Sponsored Projects

Subrecipient Commitment Form Preparation Guidance

Beginning August 2016, UC Berkeley is participating in the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Expanded Clearinghouse Pilot. This pilot is testing the use of on-line entity profiles to decrease the amount of duplicate information collected from potential subrecipient institutions. Participating pilot institutions will not fill out the Subrecipient Commitment Form, but will complete the FDP Pilot Subrecipient Project Information sheet.

If your institution is not participating in the FDP pilot, use the Subrecipient Commitment Form and the instructions below.

Why am I being asked to complete this form?

The Subrecipient Commitment Form is designed to collect information about each Subrecipient named in a Berkeley proposal at the proposal stage. The information provided on the Subrecipient Commitment Form helps UC Berkeley’s Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) verify the eligibility of the Subrecipient and that the information about the Subrecipient contained in the Berkeley proposal has been approved by the Subrecipient’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR).

If the proposal is funded, the information on the Subrecipient Commitment Form helps SPO conduct a risk assessment of the Subrecipient prior to entering into a Subagreement. The information on the Subrecipient Commitment Form is considered valid if signed by the Subrecipient’s AOR within 12 months of the date of the AOR’s signature.

Note: The final determination on the type of relationship involved (Subrecipient vs. Contractor) and the acceptability and of any proposed Subrecipient will be made after (a) the award has been received by Berkeley, (b) the UC Berkeley Principal Investigator (PI) has requested that a Subagreement be established, (c) SPO has determined that the scope of work is appropriate for a Subrecipient, and (d) a risk assessment of the proposed Subrecipient has been conducted by SPO. Subawards will not be issued to Subrecipients that pose an unacceptable risk to the University.

Before Completing the Subrecipient Commitment Form

Before completing this form, verify that your organization is a Subrecipient not a Contractor. A Subrecipient’s Scope of Work should:

  • Be unique to this project (not similar to goods and services provided to other customers) and represent a substantial intellectual contribution to the achievement of one or more of the objectives of the project.
    • For example, providing a standard part needed to fabricate a piece of equipment is evidence of a contractor relationship, whereas, working collaboratively with the UC Berkeley PI to design-test-develop the piece of equipment is indicative of a Subrecipient relationship.
    • For example, analyzing data provided by UC Berkeley is evidence of a Contractor relationship, whereas, helping to design the research protocol, collecting the data, interpreting the results (in addition to analyzing the data) would appear to be a Subrecipient relationship.
  • Be managed by an identified individual who will be significantly involved in making programmatic decisions and assisting the Berkeley PI achieving the project’s goals and objectives. Note: UC Berkeley must pre-approve any change in PI made by the Subrecipient.

Organizations that meet the criteria of a Subrecipient will be expected to:

  • Conform to all of the compliance requirements from the prime award that are pertinent to the Subrecipient, e.g., effort reporting on federal awards.
  • Provide a complete copy of the Subrecipient’s most recent audit report, or the URL link to a complete copy, before a Subagreement can be established.


Directions for Completing the Form

The form must be completed by someone who (a) is knowledgeable about your organization’s business processes and (b) possesses information on the scope of work to be carried out by your organization’s Principal Investigator/Project Director. The form must be approved and signed by your organization’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). This is the individual with the authority to legally bind your organization in grants administration matters. It should not be the head of a subunit within your organization, unless this individual has the written delegated authority to serve as the AOR.

Please remember to attach all materials identified with a .

Section A: UC Berkeley Proposal Information. This section must be completed by the UC Berkeley PI/Department before submission to SPO.

Section B: Subrecipient Eligibility. The questions in this section are designed to identify organizations that cannot be included in the University’s proposal as a Subrecipient or are likely to pose additional risk to the University should a subgreement be established with the organization at a later date.

Question #1: If you answered, “Yes,” to this question do not complete the remainder of the form and notify the UC Berkeley PI as soon as possible that a Subagreement will not be possible at this time.

Questions #2-#4: People and organizations may be debarred from receiving U.S. federal financial and non-financial assistance. Debarment or suspension of a participant in a program by one agency has a U.S. government-wide effect. Please attach an explanation for any “Yes” answer.

While a “Yes” answer to questions #2--#4 will not automatically exclude your organization from participating in this proposed project, it will require that SPO conduct a detailed risk assessment before making a decision to enter into a Subagreement with your organization.

Remember to attach an explanation for any “Yes” answer.

Section C. Subrecipient Information

This section provides background information on your organization that will be used to prepare the Subagreement. It must be completed by an authorized individual who is knowledgeable about your organization as a business entity.

Subrecipient’s Legal Name: This is the name your organization uses for all official purposes. It must not be a nickname. For example, the legal name is “General Motors, Incorporated” not “GM.”

Your organization’s legal name is the name of the “legal entity” authorized to enter into contracts on behalf of your organization—not a sub-unit of your organization. For example, the legal name for the University of California, Berkeley is, “The Regents of the University of California” not UC Berkeley. This is because UC Berkeley is only one of the ten campuses within the UC system.

Organizational Type: Choose one category that best describes your organization.

