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Researchers often collaborate on research or share research tools with other scientists or institutions without receiving funding. For many unfunded collaborations, a formal agreement is beneficial or necessary. Non-financial agreements set out expectations, terms, and requirements that protect the interests of the investigators and the participating organizations. Often these agreements are incorporated (by attachment or reference) within funded agreements. It is important to note that a non-financial agreement may involve the provision or exchange of something of value, and the relevant department will need to determine whether what FSU provides under the agreement is commensurate in value with what it is receiving. Further, non-financial agreements sometimes contain restrictive language that may conflict with basic academic rights, intellectual property rights, and/or other terms that must be negotiated. Formal agreements afford protection not only for the institution but also for the researcher. Formal agreements can:

  • Ensure a mutual understanding of the scope of the project and each party’s role;
  • Safeguard intellectual property rights;
  • Preserve the right to publish the results of the project;
  • Identify potential export control compliance issues;
  • Require the identification of confidential information and/or export controlled information prior to disclosure;
  • Require compliance with human subject, animal subject, rDNA, or biohazard requirements;
  • Provide liability protection for the research partner’s misuse of research results or materials;
  • Protect against third-party claims resulting from the research partner’s gross negligence or willful misconduct; and
  • Require compliance with campus policies and federal and state laws and regulations.

All non-financial agreements are legal contracts between two parties; therefore, faculty members, chairs, and deans do not have the authority to sign these agreements on behalf of the University.

Type of Agreement Description

Non-Disclosure Agreements


A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is required to ensure that certain information disclosed in discussions or transmissions is kept confidential and is only used for the limited purposes defined in the NDA. NDAs can also be referred to as Confidentiality Agreements (CA or CDA), or Proprietary Information Agreements (PIA).

Data Use Agreements


A Data Use Agreement (DUA) may be required any time there will be a transfer of data, a dataset, or software that is non-public or is otherwise subject to restrictions on its use. A DUA may or may not consist of human subject data. DUAs can be either Incoming (FSU receives data from an outside entity) or Outgoing (data housed at FSU are shared with an outside entity).

Material Transfer Agreements

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is required when sending or receiving physical materials or software to/from a non-FSU entity. 

Other  Agreement Types


This category is a catchall for any agreements that do not fall into the above categories. Examples include:

  • Teaming agreements  
  • Memorandums of Understanding
  • No-Funds Collaboration Agreements
  • Facility Access or Use Agreements
  • Vehicle and Equipment Loan Agreements


Processing a Non-Financial Agreement

RAMP Agreements allows for the electronic routing, review, and approval of non-financial research agreements and subawards. Users may upload a draft agreement or ask the Agreements team (via the submission process) to prepare the agreement for you. Effective December 2, 2019, use of RAMP Agreements was required for all non-financial agreements. 

Access RAMP Agreements by clicking on the icon on the MyFSU Portal.

How To Guides are available within the RAMP Help Center.

Contact Glenn Ladwig at if you have any questions about non-financial agreements.

Contact Us

Research Compliance
Mary Sechrist, Director
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1330