Carnegie Mellon University

This is the interactive contracts process chart. Click on the desired area to learn about the contracts process. click for Submittal to OSP click for Review Terms click for Negotiate click for Signatures click for Processed to Stakeholders

Intake OSP

Used for intake and processing submittal of requests to review agreements and/or requests and questions related to sponsored research agreements. This is the initial step in the process to assign a sponsored research agreement to the proper OSP staff member Contracts Officer to the request.

Types of Requests

Below are the types of requests that should be submitted to OSP.
  • All contractual documents that need to be reviewed by a Contracts Officer (including, but not limited to):
    • NDA/DCA/PIEA
    • Sponsored Research Agreements
    • License Agreements
    • Material Transfer Agreements (incoming MTAs)
    • MOUs
    • Educational Project Agreements
    • Executive Education Agreements
    • Recharge Center/Service Center Agreements
    • Data Use Agreements
    • Special Visitor Agreements
    • Access Agreements
    • Master Agreements
    • Consortia Agreements
    • Entry and Filming Agreements

NOTE: Requests for outgoing subcontracts/subawards should be sent to OSP Subcontracts

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Information Needed When Submitting a Request

    • Sponsor (or other party) Name and Contact Information
    • Name(s) of Principal Investigator (PI) and other Key Personnel
    • Primary Department/Primary Department Contact Information
    • Name of Department Business Manager or Department Contact
    • Copy of all relevant document(s) (Word format preferred)
    • Type of Agreement
    • A Number or Project-Task-Award Number, if applicable
    • SPEX Proposal Number, if applicable
    • Budget, if applicable
    • Statement of Work, if applicable
    • Any other information that would be useful in the review of the document(s)
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Intake Process

All contractual documents requests to be reviewed by an OSP Contracts Officer or questions related to the contractual matters should be sent to OSP. Do not copy other OSP inboxes or OSP personnel on the initial email request. All Contracts Officers and Intake Coordinator see all emails received at the OSP email address.

Intake Coordinator reviews requests within 1 business day. If any information is missing on the OSP intake form, you will be asked for the completed form at this point in the process. Any agreement is not considered received by OSP until all required information is provided.

The Intake Coordinator evaluates the received requests to identify any additional information needed to process the request.

An A Number is assigned for OSP tracking purposes and the request assigned to the responsible Contracts Officer.

After receipt of complete information, a notification email is sent by the Intake Coordinator to the PI, Department Contact and Contracts Officer to confirm receipt of the request and identify the Contracts Officer assigned to the request.

All subsequent correspondence regarding this request should be addressed to the Contracts Officer assigned to the sponsored research project and not to the OSP inbox. The relevant A# should be referenced in the subject line of all email correspondence.

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How Awards Arrive in OSP

I. SPEX Routing Sheet is Received in OSP

a. OSP pre-award team processes SPEX routing sheet; upon arrival, they send notice to OSP Contract Officer if negotiation is needed.

b. If SPEX notes section states OSP should proceed with negotiation of an award, review the attachments to the routing sheet if any.

i. If an award template or contract is attached from the sponsor, review the award terms for university acceptance. Review all attachments to the SPEX routing sheet - do they match the contract?

ii. Determine if additional information is needed from the PI in order to decide how to proceed with the contract negotiation.

iii. Prepare a draft negotiation letter for the company; explain any modifications and the rationale for changes. Review the letter upon completion to ensure all issues have been addressed (not just the contract issues, but anything that may effect the work if relevant).

iv. If the SPEX routing sheet asks OSP to forward a contract template to the sponsor, review contract information either on routing sheet or in the attachments. Pull the latest sponsored research agreement template from the shared drive. Complete blanks with the relevant information from the routing sheet or its attachments (project title, period of performance, budgeted amount, PI contact information). Send to sponsor by email and copy PI.

II. PI Or Business Manager Contacts You by Email and Sends a Template

a. There may or may not be a SPEX routing sheet. If this a proposal with a budget (there is funding anticipated), the PI and business manager should initiate a SpEX routing sheet - you must inform him or her to initiated the SPEX routing sheet. Start by asking the PI if he or she has routed a SPEX Routing Sheet.

b. If you must wait for the SPEX routing sheet, you can still begin to review the contract per the steps above.

i. If an award template or contract from the sponsor is attached, review the award terms for university acceptance. Review all attachments to the routing sheet - do they match the contract?

ii. Determine if additional information is needed from the PI in order to decide how to proceed with contract negotiation.

iii. Prepare a draft negotiation letter for the company; explain any modifications and the rationale for changes. Review the letter upon completion and ensure all issues have been addressed (not just contract issues, but anything that may affect the work if relevant).

iv. Discussed proposed negotiation letter and process with the OSP Contracts Manager prior to sending it to sponsor.

III. Sponsor Sends Contract to OSP via Email or Hard Copy

a. There may or may not be a SPEX routing sheet. If this a proposal with a budget (there is funding anticipated), the PI and business manager should initiate a SpEX routing sheet - you must inform him or her to initiated the SPEX routing sheet. Start by asking the PI if he or she has routed a SPEX Routing Sheet.

b. If you must wait for the SPEX routing sheet.

i. If an award template or contract from the sponsor is attached, review the award terms for university acceptance. Review all attachments to the routing sheet  - do they match the contract?

ii. Determine if additional information is needed from the PI in order to decide how to proceed with contract negotiation.

iii. Prepare a draft negotiation letter for the company; explain any modifications and the rationale for changes. Review the letter upon completion to ensure all issues have been addressed (not just the contract issues, but anything that may affect the work if relevant).

iv. Discuss proposed negotiation letter and process with the OSP Contracts Manager prior to sending it to the sponsor.

IV. For Agreements Not Associated with Funding (zero-dollar agreements such as non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, teaming agreements, etc.)

a. A SPEX routing sheet is not needed.

b. You should begin to review the contract.

i. Review the contract terms for university acceptance. Review all attachments - do they match the contract?

ii. If this agreement is an NDA or an MTA, the terms should be reviewed for IP issues and export compliance - see the list of questions to assist review [pdf].

iii. Determine if additional information is needed from the Principal Investigator in order ot decide how to proceed with contract negotiation. The answers to the questions noted in "ii." may indicate that the PI is potentially sending or receiving confidential information, export controlled information, working with foreign nationals or disclosing CMU-owned IP. If so, you should review and ensure all information required to negotiation is available and complete.

iv. Prepare a draft negotiation letter for the company; explain any modifications and the rationale for changes. Review the letter upon completion and ensure all issues have been addressed (not just contract issues, but anything that may affect the work if relevant).

v. Discuss proposed negotiation email/letter and process with OSP Contracts Manager prior to sending it to sponsor.

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