Legal Services for Research Contracts and Agreements

Research contracts and other agreements with non-for-profit entities are legal documents that require careful review by EPFL Legal Affairs before signature, to ensure both the researchers’ and EPFL’s interests.

This page offers basic information for understanding funding contracts, and templates for research-related agreements.

For research contracts with companies or other for-profit entities, please visit the dedicated page of the EPFL Technology Transfer Office.

NEWS June 2024 – Simplified contract signature process

2024 revision of article 21 of the DSCRTT, LEX 3.4.1

Heads of unit can now sign contracts of less than 50’000 CHF with non-for-profit partners without review by the Research Office and Legal Affairs.

Additionally, heads of unit can sign contracts such as Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) and Data Transfer Agreements (DTAs) without review by the Research Office and Legal Affairs, provided EPFL templates are used without alteration. Support remains available upon request (notably if there is any potential reputational risk).

There are four exceptions to the new rule, where approval by the Research Office remains compulsory:

  • If the contract involves a transfer of personal data or human biological material
  • If the opening of a dedicated fund is specifically required by the non-for-profit funder
  • If timekeeping is necessary to reimburse the salary of the staff
  • If this is a follow-up on a similar contract with the same sponsor

For more information, please read these explanatory notes.

Browse the resources section below for a fastguide on finalizing contracts, and contract templates.

Contact [email protected] with any additional question.



[email protected]

EPFL Research Office

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