Research Agreements

In addition to grants and contracts, the University relies on research agreements, often referred to as unfunded research agreements (UFRA) to help promote collaboration and advance scientific discovery while ensuring the protection of the University’s intellectual property.

Confidentiality Agreement

Confidentiality agreements (CDA), also known as a nondisclosure agreements (NDA), are used to maintain confidentiality between inventors and industry partners when confidential information is shared, including unpublished scientific data.

Material Transfer Agreement

Material transfer agreements (MTA) govern the transfer of tangible research materials between inventors and industry partners such as chemicals, plant- or animal-derived material, or software, from one institution to another. They protect intellectual property rights, limit liability, and ensure researchers are properly credited for their work.

Master Research Agreement

A master research agreement (MRA) defines the terms and scope for a single sponsor to fund multiple research projects over a long period of time. More than 10 industrial sponsors currently have master research agreements, or pending agreements, in place at the UMN. See a list of master research agreements at the U of M. 

National Agreements

Based on national agreements, companies and researchers can agree to terms and conditions pre-established by the UMN without further negotiation. These include:

  • Accelerated Clinical Trial Agreements (ACTA)
  • Accelerated Confidential Disclosure Agreement (ACDA)
  • Accelerated Material Transfer Agreement (AMTA)
  • Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UMBTA)

Contact the Sponsored Projects Administration for more information about these national agreements.

Reliance Agreement

Reliance agreements create a standard process for reviewing requests to use another institution’s IRB (not UMN) for multi-site studies funded by or in partnership with industry.

Sponsored Research Agreement: MN-IP Create

Part of the Minnesota Innovation Partnerships program, MN-IP Create makes it easier for companies to sponsor research at the University. The agreement streamlines negotiations and offers industry-friendly intellectual property and licensing terms.