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Amendment: Name given to any contract which changes the terms, including extension or termination, of an existing contract.


Collaboration Agreement: Any type of contract that sets out the terms of collaboration/interaction between parties to a research project.


Confidentiality Agreement (CDA/NDA): A contract which records the conditions under which a person may disclose information or ideas in confidence to another party/person(s).

Please click here to request a CDA online.


Consortium Agreement: A contract governing the relationships between multiple parties to a project.


Fellowship: A contract for a financed research post providing study facilities, privileges, often in return for teaching services.


Framework or Umbrella Agreement: An over-arching contract to establish terms governing separate projects to be conducted under those same terms within a given period.


Funded Research Agreement: A contract that governs the conduct of a project and the relationship between the University and the external party that is funding the research.


Heads of Terms (HoT): Used to record what has been agreed in principle between parties, before entering into a formal, contractual relationship.


Intellectual Property (IP): describes creative ideas, knowledge, inventions, results that can be treated as an asset or physical property and that have potential exploitable value. IP allows the ability to be able to claim and defend ownership of such creativity and is protectable e.g. under patents, copyrights and others.


Letter of Intent (LoI): A document outlining an agreement between two or more parties before the agreement is finalized. The concept is similar to the HoT.


Letter of Undertaking (LoU): A short contract signed by the University and a student, summarising and binding the student to the key terms of a separate agreement (usually a studentship), to which the student is not a party.


Material/Data Transfer Agreement (MTA/DTA): A contract that governs the transfer of materials or data from the owner (or authorised licensee) to a third party for that third party’s use in its own studies. Incoming M/DTAs govern the transfer of research materials into the University from external entities while Outgoing M/DTAs govern the supply of materials from the University to outside organisations.

Please click here to request an incoming MTA online.

Please click here to request an outgoing MTA online.


Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): A document describing an agreement between parties, indicating an intended common line of action. It is often used in cases where parties either do not intend a legal commitment or in situations where the parties cannot create a legally enforceable agreement.


Novation: A contract used to transfer the rights and obligations of one party under a contract to another party, whilst the other contracting party remains the same.


Participating Site Agreement (mNCA/PSA): A contract between the Sponsor (in the clinical sense) of a clinical study or trial and another party under which the other party (usually an NHS Trust, sometimes jointly with a university) will undertake part of the study or trial under the direction of the Sponsor.


Research Undertaking Letter (RUL): A short contract signed by the University and a University employee, that assigns rights such as IP to the University, to allow the University to comply with its responsibilities to the other party(ies) to an agreement.


Software Licence Agreement (SLA): Similar to an MTA, but governing the usage or redistribution of software.


Studentship Agreement: A contract governing the terms of a postgraduate project that is fully or part-funded (as in CASE or doctoral training scheme) by an external non-research council entity.


Sub-award (sub-contract) - Not to be mistaken for provision of services contract: A contract under which a portion of work and/or funding from another agreement is transferred to another party.


Visitors’ Agreement (VA): Only VAs that are linked to an existing agreement are completed by the Research Office. This contract sets terms for a visitor’s activities and length of residency at the University, and for the visitor’s and his or her employer’s obligations to the University. These are generally completed in the Departments but may then come to Research Office if additional terms are required due to the visitor’s work coming under an existing contract.Go to the Human Resources webpage for further details.


Your contracts team