Procedure for Contract Matters

The project plan exists—but what to do next?

The project plan is written and project costs have been calculated. Who is going to help me prepare the contract now?

Questions and answers about the procedure for negotiating research and transfer contracts

That depends on the type of contract:

  • Non-disclosure agreements: the party that wants to provide confidential information.
  • Material transfer agreements: the party that wants to provide the materials..
  • Data use agreements: the party that wants to provide the data.
  • Grant agreements: the funding provider.
  • Research cooperations: the project coordinator’s institution.
  • Contract research: the client.
  • Forwarding agreements: the university managing the funds or institution forwarding the funds.
  • License agreements: the licensor.

For research or transfer projects that receive third-party funding and are governed by contracts, please reach out to the responsible contact in the Research Contracts unit or, if the project has already started, please contact the administrative assistant in project management in Research and Innovation Services. The draft contract will be prepared by the Research Contracts unit, if necessary in consultation with the enaCom Transfer Center or project management, and sent to project leadership.

Project leadership is generally responsible for communicating with the contracting parties about the draft contract.

If necessary (especially for more complex contractual relationships), the Research Contracts unit will assume responsibility, in consultation with project leadership, for communicating with the contracting parties or their legal departments.

Project leadership at the University of Bonn should first check at their end whether the provisions of the draft contract are understandable, verifiable and, in their view, appropriate for the project concerned and the desired cooperation. This independent review is important, as only project leadership knows all the special features and any difficulties of the research project concerned.

Project leadership then sends the contract to the Research Contracts unit for a legal review in order to avoid future legal problems. If necessary, the Research Contracts unit consults any other administrative units that need to be involved about the draft contract.

For research that receives third-party funding and is governed by a contract, project leadership promptly sends the draft contract to the Research Contracts unit. Non-disclosure agreements (CDA, NDA), material transfer agreements (MTA) and license agreements are promptly sent to the enaCom Transfer Center.

The Research Contracts unit reviews the draft contract from a legal perspective and consults with other units that need to be involved (in particular enaCom, Budget and Tax). Any desired changes and/or amendments are introduced into the draft document in tracked changes mode, which is why the document must be in Word format. This allows desired changes to be subsequently handled promptly and systematically.

The Director of Research and Innovation Services signs all types of research-related contracts on behalf of the Provost at the University of Bonn. The contracts are generally also co-signed by project leadership. This provides confirmation that project leadership is aware of the terms of the contract and wants/is able to implement its provisions (in particular with respect to research duties and provisions). License agreements are signed by the Provost.

Contracts that are only signed by project leaders are not legally binding.

If all contracting parties agree, contracts can be concluded exclusively in digital form. Otherwise, enough originals have to be signed for every contracting party. There are no requirements at the University of Bonn specifying whether project leadership must sign first and then the administration, or vice versa. If the contract has been signed by all parties, the dedicated unit in Research and Innovation Services archives an electronic copy in the project file and, if necessary, uses the original for any further course of action.

Once the contract has been legally signed by all parties, project management in Research and Innovation Services sets up the WBS element that is required to administer funds for projects whose requests for funds depend on a contract being concluded. This is the case if the University of Bonn has not received its own award notification. Project leadership cannot arrange for expenditures to be made or any personnel measures to be implemented (in particular hiring) for the project until this has been done.

Any University of Bonn researcher can contact the Research Contracts unit if legal issues or conflicts arise in connection with project implementation. The unit will consult with the researcher and provide advice on the further course of action.


Avatar Impekoven

Holger Impekoven

+49 228 73-5944

Avatar Theiner

Mirco Theiner

+49 228 73-54090

Wird geladen