A faculty member in our department wants to enter into a Services Agreement, but I think it may be Research. How do I proceed?

Sometimes external agencies ask University personnel to perform services related to that external agency's research. These services may appear to be research-related, so it's important to peel apart the scope of work and ensure we can indeed enter into the relationship as a "Contractor", rather than a Subawardee.

The Uniform Guidance (200.87) defines Research and Development as follows:

R&D means all research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are performed by non-Federal entities. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.

“Research” is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. “Development” is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

UC defines research as follows:

The majority of the scope of work involves investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, the revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or the practical application of such new or revised theories or laws. University personnel are involved in decisions regarding the design or implementation of the research and/or the interpretation of the research results. University personnel are credited as authors on papers that emerge from the research. The work carried out by University personnel may (but need not) result in patentable or copyrightable technology or products.  May be applied or basic research.

If you're still unsure if your PI is performing services or research, please use the Contractor vs. Subrecipient form Purchasing and SPO created.

Click here for instructions on what is needed for a Services Agreement (revenue to your department) when the scope is not research.



Unit or Topic: 

Procurement Services