Researcher Access Agreement


Template download: Researcher's Access Agreement Template

On this page: Overview, Workflow, and FAQs


On occasion, UC ANR academics benefit from conducting research on cooperating property owners' land. It's best practice to formalize this access with a Researcher's Access Agreement. (Public agency-owned properties usually have their own agreements.) The Researcher's Access Agreement clarifies UC ANR's land use intentions, ensures protection against liability for all parties, and defines key terms. These agreements are short-term, no-cost, and cover land (not buildings). Different agreements are needed for long-term use, building access, or if fees are involved. Detailed descriptions of land use are important, especially for invasive or high-risk procedures, which may require special permits. Contact for assistance.

Important Note: Some research projects may involve the use of paid vendors (e.g., for tree trimming, etc.) who will perform work on the private property site. In such cases, a separate agreement will have to be issued to secure the work of the vendor(s), usually a purchase order. Purchase orders are initiated by contacting the Business Operations Center. The Business Operations Center will then work with the UC Davis campus who will issue the actual purchase order. Please plan for the time needed to issue a purchase order(s) if that is part of your research project.

Follow the Researcher's Access Agreement Workflow (below) to initiate the review of the agreement. You can also contact us at with any questions!

Researcher's Access Agreement Workflow


#1 Draft Agreement

Researcher & Property Owner collaborate to draft an agreement using the Researcher's Access Agreement Template (preferred) or using Property Owner's agreement. (PCPA is available to help draft a one-time agreement upon request.)

#2 Send to PCPA

Researcher sends draft agreement to

PCPA will review and provide comments for Researcher to edit and send back to PCPA.

#3 Signatures

Once approved by all parties and PCPA, PCPA will arrange for execution.

Execution/Signature Authority

Agreements need to be signed by the proper authorities from all parties. The proper authority for UC ANR is from the Delegation of Authority 1058, which has been re-delegated to the Associate Vice President, Associate Vice President Business Operations, the Controller and in some instances a designee.

Typically, PCPA arranges for execution for both parties. We prefer to use electronic signatures (eSignatures) through DocuSign. To help expedite your agreement:

  1. Discuss eSignature option when beginning collaborations
  2. Provide name and title of signature authority for other party & direct email with draft agreement

Researcher's Access Agreement FAQs

Just as it’s name describes, a Facilities Use Agreement should be used when UC ANR will be using a building, or room, on non-UC-owned property. In contrast, a Researcher’s Access Agreement should be used when UC ANR needs access only to the land for research purposes.

The Researcher’s Access Agreement is a license; it is just a more simple contract form appropriate to the kind of informal, relatively short-term use of the property needed by the UC ANR academic for many kinds of research projects (e.g. tracking wildlife, taking samples, pest control, etc.).

The longer Regents form license agreement is appropriate to more formal arrangements in which more extensive use of the property will be made (e.g., installing a large piece of equipment on the property for a number of years, and so on). In very broad terms, licenses are used when non-exclusive use of the property is needed whereas leases are used when exclusive use is needed. PCPA will direct you if you choose the wrong type of Agreement.

No problem; email and describe your planned project. After learning more from you, PCPA will advise you as to the next steps.