Subrecipient’s Principal Investigator/Project Director: Identify a specific individual to serve as the Principal Investigator/Project Director of the Subagreement. This individual is expected to be involved in programmatic decisions impacting the overall project. If this individual must change during the Subagreement period, UC Berkeley will need to approve this change.

Amount of Funding Requested: What is the total estimated cost of the goods/services you will provide? This includes both direct and indirect costs.

Amount of Cost Sharing Commitment: This pertains to any quantifiable cash or in-kind contribution to the UC Berkeley project being made by your organization. This contribution must occur within the subaward period and be verifiable. Do not include cost sharing in your organization’s scope of work, budget, budget justification, or anywhere else unless it is specifically requested by the UC Berkeley PI.

If Cost Sharing is not anticipated respond “NA.”

Organization Address: Please include your organization’s legal business address along with the ZIP code plus four digits or other postal code if not in the U.S.

DUNS Number: The DUNS number is a nine-digit number, issued by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B), assigned to each business location in the D&B database, having a unique, separate, and distinct operation for the purpose of identifying them. If your organization does not yet have a DUNS number, or no one knows it, visit the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) website.

Organization Address/Performance Site Address: If the sponsored activity will take place at another location, please provide this address under Performance Site address.

Congressional District (If in the U.S.): Please include the U.S. congressional district of your organization as well as the performance site (where the scope of work will be carried out) if it will be different from that of your organization. To find a specific congressional district, go to the U.S. House of Representatives website.

Domestic organizations must provide the following:

  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN): An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. If your organization does not have an EIN, or no one knows it, visit the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

  • SAM: The System for Award Management (SAM) is a federal government owned and operated free web site that consolidates the capabilities of the CCR/FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS. SAM collects data from suppliers, validates and stores this data, and disseminates it to various U.S. government acquisition agencies. All Subrecipients that are registered in the SAM database, should answer “Yes” and provide their SAM expiration date. For more information, see the SAM website.

  • CAGE Code: The Commercial and Government Entity Code, or CAGE Code, is a unique identifier assigned to suppliers to various U.S. government or defense agencies, as well as to U.S. government agencies themselves and also various organizations. CAGE codes provide a standardized method of identifying a given facility at a specific location. To start New Cage Code Registration." You must first have or obtain a Data Universal Number (DUNS). Once you have obtained a DUNS Number (see above), you are eligible for a Cage Code through the System for Award Management (SAM). See above.

International organizations must provide the following (if applicable):

  • NAICS: The North American Industry Classification System or NAICS is used by business and the U.S. government to classify business establishments according to type of economic activity (process of production) in Canada, Mexico and the United States. For more information, see the NAICS website.

  • NCAGE Code: CAGE Codes are used internationally as part of the NATO Codification System (NCS), where they are sometimes called NCAGE Codes. For more information, see the Guide to the NATO Codification System.

Section D: Certifications

1. Facility and Administration (F&A) Rate: This is the percentage of the project’s direct costs that an organization may charge the sponsor for the “indirect” costs associated with housing and managing a sponsored project. Such costs include utilities costs and administrative time and effort to support the project. These costs also are sometimes referred to as “overhead.”

  • A “federally negotiated F&A rate:”This means that an agency of the U.S. federal government has reviewed your organization’s indirect cost proposal and has agreed in writing that your organization may charge the U.S. federal government a certain percentage of direct project costs for F&A (indirect) costs.

    If your organization has an F&A rate approved by a U.S. federal agency, please attach a copy of your F&A agreement to the Subrecipient Commitment form or provide a webpage link to this information.

  • 10% De Minimis Rate: If this proposal is being submitted to a federal agency and your organization does not have (and has never had) a federally negotiated F&A rate, your organization may request the De Minimis rate of 10% Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC). If you choose this option your organization must use the De Minimis rate consistently for all Federal awards until such time your organization chooses to negotiate for a rate with the federal government. Note: UC Berkeley will not negotiate an F&A rate with Subrecipients.

  • Other Rates:

    If your organization does not have a U.S. federally negotiated F&A rate and plans to charge other than the De Minimis rate described above, please attach an explanation as to how this rate was derived.

    Please note: International organizations typically do not receive reimbursement for F&A costs from the U.S. federal government unless the foreign organization has negotiated an F&A rate agreement with a U.S. federal agency. A U.S. federal sponsor also may have a policy of paying a specific F&A rate to foreign and international organizations.

  • Not applicable: Check this box only if your organization is not requesting F&A costs

2. Fringe Benefit Rates: Fringe benefit rates include the percentage of salary and/or the amount your organization pays for employee retirement, health insurance, Medicare, and Social Security, etc. It represents the employer’s contribution to these costs—not the employee’s contribution.

  • Federally Negotiated Composite Rates: Some organizations negotiate composite fringe benefit rate/s with the U.S. federal government just as they do their F&A rate/s.

    Attach a copy of your organization’s composite employee rate projections, your federally negotiated rate agreement, or provide a link to this information.

  • Other Rates: Other organizations use actual rates for each employee. Still others use composite rates for different classes of employees.

