Responsible Officer: Director

Responsible Unit: Award Management

Effective date: July 1, 2008

Last revised on: July 21, 2011

Policy Statement

When the potential/probability exists for collaboration with a sponsor on several research projects, the University and the sponsor may elect to enter into a master agreement. Such agreements are established to define the terms and conditions applicable to any subsequent research project (known as a task order) conducted with that particular sponsor. Master agreements supersede task orders unless modified by authorized written amendments between the sponsor and the University.

Task orders, each with their own individual terms and conditions following those of the master agreement, are viewed as separate projects. Each requires preparation of an eIPF in RAMSeS and each receives a separate account number.

Initial task orders and those under master agreements with the State of North Carolina are negotiated and approved on behalf of the University by the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) Proposal Management division. Subsequent task orders are negotiated and signed by OSR’s Award Management division.

Reason for Policy

Maintaining master agreements with sponsors streamlines the review and approval of several projects under one agreement. This policy establishes the master agreement as the prime agreement between UNC Chapel Hill and the sponsor who provides funding for task orders under that agreement.


In general, master agreements may be modified only by written amendments between the sponsor and the University, executed by an authorized representative of each.

Procedures and Related Policies

Task orders are entered into RAMSeS using the same steps defined in Policy 300.2, Procedure 1: Preparing, Submitting, Routing and Certifying an eIPF in Proposal Dashboard. A completed, signed Task Order Request Form is required for approval by OSR prior to the initiation of the task order.

In addition, the following policies are directly related to this policy:

OSR Research Tool Kits



Questions and concerns can be submitted online at Ask OSR or by using the OSR staff directory. Within RAMSeS, the “Speak to Someone” option assists in locating the staff member best suited to address project-specific issues.


Research Administration Glossary at Carolina

1. The University of North Carolina, Research and Sponsored Programs, Master Agreements and Signature Authority.
2. Office of Clinical Trials, Handbook, Master Agreements.

Revision History

The policies in the Office of Sponsored Research Policies & Procedures Manual supersede any OSR policies, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.