A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties that outlines mutual rights, obligations, and responsibilities. It's important use the full legal name of Georgia Tech - The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia by and on behalf of Georgia Institute of Technology - in all Georgia Tech contracts. Using Georgia Tech’s full legal name ensures legal validity and proper recognition of its contracts.

Legal Affairs plays a pivotal role in Georgia Tech’s contract management, offering expert guidance and negotiation of a broad spectrum of agreements, drafting contracts, including standard templates for Institute-wide use, and assisting other Georgia Tech Contracting Units with contract negotiations as needed.

 Standard templates have been developed through collaboration with key campus stakeholders to streamline the contract process and ensure that terms are consistent with Georgia Tech's requirements as a state agency. As a result, we have templates in following major categories:

  • Academic and Educational Collaborations: Encompasses agreements related to academic collaborations, instructional services, dual/joint degrees and other educational initiatives, supporting Georgia Tech's academic, research and economic development mission.
  • Arts and Media: Covers agreements in arts and media, including performing arts engagements, campus filming and commercial photography activities, media use, and image releases and waivers.
  • Equipment Loans, Donations and Waivers: Aims at facilitating equipment loan acquisitions and donations, as well as waiver, release and assumption of risk forms.
  • International Collaborations: Supports Georgia Tech's global initiatives with international agreements that foster global collaborations, such as bilateral student exchanges, Global Research and Internships (GRIP), etc.
  • Licensing of Space: Involves agreements for the temporary use of Georgia Tech’s facilities and spaces for auxiliary services and events.
  • Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality: Focuses on protecting confidential information, providing Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) templates for various academic and administrative activities, including academic collaborations, student design course projects and procurement transactions.
  • Real Estate Transactions: Addresses the use and management of non-event spaces for educational, administrative, and economic development purposes.

Please note this is not a comprehensive list. Templates are created for specific purposes and should be used       only as intended.  For instance, a Media Use Agreement is not suitable for equipment donations.

Also, some templates are not intended for general use by all Georgia Tech departments. For assistance or questions about our templates, please contact Legal Affairs at Ask Legal <asklegal@gatech.edu>.

For information on related legal topics, please see: Equipment Loan Agreements, Filming and Commercial Photography Agreements, International Agreements, NDAs and Signature Authority.

Contracts Managed by Other Georgia Tech Units

Specific Georgia Tech units are responsible for managing certain agreements (“GT Contracting Units”):

  • Procurement & Business Services manages contracts for the purchase of goods and services, including, but not limited to, software license agreements, hotel agreements, lodging and/or transportation services agreements, etc.

        Please submit these agreements to the ServiceNow portal and select the Procurement button: 

  • Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) in Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) manages the life cycle of research contracts and grants. For assistance or inquiries regarding research contracts and grants, please visit: https://osp.gatech.edu/.
  • Office of Exchange Agreements (OEA), operating within GTRC’s OSP, manages research-related NDAs, Data Use Agreements (DUAs) and Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs). For assistance or questions, please visit their page at: https://osp.gatech.edu/exchange-agreements-team and explore NDA Legal Topic for detailed information on NDAs.
  • Office of International Education (OIE) and Global Operations in International Initiatives oversee Georgia Tech’s international relationships and coordinates international agreements. For assistance or inquiries, please visit: https://global.gatech.edu/faculty.
  • Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) manages agreements related to commercialization and licensing of intellectual property (IP) developed at Georgia Tech. For assistance or inquiries, please visit: https://licensing.research.gatech.edu/.

For questions on agreement terms or if legal assistance is needed during negotiations, GT Contracting Units may contact Legal Affairs.

Contract Review Process

To create a contract that binds Georgia Tech, all contracts require review by Legal Affairs or the appropriate GT Contracting Unit before obtaining an authorized signature. This review process involves:

  • Confirming the presence of essential elements of a legally valid contract.
  • Ensuring business terms accurately represent the intentions of the requesting Georgia Tech department.
  • Incorporating mandatory terms relevant to specific activities or the agreement’s purpose, like standard confidentiality or international initiatives provisions.
  • Confirming the proposed activity aligns with Georgia Tech’s mission.
  • Excluding any legally prohibited contractual terms.
  • Checking compliance with regulations and laws at federal, state, local, Board of Regents (BOR), Georgia Tech, and external agency levels, and identifying any relevant restrictions.
  • Identifying business decisions needed to address legal prohibitions and adding contractual provisions to manage accepted risks.

 Contracts must also be reviewed for compliance concerns. Legal Affairs or the relevant GT Contracting Unit’s review may include:

  • Confirming that a Georgia Tech requester is authorized to initiate the activity.
  • Determining if other GT Contracting Units and/or Georgia Tech departments, such as Conflicts of Interest (COI), Research Compliance Export Control and Trade, Privacy, Office of Information Technology, etc. need to review or advise on contractual requirements or the proposed activity.
  • Identifying the parties responsible for performing and ensuring compliance with the contractual obligations and restrictions.
  • Assessing the need for additional documentation to ensure compliance and mitigate risks.
  • Note: No additional review is needed for templates developed by Legal Affairs prior to authorized Georgia Tech signature, provided any changes are limited to business terms only (e.g., dates, costs, points of contacts, etc.), facilitating efficient workflow. Modifications to other terms, however, require further legal review.

How to Help Expedite the Contract Process

It is important that contract terms are acceptable from a business and administrative perspective. Thus, before requesting contract review assistance, please: 

  1. Read the Agreement: Please confirm the terms are accurate and align with Georgia Tech requirements for the specific effort, such as the agreement’s purpose, relevant dates, duration, and the parties’ obligations. The agreement should reflect the department’s intended activity and any inconsistent terms should be identified for removal or modification before submission to the Georgia Tech Contracting Unit for review.
  2. Georgia Tech Listed as the Legal Contracting Party: For Georgia Tech contracts, Georgia Tech must be designated at the contractual party and its full legal name should be used. Also, note colleges, schools, departments, centers, Registered Student Organizations (RSOs), and Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are not legal entities and should not be listed as the contracting party on the Institute’s behalf.
    • Note: Unless otherwise noted, contracts for GT affiliated organizations are often managed by Affiliated Organizations or their external legal representatives.
  3. Identify the Appropriate GT Contracting Unit: Based on the agreement type, determine the relevant GT Contracting Unit that will review the agreement, which may be OGC’s Legal Affairs, Procurement & Business Services, Office of International Education (OIE), Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), or Office of Exchange Agreements (OEA). Once identified, please consult the appropriate GT Contracting Unit for assistance.
  4. Share Information, Concerns or Risks: Proactively share any pertinent business or administrative information, specific concerns or potential risks with the appropriate GT Contracting Unit. This step is essential for facilitating effective assistance and preventing possible delays. Relevant information to share may include:
    • i. The agreement’s purpose;
    • ii. Funding sources;
    • iii. Agreement duration;
    • iv. Type of information exchanged (e.g., personally identifiable information (PII), student or financial data);
    • v. Confidentiality concerns;
    • vi. Applicable export restrictions; or
    • vii. Compliance concerns regarding contractual obligations or restrictions.
  5. Do Not Sign Without Proper Review and Delegated Authority: Only the President or officials with expressly delegated authority can execute contracts on behalf of the Institute. Signing a contract without proper authority could result in personal liability. For more information on signature authority and authorized signatories, please visit our Signature Authority Legal Topic. Please also consult Contract Review Process above.

For additional assistance or contract-specific inquiries, please contact Legal Affairs at Ask Legal <asklegal@gatech.edu>.