Negotiating and Accepting Agreements
Authority to review, negotiate, and endorse sponsored agreements has been delegated to Office for Sponsored Research. Individual investigators, chairs, or deans are not authorized to negotiate or endorse sponsored agreements on behalf of the Institution.
Sponsored agreements routinely include information about level of funding, period of performance, the mechanism for receiving funds, and reporting requirements. In many cases, sponsors incorporate a standard set of terms and conditions in their agreements (FDP sponsors, for example), but may also include additional project-specific requirements.
Many sponsors issue unilateral agreements that do not require institutional counter signatures. In these cases, OSR is expected to notify the sponsor if there are terms and conditions that are not acceptable to the Institution or the investigator. Some sponsors issue bilateral agreements, requiring an institutional countersignature. Often, it is necessary for OSR to negotiate changes to sponsor terms and conditions. Intellectual property rights, rights to publish, confidentiality, termination, and indemnification language often require negotiation in order to ensure appropriate protections for the investigator and the Institution.
Northwestern University's Standard Research Agreement
Northwestern’s Standard Research Agreement (Word) / (PDF) [updated 10/21/16] is available to provide to collaborators before formal negotiations occur. It offers terms that Northwestern could endorse with efficiency. Formal negotiations (including any negotiations involving detailed budgets) must involve OSR.