Skip to main content

Contracts and Agreements

The button below goes to InsideState where you can find templates for the agreements described below. The Assistant Vice President for Research Development and Administration (AVPRDA) has authority to sign these agreements on behalf of SDSU. As a general rule, SDSU faculty, staff and students should not personally sign any research agreement.

To execute an agreement, the Principal Investigator and sponsor complete the template by adding the sponsor’s information to the highlighted sections and project details to any accompanying Exhibit or Appendix. They then return the completed draft to the AVPRDA. If there is a need to negotiate any terms of the agreement, the sponsor sends a redlined copy to the AVPRDA. Once the terms are accepted by all parties, DRED routes a final copy for signatures.

If you receive an agreement template from another entity, you should forward the agreement to the AVPRDA for review and approval along with contact information for the external signatory.

Agreement Templates


Financial agreements formalize the terms and conditions of external sponsorship for work conducted at SDSU:

Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA): Sponsored research involves the development of intellectual property supported, in whole or substantial part, by external grants or contracts awarded to SDSU. The university retains the right to publish or otherwise disclose the results of the work for the purpose of achieving SDSU’s academic mission.

Sponsored Service Agreement (SSA): Work conducted under an SSA is not investigative in nature, is strictly limited to an explicit protocol, and does not contemplate development of intellectual property by SDSU. Any data generated from the service is provided to the sponsor in raw format without any analysis, interpretation, or any other form of manipulation or intellectual input.

Non-financial agreements are designed to protect university ideas, materials and research results.

Confidentiality Agreements

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) protect confidential information from dissemination and restricts the receiving party’s use of that information to a limited purpose. NDAs should be established before you disclose proprietary information to a potential collaborator or sponsor, and incorporated into a sponsorship agreement, if applicable.

Material Transfer and Data Use Agreements

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) and Data Use Agreements (DUAs) both allow another party to use proprietary research materials or data under limited terms and conditions. Both of these agreements can be considered either INCOMING or OUTGOING; depending on whether SDSU is using another party’s materials/data in its research (incoming) or SDSU is providing its materials/data to another institution for its use (outgoing).

Research Collaboration Agreement

Research Collaboration Agreements are primarily used when two universities want to collaborate on a research project and they do not have third-party funding to support large research expenses. This agreement usually details each party’s responsibilities for the project and provides for joint publication of research results. This type of agreement can also be used when the two institutions are seeking preliminary data to apply for joint research funding. Departmental approval for research collaborations is recommended and your department may require that you prepare a sample budget of estimated expenses.