Note: This blog post was originally published in 2017 and updated on March 18, 2020.
To understand the definitions of “subaward” and “subrecipient”, it helps to think in terms of a grant that has just been won. (If you are not sure what an “award” is, start with the What Is an Award? post, then come back.)
Rather than the grantor (i.e., the grant-making agency) entrusting just one entity with carrying out a federal program, sometimes multiple awardees will shoulder the responsibilities.
In such cases, one entity – the one who submitted the grant application – will serve as a pass-through to the partnering entities, which are called subrecipients.