Changes to the Issuance of Contracted Services Agreements



Effective July 1, 2017, Contracted Services Agreements (CSAs), previously issued from the Office of Research, will be issued as Services Agreements from Purchasing Services through the PantherExpress System.  The Office of Research will continue to issue subawards from externally sponsored projects.  This change will allow better conformance with the Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards and allow for more consistency in how outgoing vendor agreements are processed across the University.

When determining whether a Services Agreement or a Subaward should be issued, consideration should be given to the nature of the relationship between the University and the party receiving the funds.  Common characteristics described below may not be present in all circumstances and good judgment should be used in determining the appropriate relationship.


Characteristics of Subrecipients Vs. Contractors

(subawards issued by Office of Research)

Contractor (Vendor)*
(vendor agreements issued by Purchasing Services)

Performs substantive, programmatic work in an intellectually significant way Performs specific services ancillary to the operation of the sponsored project
Has an identified Principal Investigator (PI) who serves as the Pitt co-investigator on an externally-funded award Does not have much or any independent decision making for design and implementation of sponsored project
Responsible for adherence to terms and conditions flowed down from Pitt’s external sponsor Responsible for deliverables, that if not satisfactorily completed, may result in withholding of payment or requirement to redo the work
Performs work that may result in intellectual property development or publishable results, including co-authorship Has no expectation of retaining intellectual property or authoring/co-authoring publications
*Includes individuals working as independent consultants