Who Can Negotiate Research & Innovation Agreements?

Who is this for?

  • Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs
  • Professor, Faculty Member
  • Research or Financial Administrator

What do I need before I can begin?

  • Contact a Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) staff member from the Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) or Research Services Office (RSO) as early as possible in the agreement process for assistance
  • Researchers must submit a funding application via My Research Application (MRA) on the My Research (MR) system


There are public, private, and not-for profit organizations that provide research funding to Principal Investigators (PIs) by way of legal agreements. In all cases, agreements must be negotiated and executed by designated staff from the Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI).

Designated VPRI staff are authorized to negotiate research and innovation agreements in order to achieve the following.

  • Clarify terms and conditions that will assist the University and the PI in meeting sponsor expectations
  • Address PI questions and concerns through the negotiation process
  • Ensure that the terms and conditions are consistent with all applicable University policies, regulations and procedures

If a PI receives a research and/or innovation agreement directly, they need to contact VPRI staff in the Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) or Research Services Office (RSO) for assistance.

In all cases, agreements must be negotiated and executed by the VPRI.

VPRI staff offers the following support in the agreement review and negotiation process.

  • Liaise for new and existing partnerships
  • Provide advice and preparing draft agreements for review
  • Negotiate with sponsors, universities, industry and other partners (e.g. government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, etc.)
  • Authorize research contracts and agreements as the signing authority for the University of Toronto (U of T)
  • Interpret agreements and its implications for research


  1. Contact a VPRI staff member from the Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) or Research Services Office (RSO) for support in the agreement negotiation and execution process.  If you have already had an initial discussion with a sponsor, ensure you update the VPRI staff member with the details.
    For research agreements involving industry partners, and for Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Data Transfer Agreements (DTAs) please contact the Industry Partnerships team for assistance at
  2. The PI needs to initiate an agreement application through the My Research Application (MRA) system as early as possible to avoid delays in the review and approval process. If the sponsor does not have an agreement format or template, standard U of T templates are available for them to use. Please see Forms & Downloads for templates.

To learn more about Research at U of T and specific roles and responsibilities please see the U of T Research Administration Policy.

Forms & Downloads


  • Ensure that the best interests of the research, the researcher and the University are served and documented in funding agreements
  • Ensure that all agreements adhere to relevant U of T 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.