Administrators and the Responsible Conduct of Research
Collaborative Research:
Types of Agreements

Types of Agreements

It is important to remember that agreements are mechanisms by which collaborations are formalized. The discussion that follows will include references to types of agreements that are not ordinarily thought of as being collaborative. They are included here because there are occasions in which such agreements are used to formalize one aspect of a collaboration, but not the entire relationship. There are several types of inter-institutional agreements, some of which cover a broad array of issues, while others are much more narrowly directed to one or just a few issues. Here are some examples:

Subawards. These are agreements between an institution that has a sponsored agreement (prime awardee Prime Awardee
The institution that executes the prime agreement with the sponsor.
) and another institution (subrecipient Subrecipient
The legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided. Subrecipients must adhere to the administrative regulations of the prime award. Other terms used include subawardee or subgrantee. (Source: NCURA Online Subaward Tutorial, 2006)
) to which it transfers a portion of the work. The subaward agreement includes elements of the prime agreement Prime Agreement
The sponsored project award document received by the Prime Awardee directly from the sponsor.
between the sponsor and the prime awardee by incorporating many of the terms and conditions that have been agreed to by the external sponsor and the prime awardee. A subaward covers the entirety of the relationship between the prime awardee and the subrecipient. Therefore, a subaward will contain provisions covering payments, financial reporting, intellectual property, publication rights, data retention, and many others.

Teaming Agreements Teaming Agreement
A document typically executed by parties intending to collaborate on a sponsored project. The teaming agreement will cover general issues related to intellectual property rights and other aspects defining the reporting and working relationship of the parties.
. At the time a funding proposal is submitted to an external sponsor, the collaborating institutions may execute a teaming agreement. The purpose of this type of agreement is to indicate general agreement on the nature of the working relationship. For instance, it may state that the parties agree to the creation of a scientific advisory board as well as its composition. Teaming agreements can also set forth basic terms related to the ownership of intellectual property and other programmatic issues such as data sharing. It should be remembered that if the requested sponsored funding is awarded, the prime award may contain provisions that are inconsistent with the terms of the teaming agreement. If that occurs the subaward must clearly state that the subaward terms supersede those in the teaming agreement.

Collaboration Agreements: While similar to teaming agreements, collaboration agreements are executed between institutions irrespective of whether sponsored funding is anticipated. They cover the same programmatic issues as teaming agreements. In addition, if collaborators from one institution will be using the facilities of the other institution, collaboration agreements may include the typical provisions of a Facility Use Agreement mentioned below. Collaboration agreements may also have fairly detailed intellectual property terms.

Intellectual Property Agreements: As indicated by the agreement name, intellectual property agreements are narrowly defined. Typically, intellectual property agreements are written to cover inventions or other discoveries that may result from a collaboration. While they can cover copyrights (also a form of intellectual property), they frequently do not. Still, the coverage of intellectual property agreements would be essentially the same for inventions as for copyrights. The basic issue covered is ownership of the intellectual property (i.e. who owns what, and under what conditions). Other items addressed would be license rights between the parties, and perhaps provisions on sharing costs and income related to the protection and licensing of intellectual property.

back to the previous page next page