Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (SPAR)

Independent Contractor Agreements General Information and Processing Procedure $5,000 and Over

An Independent Contractor may not begin work nor may any payments be issued until an ICA between the contractor and the Research Foundation has been fully executed. Please refer to RF Policy 518-C for general guidelines regarding the classification of Independent Contractors.

You may also refer to the links below for further guidance:

Final decisions regarding employee vs. independent contractor status will be determined by the Legal Department.

Complete a Request for Authorization form (RF 803) to retain the Services of an Independent Contractor. The "Employer Identification Number" is a business or corporation's tax ID number, or in the case of a Sole Proprietorship, the individual's Social Security Number.

Attach the following documents to your request:

  • Scope of Work
  • Contractor's List of Clients and/or a public notice of their offerings (advertisement, etc.)
  • Contractor's Resume
  • Reporting schedule, if applicable
  • CUNY approval (required if contractor is a CUNY employee)
  • College Approval (required for the following CUNY Campuses - Requests should be first submitted to the College Grants Development, Sponsored Programs Office)
    • Borough of Manhattan Community College
    • Bronx Community College
    • Brooklyn College
    • College of Staten Island
    • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
    • Kingsborough Community College
    • LaGuardia Community College
    • Lehman College
    • Medgar Evers College
    • Queens College
    • Queensborough Community College
  • A sole source justification and statement of need in support of hiring an independent contractor
  • If the Contractor is a non-resident alien performing services in the US, include a copy of his/her J1 visa and IRS Form 8233. In addition, the following forms and documents are required in order to pay a non-resident alien. A social security number or ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number), Copy of I-94, Copy of IAP-66 or similar, IRS Form W-8BEN (original must be submitted to the Research Foundation), IRS Form 8233 (original must be submitted to the Research Foundation), Form RF702. All Forms can be downloaded from our website at RF Forms Downloading Page For additional information see Payments Other Than Payroll to Nonresident Aliens

Forward the Request for Authorization form to the RF's Office of Legal Affairs for processing. You may fax your request (with attachments) to Legal Affairs at (212) 417-8351 to expedite processing; however an ICA will not be sent to the Contractor until the original documents have been received.

When your request is approved, an ICA is generated and sent directly to the contractor to be executed. You will receive a copy of the request form indicating the ICA number once approval has been granted. Independent Contractors should submit their invoices to the PI.

To authorize payment to a Contractor, submit the original invoice, signed by the Contractor, and a signed Payment Request Form to OTPS. Indicate the ICA number in the appropriate place on the Payment Request.

Form W-9 (PDF) Taxpayer Identification Number Request must be completed and returned to: RFCUNY OTPS Department or faxed to (212) 417-8489.

Keep in mind:

  • Grants or contracts are made to institutions under the assumption that there exists the technical expertise to carry out the project without extensive outside assistance. It is the principal investigator's responsibility to be aware of grant and contract provisions for consultants and to get any required approvals
  • Unless the budget is flexible, a specific budget category with sufficient funds must exist before engaging any consultant or other independent contractor. Approval of the individual (or firm) by the funding agency may be required by the terms of the award or agency regulations even when the award budget includes such services.
  • Sponsors may have restrictions on the daily rate of pay to an Independent Contractor. Verify with your Project Administrator.
  • Inquiries related to processing an ICA should be directed to Legal Affairs at (212) 417-8361.
  • Inquiries related to payment of an independent contractor should be directed to your OTPS Team.
  • As with all payments from RF funds, payments to Independent Contractors must have fiscal approval before a check may be issued.
  • Missing documentation will result in a delay in processing.

Disclaimer: All information provided on this web site and the attached pages is intended for educational use only and should not be regarded or taken as legal advice that would be provided by an attorney to a client.

Last updated: 10/06/2011