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The Contracts Process


The process for submitting a Contract to SPA for processing is very similar to Grant Funding Proposal, with the exception that it is possible a proposal will not be entered into VERA Grants (depending on the type - Unfunded). 

Once an agreement request has been assigned a VERA ID number, it is assigned to a Contracts Team member, then the agreement is either drafted or reviewed. The team member identifies terms that are problematic for Vanderbilt. Some common negotiation issues are indemnification, intellectual property ownership, and the applicability of certain federal flow-down terms. The member will work with the other party, PI, administrator, and various other offices across campus, as needed, including: the Office of General Counsel, Risk Management, Office of Contract and Grant Accounting, and CTTC. Once the agreement has been finalized in a form acceptable to both Vanderbilt and the other party, the agreement will be signed by both SPA and the other party.  Finally, the fully-executed agreement is uploaded and activated in VERA Agreements.


  • For those Contracts that must be submitted through VERA Grants (Funding Proposal), in addition to VERA Agreements, this is the list of "Possible Documentation Needed for VERA Submission".
  • It is a minority of the Contract cases that come through SPA that do not require submission through VERA.  But, in those cases that only submission through VERA is necessary, no additional documentation is required (see link above), most helpful is the Statement/Scope of Work (SOW).
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements often require the Contract Team member to reach out to the PI to find out what type of information will be shared and whether it will be unilateral versus mutual disclosure.