Policies & Guidance

Award Acceptance Policies and Guidance

Billing Agreement Guidance

Billing Agreement Guidance

Billing agreements are binding agreements between two local institutions that are utilized when an investigator/researcher is an employee of one institution and is performing work at another local institution.

Subject Matter Resource: Your AD

Data Use Agreement (DUA) Guidance

Data Use Agreement (DUA) Guidance

The purpose of this guidance is to set forth the administrative review procedures for the approval and execution of Data Use Agreements at Harvard when Harvard is either the Provider or Recipient.

Data Use Agreements (DUAs) Policy

Data Use Agreements (DUAs) Policy

All Data Policies

All DUAs shall be considered research-related agreements and must be reviewed and signed by the Office for Sponsored Programs or the Longwood Area Offices for Research Administration(HMS / HSPH) in accordance with the Delegation of Signing Authority with Regard to Grants and Research Contracts as amended. The signature of an institutional official certifies that commitments made on such agreements can and will be honored and ensures that all DUAs conform to all relevant laws, regulations, agency guidelines, and University policies and guidelines.

Gift vs Sponsored Research Policy

Gift vs Sponsored Research Policy

The University must manage all funds received in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, and with the specific terms and conditions of any gift, grant or contract. The University’s approval, negotiation and agreement processes and mechanisms, accounting, budget practices, oversight, and compliance practices differ depending on whether funds received are categorized as a gift or as a sponsored award.

Subject Matter Resource: Your AD

Harvard University Financial Guidance on Fixed Price Awards

Harvard University Financial Guidance on Fixed Price Sponsored Awards

Fixed price sponsored awards are awards in which an agreed upon set price is determined for the project to be accomplished.  Principal Investigators (PIs) and administrators must prepare accurate, detailed proposal budgets, and costs associated with the fixed price sponsored award to fully capture all resources necessary for the work performed on the project.   The University guidance addresses what happens when the project exceeds the awarded amount or the project is performed at a cost below the awarded amount.  The Harvard Chan School Procedure for Fixed Price Balances details the business process that must be followed during the closeout if there is a balance at the end of the fixed price award.

Subject Matter Resource:  Your AD

Independent Contractor Classification

Independent Contractors Policy

A worker providing services to the University must be properly classified as either an employee or an independent contractor.  If a worker is classified as an independent contractor, all supporting documentation referenced in the policy must be completed and signed before services are rendered. 

Subject Matter Resource: Your Human Resources Partner

Service or Consulting Agreements Involving Faculty Contracted Through Harvard

Service or Consulting Agreements Involving Faculty Contracted Through Harvard

This policy establishes a process for approving and managing service or consulting agreements that faculty undertake under the auspices of Harvard University, meaning Harvard would be the contracting party.  Examples of services that faculty may seek to provide under the auspices of Harvard may include:

  • Performing an evaluation or assessment of an external program, such as an educational program or public health initiative;
  • Establishing rating criteria, such as standards for measuring health or safety outcomes;
  • Providing technical assistance to a foreign government in areas such as social, health or economic services;
  • Assisting a city government in its urban planning.


Statement of Policy in Regard Intellectual Property

Statement of Policy in Regard to Intellectual Property

Adopted by the President and Fellows of Harvard College on November 3, 1975 as the “Statement of Policy in Regard to Inventions, Patents, and Copyrights” and amended on March 17, 1986, February 9, 1998 and August 10, 1998. Further amended, restated and renamed on February 4, 2008 and amended on October 4, 2010 and December 12, 2013.  The policy is overseen by the Harvard University, Office of Technology and Development.

Participation Agreement for Research Performed at Harvard

Participation Agreements for Research Performed at Harvard  Individuals who perform research at Harvard and/or who may create intellectual property through the use of Harvard resources are subject to certain University policies and, in some cases, to the terms of agreements between Harvard and third parties.  Such policies cover, the ethical conduct of research, publication of research results, retention of research records and the University’s “Statement of Policy in Regard to Intellectual Property”  which governs patentable inventions, copyrightable works and tangible materials made through the use of funds, facilities or other resources provided by or through Harvard. 

