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How to Partner with USGS

Are you interested in partnering with USGS?  We are interested in collaborating with you.  USGS is accepting research and development proposals for work on specific projects or technologies.  For inquiries, email the USGS Technology Transfer program office at

USGS Biologist studies Mangrove Terrapin. (Public domain)

Partner with the USGS

USGS scientists are world-renowned experts in the following areas:

biology and ecosystems

land resources

coastal changes

natural hazards

impacts of climate and land-use change

environmental health

geology; mapping,

remote sensing

geospatial data

and much more. 


Learn about our scientific laboratories.  



Those interested in partnering with the USGS to jointly pursue research in these areas, develop new technologies or enhance existing ones for the market, can facilitate these partnerships through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) or Technical Assistance Agreements (TAA).    

Scientist standing in a laboratory next to an instrument
The USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center's PFAS laboratory designed to develop advanced methods for measuring PFAS in animal tissue and plasma.

A CRADA and TAA are written agreements  which the Federal government contributes experts, services, facilities, and equipment to interested parties. While the government cannot provide funds to external parties, the CRADA partner can contribute the same resources, including funds, towards the effort.

The CRADA and TAA leverage everyone's existing resources to the fullest extent so that both parties produce beneficial results. They also protect sensitive information in an agreed upon time.  The CRADA provides non-Federal partners the opportunity to obtain an exclusive or non-exclusive license to the subject invention due to the partnership. TAAs allow an exchange of more focused technical or research efforts and do not typically result in the development of intellectual property.

Collaborative partnerships further research resulting in marketable technologies for the betterment of the nation.

Download to review the agreement templates:  

CRADA Template       TAA Template

Working in the WFRC wet lab
A graduate student from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences runs an experiment with a volunteer at a USGS wet lab.


A Facility Use and Service Agreement (FUSA) is an agreement that permits non-USGS parties the following:

- Use of unique USGS laboratory facilities,

- Specialized equipment,

- Research and technology development services not readily available from the private sector.

The Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a short-term agreement that enables the exchange of a unique material with another party for research purposes only. Under the MTA agreement:

- Either party can use the unique material for research purposes;

- Title to the material is not transferred; and

- The material is either returned or destroyed, as specified in the MTA, when it expires.

The USGS executes an MTA for all materials that require unique handling and (or) have environmental and safety concerns. The agreement requires the recipient to abide by all applicable Federal standards for handling biological, radiological, and other hazardous materials.   

Download to review agreement templates:

FUSA Template     MTA Template

Intellectual Property

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

Download to review the agreement template:

NSF Intellectual Property Agreement fill-in form