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The following framework applies to all Affiliates Programs.

Program basics

  • Multiple faculty and corporate members. Each Industrial Affiliates Program must have, at a minimum, two active faculty members who meet the requirements of PI eligibility, and two active corporate members.
  • Program director. Each Affiliates Program must have a faculty director who is a voting member of the faculty senate.
  • Company access. Access to membership should be available equally to all companies that meet the requirements of membership, and in rare cases, the approval of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research.
  • Public access to research results. Program research results and resources must be available to members and nonmembers alike in an open and timely manner.
  • Intellectual property. Affiliates Programs do not provide intellectual property rights as a benefit of membership.


  • Faculty control and management of Program funds. While member companies may offer suggestions, faculty must be free to select research and teaching topics, methodology, and participants. Program income is pooled and may not be directed by an individual company to an individual faculty member or members. If an Affiliates Program chooses to use membership fees to support research in the lab of a specific researcher, there can be no associated statement of work or “deliverables” and the results are shared with all members and publicly. If a specific research project is of interest to the faculty member and the company, the work should be done under a sponsored research agreement with the company.
  • Additional Program funding. Program members may provide additional funding above the program fee to support program work. As in the case of membership fees, there can be no statement of work, deliverables, or other commitments. The program website should state that as with all program research, research results funded in this way are shared with all program members and the public.
  • In-kind Contributions. Members are expected to pay the full fee for their membership level. Programs should not discount or waive fees in return for in-kind (non-cash) contributions from members.


  • Invoices. It is Stanford’s preference to invoice corporate members based on information that is listed on the Affiliates Program’s public website. Program agreements are not required by the university.
  • Agreements. Some industry members may require a formal agreement. These membership agreements are not negotiable; they should be uniform for all members of a specific program. All agreements are drafted and approved, in advance, by the Industrial Contracts Office. A template affiliates program agreement is available. Program agreements must be signed by an authorized representative from the cognizant dean’s office and ICO.


  • Visiting Scholars. Industry visitors associated with Affiliates Programs must follow the university’s policies for visiting scholars at Stanford and must sign the SU-18A Agreement. Visiting Scholars may work with faculty participants to carry out research in the general area of the program’s goals but may not pursue research projects with a defined scope of work or deliverables for the company employer.

Potential conflicts of interest

  • Faculty conflicts of interest. Industry Affiliates Program funds are controlled by program leadership, which is expected to mitigate conflict of interest issues. The director and individual faculty participants should ensure that personal financial interests do not influence uses of the funds.  Any questions about potential conflicts of interest should be referred to the faculty member’s school COI manager or cognizant dean.

Open source

  • Open source software. Conditions for open source licensing of program software may be included in the member agreement and Program website on an exception basis, only if applicable to the Program’s goals and after review and approval by the school dean and ico, on behalf of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research. Contact ICO. Approved Programs will use the following language after receiving approval:


  • Student/project participation. Courses supported by Affiliates Programs cannot require completion of projects or the delivery of prototypes in a manner that could be construed as “work for hire.”
  • Non-disclosure agreements. Courses supported by Affiliates Programs cannot require students to sign nondisclosure agreements as a condition of participating fully in the course.