Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions

What types of agreements/contracts have to be routed through ORA?

Examples of documents that the Contract and Professional Services team review include but are not limited to the following:

  • Service Agreements
  • Applications with terms and conditions
  • Speaking Agreements
  • Provider (medical – third party) Agreements
  • Graduate Medical Education (GME) Agreements
  • Letter of Agreements or Residency Program Agreements
  • Fee for Service Agreements
  • Independent Contractor Agreements
  • Subcontracts/Consortium Agreements/Practicum Agreements
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Agreements (including those with OU-Norman or Oklahoma State University)

I will be giving a speech/presentation. What information do you need to be able to draft an agreement for me?

  • Date when you will be giving the speech/presentation
  • Name of the conference or event
  • Location of the conference or event
  • Title and/or topic of the speech/presentation
  • Compensation: how much you will be paid for the speech/presentation and any reimbursable expenses (e.g. travel, lodging, meals, etc.)
  • Sponsor info: legal name of the Sponsor exactly how it should appear on the agreement, contact name/email address, physical/mailing address, and name of the official with signature authority

This information can be provided on the supplemental page of the routing form, or in an email. If you choose to send an email, you must still complete a routing form.

What if I think I might have a conflict of interest?

Please review the information found here where you can find definitions, guidance and disclosure forms regarding Conflict of Interest.  If you believe that you may have or appear to have a conflict of interest, you must disclose at the time of proposal submission.

What is the difference between a subcontract-in (sub-in) and a subcontract-out (sub-out) and who in ORA handles them?

  • Sub-out: The Grants department handles the outgoing subcontracts where OUHSC is paying a contractor/subcontractor for services from a grant or contract that was awarded to OUHSC
  • Sub-in: The Grants department handles the incoming subcontracts where the other party is paying OUHSC as a subcontractor for services from a grant or contract awarded to the other party (sponsored funds).

How do I get a subcontract out or an independent contractor agreement prepared?

  1. Subcontracts and Independent Contract Agreements must be routed in SoonerTrack:Agreements
  2. These agreements will be routed to Purchasing. (Note: this step must be completed before ORA can begin processing the agreement).
  3. Please send any questions to or the SoonerTrack Help-desk at  

What is the difference between an Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) and a Professional Service Agreement (PSA)?

  • An Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) is an agreement funded from a grant between the University on behalf of a PI who has received grant funding and a Contractor.  The ICA outlines the services that the Contractor (Vendor) will provide and at what rate the Contractor charges for services.
  • A Professional Service Agreement (PSA) is an agreement in which the University on behalf of the PI/Department agrees to provide service(s) for an Organization.  The PSA outlines the terms, conditions and compensation the University will receive for services that the PI/ Department provides.

Do you offer a seminar for new employees so they can be informed on how and when to interact with the ORA?

At the current time we do not offer a seminar for new employees.  However, please feel free to contact the Office of Research Administration to schedule a time to meet with your Sponsored Programs Administrator who can guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have. ORA is always  glad to come to individual departments and make specific presentations as time allows.

How do I contact the Office of Research Administration (ORA)?

The Office of Research Administration is located in Research Park at 865 Research Parkway, in Suite 450.   

The phone number is 405-271-2090.  Please email any documents to:

Who in ORA can help me?

To find your Sponsored Programs Administrator go here Find my SPA

Process Questions

When is a routing form needed?

Routing forms are required any time agreements or contracts are entered into with the University on behalf of the PI.

Where can I find the routing forms?

All documents must be routed through SoonerTrack



Can an ICA or Subcontract be started before we receive and process the Primary Agreement?

No, the primary agreement (award) must be in place and processed through the Grants and Contracts Accounting office before any subcontracts or ICAs can be processed on it.

What do I need to submit to ORA to amend an agreement, subcontract or ICA?

Submit a new Routing Form or Cover Page and include a copy of the agreement you would like to amend. You can mark up the agreement to indicate exactly what should be amended or you can provide a detailed description of what needs to be amended on the Supplemental Page of the Routing Form or in the Scope of Work section of the Cover Page.

What is OUHSC’s legal name for the other party to place on an agreement?

Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

How should the checks payable section appear on a contract?

  • Check(s) for services shall be made payable to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Attn: Department Contact, Department address.
  • Check(s) for reimbursable expenses shall be made payable to the Principal Investigator or OUHSC employee, Attn: PI/OUHSC Employee/Department Contact, Department address or whichever address the PI/OUHSC employee prefers.

What is a benefits statement and when is it required?

If the PI/OUHSC employee is not receiving monetary compensation for services, he/she must provide a brief statement explaining how these services benefit the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Also, if he/she will receive any reimbursements for travel or other reimbursable expenses, he/she must provide details.  Click here to review the policy and see if you qualify. 

Policy Questions

Why can’t I sign an agreement on my own?

The University of Oklahoma is a constitutionally-created state agency.  All employees of the University are employees of the State of Oklahoma.  As such, they are subject to University policy and state conflicts of interest rules.  If the contracts bind the University, its employees, or any of its resources, University policy prohibits employees from signing contracts individually.  This policy is based on the following state conflicts of interest rules:

  • 257:20-1-1(3) – State employees may not use their state position to obtain private benefits.
  • 257:20-1-1(4) – State employees must avoid actions that create the appearance of using their position to obtain private benefit (thus, the University requires that all contracts for the employee’s professional services be between the other party and the University, as employer, so it is clear any benefit is to the University rather than an individual).
  • 257:20-1-4(c)(2) – No state employee shall accept or solicit other employment that would impair his independence of judgment in the performance of duties (thus, the University prohibits employees from contracting with others; contracts with the University rather than the individual preserve the independence of judgment and provide a check on resources committed by the employee to other entities).

Based on the above, state employees may not contract in their individual capacities. They may acknowledge agreements and accept them through their employer.  The University remains responsible for its employees and for fulfilling the terms of contracts that it signs.

Why can’t I do promotional work for a company?

OUHSC is prohibited from promoting, endorsing, or marketing a Sponsor or any of its products, services, or deliverables.

Why can't state employees promote or market the goods or services of private entities?

This policy is based both on University policy and State ethics rules.  The OU Board of Regents prohibits any endorsement of a private entity by the University; as University employees, we are all bound by that policy in any work we do in our capacity as employees. By marketing a product, you would be endorsing it. In addition, State ethics rules (regarding conflicts of interest) prohibit this type of use of a state position.

OUHSC can accept an educational grant or speaker’s fee to discuss a drug in a fair, unbiased manner. Federal law regulates the conditions under which the speech is given.

Why can’t we agree to percentage payments when providing editor services on a journal or a book?

As a state agency, the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center must, by law, be compensated fair market value (“FMV”) for any goods or services it provides to another entity, including editing services. If the University does not receive FMV for its services, it is considered to have donated state resources. The University is prohibited by law from donating state resources. Percentage payments do not guarantee the University will receive FMV since they are based on speculative sales of the edited work that may or may not occur in the future. Those sales could be low, which would result in the University’s receiving a payment for services that is less than FMV. Therefore, the University must require a fixed FMV amount for any services it provides.

Who is eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator (PI)?

The OUHSC policy on PI eligibility is located here: PI Eligibility