Research contracts and agreements
The Research Services Office provides assistance with all aspects of negotiating research contracts and agreements. The Office has developed a range of template agreements which are available upon request.
External organisations are not able to contract with Flinders University staff, only with the University. Therefore staff members are not authorised to sign off on research contracts and agreements. These documents must be approved and signed on behalf of the University by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or nominee.
For the purposes of contract processing in the Research Services Office, a research contract is one in which the organisation offering the funding is listed on the Australian Competitive Grants Register, or the purpose of the activity covered by the contract is research-related (ie it advances the research endeavours and/or interests of the University). Contracts which do not meet either of these criteria need to be processed through your Faculty's General Manager's Office. If you are unsure whether your contract is a 'research contract', you should provide the contract to the Research Services Office for a determination about its status in the first instance.
All research contracts are assessed by the Research Services Office, which advises the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on the nature and value of the contract, and on any possible risks to the university, and makes a recommendation as to whether the contract should be signed.
It is important to involve the Research Services Office at the earliest possible stage of negotiating a research contract or agreement with a funding organisation or other University. This will ensure that the final document can be recommended for signing, and that the funding flow can commence as soon as possible.
With the exception of a contract associated with a grant from an organisation listed on the Australian Competitive Grants Register, all research contracts and agreements are priced to compensate the University for its infrastructure costs, in accordance with the Cost and Recovery Pricing Policy.
Material Transfer Agreements
Where researchers wish to send or receive materials to/from external organisations for use in their research, a Material Transfer Agreement, (MTA), will often be required. MTAs are appropriate where the owner of the material wishes to formalise the permitted uses of the material, the ownership or sharing of ownership of the material, (and any research outputs arising from the use of the material); and also where it is desirable to clearly establish with which party the risk and liability in relation to the use of the material will lie.
As is the case with other research related contracts, MTAs must be signed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), or nominee. If you wish to arrange for an MTA to be put in place, or for an external MTA to be reviewed, please follow the instructions contained in the
MTA Guidelines & Form (DOC 57KB) .
Intellectual property (IP)
The Research Services Office can advise staff on aspects of IP relating to research contracts. The University's position on IP is set out in the Intellectual Property Policy.
Intellectual property created by students
It is important for researchers to understand the university's position on the ownership of IP created by students.
If a student has been involved in the creation of IP which appears likely to be suitable for commercialisation, the University has a procedure by which the student IP is assigned to the University.
For more information, consult Clause 8 of the IP policy.
Procedures for Student IP, Confidentiality and Contractual Agreements
Postgraduate students often work in collaboration with and/or are funded by an external or industry partner, and may be asked to enter into certain agreements about the outcomes or products of their research work, and publications along the way. The University manages these situations through a set of Procedures relating to Student Intellectual Property, Confidentiality and Contractual Agreements. It is important that students and their supervisors are familiar with these procedures.
Contacts for research contracts and IP
It is important to seek advice at an early stage on the development of a research contract (or the review of a contract that has been offered), and on intellectual property.
Research Grants and Contracts Manager
Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Science (non-medical) Portfolio