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Compliance protocols MUST be approved and linked in SeRA to a SPO project record prior to award acceptance. 

See ORA's Award Acceptance Resources for additional information.

Agreement Types

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Business Associate Agreement (BAA)

A contract that sets forth the terms and conditions by which Protected Health Information (“PHI”) will be handled by business associates on behalf of a covered entity.

Clinical Research Agreement (CRA)

A contract that defines the roles of a party and its principal investigator and/or clinical personnel responsible for administering a study protocol in hosting a clinical trial or research study.

Collaboration Agreement

A contract between Stanford and one or more non-Stanford entities under which each party agrees to make significant intellectual contributions to perform a research project (as described in a statement of work) and where each party agrees to fund its own costs. Under a collaboration, each party may work together on the design of the study, share decision-making in the overall direction of the work, and have equal access to and use of the results of the research.

Compassionate Use/Expanded Access

A contract that governs expanded access for a patient with an immediately life-threatening condition or serious disease or condition to gain access to an investigational medical product (drug, biologic, or medical device) for treatment outside of clinical trials agreement.

Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA)

See "Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)"

Consortium Agreement

A contract that governs the terms and conditions under which multiple parties participate together under in support of one or more statements of work and where each equally shares in the outcomes of the research.

Consulting Agreement

A contract for Stanford faculty to use his or her professional capabilities to further the agenda of a non-Stanford entity in return for an immediate or prospective gain.


Legally binding agreement signed by authorized officials from Stanford and the sponsor providing support for a specific set of tasks for the direct benefit of the sponsor.  A contract contains a narrowly focused statement of work and detailed terms and conditions.  If the sponsor is a US Federal Agency, the agreement is governed by the Federal Acquisitions Regulations.

Cooperative Agreement

A contract in which Stanford and a Federal sponsor work collaboratively on a statement of work.  The main purpose is the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to Stanford in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by federal statute.

Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

A contract between Stanford and one or more Federal agencies under which the government, through its laboratories, provides government facilities, intellectual property, and expertise to Stanford in furtherance of the development of scientific and technological knowledge into useful, marketable products.

Data Transfer and Use Agreement (DTUA)

A contract used for the transfer and use of research data between Stanford and one or more non-Stanford entities where the underlying data is nonpublic or is otherwise subject to some restrictions on its use.

Data Use Agreement (DUA)

Under HIPAA, a contract entered into by a covered entity and a data recipient pursuant to which the covered entity may disclose a Limited Data Set to the recipient for research, public health, or health care operations.

Equipment Loan Agreement

A contract that governs the loan of equipment from outside entities to Stanford for research purposes.

Facilities Use Agreement

A contract executed between Stanford and a non-Stanford entity granting access to one party’s facilities and laboratories in order to gain use of certain research equipment.


A contract to provide funding to support the training or research of postdoctoral scholars and graduate students at Stanford.


Financial assistance for a specific purpose or project without expectation of tangible deliverables other than a final report. The sponsor does not play an active role in the research project.  Grants are usually issued with minimally restrictive general terms and conditions.

Human Tissue Agreement (HTA)

A contract that governs the transfer of tissues and other biological materials (ex. blood, saliva, hair samples, etc.) extracted from human subjects to outside researchers.

Indemnification Agreement

A contract between Stanford and a non-Stanford party whereby one party, the indemnifying party, agrees to protect the other party, the indemnified party, against harms or losses brought by a third party that the indemnified party may incur.

Industrial Affiliate Agreement

A contract that governs the relationship between Stanford faculty and a for-profit company under which the parties discuss and explore broad research topics in a pre-competitive environment.

Industry Clinical Trial

A contract with a for-profit entity (sponsor) providing funding, a drug, or device to determine the safety and efficacy of a medical strategy, treatment, drug, or device for humans.  Clinical trials may be sponsor-initiated or investigator-initiated.  For more information visit the Research Management Group Clinical Trials page.

