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A comprehensive Statement of Work (SOW) should identify:

  • Who - the subrecipient institution, the PI and project staffing
  • What - project and subaward objectives and description of research to be conducted
  • When - the period of performance and timing/frequency of meetings and reports
  • Where - location(s) where the research will be conducted
  • How - deliverables and milestones defined with a high level of specificity and detail


A comprehensive SOW performs the following functions:

  • Allows OSP to perform the required subrecipient risk assessment and determine contract terms
  • Clarifies the determination of the subrecipient versus contractor relationship
  • Supports more effective monitoring
  • Allows UAB to identify and correct performance deficiencies
  • Not the same as the grant proposal abstract.


A comprehensive SOW should include the following or similar headings:

  • Project Background and Need for Subaward
    1. Describe the project (overall funded proposal) in general, non-technical terms
    2. Describe the subaward (the portion of the project to be performed by the subrecipient) in general, non-technical terms including
      1. nature of the intellectual leadership the subrecipient is expected to provide
      2. why the subrecipient was selected to perform the work
  • Subrecipient’s Scope of Work
    1. State the purpose of the subaward, within the context of the overall project, in more specific terms
    2. Describe in detail the work to be performed by the subrecipient, the results UAB expects, and how the subaward benefits the project
  • Reporting Schedule
    1. Describe reporting requirements in detail including content, format, due date and frequency, as applicable
  • Deliverables (tangibles)
    1. Describe what tangible items UAB expects from the subrecipient, i.e., results, data, physical equipment, etc. and estimates of the amount of effort allocated for each for each task or phase
  • Payment Schedule
    1. Describe when invoices should be submitted and how the charges should be supported