Procedures around Contracts
- for a Non-Disclosure Agreement: the party that provides confidential information.
- for a Material Transfer Agreement: the party that provides materials.
- for a Data Usage Agreement: the party that provides data.
- for a Grant Agreement: the donator.
- for a Cooperation Agreement: the institution of the project coordinator.
- for a Contract Research: the commissioner.
- for a Subaward Agreement: the university/institution in charge of fund management or the institution in charge of fund transfer.
As a rule the scientific project managers are responsible for the communication with the contract partners regarding the draft contract.
Project managers shall contact the competent representative of Team Forschungsförderung (VI C) for a contract consultancy around third-party-funded research.
For on-going projects please contact the competent administrator of the Team Drittmittelverwaltung (VI DMV).
For all other types of contract it is advised to consult the Team Rechtsangelegenheiten bei Forschung & Transfer (VI B) directly. The draft contract will be issued by Team VI B and submitted to the scientific project management.
Upon request by the scientific project manager (especially in complex contractual relationships) Team VI B may also assume the communication with the other contract parties.
Project managers of the FU Berlin should first examine whether or not the provisions in the draft are comprehensible and transparent for them as well as if they serve the purpose of the project and the collaboration.
This self-checkup is important as the project manager has the necessary overview of the research project in regard to its specific features and potential difficulties.
In case of concern Team Rechtsangelegeneheiten bei Forschung und Transfer (VI B) should be consulted. The draft may be amended, if necessary, in order to prevent any legal problems or difficulties in the negotiation process with the contract partners.
The project manager of the FU Berlin may then send the draft to the potential contract partners with the request of its review in academic, financial and legal respects. All suggestions for amendments to the draft should be filled in the respective document in editing mode. This will speed up the further proceedings and finalization of the draft.
Team VI B may, if required (especially in complex contractual matters), assume the communication regarding the draft with the contract partners or their legal advisors.
All amendment proposals by the contract partner shall be communicated to the project management of the FU Berlin and from there subsequently to Team VI B. If there are more than two contract partners involved, Team VI B shall put together all their proposed amendments into a single file.
Team VI B will then examine all requested amendments and draw up a new agreement which in turn shall be sent to contract partners for their own review. This process can be repeated as many times as all parties have reached an unanimous consent on the text of the contract.
In the event of disagreement a tele- or videoconference between the project managers and the legal advisors of the potential contract parties (including Team VI B) may support the negotiation process.
The scientific project managers of FU Berlin should first examine on their own whether or not the provisions in the draft of a potential partner are in their own view clear, transparent and suitable for the cooperation. This self-examination is important as only the project managers have the necessary overview on all specificities and difficulties of the research project. In case of doubt, please contact Team Rechtsangelegenheiten bei Forschung & Transfer (VI B).
Afterwards, the project managers are to send the contract draft to the competent advisor of Team Forschungsförderung (VI C) for a third-party-funded research or to the responsible administrator of the Team Drittmittelverwaltung (VI DMV) for the matters of ongoing projects. For other types of contract, please contact Team VI B directly.
Team VI B examines the contract draft in legal aspects and discusses the matter with other responsible departments (especially budget department, Teams VI C and VI DMV).
Amendment requests shall be incorporated in the draft per editing mode.
Team VI B may suggest draft amendments and submit them to the project managers of FU Berlin which may in turn be shared and discussed with the contract partners. Team VI B may, if required (especially in complex contractual matters), assume the communication about the draft with the contract partners or their legal advisors.
In the event of disagreement a tele- or videoconference between the project managers and the legal advisors of the contract parties (including Team VI B) may support the negotiation process.
Every contract at FU Berlin must be signed by the President of FU Berlin or an authorized deputy of the Central University Administration (Chancellor or other authorized deputies) in order to become legally binding.
In general the Head of the Research Department is the authorized deputy in research-related matters.
Here at FU Berlin all types of research-related contracts are to be co-signed by the scientific project management. By doing so the scientific project manager expresses his/her understanding and consent on the contract terms (especially in regard to research-related contents and tasks).
Contracts that are signed only by the scientific project management have no binding effect for FU Berlin.
An original copy of the contract must be submitted to the Research Department at Central University Administration. Upon request an additional original copy may be issued to the scientific project management for the purpose of documentation. Please note that original copies must be signed by each individual contract party.
With a mutual agreement an exchange of signed contracts in scanned form may suffice especially in international legal cases. Team Rechtsangelegenheiten bei Forschung & Transfer (VI B) must be consulted before the signing for examination whether or not this simplified electronical procedure is admissible.
Within FU Berlin the scientific project manager in charge signs the contract copies first and forwards them to the Research Department (VI) which in turn takes care of the rest of the procedure for the legal validity.
The scientific project manager receives all the signed contract copies after they have been signed by Central University Administration and may forward them to the project partner. The Research Department (VI) may keep one copy for its own documentation if all the necessary contract copies have been completely signed by the FU Berlin.
As soon as the contract has been signed with legal effect by all partners Team Drittmittelverwaltung (VI DMV) can establish a respective third-party funds (Drittmittelfonds) and third-party funds may be transferred to FU Berlin.
Only then the scientific project managers may make expenditures and process personnel matters (especially recruitment).
The original copy of the signed contract shall be kept at the Research Department. Project managers are asked to submit an original copy of every signed contract to the Research Department (VI). Should there be no additional original copy, project managers are advised to make a copy or scan of the contract for their own documentation.
Should there be legal questions or conflicts regarding the project execution or the respective contract, researchers and scientists at the FU Berlin may contact Team Rechtsangelegenheiten bei Forschung & Transfer (VI B). Team VI B shall provide counsel on solution and further steps.