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New discoveries build on previous research as well as fueling further investigation. Often, the discovery process involves sharing materials and data with researchers at other institutions and a legal agreement is required. Such agreements, known as un-funded research agreements, help to promote collaboration and advance scientific discovery while ensuring the protection of the university’s intellectual property.
An un-funded research agreement (UFRA) refers to an agreement required to collaborate on a research project with a colleague at another institution. Un-funded projects are those that do not involve financial support, but do require a signature by an authorized U of M official. These include:
*MTAs are the most common type of UFRA
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The Sponsored Projects Association (SPA) is responsible for incoming material transfers.
To complete an incoming MTA, license, data use agreement (DUA) or some other long term agreement with intellectual property implications, create a Material Transfer Agreement Routing Form (MTARF) or contact SPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Technology Commercialization is responsible for outgoing material transfers and confidentiality agreements for outgoing intellectual property.
UFRAs are virtually always with the University, not an individual researcher. Only persons who have an explicit delegation of authority from the Regents may sign such agreements. For online forms or data requests, the approving official still must be in SPA.
Fill out an MTARF and e-mail the link to email@example.com. If the government website asks for the name of an "authorized official" you may enter Judith Krzyzek, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kevin McKoskey, Kevin@umn.edu.
Those officials will then forward the links to the UFRA office for review. After that process is complete, so that all compliance and legal issues are understood and we are able to meet the special requirements (such as data security), SPA will give the package to the authorized official to approve the request online.
If the agreement is a confidentiality form (CDA, NDA) to hold a preliminary discussion or read a clinical protocol, or a certification or registration form, such as those required for the NIH AIDS Reagent program, you may simply email the agreement to SPA at email@example.com. SPA will negotiate any changes to terms and execute the agreement.
If you are not sure what kind of agreement you have, but you know it needs a signature, contact SPA UFRA coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.