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Award Management

Consultant Agreement Procedures

Agreements to secure the services of a consultant on a sponsored program are created when deemed necessary by the principal investigator (PI). Consultants are independent contractors and not employees of the university.

Agreement Procedure in Workday

The PI/Department Administrator initiates the process by sending the following documents to the consultant:

Step 1

Step 2

Create a scope of work. Requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • a detailed description of services to be performed
  • consultant responsibilities, tasks and expected results
  • performance, quality, and timeliness requirements (include required or acceptable levels of performance on each specific task measured in terms of accuracy and response time)
  • workload requirements (describe levels or size of contractual effort)
  • description of any anticipated expenses that will require the consultant to request reimbursement (e.g., travel or supplies)
  • minimum qualifications or skill level of the consultant (note: you may request that the consultant provide their resume or CV)
  • reporting requirements and/or other deliverables (describe any reports to be submitted by the consultant to show progress and the final report/deliverables)
  • description of deliverables
  • time period of performance (note: all work must be performed within the grant period)

Step 3

Once the documents in step one and two have been obtained/completed a requisition will need to be created in Workday as follows:

  • requisition type: non-catalog request
  • leave “Memo to Suppliers” field blank
  • enter the request on the “Services” line and complete all necessary fields.
  • in the “Description” field please input “Consultant Agreement for (Name of Consultant)”
  • use the spend category code “Professional Services - Management Consulting (SC10543)”
  • use commodity code “80101604 - Project administration or planning”
  • add dates of service (should be the same as what is listed on the consultant agreement)
  • additional Worktag “GT107”
  • upload the Consultant Agreement Form and Scope of Work

Step 4

Once the PO has been issued, an email will be sent to the consultant with a copy of the fully executed consultant agreement, a copy of the PO, and an invoice template. The person listed as the department contact on the consultant agreement will be copied on the email to the consultant with these documents.

When it comes time for the consultant to invoice for services, the consultant should complete the Consultant Invoice Template (Form AC230) and send it to Please note this is a submission inbox only and it is not monitored. To avoid any delay with invoice processing, the invoice should include an invoice number, invoice date and a valid purchase order number. Invoices should not be handwritten. For questions regarding invoices, contact Accounts Payable at 614-292.3861 option 1 or email

Amendment Procedure in Workday

Step 1

  • The PI/Department Administrator completes the Consultant Agreement Amendment (Form PR-070-A) and forwards it and the revised scope of work (if applicable) to the consultant. 
  • The consultant signs and returns the form to the PI/Department Administrator. 

Step 2

Once the documents in step one have been obtained/completed a change order requisition will need to be entered in Workday as follows:

  • requisition type: “Change Order Request” 
  • in the “Internal Memo” field, please provide the PO number you are requesting the change to and a brief explanation of what needs to be changed (extension, adding funds, etc.)
  • enter the request on the “services” line and complete all necessary fields
  • in the “Description” field put “Change order request for Name of Consultant”
  • use the spend category code “Professional Services - Management Consulting (SC10543)”
  • use commodity code “80101604 - Project administration or planning”
  • add dates of service (should be the same as what is listed on the consultant agreement amendment if applicable)
  • upload the Consultant Agreement Amendment Form and revised Scope of Work (if applicable)

Consultant vs. Ohio State Employee Determination

Prior to making the decision to utilize a consultant, PIs should use the following checklist to determine whether the individual would be considered an employee or a consultant/independent contractor. The more criteria met, the more likely the individual should be considered an Ohio State employee, even if temporary or part-time. Contact the sponsored program officer on the grant for additional guidance in determining if a consultant agreement is necessary and appropriate.

The principal investigator or The Ohio State University:           

  • provides instruction about when, where, and how to work
  • provides the workstation, tools, materials, supplies
  • can terminate, assign, or discharge the individual
  • can terminate the contract without risk of lawsuit for breach
  • pays the individual a salary rather than payment based on work completed
  • can be in a continuing relationship, however frequent or irregular
  • has the legal right to control both the method and results of work
  • provides training to the individual
  • hires other employees to assist the individual with the job
  • integrates the individual into the grant staff
  • sets the individual’s work schedule

The individual:

  • performs the work as part of the university’s customary line of business
  • assumes no financial risks
  • has no other clients for the same services
  • makes no attempt to acquire other clients
  • makes no profits or losses
  • has no investment in the business

Please be aware that the bullet points serve only as a guide. It is the sum of the circumstances rather than any one criterion that determines the proper relationship (employee or consultant). For further assistance, contact Ohio State's Office of Human Resources at 614-292-1050.

Consultant Certification

The consultant will need to certify the following statements on the consultant agreement regarding conflict of interest:

  • The individual is not a consultant of Ohio State, other than by terms of this agreement.
  • The consultant is not an employee or family member of an employee of The Ohio State University, or any agency of the State of Ohio.
  • No employee or family member of an employee of The Ohio State University will be a recipient of any compensation, payment, or other direct benefit under this agreement.
  • The consultant is not suspended, debarred, or ineligible to enter into contracts with any department or other agency of the federal government, nor in receipt of proposed debarment or suspension.

Consultants who are in the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS), Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) and wish to provide consulting services are subject to Ohio State's Human Resources Policy 4.25 summarized below:

  • STRS members cannot return as independent contractors at any time in an STRS qualified position. Additional information is available by contacting STRS.
  • OPERS retirees who retire from the university may not receive OPERS benefits and work as an independent contractor for any period of time for the university. This prohibition is applicable regardless of the number of hours or days actually worked. Additional information is available in the OPERS Benefit Recipient Handbook.
  • ARP participants need to check with their vendor to determine whether they are eligible to become a consultant.

If the consultant being considered is an STRS, OPERS or ARP retiree, contact the Grants Shared Services Center at prior to sending the consultant agreement to the consultant.

Consultants Engaging in Research Involving Human Subjects

If the scope of work that the consultant is performing will involve human subjects, approval from the Ohio State Institutional Review Board (IRB) is required before entering into a consultant agreement.

Consultant Responsibilities

Principal Investigator Responsibilities

  • coordinate the Ohio State guest account with the consultant and possibly serve as the sponsor
  • add the consultant to Buck-IRB using the Ohio State username (lastname.#) lookup tool on the External Collaborators application page
  • enter additional consultant email addresses as an alternate email on the External Collaborators page
  • contact the Office of Responsible Research Practices for assistance or questions concerning human subject research

Consultant Expenses and Reimbursements

Funds for travel and other non-consulting fee expenses included in the scope of work are not committed to the grant. These expenses are charged directly to the grant when reimbursement requests are processed. PIs are advised to monitor their grant budgets for these expenses. Travel reimbursements are charged to the travel category in grant budgets, while other consultant reimbursements are charged to appropriate budget categories.

Consultants may obtain reimbursement for travel expenses if stated in the consultant agreement’s scope of work. Consultants receiving reimbursements are treated as External Committee Members (ECM) and will need to be set up as such in Workday. A Spend Authorization is required for all business travel and must be approved prior to departure and before the purchase of any travel-related expense. To request reimbursement, the consultant submits original receipts to the PI for processing. The PI or department submits an Expense Report on behalf of the ECM.