Technical Service Agreements – TSA’s

What is a TSA?

A Technical Service Agreement (TSA) is used when a PI provides a specific and unique service for a fee to a sponsor. This is work for hire that fulfills a public purpose.

Characteristics of a TSA:

  • Produces no new research results
  • No involvement of Intellectual Property (IP)
  • The sponsor owns the data, results, and/or deliverables
  • Work results are not publishable
  • Graduate students cannot use results for their thesis
  • Does not include auxiliary services (Shared Instrumentation Facility)


  • Laboratory testing or characterization
  • Building specialized equipment
  • Literature Reviews
  • Cataloging
  • Proof of concept 3-D printing experiments

Determination Form

This form can help identify the differences between a TSA and Sponsored Research projects.


Required Documents

A TSA requires similar documentation to a research project, the following items are needed at the proposal stage –

  • Scope of Work
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification

Overhead Rate
Mines applies 10% overhead rate to all TSA. This the de minimus rate allowed per 2 C.F.R. 200 the rules that govern Research and Other Sponsored Projects.

Determination Form
This form can help determine if you’re working on a TSA or if your work might be Sponsored Research.

TSA Contract Agreement

ORA’s Contract Administrators are responsible for the review, negotiation, and execution of Technical Service Agreements (TSAs). Throughout any negotiation, the Contracts team will ensure all TSA agreements comply with federal and state laws and Mines’ policies. 

TSA Set Up and Invoicing

After a signed TSA agreement, ORAs post award team completes the set-up process.  The PI and Program Administrator receive an e-mail with the index number, amount of funding received, and the period of performance.  TSA expenses can then be charged to the award using the assigned index number.

Financial invoicing is done by ORA based on the agreed upon terms in the signed TSA agreement.

Templates & Checklists

Find the TSA determination form, budget, and justification templates designed for you here!

ORA can help answer questions!

Contact us today or email if you have questions