Guidance on Fee-For-Service Agreements

ISU personnel occasionally are approached by companies or other sponsoring entities to perform fee-for-services activities. Additionally, centers or units of the university may want to provide fee-for-service type goods or services to internal ISU customers as well as external customers.

OSPA does not typically process fee-for-service agreements. Fee-for-service agreements are managed through the process noted below, depending on the future intent of the researcher or center/unit.

For a one-time fee-for-service agreement, the researcher should contact the Office of University Counsel. General Counsel will review agreements provided by an external entity seeking fee-for-service goods or services, or as required, University Counsel will develop a fee-for-service template agreement. For agreements under $5,000, the researcher or center may use a discretionary account to deposit funds. For agreements $5,000 and over, the researcher or center should contact the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the Controller's department to discuss how to deposit funds appropriately.

For continuing fee-for-service arrangements, the researcher or center/unit should contact the Office of University Counsel to develop a template agreement for these services or goods. In addition, the researcher or center/unit should work with the Controller.s department to develop rates and obtain a fee-for-service account.

University Counsel provides additional guidance at (click on Fee for Service):

The Controller's Department also provides additional guidance at:

As background, fee-for-service agreements typically incorporate the following:

  • The service is an application of established methods and techniques that are routinely performed;
  • The service does not involve any expert analysis or discretionary judgment;
  • No ISU intellectual property or new knowledge is anticipated to result from this activity or service;
  • The service does not depend on the expertise of one individual;
  • No cost sharing or matching funds are required;
  • No subawards or pass-through funding to another entity is contemplated.