amendment procedure

References and Resources

Subrecipient Forms

Rates & Frequently Used Institutional Information


Office of Contract Administration

The University of Michigan
5000 Wolverine Tower
3003 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1273

Fax: (734) 647-1932

Manager: Peter J. Gerard (734) 763-3194 or