Industry FAQs


What publication restrictions are allowed?

Agreements, in general, do not allow for any publication restrictions on the research being funded. However, sponsored proceedings and results may be limited for specific period of time but must ultimately be made available to the general public.

Should I contact OSP prior to negotiating with an industrial sponsor?

OSP realizes that a lot of industrial sponsorship is born out of a PI’s relationship with the sponsor. If discussions with a potential industrial sponsor reach the point of negotiation (other than technical), we ask that you notify the appropriate OSP personnel. We will provide service and support in negotiating the terms and conditions. As a state entity that is non-profit, there are several terms and conditions that we cannot agree to that are commonly found in agreements with industrial sponsors. It is possible that we may already have a “Master Agreement” in place with the sponsor and, therefore, would not need to negotiate terms. Additionally, many smaller companies do not have a standard agreement and we will advise that they use ours.

What agreement do we use for industrial support?

Mississippi State University has a standard “generic” research agreement that should be used in all industrial sponsorship. We would prefer to start our negotiations with an industrial sponsor on our own terms and conditions.

What things should we negotiate out of industrial contracts?

There are numerous clauses which the university considers sensitive. Some of these are: Intellectual Property (IP) Rights, Indemnification, Governing Laws and Warranty.

  • Industrial sponsors will typically try to maintain the ownership of any intellectual property and publication rights. We will work to ensure that neither IP nor publication rights are sacrificed.
  • Industrial sponsors should be aware that, as a state entity, MSU is prohibited by law to indemnify or hold harmless another party.
  • Mississippi State University, as an entity of the state of Mississippi, cannot make the state of Mississippi subject to laws of another state. The governing law must be the law of Mississippi.
  • The university is a non-profit, educational institution conducting research on a reasonable efforts basis, and therefore, does not warrant its goods or services.

Office of Sponsored Projects will negotiate these and any additional questionable language within the contract.

Is overhead ever waived for industrial support?

No, we should never waive overhead for an industrial sponsor. If it is the sponsor’s policy to not pay overhead, then we require a copy of either the sponsor’s policy and/or board minutes identifying such a policy.

How do I process a No Cost Extension on an industrial award?

If you find that you are in need of additional time to meet the sponsored project goals, then a no cost extension may be warranted. The PI should send the OSP Contracts Administrator his or her request and a justification for why the NCE is necessary. The OSP Contracts Administrator will then contact the sponsor and make the request on behalf of the university.

What are Teaming Agreements or Master Agreements?

  • Teaming Agreements are created when more than two entities are collaborating on a project or group of projects. Such collaboration may include several universities combined with several private entities or public institutions.
  • A Master Agreement is typically originated by a sponsor who sees that Mississippi State will provide research support on many different projects. Instead of several mutually exclusive agreements, a company may wish to create a Master Agreement identifying the common terms and conditions under which they and Mississippi State will operate the research.