Subrecipient Monitoring

Federal funding agencies require that institutions working on subawards under Harvard prime awards follow all of the rules and regulations that would apply if the award had been issued to them directly. Further, the responsibility for monitoring compliance with those regulations devolves to Harvard as holder of the prime award. The Harvard subrecipient monitoring policy provides guidelines for this process. OSP has developed a Policy and Subrecipient Monitoring Tool-kit.

The policy mandates two kinds of monitoring: (1) making sure that the subrecipient institution complies with the auditing requirements of OMB  Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200) (“Uniform Guidance”), specifically §200.331, and (2) making sure that the subrecipient unit at that institution is managing the subaward correctly. It is the PI’s responsibility to carry out the second part of the policy, principally by:

  • Routinely gathering and reviewing Technical Performance Reports
  • Routinely reviewing invoices and expenses relative to budget
  • Conducting periodic on-site visits, when necessary
  • Initiating audits, when necessary

The FAS/SEAS Subrecipient Monitoring Committee is dedicated to helping the FAS and SEAS research community comply with federal regulations and university policies that govern subrecipient monitoring.

The Committee supports departments, centers and areas with the following activities:

  • Providing input on subrecipient monitoring plans upon request;
  • Developing tools and guidance documents to facilitate risk assessment and ongoing  monitoring;
  • Related education and outreach;
  • Collaborative problem-solving;
  • Escalation of concerns relating to subrecipients to the University-wide Subrecipient  Monitoring Committee;

Questions can be submitted via email to

Complete the Subrecipient Designee Form to request delegation of authority for subrecipient invoice approval.

See the full University policy ›