The Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR Part 200.330 sets forth the criteria to determine whether a collaborator is a subrecipient or a vendor/contractor.
Sponsored project awards made to JHU are generally conducted within the physical boundaries of JHU by University faculty and staff. Occasionally, however, a significant portion of the required work may need to be provided outside the University by a third party. The third party is made responsible for a discrete portion of the project award, providing the leadership and direction of a responsible investigator and the resources necessary to conduct that portion of the work. Costs associated with this work may include personnel costs, supplies, equipment, travel, and overhead. Such an arrangement is carried out through the issuance of a subaward.
Comparatively, a contractor is an entity which performs the service it is offering to JHU to other customers in a commercial market. A contractor generally will not own anything it creates nor will it seek to publish.
Subawards are handled through JHURA; contractor agreements are handled through Purchasing.
If you have any uncertainty on the classification of the collaborator, please be in touch with Subawards team member.