Intellectual Property Plan

A contract that governs the protection and disposition of intellectual property.  Intellectual property (also known as “intangible property”) is different from “tangible property” such as land, a building, a computer, etc.  Intellectual property may be protected under the patent, trademark, trade secret, and/or copyright laws.

Letter of Intent (LOI)

See "Memo of Understanding (MOU)"

Master Agreement

A contract where a single sponsor intends to fund Stanford for multiple research projects over a long period of time for specific purposes, but desires an open-ended scale or scope of work for individual projects directed by multiple PIs.

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

A contract that governs the transfer of non-commercial, tangible research property other than human tissues, such as transgenic mice, cell lines, gene constructs, antibodies, or chemical compounds for pre-clinical research use.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A contract that formalizes an arrangement or relationship of goodwill between Stanford and a non-Stanford entity for purposes of reflecting the general nature of the intended relationship and advancing a future formal agreement.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

A contract that outlines confidential material or information and the limitations placed on the use and disclosure of such confidential (non-public) information between Stanford and a non-Stanford entity.

Non-Sponsored Subaward

A contract that governs a research project directed by a non-Stanford entity in which payments are made by Stanford to the third-party institution using non-sponsored funding sources.

Other Transaction Authority

Funding instruments authorized to be issued by the Department of Defense or NIH which do not incorporate the standard terms and conditions of the OMB Uniform Guidance.

Personnel Agreement

A contract by which the sponsor provides salary support for a specific Stanford employee on research projects. Common personnel agreements are Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreements with the Veterans Affairs (VA) Administration, and Joint Personnel Agreements (JPA) with the Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR).

Research License

A contract between two parties wherein the holder of a research license (the licensor) gives permission to another party (licensee) to use the licensor’s brand, patent, trademark, or other tangible or intangible property.  The contract contains details on the type of license (commercial vs. non-commercial), the terms of usage, and how the licensor is to be compensated, etc.

Research Participation Agreement (RPA)

A contract forming part of a sponsored project in which services of Stanford personnel, academic facilities, and/or laboratory equipment are employed on behalf of parties not otherwise affiliated with the University as faculty, staff, or students.

Services Agreement

A contract between a non-Stanford entity and a Stanford faculty member to perform or oversee fee-for-service projects in which the services of Stanford personnel, facilities, or equipment are employed by parties not affiliated with Stanford.

Service Center Agreement

Standard approved form contracts that govern both the provision of services to outside entities and the authorization of external users to work with service center equipment at Stanford.

Software License

A contract that provides the terms for Stanford labs to use software created outside of Stanford at no cost to the university.

Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA)

A contract entered into between a sponsor and Stanford, where the sponsor provides funding to Stanford in support of a specific research project with the expectation of receiving reports or certain deliverables.

Student Aid

A contract which provides funding and support to students for research or teaching assistantships.


A contract with a third-party institution performing a portion of a sponsor-funded Stanford research project or program.


A contract between Stanford and a pass-through entity (PTE) which is issued under, and funded by a contract, grant, or other agreement the PTE has entered into with a prime sponsor.  The agreement type of Subcontract is designated for funding that is being received by the University. The agreement type Subaward is designated for agreements when the Stanford is issuing funding,

Teaming Agreement

A contract between Stanford and one or more organizations that are joining together with Stanford to propose a new cooperative research project to a sponsor — often a federal government agency — in response to a competitive request for proposal (RFP).

Umbrella Agreement

A contract where a single sponsor intends to fund a single Stanford PI for multiple research projects over a long period of time for specific purposes, but desires an open-ended scale or scope of work for individual projects.

University Research Agreement

A contract funded by internal Stanford programs to support research.  The funding is provided through an internal competitive application and award process.  For more information visit the University Research Awards page.

Related topics

Industrial Contracts Office - Types of Agreements ICO Handles

School of Medicine Research Management Group - What is a Clincal Trial?

Gift vs. Sponsored Projects and Distinctions from Other Forms of Funding - Research Policy Handbook 13.1

Categories of Sponsored Projects - Research Policy Handbook 13.2