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Agreement Types

Contracts are binding, written agreements between two or more parties for the procurement of products or services. The specific obligations of each party are outlined and memorialized after review and negotiation by the parties. At Drexel University, the Office of Research is responsible for the review, negotiation, and signing of contracts for sponsored project awards. The following is a list of the various contract types that are issued, reviewed, and negotiated by Office of Research*, with brief descriptions of the most common contract vehicles we process.
Amendment / Modification
A contractual award document that modifies any aspect of an existing award. Like contract, amendments require the signature of both party’s authorized official in order to effect change to the award. Common modifications include: increasing the obligated award amount, adding new terms or conditions, and extending the project period with no additional funding (no-cost extension).
Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA)*
Collaborative Agreement
A binding document between organizations that are cooperating in the conduct of a research program. These agreements are generally unfunded and describe the actions that each organization have agreed to undertake, and defines the obligations each party has to the others participating in the collaborative research effort.
Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA)
A legal agreement between at least two parties which outlines information the parties wish to share with one another for certain evaluation purposes, but wish to restrict from wider use and dissemination.
Consortium Agreement
See “Subaward / Subcontract Agreement” below.
Cooperative Agreement
Generally involves multiple institutions that have agreed to participate in the same set of sub-projects as governed by a sponsor or a lead institution. The sponsoring agency’s staff may be actively involved in proposal preparation and has substantial involvement in the post-award research activities.
Data Use Agreement
Used for the transfer of data that has been developed by nonprofit, government or private industry, where the data is nonpublic or is otherwise subject to some restrictions on its use.
Equipment Use Agreement
Facilities Use Agreement
Grant Agreement – Generally issued by foundation and non-profit sponsors, grant agreements outline the award terms and conditions, which awardee institutions are required to sign in acceptance. Sponsors utilizing this mechanism generally do not anticipate substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the activities
Inter-Governmental / Inter-Agency Personnel Agreement (IPA)
Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA)
Letter Agreement
Master Agreement
A comprehensive contract that governs all research activities supported by a particular sponsor. Individual project specific addendums (or task orders) are issued each time a new project is engaged. Each addendum details such aspects as the personnel, funding amount, performance period, and scope of work for the individual project, along with any deviations from the terms of the Master Agreement that may be necessary for performance of the specific project. Also called “umbrella” agreements, this mechanism often takes much longer to establish than a traditional agreement, however it virtually eliminates any need to negotiate the individual project addendums.
Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)*
Contractual documents used for the acquisition of various biological and research materials, and occasionally data, developed by nonprofit, government and private industry.
Memorandum of Understanding
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
See “Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA)” above.
Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)
Often issued by federal contracting officers, OTA’s are used for obtaining or advancing research and development (R&D) or prototypes.
Purchase Order
Services Agreement
Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA)
SRA’s are the most common agreement type governing sponsored projects with private and industry partners. This contract type can be used for both
Subcontract / Subaward Agreement
A document written under the authority of, and consistent with the terms and conditions of a prime award (grant, contract, or cooperative agreement), that transfers a portion of the research or substantive effort of the statement of work to another institution or organization.
Teaming Agreement
Similar to a Collaborative Agreement, Teaming Agreements are generally unfunded, and are entered into by parties agreeing to participate in a collaborative effort. The preparation and submission of a single proposal from multiple collaborating institutions is an instance in which a teaming agreement may be utilized.
Task Order Agreement (TOA)
A legally binding document authorizing work and appropriating funds as a supplement to a basic contract.
Visiting Scientist Agreement


*CTA’s are not managed by ORA during the pre-award phase. CTA budgets are developed by the Clinical Research Group (CRG) and the agreements are reviewed and negotiated by DUCOM’s Office of General Counsel. Once CTA’s are finalized and fully executed, Office of Research provides post-award financial management for the projects.

*MTA’s are reviewed, negotiated, and signed by the Office of Entrepreneurship & Technology Commercialization (OTC).