Types of Contracts

Research Contracts

  • Narrowly define the scope, nature and expected outcome(s) of the research;
  • Indirect costs of Contract Research Policy applies (see: policy on Indirect Costs of Contract Research); 
  • set the time period(s) for the activity; 
  • define the deliverables and when components are to be completed; 
  • establish ownership of intellectual property, patent rights and licensing arrangements; 
  • include provisions for treatment of confidential information that is supplied and/or created; 
  • may require publication pre-review or delays for publications; 
  • establish firm, detailed budgets and payment schedules; 
  • establish considerations for acceptance and/or termination of the work; 
  • limit liability of participant.

Clinical Trial Agreements

  • Normally have research involving human subjects (thus require Research Ethics Board approval); 
  • are subject to dual review and sign-off by Memorial University and Eastern Health; 
  • typically include features that are the same as those found in a research contract; 
  • can be sponsor or investigator initiated; indirect costs apply at the rate of 30% on total project costs (see: policy on Indirect Costs of Contract Research).

Collaborative Research Agreement

  • Work is collaborative in nature;
  • Memorial and partner roles outlined in the agreement;
  • intellectual property may be shared between Memorial and partner.

Contribution Agreement

  • Sponsor contributing to work either financially or through in-kind support;
  • Memorial typically retains ownership in intellectual property but may be shared depending on sponsor contributions.

Confidential Disclosure Agreement or Non-Disclosure Agreement

  • Agreement to protect the confidential information shared between parties for a certain purpose; 
  • can be either a mutual agreement (meaning both parties will be supplying confidential information to the other) or the agreement may be unilateral.

Data Transfer/Sharing Agreements

  • Contract to permit the transfer of data from one party to another; 
  • data is typically non-public or subject to some restrictions with respect to its use; 
  • contract terms protect confidentiality when necessary but normally also permit publication and sharing of research results.

Material Transfer Agreements

  • Contract to permit the transfer of materials from one party to another; 
  • MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives; 
  • the terms of the MTA normally allow full dissemination of research results.


  • Contractual agreement for services to be performed by a subcontractor; 
  • subcontract will typically bind the subcontractor to the prime funding agreement.


  • Contractual agreement designed to make a modification to the terms of a contract; 
  • typical reasons for a contract amendment are: change required in the scope of work and/or budget; 
  • change required in the timeframe for the conduct of the work; 
  • the parts of the contract not affected by the amendment remain in force.



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