Sponsored Research Agreements

Penn State will permit assignment of patent rights to industry sponsors as long as all project personnel are willing to make such an assignment. An overview of Penn State's position on Intellectual Property (IP) can be found here. Penn State's Internal Approval System provides researchers an opportunity to identify applicable background IP and to indicate whether they assent to the assignment of patent rights. The following guidelines apply:

1. All PSU project personnel who have not signed off on the IAF must be given a copy of the Corporate Sponsored Project Participant Intellectual Property Agreement (PIPA).

2.  Once all project personnel (including faculty members, research associates, and student researchers) sign off on the PIPA or the IAF, then either the Cost Reimbursement Sponsored Research Agreement or the Fixed Price Sponsored Research Agreement should be sent to the sponsor along with the proposal. (The Fixed Price version of the agreement is generally recommended for smaller projects. If you would like to use the Fixed Price agreement for a project greater than $100,000, please contact  OSP first.)

3. If one or more of the project personnel would like to retain ownership of IP rights, send either the Cost Reimbursable SRA Long Form or the Firm Fixed Price SRA Long Form to the sponsor. Please contact OSP if you would like a copy of this form.

4. If submitting a Cost Reimbursement Agreement, you generally will be expected to prepare a detailed budget.  Please do NOT provide the sponsor with a detailed budget when utilizing the Fixed Price agreement as there is no obligation to provide financial reports or any other budget detail in support of fixed price agreements.  

5. Faculty members in the College of Agricultural Sciences may use the above templates in some circumstances, but must utilize theSponsored Research Agreement - Ag Science Version in others, due to special conditions associated with formula funds Penn State receives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you are a faculty member in Agricultural Sciences, please contact your Grants & Contracts Office for additional guidance.

6. If submitting to a foreign sponsor, please contact OSP prior to sending any of these agreements.

7. Project personnel with a financial conflict of interest may not be permitted to assign their patent rights.

Note: The above agreements are only appropriate when projects are funded with a company's internal R&D funds. These agreement templates may not be used for projects involving federal flow-through funds.