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If you are applying for a new contract or if an external party has already provided a draft agreement, please follow the instructions below (Steps 1- 8) for submitting your contract request. Please note that a Researcher or their staff members must complete the following steps before a contract is reviewed, approved, and executed. If you have any questions or require any assistance regarding the steps below, please contact ResearchContracts@smh.ca.
COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING 8 STEPS TO SUBMIT A CONTRACT:
STEP 1: Please download and complete the Document Tracking Sheet. Please note: if the external party is an institution, kindly put an institutional email address. Please do not use a Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail email address.
STEP 2: Download and complete the appropriate Addendum for your specific contract. If you are unsure which form to complete or you need a report detailing all the contracts under your PI, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEP 3: For Service Provider Agreements, or Data/Material transfer agreements with outgoing funds, please complete an Activity Approval for Service Provider. Submit this form to your Principal Investigator’s respective Research Finance Analyst (RFA). If you’re not sure whether a Service Provider Agreement is needed, please complete the SPA Checklist and follow steps outlined on the Research Finance page. If this is not applicable, please move directly to the next step. If the total payment for a service provider that Unity Health will be paying, exceeds $24,999.99 you must contact Procurement Services before a contract can be executed.
STEP 4: For Outgoing Sub-Award or Sub-Grant Agreements (transfer of funds from Unity Health Toronto to an external site), kindly complete an Activity Approval for Outgoing Sub-Grants Form to your Principal Investigator’s respective Research Finance Analyst (RFA). If this not applicable, please move directly to the next step. Note: If you do not know who your RFA is, please click here to find a link to this information on the Research Finance page. Alternatively, you may contact email@example.com for information or help.
STEP 5: Obtain a draft agreement from the external party (if applicable), in MS Word format. If this not applicable, please move directly to the next step.
STEP 6: Compile electronic version of all documents into a submission package including:
- MS Word version of the contract, if applicable
- Protocol/Consent (required for Clinical Service Agreements, Privacy Agreements & Sub-Award Agreements)
- Budget/payment terms/payment schedule (for Collaboration Agreements, Clinical Service Agreements (Clinical Trials), Award Agreements (incoming or outgoing). Even if in draft form, the reviewer will need the budget.
- Completed Document Tracking Sheet (see Step 1)
- Appropriate addendum (see Step 2). Note: confidentiality agreements (CDA’s/NDA’s) are the only agreement that do not require an Addendum.
STEP 7: Email your package electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the following in your email:
- Documents mentioned in Step 6
- Brief explanation of your proposed research/study
- Any important deadlines
Note: If you are requesting an expedited contract review, please provide a detailed reason(s) for the urgent review and indicate any important deadlines that indicate this contract should be expedited (such as a deadline to submit for funding).
STEP 8: Once received, the Research Contracts Clerk will process your documents, designate a specific contract ID number for future reference (e.g. 21-XXXX), and assign a Research Contracts Analyst or Research Contracts Specialist. Remember, prior to starting your study you will need to secure institutional approvals from the Research Ethics Board and/or the Animal Care Committee. All research activity that includes the purchase of equipment or services shall follow the procurement process (Activity Approvals, Non-Competitive Approval Forms, etc.).
Timelines: Due to the ongoing pandemic and work from home our office has been experiencing high workload volumes. We do our best to have contracts assigned within 5 business days but please note this can fluctuate due to demand. In order to ensure a smooth process with no delays, please ensure your contract in-take forms are completely filled out with all required documents attached in 1 email submission to email@example.com or delays can occur as we follow up and wait for additional documents.
Research Contract In-Take & Review Process From Start to Finish:
- Contract is submitted to Research Contracts (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the applicable in-take forms outlined above and on the “Types of Contracts” page.
- The Contract Clerk creates a unique contract number for the contract submitted to us in our database and assigns a Contract Reviewer. This information will be provided to the study team via email. This email should be saved by the study team and the contract should be added to a tracker spreadsheet the study team will use to keep track of their contracts and contract numbers. It is important to know your contract number when reaching out to Research Contracts for status updates.
- From then on the point of contact for the contract negotiation becomes the Contract Reviewer, not the Research Contracts general email. The reviewer deals directly with the external party we need the agreement with to negotiate the contract. For status updates it is the Reviewer that should be emailed directly, not the contract clerk/general inbox.
- Once negotiations have been completed the reviewer sends the contract to the Contract Clerk to collect Unity Health Institutional signatures to fully execute (fully sign) the contract. *Research in most cases cannot begin until the contract is fully signed by all parties to the agreement.
- Since Covid we have used Adobe Sign to collect signatures which is going to continue into the future for signature collection. It is an online platform that facilitates the collection of signatures on documents and is legally binding.
- The Contract Clerk sends out the contract for signatures via Adobe Sign. The Clerk will send an email that explains the signing process to everyone. At any time during the signature process if you’d like to know the status of the signature you can use the Contract number to search your email inbox to pull up all relevant emails and find the most recent status in your inbox. Adobe Sign emails will always include the contract # in the subject line. Once you do your inbox search, if you find the signatures on the contract are still pending after 1 to 2 weeks (for non-urgent contracts) you can email the Contracts Clerk for a status update. Often signatures get held up on the external parties side and so we can email them to remind them to sign.
- Adobe Sign sends out the executed contract automatically once it has been signed to everyone that the Contracts Clerk has cc’d on the Adobe Sign process. If you open up the attachments that Adobe Sign sends and scroll to the signature page in the contract you can see if all signatures have been collected (fully executed). If not all signatures are collected, then the contract is still pending execution.
- Once all signatures have been collected, the contract is therefore executed and Research Contracts role is complete and the contract has been finalized. Research Contracts no longer has any further role to play in the research at hand and the study team should coordinate any additional requirements (such as sample transfer, equipment transfer, etc) with the external party separately.