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Funded Agreements

Find insight on Sponsored Research Agreements with Industry entities.

A research agreement is a contract between UCSD and an external, for-profit entity (sponsor) that provides funding for UCSD, and its subcontractors, as appropriate, to perform a research project based upon a mutually agreed upon scope of work and budget for the benefit of both parties. The terms and conditions of the research agreement are negotiated between the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) and the Sponsor, and upon execution, serve as the award document for the proposed research project.

Research agreements with industry typically cover the rights and obligations of each party, including, but not limited to: publication, intellectual property, data rights, indemnification, payment of research costs, confidential information, export controls, and period of performance of the project.

A sponsored research agreement is intended to cover a single research project in the laboratory of a UCSD principal investigator. Commonly, a research collaboration agreement is needed when a company and a principal investigator are engaged in similar or complementary research and the company supports the full cost of research in the UCSD laboratory. The primary focus of this type of agreement is to assure that the rights of the parties are protected with respect to retention of ownership and restrictions on dissemination prior to the exchange of such information.

Non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements are generally only negotiated in advance of a formal research agreement and are generally limited to addressing topics such as the definition of confidential/proprietary information, the manner in which the information will be exchanged, and information that is excluded from being considered confidential/proprietary. In the event that prior disclosure is not necessary, appropriate non-disclosure/confidentiality terms will typically be included as part of the actual research or collaboration agreement.

Submitting Requests

Create a Kuali Research Record: For tips and guidance related to entering various agreements into the enterprise system of record.

Kuali Research Systems Training: To register for various eCourses and Virtual Instructor Led training related to the various Kuali modules and to access the Kuali Research Training Guides.

Additional Resources and Help: To get more information on various resources, search the knowledge base and how to contact a Research Administration Client Experience agent.

Center Membership Agreements

A contract between UCSD and two or more outside entities, in exchange for the payment of established membership fees, to become a participating member of a program that supports a specific area of research focus at UCSD. In addition, it also includes UCSD researchers who are interested in participating in the designated area and may include graduate student participation.

To provide the opportunity for certain companies who are interested in the same field of research to combine their financial resources together, assist in the selection of research projects of interest, and share in the resulting data and information generated from the projects.

For example:

UCSD is planning to create a Center that will devote its efforts to state-of-the-art fusion research. The Director of the Center feels that the specific focus of the research would lend itself to the membership approach and decides to contact 6 companies that could potentially benefit from the Center's research.

UCSD is responding to an announcement from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the establishment of research Centers that encourage the participation of both Universities and industry. Per the announcement guidelines, Industry is required to share a portion of the research costs in exchange for membership in the Center. The amount of the award to UCSD from NSF is based upon the number of industry participants and their respective amount of required cost sharing.

Clinical Service Agreement (CSA) and Clinical Consulting Agreement (CON)

UC provides a service for a fee: Professional (Medical director, patient care, clinical trial oversight, faculty consulting, data management for multi-site studies); Clinical (nurses, dieticians, research personnel); Educational Programs: (CME, preceptorships, community health outreach)

Clinical Trials

An agreement for the controlled, clinical testing in human subjects of investigational new drugs, devices, treatments, or diagnostics, or comparisons of approved drugs, devices, treatments, or diagnostics, to assess their safety efficacy, benefits, costs, adverse reactions, and/or outcomes. 

Such studies may be conducted under an industry-developed protocol or a principal investigator-developed protocol.

For more information visit the Clinical Research and Trials page.


A mechanism used for the procurement of a product or service with the primary benefit to the sponsor.  A contract contains specific obligations on the part of both the sponsor and the university, including specific deliverables or milestones. The research goal often originates from the sponsor with the scope of work and budget negotiated between the sponsor and University. A contract is the most restrictive funding mechanism with most changes requiring renegotiation and a formal contract modification. Agency personnel will interact frequently with the PI and University staff about the progress of the research and expenditure of the funds.

Cooperative Agreements

Similar to a grant except the sponsor’s staff is usually actively involved in the design and conduct of the research activities. Generally used by the federal government.

Federal Flow-Through (including SBIR/STTR)


  • Federal Flow-Through: an agreement that contains funding provided by a federal agency (e.g. Army, Navy, NASA, DOE, NIH, etc.) to an entity such as a University, For-Profit, or Non-Profit, to UCSD in support of UCSD's participation in a research project.
  • SBIR: Small Business Innovation Research
  • STTR: Small Business Technology Transfer 

Federal Flow-Through Contracts Under SBIR/STTR

Federal Flow-Through Contracts under SBIR/STTR Program Agreements are subaward contracts or grants flowing through a small business entity to provide federal funds to UCSD for a research project.

A proposal is submitted by the small business to the federal agency and UCSD prepares and negotiates an agreement with the small business once the small business receives their Notice of Award from the federal agency.

The flow-through award (subcontract) covers the rights and obligations of UCSD and the funding pass-through entity (PTE), as well as the Prime federal agency. The document provided by the PTE also flows down applicable terms and conditions from the Prime award down to UCSD.

For more information see the SBIR/STTR page.


For more information visit the Fellowships page.


A form of financial assistance awarded to conduct research or other programs that are specified in an approved proposal or statement of work. The benefit of the project is for the public. A grant agreement typically includes minimal deliverables such as reports, and does not require a specific outcome. The most common funding mechanism used by agencies to fund research. A grant provides maximum flexibility in the expenditure of funds and performance of the proposed work. There is little agency involvement and grant terms and conditions may be standard and referenced rather than included in the grant agreement.

Grant Transfers

NIH calls a Grant Transfer a Change of Recipient Organization. Most are submitted electronically via the ASSIST module in eRA Commons, but a few are still submitted via paper. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to determine which option is the correct option for you and your PI. 