    Attach a description of how the rates were calculated.

    For this section, indicate how the fringe benefit rates were calculated.

    Attach a copy of the fringe benefit information to the form or provide a link to this information on your organization’s website.

3. Research Subject Compliance Information:

  • Embryonic Stem Cells: Please check “Yes” if your organization’s scope of work involves any human embryonic or adult stem cell research. For more information, see UC Berkeley’s Human Stem Cell Research Policy.

  • Human Subjects: If your organization will be carrying out human subjects’ research under the Subagreement with UC Berkeley mark, “Yes,” on the form. Please provide your organization’s Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) approved Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) number (see below).
    • Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) #: Any organization that is engaged in human subjects’ research conducted or supported by any agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must have an assurance of compliance with the HHS regulations for the protection of human subjects. This assurance is called a Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) and is approved by the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). For more information, see Federawide Assurance (FWA) for the Protection of Human Subjects.

  • Animal Subjects: If your organization will be carrying out animal research under the Subagreement with UC Berkeley mark, “Yes,” on the form.

    Note: The Berkeley IACUC must review and approve your organization’s animal research protocol before a Subagreement will be issued.

4. RCR (for NSF-funded projects only):The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires all domestic and international Subrecipients to have a plan for meeting Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirements. This plan must describe how education and training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) will be provided to all students (undergraduate and graduate) and postdoctoral scholars supported by NSF funds. RCR training is required under the America COMPETES (America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act. While training plans are not required to be included in the Subrecipient’s portion of the proposal submitted to NSF, Subrecipients are advised that all such plans are subject to review by UC Berkeley and NSF upon request.

5. Conflict of Interest: Please respond to the requirements for NSF and PHS (and other sponsors that have adopted the PHS or NSF financial disclosure requirements). By the time a subaward is issued, subrecipients are expected to have a sponsor-compliant policy in place. (Note: Subawards will not be issued to subrecipients without a sponsor-compliant policy.)

Model PHS-FCOI policies are available on the Federal Demonstration Partnership Conflict of Interest Committee website. The model policy is intended to assist subrecipients in creating their own Financial Conflict of Interest policy. This model policy has been developed by members of the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) who are familiar with PHS Financial Conflict of Interest requirements; however, subrecipients are independently responsible for conducting their own review to ensure that this model or an adapted version is compliant with PHS policy.

Tools are available on the NIH web site to assist institutions with this process, including a Checklist for Policy Development, and an FCOI tutorial.

Although it is not required, for PHS awards, subrecipients are encouraged to register with the FDP FCOI Clearinghouse. It is a self-certification process.  Neither the FDP, nor PHS, nor the University of California, Berkeley takes responsibility for reviewing another institution’s FCOI policy to determine if it complies with PHS FCOI Regulations.

6. Lobbying (federal funding only): Federal sponsors require grantees to include the lobbying certification in agreements, contracts, and subcontracts exceeding $100,000. Signed certifications regarding lobbying must be obtained by the UC Berkeley from Subrecipients and contractors. The lobbying certification informs the sponsor if UC Berkeley or any of its Subrecipients have paid a lobbying entity to influence an officer or employee of a U.S. federal agency, a member of the U.S. Congress, or an officer or employee of the U.S. Congress, or an employee of a member of the U.S. Congress relative to the award of this grant/contract.

7. Audit Status/Fiscal Responsibility: Any non-profit entity that has expended at least $750,000 in U.S. federal funds within your organization’s previous fiscal year is subject to the Uniform Guidance (200.514) audit requirements (formerly the Circular A-133 single audit requirement) with the exception of foreign organizations. For-profit organizations and U.S. federal government agencies also are not subject to these audit requirements. See the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) for more information on the Uniform Guidance.

8. Working Capital Advance Required: At the proposal stage, the Authorized Official Representative (AOR) of the Subrecipient may indicate on the Subrecipient Commitment Form that a working capital advance will be needed by the Subrecipient if the proposal is funded.

A working capital advance is only provided to entities without sufficient financial resources to initiate project start-up activities. Start-up funding will be limited to the Subrecipient’s anticipated project costs during the first 90 days of the subaward period.

Section E: Authorized Representative Approval. Only an Authorized Official Representative (AOR) who has the authority to commit your organization as a legal entity should sign this form. The official’s signature certifies all of the statements/information listed on the Subrecipient Commitment Form and information and commitments provided in your organization’s proposal are true and correct.

Required Attachments: Include all appropriate supporting documentation required to be submitted with this form is noted with a .

  1. Explanation if PI (and/or other project personnel) are currently debarred, suspended or excluded from participation in federal assistance programs (if applicable)
  2. Explanation if organization is currently indicted or otherwise criminally/civilly charged by a government entity.
  3. Federally negotiated F&A Agreement (if link has not been provided).
  4. Copy of employee composite benefit rates (if link not provided or if not part of organization’s F&A agreement)
  5. Explanation of lobbying activities (if applicable)
  6. NSF Financial Disclosure Form (if applicable)
  7. Explanation of §200.514 (formerly A-133) audit findings or exceptions (if applicable)