Q. I am planning a research project with a third party and I think I may need a contract to cover this work. Who should I contact?
Q. Does the University have standard agreements for collaborations with third parties?
Q. Where can I find out information about costing studentships?
The costs of a studentship normally include student maintenance, student fees, travel expenses and consumables and may also include exceptional costs and equipment. Information on student maintenance costs and fees (made up of college and university fees) can be found on the Board of Graduate Studies website. For further information and confirmation of the costs for a specific year, please contact the Board of Graduate Studies. Other costs can vary with each studentship, but your Department Administrator or Head of Department can help you determine these.
Q. How long will it take to put a contract in place for my research project?
The time it takes to negotiate contracts varies considerably. It depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the project and the availability of the sponsor and their other commitments. The Research Operations Office will work very closely with you throughout the negotiations and will inform you of the progress of the discussions and any potential delays.
Q. What are the key issues that the Research Operations Office considers in contract negotiations?
The main issues which we consider are ownership of intellectual property, publication of results, confidentiality, liability limitation and termination. More information about each of these can be found on the Negotiating terms page.
Q. I have a project with an industrial sponsor. What do I need to send to the Research Operations Office to start the contract negotiations?
We need certain information before starting the negotiating process to help us negotiate a contract for a specific project efficiently:
- Completed X5 project proposal, detailing all costs to be incurred in the project as well as all funding/income
- Project summary
- Details of the industrial sponsor, including contact details of the main contact for negotiations
- Details of any students involved in the project
- Details of any collaborators (external and internal)
- A list of all background intellectual property (IP) owned by the University or the sponsor that you envisage using for the project
- An idea of IP, if any, that you envisage arising from the project
- Any information regarding the sponsor's expectations about ownership or licensing intellectual property
- Details of any separate projects that you have done, are currently conducting, or wish to conduct with different collaborators/sponsors that may impact on IP ownership in this project.
Q. I am currently discussing a research project with an industrial sponsor. At what stage do I need to involve a Contracts Manager?
Since your Contracts Manager will be negotiating and approving the contract, it is a good idea to involve them at an early stage so that you and the sponsor are aware of the terms that the University would usually expect in a research contract, and that they understand your project and issues. This will speed up the negotiation process.
Q. I've received a contract from a company for a research project which needs signing. Can I sign this?
No, all contractual paperwork for externally sponsored research should be signed by the University signatory, as a legal representative of the University. The Faculties, Departments and Centres cannot legally bind the University, and all contracts should state the University as the contracting party, not the Department or the PI. PIs are especially discouraged from signing contracts to avoid personal liability. A signature from anyone other than authorised representatives of the University may make a contract invalid. All contractual paperwork should be sent to your Contracts Manager.