In some cases, non-disclosure requests are embedded in the content of several kinds of institutional agreements between the University and the sponsor or third-party. Examples of such institutional agreements include equipment or software purchases or loans, technology licensing, data sharing agreements, and material transfer agreements. In these kinds of institutional agreements, a Stanford office, usually the Office of Sponsored Research or the Industrial Contracts Office, will be involved and will negotiate terms consistent with University policies. These offices will also have the exclusive authority to bind Stanford to the negotiated terms of institutional agreements, and also have the exclusive authority to sign on behalf of the University.
In other cases, a sponsor or third party may ask an individual at Stanford to sign such an agreement as part of an ongoing or proposed activity in which there is mutual interest, such as a clinical trial or potential collaborative research project. In these cases, the NDA is between the sponsor or third party and the individual.
The researcher cannot sign on behalf of Stanford University and must sign as an individual. Because sponsor or third-party NDAs frequently contain terms that violate Stanford research policies, individual researchers intending to sign on their own behalf should contact the Office of the Dean of Research, the Office of Sponsored Research, the Industrial Contracts Office, or the Research Management Group as applicable for guidance.