Steps to a Signed Research Contract

RSO negotiates and signs research contracts on behalf of the university. Contract negotiations are smoother when researchers involve RSO early in the process.

Only RSO has the authority to sign university research contracts (not researchers).

Researchers who need a contract should follow these steps:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the key concepts and contents of research contracts and, ideally, discuss them with your sponsor(s)
  2. Develop a research plan (or 'scope of work')
  3. Develop the budget for the project. Make sure to include the required indirect costs of research (ICR, or 'overhead') - usually 20%
  4. Complete and submit the Quick Reference Guide - Request for New Application/Proposal/Project via Online Approvals form and upload your scope of work and budget. Get all declarations signed and send to RSO. If your sponsor has provided you with a letter or contract already, you must upload that too.
  5. After RSO receives a complete package of information, your project will be assigned a contract specialist. You can check the status of your project and your contract specialist's contact information using the Researcher Home Page.
  6. Your RSO contract specialist will:
    • review your package of information and contact you with any questions or to request clarification
    • contact your sponsor(s) to discuss the contract
    • finalize the contract in accordance with university expectations, policy and researcher preferences
    • sign the finalized contract. Before RSO can sign the contract, you will need to review the contract and sign an agreement acknowledgment form indicating that you are aware of, and will act in accordance with, the contract's terms and university policies. Your chair and dean will sign as well.

Reminder: Accounts aren't activated until required certifications are in place (even if the contract is signed). You can apply for certifications before the contract is finalized.