CERES: Create and Submit a Non-Funded Agreement


Create and Submit a Non-Funded Agreement

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Non-funded agreements may include Material Transfer Agreements (MTA), Data Use Agreements (DUA), Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA), Collaboration Agreements (CA), a Letter of Indemnification (LOI), or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). When you create an agreement, you are required to complete a series of pages. The number of pages depends on the type of agreement. Follow the steps below to create and submit an agreement.

To create an agreement

  1. From the CERES Dashboard, click the Create menu and then select Create Agreement.
  2. Complete all required fields on the Agreement Upload page.
  3. For question 3, if the agreement document has already been drafted, you can attach it by clicking the Upload button. However, if Sponsored Research (SR) will create the first draft of the agreement using a Northwestern template, check the First draft to be generated internally? box instead.
  4. For question 5, select the appropriate agreement type. After completing this page, click Continue and enter all the required information in the following pages.
    • ☆ Tip: After selecting the Agreement Type, you can hover over the type selected with your mouse to read a description with more details.
  5. Depending on the Agreement Type selected, additional SmartForm pages specific to that type will be added. Click Continue.
  6. On the General Information page, RAs should list themselves as an Agreement Collaborator under question 6 (in addition to being listed as the Primary Contact) to ensure they receive notifications related to this agreement.
    • Note: Primary Contacts do not receive notifications from CERES as part of the standard agreement workflow, however Collaborators do. The only email notification that Collaborators will not receive is if clarifications are requested on the agreement. This notification will only send to the PI and Proxy. However, when the agreement is in a Clarification Requested state, it will show in the CERES inbox for the Primary Contact, Collaborators, and PI/Proxy, so you can still take action to address the requested clarification. Complete all required fields and once you’ve completed each page, move on to the next page by clicking Continue.
      • Important! Do not complete the “Negotiation Information” page as this section is only to be filled in by Sponsored Research.
  7. On the last page, follow the completion instructions and then click Finish.
    • Note: Failure to fill out correctly and completely will cause delays and the agreement will be routed back to the department​.

When you click Finish from the SmartForm:

  • You have not yet submitted the agreement. The workspace of the created agreement displays, and the workflow state is Pre-Submission.
  • The agreement will stay in your inbox, and you can continue to edit the agreement until you submit it for processing.
  • The History tab on the agreement workspace will log who created the agreement.

Note: By default, the person who creates an agreement is assigned as the Primary Contact in the system. The Primary Contact can be changed, and if that happens, the person who creates the agreement will:

  • See the agreement in My Inbox only during the Pre-Submission state.
  • No longer have read and write permissions on that agreement.
  • Not be able to create amendments for the agreement.

Submit an Agreement

  1. Check if all the information is accurate and complete.
    • ☆ Tip: You can verify you’ve completed all required SmartForm fields by clicking Edit Agreement on the workspace and then at the top of the left navigation panel, click Validate.
  2. At the left of the agreement workspace under Next Steps, click Submit.
  3. Click OK to accept the statement and submit the agreement.

When this Submit activity is executed:

  • The agreement advances to the Unassigned state. The appropriate Sponsored Research team will assign a team member to oversee the agreement through the review, negotiation, and signing process​.
  • The activity will be logged under the History tab on the agreement workspace, showing who submitted the agreement.
  • The PI and Proxy will be notified throughout the workflow if clarification is needed. The PI, Proxy, and Collaborators will be notified once the agreement language is approved. When the agreement is activated, they will also receive a notification with a link to the fully executed agreement.


Non-Funded Agreement FAQ's

Question Answer

Q: Do non-funded agreements need departmental approval?

A: No, there is no departmental approval step. The non-funded agreement will route directly to Sponsored Research.

Q: Can others (non-RAs) get in to CERES and help with non-funded items (DUAs, CDAs, etc.)?

A: Yes, it is possible to request access specifically to the Agreements Module – without corresponding Grants Module access – in order for non-Research Administrators to be able to submit non-funded agreements including Data Use, Non-Disclosure, and Material Transfer Agreements. The new access request form will include this distinction.


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Article ID: 2265
Thu 4/6/23 9:28 AM
Tue 5/16/23 12:35 PM