Corporate Sponsored Research Agreement

What is a Corporate Sponsored Research Agreement?

A Corporate Sponsored Research Agreement is a written, legal agreement between UChicago as an academic and research institution, and a corporate entity that provides funding or in-kind support for research. Corporate sponsors commonly expect an economic benefit, such as access to cutting-edge science and technology, or other consideration in return for their financial support.

The for-profit nature of corporate sponsors makes issues like conflict of interest, intellectual property, and publications more complex. URA’s subject matter experts will work with you and the sponsor to ensure that these issues are handled appropriately.

Corporate sponsors have many names for these agreements:  Collaboration Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, Capstone Agreement, etc. Regardless of the name, when performing work with a for-profit entity (with the exception of Clinical Trial projects), the agreement falls into the general category of Corporate Sponsored Research.

Please note that a consulting or advising agreement does not fall into this scope. For more information regarding consulting or advising engagements, please consult this guide.

Engaging with Corporate Sponsors

The University seeks to promote collaboration with industry where we share research and educational interests. Our mission is to advance research and scientific discovery, and we welcome collaboration with industry partners that share this mission. If you are interested in exploring these possibilities prior to agreement stage, please reach out to URA to be put in contact with a subject matter expert for corporate collaborations, or The Polsky Center, which is responsible for matters involving intellectual property and the licensing of intellectual property. These offices, and the University's new Corporate Engagement Office, work closely together to coordinate negotiations, ensuring corporate contracts guard the best interests of the University and its faculty.

March 9, 2023