Sponsored Research Agreements (SRAs)

A Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) is a contract between the University and a sponsor for the purposes of funding and conducting research at the University. An SRA may be supported by funding from for-profit (e.g. private industry) or non-profit (state or federal government, foundations, etc) sponsors.

Sponsored Research Agreements generally include terms governing areas such as:

  • Scope of work to be conducted, including reporting and other deliverables
  • Budget for the research
  • Payment obligations and timing
  • Publication of the research results
  • Options to license the intellectual property arising from the research
  • Care of data and confidential information exchanged during the research
  • Compliance with export control and other laws and regulations
  • Rights and procedures to terminate the project
  • Taxes, indemnification, choice of law, and other items necessary for contracts

The Office of Industry Engagement (OIE) facilitates negotiation of SRAs funded solely by for-profit private industry sponsors. The Office of Sponsored Projects is responsible for negotiation of SRAs where any part of the funding in support of the research project is received from a non-profit entity, e.g. state or federal agency, foundation, or not-for profit institute or alliance.

Preliminary discussions regarding a proposed sponsored project may begin long before an Industry partner is ready to establish a SRA.  However, before OIE can prepare a draft of the SRA the Principal Investigator (PI) on the project must first submit a project proposal to OIE for review and approval.  At a minimum, a proposal must include a statement of work, project budget, and budget justification.  Additional information and documents may be requested during the proposal review process.  If the sponsor and PI desire to move forward with the proposed project, a draft SRA will be prepared and will incorporate the approved statement of work and budget along with the agreed upon funding amount, payment schedule, and any background intellectual property known to the PIs/Co-PIs.

A Sponsor may agree to use the University’s standard SRA (Cost Reimbursable) or a University Standard SRA (Fixed Price). In other instances, the parties may deem it advantageous to develop negotiated key terms. However, the University, as an agency of the State of Texas, has certain constraints regarding the applicability of some contractual terms and conditions. Interested parties may learn more information regarding sponsored research at the University by reading the Principles & Policies Guide for Sponsored Activity.

PIs and potential private sponsors may contact OIE for more information regarding sponsored research projects at the University.

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