Publications Policy

Publications Policy

Commitments to sponsors must protect the right to discuss research results freely and informally (whether orally or through written or electronic means) with students, trainees, collaborators and colleagues. 

Subject matter resource:  Your AD

Policy on Use of Harvard Names and Insignias

Policy on Use of Harvard Names and Insignias

The University and its members have a responsibility to ensure that any implied association with the University is accurate and that the activities with which it is associated maintain standards consistent with its educational purposes.

Subject Matter Resource:  Eileen Nielsen

Award Acceptance Forms

Award Acceptance and Award Setup Checklist

Award Setup Checklist and Award Allocation Chart

The Award Setup Checklist and Allocation Chart is a checklist for GMs, ADFs, and PIs to use as a tool when a notice of award or agreement is receivedIt includes a list of all items that SPA needs to setup your award in GMAS. Helpful links are provided throughout the Checklist. 

Subject Matter Resources:  Your SRA

Billing Agreement and Amendment Templates - Salary Form

Billing Agreement and Amendment Templates - Trainees Form

Award Acceptance Business Processes

Award Receipt Business Process

Award Setup Business Process

Billing Agreements - Affiliate Salary Business Process

Billing Agreement-Trainee Business Process

Department At-Risk Business Process

Departmental At-Risk Accounts Business Process

Provides standardized business process for setting up at-risk accounts to minimize delays in account set-up. 

Data Use Agreement Business Process

Industry Sponsored Research Agreement Business Process

Legal Agreement Workflow, Negotiating and Signing Authority

Legal Agreement Workflow, Negotiating and Signing Authority

The legal agreement chart explains the offices that review and execute legal agreements relating to Harvard’s teaching and research mission. The purpose of the chart is to inform administrators at schools as to which office they should contact for the review of agreements, and which University offices must sign particular agreements.

Subject Matter Resource:  Your AD

Managing the GMAS Research Team Aid

Streamlined Advance/At-Risk Accounts Business Process

Unilateral Sub Amendments Business Process


A notice of award, also referred to as notice, NOGA, NoA, contract, agreement, or award letter, is a notification from a sponsor indicating that a proposal has been funded. Notice of awards are typically received by the SPA office, although on occasion a PI may be notified directly.

The SPA office will send notification of the receipt of the award notice and the Award Setup Checklist and Award Allocation Chart excel file in an e-mail to the PI and the appropriate Department Administrator.


NIH uses Just-in-Time procedures to collect certain elements of an application after review when the application is under consideration for funding. Elements typically collected include Other Support (OS) for all key personnel and if applicable Certification of IRB Approval, Verification of IACUC Approval, Human Subjects Education Requirement, Identification of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines, Genomic Data Sharing, Institutional Certification, My Bibliography Report of Publication and any Other Information Requested by the Awarding IC. If responding to an email from the Program Officer the deadline is usually specified and both the PI and Grant Manager should take note.

Please note, the recently released NIH Notice Number NOT-OD-19-114, intents to remind the extramural community of the NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components. For further guidance, please see Harvard Chan School's Procedures on Other Support Documentation.   

Non-NIH sponsors may ask for information prior to the award. These requests can vary from sponsor to sponsor.  



Before accepting an award on behalf of the University, the Harvard Chan School SPA Office reviews all terms and conditions, regardless of the sponsor, and is responsible for negotiating appropriate remedies.

The responsibility for the review and approval of all industry-sponsored research agreements at Harvard lies with the Office of Technology and Development (OTD). OTD should be consulted in the first instance when a relationship with private industry is being contemplated.  OTD also handles incoming and outgoing Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) for the protection of intellectual property when collaborating with third parities. 


Subrecipient monitoring is required by Harvard University’s Subrecipient Monitoring Policy and is an essential element of sponsored funding stewardship. All research administrators managing outgoing subawards share this responsibility. The HCSRA info page provides pre- and post-award guidance and resources to assist with the monitoring and assessment processes.