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Award Management: FAQs

  • Can faculty sign agreements on behalf of the University?

    No. The authorized signatories for sponsored research agreements (contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements), as well as certain non-sponsored agreements (data use agreements, material transfer agreements, nondisclosure agreements, memoranda of understanding) are certain staff members within ORA to whom signature authority has been delegated by the Dean. Faculty members and staff outside of ORA are not authorized institutional signatories and are not permitted to execute agreements on behalf of the University.  
  • Can I negotiate a lower indirect cost (F&A) rate for federal or commercial projects?

    No.  Facilities and Administration costs on federal award are at negotiated rates and cannot be reduced.  JHU’s current rate agreement can be found here.

    The School of Medicine has further established indirect cost rates for commercially sponsored projects. Rates are based on the project activity type (Organized Research, Clinical Research, Other Sponsored Activity, Instruction) and whether the work takes place on or off campus.


  • Do I need an agreement to send Data and Materials to external collaborators?

    Yes!  Whenever data or materials are leaving the University, an appropriate agreement must be in place prior to the transfer.  ORA can help you determine what type of agreement you will need. Visit this page for more information.

  • Do I need to upload an agreement template with my DUA request?

    If the Provider of the data wishes JHU to use their template, yes please provide ORA with the agreement.  If JHU is the Provider of the data, ORA will select the appropriate template.

  • Do I still need to submit requests for Data Use Agreements through Fibi?

    No. All requests for DUA’s (incoming and outgoing) that do not include funding should now be submitted through the Data Use Agreement Request Form.  No Fibi record is required.

  • How detailed does the Scope of Work need to be?

    The Statement of Work (SOW) is an integral part of the research project and should define the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the project.

    The SOW governs and provides direction for the conduct of the research and should address all key aspects of the project. Milestones and proposed deliverables should be defined in the SOW and should become part of the contract terms to establish mutual expectations of the parties before the project begins. Such milestones and deliverables should clearly state each party’s expectations. Assumptions and qualifications about the milestones and deliverables should be stated.


    • the PI(s);
    • project staffing;
    • project objectives;
    • the research plan;
    • required standards or specifications for conduct of the research;
    • locations where the research will be conducted;
    • deliverables and milestones (defined in a sufficient level of detail such that one can determine if they are met);
    • the period of performance;
    • any special resources required; and
    • timing and frequency of meetings and reports.
  • I am a federally-funded investigator and have a post-doc working in my lab who is funded by a foreign institution. The post-doc is not working on any federally funded research projects. Do I still need to disclose the post-doc on my Other Support disclosure?

    Yes.   The post-doc’s effort is an in-kind resource that needs to be disclosed on your Other Support. Please consult our Current and Pending Support page for more details.

  • I am an NIH-funded investigator and I am receiving materials/in-kind support that I will use to support my research efforts. What are my disclosure obligations?

    In-kind support, including the provision of high-value resources (materials, data, etc.) that are uniquely available to the researcher, must be disclosed on your Other Support disclosure submitted with your RPPR or at the Just in Time phase for applications. Please consult our Current and Pending Support page for more details.

  • I am engaging in outside private consulting. Is ORA the right place to review my agreement?

    No.  SOM faculty may only engage in private consulting to outside organizations in their personal capacity in which case disclosure of the outside activity in eDisclose is required.  ORA will not review these agreements   Faculty may perform services in their institutional capacity in which case ORA would review and negotiate the agreement.  Institutional agreements may appropriate when: (1) the faculty member will be disclosing confidential information that is proprietary to JHU, (2) the company will receive rights to JHU intellectual property or inventions, (3) the faculty member will use any JHU and JHHS facilities, resources or funds in conducting the outside activity, or (4) the faculty member plans to publish the results of the outside activity. Such institutional agreements to provide services must be routed to, reviewed, and signed by an institutional official in ORA. SOM faculty are not authorized signatories for institutional agreements.

  • I have a collaborator at a foreign institution who is performing work on my NIH grant while outside the United States. Do I need approval for this?

    Yes.  A significant element of a project conducted outside the United States is considered a foreign component and will require prior approval from the NIH unless the collaboration was originally proposed and considered by the NIH at the time of the award. Please consult our Foreign Engagement page for more details.


  • If my DUA includes funding, do I still need to submit through Fibi?

    Yes, all funded agreements should be submitted through Fibi.

  • What kinds of things can delay the negotiation process?

    ORA will work to negotiate your agreement or award as expeditiously as possible.  However, delays can occur.  Potential reasons for delay can include incomplete COEUS submission to ORA, delays on the sponsor’s side, inability to reach agreement on terms, pending compliance reviews (IRB, IACUC, Data Trust, etc).  ORA will work to communicate any delays as soon as we are aware and provide an update status on where your agreement stands.


  • What type of agreement do I need?

    It depends.  ORA maintains and makes available a comprehensive library of standard model agreements for contracting with research collaborators and can create custom agreements as needed. Determining the appropriate type of agreement will depend upon several factors, including the nature of the activity being conducted (i.e. research, services, etc.), project funding, and nature of any proprietary information, data or materials being exchanged. When School of Medicine faculty and staff discuss potential projects with research partners, we strongly recommend engaging ORA as early as possible in that process to determine the appropriate type of agreement.  Examples of agreement types can be found here.


  • When can I send or receive the data?

    Once the DUA is fully executed, ORA will notify you and the data can be transferred. Data should not be sent outside JHU without a fully executed DUA.

  • When will my Data Use Agreement be completed?

    ORA will contact you within a few days of your DUA request submission to provide a status update. Time to execution of the DUA depends on ORA receiving a complete record (including any institutional approvals required), responsiveness of the other party, etc. ORA will work diligently to provide status updates throughout the process. You can also check the status of your agreement in MyRap or contact the ORA Contracts team member or Contract Specialist assigned to your department. ORA contact and department assignment information can be found here.

  • Who in ORA will handle my contract?

    Once your COEUS record is submitted to ORA with all of the required information, a MyRap record will be created and your contract will be assigned to negotiator on the Contracts Team.

    The MRB office assigns contracts to negotiator by Department according to the Department Assignments list found here.

    If your contract is for commercially sponsored clinical research, your contract will be assigned to a negotiator on that team. CRC Contracts Specialists are assigned here.

  • Will ORA handle invoicing and payments on my project?

    No.  ORA will negotiate and sign your agreement and workflow to Sponsored Projects Shared Services (SPSS) for post award accounting services.  For more information, visit this page.

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P: 410-955-3061


School of Medicine Office of Research Administration
Clinical Research Contracting and
Clinical Research Support Services

P: 667-208-8910

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