Other Contractual Agreements

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs prepares other types of research-related agreements for TU faculty and staff. Some of the more common types of agreements are listed below; however, ORSP is available to help determine the appropriate agreement for a particular situation.

A Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) is entered into when an outside institution, typically industry, provides funding to TU to support a specific research project with an expectation of receiving reports or certain deliverables. While initial discussions between industrial sponsors and TU faculty or senior research staff occur in a variety of ways, projects should not be undertaken unless a carefully defined research proposal, including a budget, has been submitted through TU internal review procedures and a funding agreement has been negotiated and signed by the authorized representatives of both parties.

Collaborative Research Agreements (CRAs) are contracts between TU and one or more organizations that are cooperating in the conduct of a research program. The agreement describes the actions that each organization has agreed to undertake, and defines the obligations each party has to the others participating in the collaborative research effort.

Consortium Agreement is a contract that enables multiple sponsors (usually non-federal organizations) to participate together in supporting research and equally share the outcomes of the research. However, having more than one sponsor does involved in a research project does not automatically convert the program into a consortium.

Consortium Agreements are similar to Sponsored Research Agreements (SRAs) involving a single sponsor, except that Consortium Agreements provide for the sharing of obligations, rights, and benefits among all consortium members.

Consortium Agreements include terms governing the following:

  • A general description of research to be conducted under the Consortium’s funding (Some, but not all, consortia provide options for the member to fund sole-sponsor projects)
  • Cost of membership, with payment obligations and schedule
  • Management of the consortium and members’ role in governance
  • Publication of the consortium’s research results
  • Intellectual property rights arising from the consortium’s research

Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreements (CDA/NDA) govern the disclosure of proprietary infor­mation from one party to another. The agreement defines the terms of the disclosure and obligations of the parties. At LSU, NDAs are used when receiving and providing confidential information. While the agreement is between LSU and the organization, the responsibility of maintaining confidentiality ultimately lies with the researcher. These agreements legally bind the University to specific obligations and must be signed by an authorized TU official.

Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) govern the transfer of proprietary material from one entity to another. The agreement defines the terms of the transfer and obligations of the receiving party. MTAs are used for incoming and outgoing materials. MTAs may be used to transfer any type of tangible material, including some software. Most frequently, the materials transferred under a MTA are biological materials or chemical compounds. These agree­ments legally bind the University to specific obligations and must be signed by an authorized TU official.

Research Data Use Agreements govern access to and treatment of data provided by an outside organization to TU for use in TU research. Data may be unstructured or structured, but are not accompanied by a license agreement.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) specifies mutually agreed-upon expectations between two (or more) entities to collaborate on a project without exchange of funds. MOUs take many forms and may be referred to by other titles, for example, Memorandum of Agreement. MOUs can carry the same obligations as contracts, so principal investigators should not enter into such agreements without prior review by ORSP.

Teaming Agreement is used when two or more parties want to collaborate in producing a proposal in response to a solicitation. All parties agree in advance how they will work together and that they will work together if the award is made. Such teaming agreements may constitute a binding agreement between one or more organizations that are joining together to propose a new cooperative research project to a prime sponsor — often a federal government agency — in response to a competitive request for proposal (RFP). The lead proposing organization usually drafts the TA.

TAs specify the RFP which will be addressed by the team, the objectives for each member of the team, the proposal to be generated by the team, and the actions and deliverables required from each party. TAs require that if the RFP is awarded to the lead proposing organization, that organization will issue a subcontract to TU for TU’s share of the proposed research unless the prime sponsor specifically disallows TU’s participation.