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Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a standard document format and policy for the establishment of research agreements under which the Vice Chancellor for Research, Outreach, and Extension has delegated authority to the College to sign MOA agreements on behalf of the University in order to expedite the processing and handling of these agreements. An equally important purpose of this policy is to minimize, to the maximum extent possible, the review, administrative handling, and oversight of research agreements by the administrative offices of the University.

The MOA should be used with Industry Partners as an enticement to do business with the University and to establish an ongoing relationship in which any follow-on-agreements would carry our full federally negotiated Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate.

Delegated MOA

The Delegated MOA is intended for preparation, review, and execution by the College Research Offices. The Associate Deans for Research have been delegated permission to sign this document on behalf of the institution. This delegation extends only to the utilization of the document without modification. Any deviation to this procedure or the standard agreement voids both the College’s signature authority and the reduced F&A rate and must be reviewed and approved, as normal, through the Office of Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance Services.  The Delegated MOA is intended ONLY for the initial attraction of a corporate industrial sponsor. It is not intended and may not be used for the continual, incidental support of an investigator’s program of scholarship or research. As such, the Delegated MOA may be used only:

  • Once per P.I.-sponsor relationship regardless of the scope of work.
  • Once per university-sponsor relationship for the same or substantially similar scope of work.
  • When there are no government funds involved directly and as a flow-through component of the funding.
  • For a supplement, to the initial scope of work under the MOA if the original award value is less than the $50,000 limit. Supplements can be issued at the reduced 15% F&A up to the $50,000 limit (the total dollar value cannot go over $50,000 for the original MOA and the supplement). A supplemental pins proposal is required, and the Modification to the MOA must be issued and signed by SPARCS.
  • Any substantial modification to the language contained in a MOA will void the lower indirect cost rate and college delegated signature authority. Consequently, the proposed project will follow the normal sponsored research process and access the full federally-negotiated.

Purpose and Procedure

The standard delegated MOA is to be used for one-time projects with sponsors not to exceed a direct cost cap of $50,000 (rev May 2014) and to include 15% of the Total Direct Costs (TDC) for (F&A) costs.


The MOA may be used for research, training, or extension activities for projects up to a total amount of $50,000, and does not include federal, federal flow-through, state, and local government funding.

As mentioned above, the total cost allowable under an MOA is capped at $50,000 (includes direct costs and an F&A fee of 15%).

For Example, the maximum amount is demonstrated below:

Total Direct Costs (summary of all expenses except F&A)$43,478
Total F&A Fee ($43,478  Total Direct Costs @ 15%)     6,522
Total Project Costs (Total Direct Costs + F&A Fee)$50,000

Any modification to the language contained in an MOA will render the agreement to be treated as a sponsored activity whereby then processed as a standard proposal, and the University’s full federally negotiated rate is applied. Therefore, negotiations are not permitted with the use of this agreement.


We recommend downloading the MOA and sharing a copy of the agreement with your sponsor. The recommended action would allow us to confirm in advance the sponsor is accepting of the University’s terms and conditions contained in the MOA and thus may avoid miscommunication further in the process. Please also be certain to secure departmental approval of your proposal before beginning the process with your sponsor.

You will need to provide the College office with the proposal which will be identified as Attachment A and appended to the MOA. Additionally, you will need to provide our office with the particulars of the agreement, i.e., sponsor contact information, the title of the project, start/end dates, amount of understanding, technical reporting requirements, etc.

Upon receipt of the above, COE-ORA will prepare the MOA and initiate a PINS record on behalf of the PI.  Once the MOA is completed and signed by the authorized College representative, we will notify the PI who will need to sign duplicate originals of the document. The College office will then mail the two (2) originals to the sponsor for their review and signature.

Upon receipt from the sponsor of the fully executed original MOA the College will notify the PI who should then examine the PINS record for accuracy, approve and initiate routing so that the next level of approval (i.e., Department Head) was notified and secured.

When the PINS record reaches the College level for approval, we will review and approve and attach the MOA with the original signature and request for SPARCS to process for the award.

SPARCS will review, approve and authorize Contracts and Grants to establish a ledger 5-account of which we will notify our PI of as soon as the account has been set up.