When contracting with a foreign entity, you should first determine whether the prime funding source has special approval requirements for the work to be done overseas and if the costs are allowable.
A number of research agreements, financial and non-financial, may be entered into as part of a foreign collaboration or during international research. Please contact your departmental research administrator and/or the Office of Sponsored Programs (412-624-7400) with questions or to discuss which form of agreement is the most appropriate for your specific international research project. The following are the most common types of agreements:
A subcontract is a legally binding financial agreement by which responsibility for a substantial amount of the work is transferred from the University to a third party. It is the financial mechanism used when the intent is to have another institution (or third party) carry out an integral portion of the project’s scope of work. Subcontractors retain programmatic decision-making authority for their research activities and retain rights in any resulting intellectual property. Subcontracts are not issued to individuals.
Subcontracts can be issued using internal University funds, or from other prime sources of funding including federal grants/cooperative agreements, federal contracts, foundations, and industry.
Services Agreements (SA) are legally binding financial agreements used to procure services for a fee. Recipients of a SA act as independent vendors, and give professional advice or service for a project in exchange for compensation. Vendors do not participate in programmatic decision-making and do not retain rights in any resulting intellectual property. SAs can be issued to both individuals and entities. Services Agreements can be issued using internal University funds, or from other prime sources of funding including federal grants/cooperative agreements, federal contracts, foundations, and industry.
PLEASE NOTE: As of July 1, 2017, Services Agreements (formerly known as Contracted Services Agreements -CSAs), are no longer issued from the Office of Sponsored Programs, instead, they will be available from Purchasing Services through the PantherExpress System. This change will allow better conformance with the Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards and allow for more consistency in how outgoing vendor agreements are processed across the University. The Office of Sponsored Programs will continue to issue subawards from prime agreements (contract, grant, or cooperative agreement) awarded to the University.
A collaboration agreement is a legally binding nonfinancial or financial agreement by which responsibility for a specific task will be performed by the collaborator. It is also a financial mechanism used when the intent is to have another institution (or third party) carry out a portion of the project’s scope of work. Collaboration agreements are not issued to individuals.
A Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA) is a legally binding nonfinancial or financial agreement that manages the relationship between the sponsor that may be providing the study drug or device, the financial support and/or proprietary information and the institution that may be providing data and/or results, publication, or input into further intellectual property.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a formal non-financial agreement between two or more parties. MOUs can be used to establish official partnerships. MOUs are not legally binding but they carry a degree of seriousness and mutual respect, stronger than a gentlemen’s agreement.
A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a contractual document used for the acquisition of various biological and research materials, and occasionally, associated information/data, developed by nonprofit, government and private industry. The Office of Sponsored Programs handles both incoming MTAs, where the University is receiving research materials from other entities, as well as outgoing MTAs, where we are sharing the University’s research materials with other entities.
A Data Use Agreement (DUA) is a contractual document used for the transfer of research data where the data has been developed by nonprofit, government or private industry, and where the data is nonpublic or is otherwise subject to some restrictions on its use. The Office of Research handles both incoming DUAs, where the University is receiving research data from other entities, as well as outgoing DUAs, where we are sharing the University’s research data with other entities
For more information on research agreements or to answer any questions, please contact the following: