The University of Iowa

Initiating a Subaward

Choosing a Subrecipient

The University of Iowa uses a competitive bidding system for selecting subrecipients. 


To begin the competitive bidding process, the PI should contact Purchasing to prepare a Request for Quotations (RFQ) and a list of qualified Subrecipients. Special attention will be given to providing subawarding opportunities to small businesses owned by minorities and women. The RFQ should contain a statement of work and/or a description of each item of material required, plus standard University of Iowa terms and conditions.  Purchasing will forward the completed RFQs to qualified Subrecipients. 


Interested Subrecipients should return their bids to Purchasing, which works with the PI to select the best Subrecipient. Selection should be based on the Subrecipient's willingness and ability to meet project specifications, the proposed price, the Subrecipient's ability to meet the delivery and performance schedule, as well as any additional criteria included in the RFQ. 


Although the competitive bidding process is mandatory, there are circumstances in which Subrecipients other than the lowest bidder may be selected. These circumstances include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Subrecipient is the only known source for acceptable supplies or services, or has proposed a technically superior offer.
  • Subrecipient has unique prior experience or expertise in the project area.
  • Subrecipient has unique capabilities, facilities, or personnel. 
  • Subrecipient is required or preferred by the project's original sponsor.
  • Subrecipient's equipment and services are compatible with the University of Iowa's existing equipment and services.

For Additional Information:

Cost/Price Reasonableness

Submission of a proposal and/or requesting an outgoing subaward assumes that the Principal Investigator has verified that the proposed subaward costs are reasonable for the nature of the work to be performed and the scope of work and budget are in compliance wit UI and sponsor policies, including the terms of the prime award.  For additional information: