Research & Innovation Agreements

When would I need research and innovation agreement or contract?

Any form of research engagement with an external partner would require an agreement or contract. The Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) manages both funded and non-funded research agreements to ensure that all research activity performed at the University of Toronto (U of T) is in compliance with the University’s policies.

Why does the VPRI need to be involved in agreements & contracts?

The VPRI facilitates and administers all University research partnerships to ensure that the terms and conditions set out in research and innovation agreements or contracts are aligned with the University’s research policies.

What do I need before I can begin?

If you have identified a partner that you are interested in working with, contact the Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) or the Research Services Office (RSO) as early as possible in the agreement process.

What You Need to Know

When should I contact VPRI staff about a potential research partnership?

Contact VPRI early in your negotiations. Depending on the type of engagement, VPRI staff can provide a draft template to the other party and will ensure that appropriate contract terms are negotiated (i.e. intellectual property rights, publication rights, insurance requirements, etc), allowing you to focus on the particulars of your research project. If the partner has provided you with their template, send it to the Innovations & Partnerships (IPO) or the Research Services Office (RSO) for review.

Do indirect costs need to be applied to all research and innovation agreements?

The University is committed to full cost recovery in research. Therefore, research projects should recover the maximum amount eligible for their direct and indirect costs where the funder permits them.

Who can sign my research and innovation agreement or contract?

Only designated authorized signatories of the University can sign on behalf of the University faculty members should not sign agreements or contracts with partners on behalf of the University as they are not designated signing authorities. It is best to speak with a VPRI contact if you have questions about who signs agreements or contracts.

For more information, please see Who Can Sign Research & Innovation Agreements.


  • Review research-related agreements and contracts and provide feedback on the terms of the agreement
  • Negotiate and execute agreements and contracts
  • Ensure agreements and contracts are consistent with University policies and guidelines

VPRI Contact

Find the appropriate VPRI staff member to assist you by checking our staff directory. You may search by discipline area (e.g. Social Sciences, Health & Life Sciences, Natural Sciences or Engineering, etc.) or funding agency name.