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I'm applying for a US federal grant and their budget requirements require the following format of itemized costs. Note: I'm unsure if this question belongs on this Stack Overflow. If not, please redirect me to the correct SO.

I'm confused on a few terms: labor vs consultant vs subcontractor.

To help with my project, of which I am the Principal Investigator on, I've hired:

  • 1 software engineering agency which has dedicated three of its people to the project
  • 1 PhD professor from a college institution to lead research
  • 2 teachers to help with curriculum design
  • 2 college graduate students to help with test result data collation

I'm confused on how to categorize these team members. None of them are full time employees, so there would be zero fringe benefits, but would they all be considered Labor, Consultant, or Subcontractors? Or a mix of each?

It would seem to me that anyone not employed full time with me is a subcontractor, and the college PhD assisting with research would be a consultant.

Please assist me with these definitions. Here is the template the federal grant has provided in their RFP:

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Labor is equal to those who are employees of the prime contractor. Subcontractor are labor who are employees of another firm and contracted to perform work specified in the prime contract. Consultants are those who are hired to provide guidance, counsel, expert opinion and not tied directly to the work specified under the prime contract, i.e., the deliverables the consultants will deliver are not specified in the prime contract but rather the contract between the prime and the consultant.

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  • So with these definitions, looking at my labor pool: 1) "one software engineering agency which has dedicated three of its people to the project" — The three individuals working under this agency would be listed as "Sub contractors", right? 2) "one PhD professor from a college institution to lead research" — this person, although an expert, is performing work directly specified in prime contract, so they'd be "Labor." 3) two teachers: would be "labor" since they're doing work for prime contract. 4) two college grads: would be "labor" as well. – Growler Jan 4 at 18:02
  • The university is getting the grant and the professor and teachers are employees? If so, then I would consider them as labor. The two students I am not sure. They are not employees and I assume are not paid. I am not sure how to classify them. – David Espina Jan 4 at 18:12
  • When you say "employees" you mean I've hired them full time on payroll with benefits et al. Right? So if those two teachers are part time hourly help, I cannot call them labor, Right? Can I call them consultants? I have a 33% limit for total subcontractor budget allocation which is being used up by the software agency. – Growler Jan 5 at 15:46
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    I cannot in good conscience give you that advice as I am not an expert on this matter nor have you hired me. The questions you need answering will require a SME and I would suggest finding one and hiring them for this. You need better answers than what I can provide here. – David Espina Jan 5 at 15:58
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    You got it! Thanks for your answers so far! – Growler Jan 5 at 15:59

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