Though it sounds very official, the “contract” that is drawn up between the HyperStudio and the project lead is just intended to get and keep all collaboration partners on the same page. It’s great to start a collaboration when all partners know what the goals and demands for all parties are. This is exactly what the “contract” intends to do.
The “contract” will document the goals and objectives of the project, its intended audience, the envisioned platform to use, the development requirements of the project (both in terms of the content as well as potential platform needs), the deliverables, roll-out and project closing plans, risk and issue lists, funding arrangements, and the role divisions.
In writing up the contract, the grant proposal (HyperStudio seed grant or any alternative grant proposal) will be a great start. However, between submission of the grant proposal and the actual start of the project when the proposal has been approved, quite a few elements might change. In addition, the proposal might not be as detailed as desired in terms of specific development requirements. The contract intends to make sure that there is absolute clarity on all levels for all project partners.
As mentioned before, this document is there to help all parties involved.