Agreements and Negotiations

Award and agreement negotiation of sponsored research projects at Marquette are generally handled by the Office Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). ORSP review awards and agreements from a wide range of sponsors, including industry sponsors, non-profit organizations, state governments, the federal government, and foreign entities. ORSP works closely with the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and the Office of Economic Engagement to promote and facilitate the extramurally supported research, education and outreach missions of the University through  review and negotiation of the terms and conditions of agreements.

In reviewing award agreements, our office works to ensure that the terms and conditions of the award documentation align with federal and state laws, Marquette University policies, ORSP Policies, and the needs of the researchers here on campus.

Once a federal award is made to Marquette, an appropriate risk level for all named subrecipients needs to be determined. This is done through review of a completed Subrecipient Commitment Form and of a subrecipient's audit information. The purpose of these reviews is to determine whether the subrecipient has the appropriate policies and procedures in place to manage federal funds, and, if concerns are noted, determine additional monitoring terms and conditions. Subrecipient must also provide Marquette a statement of work, budget, and other necessary documentation.

Once the subaward agreement has been issued, the Contract Administrator will respond to any requests for changes to the subaward, ensuring that any agreed-upon changes are still in compliance with federal regulations and university policies.

Once the subaward is fully executed, the PI is responsible for regular monitoring of the subaward throughout the life of the award. The purpose of monitoring is to ensure federal funds are spent in compliance with the applicable laws, regulations and provisions, and ensure performance goals are met.  The Contract Administration team will perform annual audit reviews and alert upper administration if relevant audit findings arise.


Agreement Types

  • Material Transfer
  • Sponsored Research 
  • Nondisclosure
  • Externally-Funded Activities 
  • Other

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a contract that governs the transfer of tangible research materials between two organizations, when the recipient intends to use it for his or her own research purposes or commercial evaluation. The MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives. Biological materials are the most frequently transferred materials, but MTAs may also be used for other types of materials, such as chemical compounds and even some types of software. As a general rule, MTAs are required for any incoming or outgoing materials in order to monitor what materials are coming on campus, and what materials (and to whom) Marquette is supplying.

Whether the material is incoming or outgoing, Marquette uses a standard MTA which is negotiated by the ORSP Contract Administrator

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Checklist

Incoming Material Transfer Agreement

An incoming MTA protects a researcher's ability to use and publish research, any existing and potential intellectual property and define the use of any accompanying confidential information. The review of an incoming MTA ensures the agreement terms don't conflict with rights granted in other agreements associated with the research. Marquette is a signatory to the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) which is approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In those cases, a standard implementing letter will be sufficient.  In all other cases, our standard incoming MTA should be used to start negotiations, or at least should be consulted to ensure that any alternate form contains comparable terms and conditions.

Material Transfer Agreement - Incoming

Outgoing Material Transfer Agreement

MTAs for outgoing material typically prevent the material provider from losing control over the material and its research use. If no agreement exists, then the recipient would be free to use the material in any way it chooses and could freely distribute the materials to other parties.

Material Transfer Agreement - Outgoing (nonprofit and educational institutions)

Material Transfer Agreement - Outgoing (for profit)

Compliance Review

MTAs (incoming and outgoing) must undergo a compliance review to ensure that the appropriate compliance protocols are in place and may include the following:

  • Live animals
  • Human tissue and/or data 
  • Hazardous materials
  • Recombinant DNA 


Consulting Agreement

Agreements to secure the services of a consultant on a sponsored program are created when deemed necessary by the principal investigator (PI). Consultants are independent contractors and not employees of the university.

Sole Proprietor (SP) Consulting Agreement

Non-Sole Proprietor (Non-SP) Consulting Agreement

After-the-Fact (ATF) Consulting Agreement

Educational Research Agreement (ERA)

An Educational Research Agreement (ERA) is a contract between Marquette University and a corporate or nongovernmental sponsor to fund a sponsored project at Marquette. Before the agreement is signed by both parties (fully executed), it must be reviewed and, if necessary, negotiated as needed to ensure that the terms and conditions are mutually acceptable to both parties. The Contract Administrator in ORSP will review and negotiate ERAs in collaboration with the Principal Investigator (PI), unless the ERA is for a corporate sponsored project, in which case, negotiation responsibility will be handed off to the Office of Corporate Engagement.

Educational Research Agreement Template

Federal Demonstration Partnership Agreement (FDP) 

Marquette utilizes FDP subaward templates included designed for domestic academic/nonprofit institutions under federally funded grants or cooperative agreements. The templates are not meant to be edited.

The FDP makes no representation or warranties regarding the suitability of these templates for use on any federal or nonfederal sponsored projects. The pass-through entity (PTE) is responsible for ensuring all required terms and conditions flow down to a subrecipient.  All users utilize these templates at their own risk.

FDP Subaward Templates

Participant Agreement

A participant Agreement is used by individuals performing research at Marquette University and/or who may create intellectual property through the use of Marquette's resources and are subject to certain University policies and, in some cases, to the terms of agreements between Marquette and third parties (e.g., other institutions, organizations or companies).

Participant Agreement Template

Speaker Agreement

A speaker agreement is intended for speaking engagements, either by individuals or by employees of an agency/company. A speaker agreement can only be used when the payment, if any, is determined by Marquette ahead of time, and cannot be subject to negotiation (reimbursement of actual, allowable travel expenses is also permitted).

Speaker Agreement Template


Principal Investigators (PI) and other researchers may be asked to accept/provide confidential or restricted information, materials, software code, or technology from/to a sponsor or third party. In these situations, a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) is needed. The NDA is designed to cover the exchange of verbal, visual or written information, including documents, slides, charts, models and other displays.

Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA)