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Research Agreements

To pursue the full scope of work outlined in your research proposal, you may need to sign several types of agreements. The Office of Research Administration (ORA) holds the responsibility and authority to enter into these contractual agreements on behalf of Rush University. All research agreements must be submitted through the Rush Research Portal

Types of research agreements

Confidential disclosure agreements - mutual confidentiality (MCAs), non-disclosure (NDAs)

The ORA Clinical Research and Regulatory team assists researchers with these agreements in partnership with the Rush Office of Legal Affairs:

  • Mutual confidentiality agreements (for potential licensees)

    New ideas, inventions and other work products must be kept strictly confidential until proper protections are in place. Prior to disclosing information regarding an invention, this agreement must be executed between Rush and the company (the potential licensee). Rush, the inventor and the company must sign the agreement.
  • Non-disclosure agreements

    Also referred to as confidential disclosure agreements (CDAs), NDAs are often used to protect the confidentiality of an invention during evaluation by potential licensees. NDAs also protect third-party proprietary information that University researchers need to review in order to conduct research or to evaluate research opportunities. Rush ITT enters into NDAs for University proprietary information shared with someone outside of Rush. The Clinical Research Administration manages incoming NDAs related to research contracts.

License agreements

These agreements grant third parties rights under Rush University patents or copyrights. University license agreements typically stipulate that the licensee should diligently seek to bring the intellectual property into commercial use for the public good, provide a reasonable return for Rush and specify limitations to Rush’s liability.

Subaward agreements

A subaward transfers funds from a sponsored award to another entity to allow that entity to provide goods, services or programmatic work to Rush. The ORA Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) team issues and administers subawards in compliance with Rush policies and procedures, applicable sponsor regulations and the terms and conditions of the prime award. Requirements for these types of agreements vary and will impact your proposal budget.

Material transfer agreements (MTAs) or data-use agreements (DUAs)

These agreements are used for incoming and outgoing materials at Rush and are administered by the Office of Legal Affairs. They describe the terms under which University researchers and outside researchers may share materials or data, typically for research or evaluation purposes.

  • Data-use agreements

    DUAs govern the sharing of data between research collaborators who are covered entities under the HIPAA privacy rule. A DUA establishes the ways in which the information in a limited data set may be used by the intended recipient, and applies in situations involving the sharing of Rush research data or contact with Rush patients/patient data.
  • Material transfer agreements

    MTAs govern the transfer of tangible research materials (animals, specimens, etc.) between two organizations. An MTA applies in situations involving the sharing of Rush materials with an outside entity/person for research purposes. Intellectual property rights can be endangered if materials are used without a proper material transfer agreement.

Templates for these agreements are available on the Rush Research Portal.

Universal biological material transfer agreements

A uniform biological material transfer agreement between Rush and an outside institution allows an investigator from the “receiver” institution to use biological research material owned by Rush. These agreements are reviewed and approved by the Rush Office of Legal Affairs. An agreement-implementing letter also is available to help structure this agreement.

Inter-institutional agreements (IIA)

These agreements describe the terms under which two or more institutions (generally universities) will collaborate to assess, protect, market, license and share in the revenues received from licensing jointly owned intellectual property. IIAs are administered by Rush's Innovation and Technology Transfer (ITT) division.