California State University, Sacramento

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The Offices of Research, Innovation & Economic Development Sacramento State

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Develop a Contract Proposal

Funding research, training, or other types of projects with contracts differs from funding through grants. A grant provides funding for you to pursue your own research and scholarly agenda. Grant awards are made in response to a project you propose while the focus of a contract, on the other hand, is usually to accomplish the funder’s specific needs by following a carefully designed Scope of Work.

ORIED’s Contract Services

If an agency or organization is interested in contracting for your expertise, contact our office at and we will assist you in the following areas:

  • Developing a cost estimate, or budget, that takes into consideration all costs associated with conducting the project on the Sacramento State campus or using Sacramento State resources.
  • Providing guidance on the development of the contract’s Scope of Work, a description of the project’s goals and objectives, and the tasks and timeline that will be required to complete in the project.
  • Ensuring that required institutional approvals to enter into a contract are obtained at the appropriate time.
  • Negotiating with the agency’s or business’s contract officer regarding the contract’s terms and conditions and working with the University’s auxiliary organization, University Enterprises, Inc. (UEI), regarding contract finalization and execution.

Contracting for Research or Training Projects for External Entities

Conducting research in your area of expertise for an external entity, such as a federal or state agency, a non-profit, or a private sector business, can be an excellent way to advance your own scholarship and expertise while serving to further Sacramento State’s missions of education and public service. By employing Sacramento State students as assistants on your project, you provide them with invaluable hands-on learning opportunities, as well as experience working with professionals, thinking critically and solving problems.

Establishing a Connection

Most Sacramento State faculty with ongoing research or training contracts got involved in such work through their contacts with current or past colleagues or mentors in their fields. Others have taken the initial step of contacting agencies or businesses they believe could use their expertise, after researching the agency’s or business’s needs.

Once an appropriate contact at the external agency or business has been identified, you should have an initial discussion to explore their needs further to determine if your expertise and the resources available to you as a faculty member at Sacramento State would be of value to them. If so, the next step would be to provide a summary Scope of Work describing how you would accomplish their research, training or other goals, and details on how much it would cost to have you carry out the project.