Industry Sponsor: Negotiating the Award or Contract

The Research Track

Stops on the Track

    Research Navigation


    Before starting and during your research, there are training requirements that must be completed. Training


    Consider funding opportunities when thinking about your research idea. UIC has many opportunities to obtain funding for your project, as well as information on external funding options. Funding


    Some argue that the most important aspect of a research study is its design. Thinking through each step of the research process allows investigators to determine where additional resources may be needed, identify potential deficits in the study plan, and make changes to strengthen a proposal prior to its submission. Proposal Development


    Working through the Office for the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR), the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACC) helps you comply with federal regulations, state laws and University policies regarding the involvement of animals in research. Regulatory Research Requirements


    The Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS) supports the business and financial operations of the University and assists units in their daily operations- including research studies. In research, OBFS is active in the Post-Award period. Common OBFS tasks include setting up anticipation and project accounts, and budgets in Banner. Award/Contract Processing & Acceptance


    UIC has specific personnel who receive, negotiate and accept industry sponsored research awards or contracts on behalf of you and the university.Industry Sponsored Research


    Award administration begins with your notification of the award and continues until the financial and technical closeout of your grant or contract is complete. Administering Research


    Assistance and guidance is available to help you operationalize and carry-out your research protocol. Conducting Research


    Numerous policies govern the management of data and records. The University offers a variety of resources to help you manage your data. Data & Records


    The University encourages your pursuit of scientific understanding and innovation. Services are available to encourage that innovation, help you prepare and publish your study and/or facilitate effective management, transfer, and commercialization of UIC technologies and your intellectual property. Results & Dissemination


    Research responsibilities do not end when results are published. You still have financial, final progress, and invention/patent reports as well as contractual responsibilities to complete. Award Closeout Procedures

    Negotiating the Award or Contract

The authority to negotiate an award or contract on behalf of UIC has been delegated from The Board of Trustees to the Office of Research Services (ORS). ORS works in conjunction with the Principal Investigator (PI) and, when applicable, the Office of General Counsel (OUC) and the Office of Technology Management (OTM), to negotiate an award or contract that is acceptable to UIC, the PI and sponsor. In no case should any agreement or award be accepted or signed by a staff or faculty member, department chair or dean. 

Access the OVCR form and contract templates

Industry Research Contract

Agreements with private sponsors cover many activities such as basic, applied or developmental research, collaborative research, research testing, and instruction.

As a public, non-profit educational institution, UIC is bound by certain policies and regulations regarding what it can and cannot accept in an agreement. These policies are designed to foster UIC’s basic mission of teaching, research and public service and to ensure academic freedom for our faculty. Because for-profit private sponsors are motivated by different forces, they sometimes do not understand the ideals and principles behind our policies. Consequently, negotiations can take additional time while ORS works with the sponsor to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement.

Whenever possible, UIC tries to negotiate an agreement using the appropriate standard UIC contract language for the activity proposed. These standard agreements address key concepts required by UIC general rules. When a private sponsor prepares an agreement or insists on controlling the preparation of an agreement, these concepts may or may not be addressed and can lead to protracted negotiations.

Principal Investigators should discuss all aspects of the proposed project with ORS prior to the start of negotiations.  In particular, ORS needs to know whether graduate students will be involved in the project and whether existing UIC or sponsor-owned intellectual property will be used in conducting the project.

UIC’s contract negotiators also can assist you with preparing or negotiating Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), Data Use Agreements and IPAs.

Federal/State/City of Chicago Contracts

Contract negotiations with a government agency primarily focuses on the review of budgets and scope of work issues.  The terms and conditions of the award are usually fixed by law or regulation.  However, it is important to make sure that the terms and conditions imposed by the agency are appropriate for the work proposed and applicable to UIC.

Sponsored Research Agreements

For basic research project where the sponsor may be interested in special intellectual property terms, i.e., reasonable delays in publications to allow the sponsor time to review a publication for purposes of preserving patent protection.  The funding provision provides for either a fixed price or a cost-reimbursement funding basis.

Clinical Trial Contracts

Contracts with for profit sponsors (e.g., pharmaceutical or medical device companies, clinical research organizations) cover human testing activities related to an investigational drug, compound or device leading to approval by the Food and Drug Administration for commercial distribution.

As a public, nonprofit educational institution, the University is bound by certain policies and regulations regarding what it can and cannot accept in a clinical trail contract. These policies are designed to protect the welfare of individuals participating as research subjects; foster the University's basic mission of teaching, research and public service; and minimize the various forms of liability associated with human research.

For-profit private sponsors, such as pharmaceutical companies, are motivated by different forces than the University. As a result, they sometimes do not understand the ideals and principles behind our policies. Consequently, additional time may be required for contract negotiations while ORS works with the sponsor to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement.  When negotiating clinical trial contracts, the University primarily focuses on securing acceptable contract clauses regarding high-risk issues such as subject injury, indemnification, confidentiality, ownership of data, patent rights and publication rights.

The University's standard clinical trial agreement and the clauses proposed by the University during contract negotiations are based on the following assumptions.

That the clinical investigation is conducted under a protocol that is a FDA

Standard Technical Testing Agreements

For testing projects involving the use of unique or special University facilities and not if the work entails original, creative research.  The University makes no claim of ownership in data or other results generated under this agreement and, is not interested in preserving publications rights.

Material Transfer Agrements

Research often involves transferring materials or technology to or from other institutions or companies. Agreements to protect ownership, acceptable uses and intellectual property rights are important regardless of the direction of transfer. Transfer of materials from another institution or companies into the University requires a Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) form that is reviewed for legal and policy issues by The Office of Research Services. Transfer of materials off campus to another institution or company is also managed by the ORS with consultation with OTM, and legal counsel. Please see forms for templates and instructions.

Reciprocal Non-Disclosure Agreement

For the exchange of confidential information, a Non-Disclosure Agreement, or Confidential Disclosure Agreement or secrecy agreement, is a contract which defines and describes information to be shared between or among the parties for certain evaluation purposes, in which the parties agree to restrict the usage and additional disclosure of the share information.

Research Use License Agreement

For licensing software to another entity for research purposes only when the university is the licensee.