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School of Medicine Office of Research Administration

Types of Agreements

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. ORA contract agreement templates can be found on our Award Management: Documents and Forms page.

Examples of agreement types are as follows:

MTA: Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are contracts used for the transfer or acquisition of various biological and research materials (i.e. plasma, sputum, urine, cell lines, reagents, chemical compounds), developed by nonprofit, government and private industry. JHU will ensure that MTA terms permit dissemination of research results and do not conflict with other University policies. The usual areas of negotiation for MTAs relate to publications, use of the research results, and the ownership of the technology generated by the research. JHU has institutional policies and procedural requirements that must be followed when transferring human biospecimens to an external organization. Click here to view the policies and procedural requirements. 

DUA: A DUA or Data Use Agreement (also known as a Data Transfer Agreement or Data Sharing Agreement) is an agreement between JHU and another party (academic institution, government entity, or company) to exchange data for furthering research. The agreement ensures appropriate treatment of the exchanged data under the privacy laws.

SRA: A Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) is entered into when an external entity, often industry, provides funding to JHU to support a specific research project with an expectation of receiving certain deliverables. While initial discussions between industrial sponsors and JHU faculty may occur in a variety of ways, sponsored projects should not be undertaken without a carefully defined research proposal and budget. ORA negotiates the terms of the SRA, ensuring compliance with JHU policies. SRAs typically include terms governing the following for each project:

  • Scope of Work and Budget
  • Reporting or deliverable requirements
  • Payment terms and invoicing schedules
  • Publication rights
  • Intellectual property generated
  • Use and treatment of confidential information disclosed
  • Compliance with regulations
  • Termination provisions
  • Other items as appropriate for the specific project

CDA: A confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), also known as a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), is a legal contract between at least two parties which outlines confidential materials or knowledge the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict from generalized use. In other words, it is a contract by which the parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement. CDAs can be “mutual,” meaning both parties plan to exchange confidential information with the other, or they can be “one-way,” meaning only one party will disclose confidential information.


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    School of Medicine Office of Research Administration
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    Miller Research Building, Suite 117
    733 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205

    P: 410-955-3061


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

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    Baltimore, MD 21202

    P: 667-208-8910

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