Sponsored Research Contracts

Whereas large federal granting agencies, such as NIH and NSF, typically use the vehicle of a grant, other federal agencies, such as DOE and DOD, as well as corporate sponsors and state agencies commonly use contracts to support university research projects. While grants provide assistance with few restrictions, contracts are used to procure tangible goods or services. Whereas the notice of grant award is typically short and refers to general conditions, a contract usually involves detailed specifications, clauses and regulations, as well as expected results and deliverables. If contract terms and conditions are in conflict with University and/or State laws, policies, or principles, modifications to them have to be negotiated.

All contracts are negotiated by the Office for Sponsored Programs. Contested issues are resolved in consultation with University's Center for Science and Technology Commercialization, the Vice President for Research's Office and the Office of the Assistant Attorney General. When contract discussions are held between sponsor representatives and University faculty, it should be understood that these discussions are preliminary only. OSP must review any contractual agreement on behalf of the University and either approve it as conforming to University and/or state policies or negotiate modifications.

The University has developed a standard sponsored research agreement for corporate sponsored research. Use of this agreement, without alteration, eliminates the need for negotiation between the University and the sponsor. Use of this agreement as a starting point or with minor alterations often facilitates the negotiation process.