Carnegie Mellon University

Subcontracts Team Overview

The Subcontracts Team assists faculty, researchers and staff in the preparation of outgoing subcontracts and professional services agreements issued under outside sponsored agreements. The Subcontracts Team issues subcontracts in compliance with CMU Policies and Procedures, the terms and conditions of the prime award and any applicable sponsor regulations.

A subcontract is a legally binding agreement that OSP generates to formalize a relationship with another institution or 3rd party organization that will be responsible for performing a substantive portion of the programmatic effort. Carnegie Mellon is only able to issue subcontracts and professional services agreements for active awards.  Outgoing agreements are not issued under early center awards because Carnegie Mellon is unable to invoice the sponsor to recover project costs incurred until the award has been received and activated by Sponsored Projects Accounting.  In addition, some award terms and conditions may contain mandatory flow-down requirements, which might not be readily available until the prime award has been received and reviewed by OSP.

Not all third party work is considered a subcontract. If a third party is contributing ancillary services and are not involved in any programmatic decision making, they are considered a contractor. In this instance, OSP will issue professional services (consulting) agreement. Professional services agreements are typically considered work made for hire.

Subcontract Programmatic involvement
A director considered to be the PI at the participating institution
Has responsibility regarding programmatic decision making
Has the responsibility to adhere to program compliance requirements
Has the right to publish or co-author
Has the option to develop patentable technology  and to share intellectual property created in the project
Contractor Is an expert advisor
Is an individual using their own equipment or materials
Is a work for hire (intellectual property developed will belong to Carnegie Mellon)
Is paid for their time either on an hourly or fixed basis (including expenses)

Is not involved in the programmatic work

Click the links below for the appropriate information:

If you need assistance with an outgoing subcontract, please email This email is monitored daily.