Science Support

Overview and Templates


USGS scientists are world-renowned experts in biology and ecosystems; land resources; coastal changes; natural hazards; impacts of climate and land-use change; environmental health; geology; mapping, remote sensing, and geospatial data; and much more.   


If you are interested in partnering with the USGS to jointly pursue research in these areas, or develop new or enhance existing technologies to market, a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) or Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA) can facilitate this partnership.    


A CRADA is a written agreement under which the Federal government contributes contribute experts, services, facilities, and equipment, but cannot provide funds to external parties.  The CRADA partner can contribute the same resources, including funds, towards this effort.  


The CRADA and TAA leverage everyone's existing resources to the fullest extent, producing results that are beneficial to both parties.  It also protects sensitive information in an agreed upon time.  The CRADA provides the non-Federal partner the opportunity to obtain an exclusive or non-exclusive license to the subject invention as a result of the partnership. TAAs are similar to CRADAs.  TAAs allow an exchange of more focused technical or research efforts.  The collaborative partnership must be mutually beneficial.  However, the outcome of a TAA does not normally result in the development of intellectual property. 


A CRADA and TAA were developed to ensure Federal government facilities, intellectual property, and expertise were available to interested parties.  Through collaborative partnerships, research was furthered and marketable technologies were developed for the betterment of the nation.  


Templates for both agreement types are available below:  

A Facility Use and Service Agreement (FUSA) is an agreement that permits non-USGS parties to use unique USGS laboratory facilities, specialized equipment, and (or) services that are not readily available from the private sector for use in research activities or technology development.


The USGS is also able to enter into a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA), a short-term agreement that allows for the exchange of a quantity of a unique material (natural or synthetic) with another party for research purposes only.  The MTA allows the USGS or the other party to use the material for research purposes. It does not transfer title to the material and, at the conclusion of time limited use, the material is either returned or destroyed, as specified in the MTA.  The policy of the USGS is to execute an MTA for all materials that need to be returned or have unique handling and/or environmental and safety concerns.  The MTA will require that the recipient abide by all applicable Federal standards for handling biological, radiological, and other hazardous materials. Payment for the material is not generally required however; payment of shipping or preparations fee is permitted. Consequently, USGS reimbursable agreement procedures do not apply. 


Templates for both agreement types are available below: 

An Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement is required when the National Science Foundation (NSF) grants an award intended for Federal internships. You can find the NSF-USGS template and additional information on this topic at Guidelines for USGS Researchers. The template is also available below for convenience:

For more information on how to partner with the USGS contact the Office of Policy and Analysis at:    

Technology Transfer Office