Negotiating Contracts

The Basics

  • Besides grants, you may submit proposals for contractual arrangements for external funding.
  • A contract is a legally binding document that serves as a procurement mechanism to acquire property or services for direct benefit or use of the sponsor; they entail specific obligations and define specific details of the legal relationship between both the sponsor and recipient.
  • Contracts are a more restrictive mechanism for securing services than grants and may specify penalties for non-performance.
  • Contracts may be awarded for research, assessment, specific work performance, instruction, training, and/or similar activities.

Routing Proposals for Contracts

  • You will need to work with your contact person in Sponsored Programs to develop a scope of work and budget to submit to the sponsor via its sponsored programs/grants and contracts office.
  • You will need to route the proposed scope of work and budget for all required approvals through AGrants prior to submission to your sponsor—just as you would a grant proposal.
  • When you receive a contract from a sponsor for a signature(s), Sponsored Programs will review the terms and conditions. Sponsored Programs will negotiate any problematic or unacceptable clauses or language with the sponsor.
  • The contract will be awarded on campus once it is fully executed (i.e., once all required signatures by both parties have been secured). Click here to see who has the authority to sign contracts on behalf of the University.
  • Negotiating contracts can be time-consuming and generally will take at least 5 to 10 business days to complete.
  • Depending on the type of contract or the scope of work, Sponsored Programs may request Appalachian's General Counsel to review and negotiate the contract on behalf of the University.