A subrecipient is a non-Stanford entity that expends awards received from Stanford to carry out a portion of Stanford's programmatic effort under a sponsored project. There must be an arms-length relationship between Stanford and its subrecipients. In keeping with this requirement, the subrecipient may not involve an individual who is also a direct beneficiary of such a program at Stanford, the sponsor, or a higher-tier subrecipient. The subrecipient may be another educational institution, an independent laboratory, a foundation, a for-profit corporation, a non-profit corporation or other organization, and may be a domestic or foreign entity. Generally, Stanford does not issue subawards to individuals.

For both federal and non-federal sponsored projects, Stanford adheres to the federal government’s definition of a subrecipient as defined in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance), Section 200.93.