Contractual Obligations and Problematic Terms and Conditions

Occasionally, proposed awards include troublesome and unacceptable clauses. These usually appear in contracts, but may be included in research grants or cooperative agreements. OSP negotiates with the sponsor to remove the problematic clause or substitute alternative language that is acceptable to MIT and the sponsor.

  • Inappropriate obligations or problematic terms may be included in proposed awards where MIT is the lead or a subawardee.
  • Even if MIT is the subawardee, unacceptable terms and conditions in the subaward must be negotiated or modified to make the subaward agreement compliant with Institute policies. Because the Institute is not the direct award recipient, negotiation of these restrictions with the prime sponsors must involve the lead awardee, and has often been unsuccessful.

The restrictive clauses relate to:

  • Publication restrictions/information release – prior approval of the dissemination of information, data, and results in publications or presentations, or delays in publication beyond thirty (30) days
  • Foreign nationals – prior approval for the involvement of foreign nationals in the specific research project.
  • Export control
  • Confidentiality clauses – terms of protection longer than five (5) years, refusal to mark or identify sponsor confidential information, keeping sponsor's identity or contract terms confidential, or refusal to seek MIT's permission before disclosing export controlled or classified confidential information to MIT.
  • Classified research – MIT policy does not permit the conduct of classified research on campus.
  • Security issues and access requirements as they pertain to accessing Government Facilities - Do they reach into campus work?
  • Approval of Work Product - All research results are based on the conclusions of the MIT PI and are not to be revised by the Sponsor
  • Review of Federal Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL)

Key Resource

Please see the list of troublesome or unacceptable clauses from various federal agencies related to Information research and Foreign Nationals.