Office of
Sponsored Programs


Overview of Research Contracts

A contract (as opposed to a grant or cooperative agreement) is a binding, written agreement between two or more parties for the procurement of products or services.  The specific obligations of each part are outlined and memorialized after review and negotiation by the parties.  At Stevens, the Board of Trustees has identified certain individuals with the Office of Sponsored Programs who are responsible for the review, negotiation, and signing of contracts for sponsored project awards.


A research contract may be supported by funding from for-profit (e.g. private industry) or non-profit (state or federal government, founds, etc.) sponsors.  A research contract generally includes the following terms (some or all) governing areas such as:

  • Scope/Statement of Work (SOW) of work to be conducted, including reporting and other deliverables
  • Budget for the research
  • Payment obligations and timing
  • Publication of the research results
  • Options to license the intellectual property arising from the research
  • Care of data and confidential information exchanged during the research
  • Compliance with export control and other laws and regulations
  • Rights and procedures to terminate the project
  • Taxes, indemnification, choice of law, and other items necessary to appropriate to the contract


Overview of Research Subcontract/Subaward Agreements

A subaward (or subrecipient agreement) is a formal written agreement made between Stevens Institute of Technology and a third party, or a subrecipient (also called a subawardee).  A portion of the award is performed by the subrecipient’s personnel, using its own facilities and resources.  A subaward is a legally binding agreement that will include terms consistent with the prime award. 


Federal regulations require the prime (pass-through entity) to actively monitor the activities of subawardees in order to ensure compliance with award requirements.  A subaward will be generated to obligate funding support and the sub-portion of the scope of work to the subrecipient by means of either a subaward or subcontract.  Determination on which type of subaward is issued is often dependent on whether the sponsor award received by Stevens is a grant or contract.  A better determination is whether the Statement of Work is more appropriately described as a grant or contract.


Subawards for sponsored grants or contracts may require prior authorization from the Sponsor. When the subaward is not approved at the initial application stage, written approval may be required from the Sponsor.  Refer to the award notice and Sponsor's policies for prior approval requirements.  Justification to the Sponsor will need to sufficiently indicate why the scope of work will need a subaward as well as how the current awarded funds will be redistributed to accommodate the subrecipient site costs countersigned by an OSP Official.  Please work with the appropriate / assigned OSP Specialist who will obtain signature and facilitate submission of the Sponsor approval request.


Additional Types of Agreements

  • Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)/Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDA)
  • Facilities Use Agreements
  • Research Service Agreement
  • Corporate Sponsored Research Agreements

Associated Material

  • Processes
  • Forms
  • Resources