To locate how you may submit your application, it is under the Activity Code, which is just below the Funding Opportunity Title, near the top of the FOA. 

Please see the Review Priorities document which outlines both the department's and the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) responsibilities in reviewing Grant Transfer (Change of Grantee Institution) applications.

Minimum Requirements for SPO Review

NIH or AHRQ Change of Recipient Organization (Grant Transfer)
​PD Record
Basics: Proposals Details Indicate the proposal type as New.
Basics: Delivery Info Indicate the ASSIST # at the Submission Description.
Basics: Sponsor & Program Information Indicate the FOA # at Opportunity ID. Indicate the FOA title at Opportunity Title. Indicate the NIH Grant # at Sponsor Proposal ID.
Compliance Indicate the IACUC and/or IRB protocol # for congruency review.
Attachments: Internal Internal Budget (Excel)
Copy of Awarded Application
Copy of the Most Recent NoA
Relinquishing Statement
If applicable:
  • Copy of IRB and/or IACUC protocol, if applicable
  • UC/VA Salary Worksheet
  • Salary Waiver
  • PI Exception
  • Subaward Packet(s)
  • Cost Share Documentation
Proposal When the application is ready to submit, change the status in ASSIST to "Ready for Submission" and notify the SPO Analyst via email.

Confused Between the GPS, Guidelines, FOA, and Notices?

The Grants Policy Statement (GPS) has instructions on what the minimal requirements are to transfer a grant to a new institution. This can be found by visiting the NIH Prior Approval Requirements page. This should be used in conjunction with both the current Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and the current SF424 (R&R) Guidelines. The current FOA is PA-21-268  and the current SF424 (R&R) Guidelines are for applications utilizing version Forms G. Note, that the FOA always trumps the SF424 (R&R) Guidelines when it comes to two conflicting requirements. Moreover, if a Notice is published, the Notice then trumps the other three. If all also fails and you are still confused, then please do not hesitate to contact the SPO Analyst for assistance. 
The image below is for most instances. A grant transfer also has information in the GPS, so the GPS and the Application Guide (SF424 R&R Guidelines) would be considered the default instructions. 

Helpful Additional Resources

Lab Service Agreement (LSA)

Pre-clinical activity involving non-human clinical observation such as performing assays, gathering data, and testing proprietary substances in a controlled setting. The results are provided to the sponsor.

Limited Submissions

For more information visit the Research Development page.

Master Agreements

Master Agreements are research contracts between a single sponsor and UCSD to cover a multitude, or variety, of research projects at UCSD or within a UCSD Department or Center.

The terms and conditions of the master agreement can govern all UCSD projects with the sponsor; therefore, an agreement does not need to be prepared or negotiated for each project, but a master agreement may require a long time to finalize due to its applicability to undefined research projects.

Once the master agreement is finalized, the sponsor will usually require pre-approval of a UCSD principal investigator’s proposal describing the scope of work and other project-specific aspects such as budget and schedule.

Muli-Campus Award (MCA)

An agreement between two UC campuses when more than one campus will be engaging in a sponsored project. An MCA is a formal agreement between one UC campus and another to delineate roles in the research program, where the overall project is funded by an external sponsor. This is processed as a type of subaward, even though legally the two UC campuses are a single entity.

For more information visit the Multi-Campus Award (MCA) page.

Multi-Project Grants

Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH) page Multi-project grants share the following features:

  • At least two interrelated research projects (unless stated otherwise in the NOFO) related to a theme with each capable of standing on its own scientific merit but complementing one another.
  • Collaboration and interaction among projects and investigators to achieve a common goal.
  • Synergy among projects. 
  • One grantee institution will be legally and financially responsible for the use of funds.
  • Support as needed for shared resources—core resources or facilities—that provide services or resources to at least two research projects.

Other Transaction Authority (OTA)

A federal agency petitions Congress for Other Transaction Authority.  Once a federal agency has this authority, the agency (and any entity that a federal agency might contract to manage OTA funds) is tasked with determining the business model to accomplish the approved OTA purpose. 


The following agencies have Other Transaction Authority:

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Transportation Security Agency (TSA)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Each agency uses its OTA differently. NASA and TSA, for example, are two agencies with broad OTA powers, and use this authority for several different types of procurement activities. Congress granted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) OT authority in 2014 through the NIH Common Fund.

Personnel Agreements

A payment mechanism to maintain the employment status and pay of a UCSD employee who is working on a project on behalf of another institution or agency.

Service/ Vendor Agreements

A vendor/service agreement is another name for a procurement contract under which UC San Diego receives payment to perform unique services for or provide unique products to an outside entity. Existing, approved recharge rate facilities are frequent users of service agreements. Groups that don’t have approved recharge rates can also enter into service agreements on a case by case basis.  UCSD acts as a pair of hands and gets no rights out of performing the work.

Subaward (Grant or Contract)

A subaward is an agreement that transfers a portion of the research and effort/budget of an award to another institution. A research subaward will be consistent with all of the terms and conditions of the original award (prime award). UC San Diego both receives and issues subawards. Also known as a flow‐through award, this can take the form of a subaward grant or subcontract depending on what the prime award is.  This is distinct from a vendor (service) agreement as outlined below.

Training Grants

Training grants are externally funded programs that provide funding and training for undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and/or clinical residents. UC San Diego provides a broad variety of campus resources to support training programs, PD/PIs, mentors, and trainees, making UC San Diego an ideal training environment. For institutional resources ranging from research ethics training to diversity programs to grant administration tools visit Training Grant Program Resources.

For more information or questions email