JCU Connect Research Contracts

Research Contracts

The JCU Connect Contracts team supports the research community by ensuring that JCU researcher interests are protected when participating in a research project.

It is recommended that staff intending to conduct any commercial research services become familiar with the Financial Management Practice Manual and direct any queries in that regard to their own College or Directorate Finance Managers or to JCU Connect.

Private work conducted by staff independently of the University is governed by the Statement on Staff External Activities, which is administered by the Division of Services and Resources.

Information on the account opening process can be obtained from the Financial and Business Services (FaBS) division.

Following are notes on some of the most important features of the commercial research process:

JCU Connect has developed a number of fact sheets to assist our research community understand our services.

In some cases, a staff member will make first contact with the client. When in early stages, it is recommended that staff contact the JCU Connect Development and Commercialisation team as they can assist and support in the preliminary negotiations with clients and costing contract research. It is preferred that JCU Connect is involved at the earliest opportunity. This will ensure that staff are made aware of critical elements of contract research, which include:

  1. Any written communications with a client should include a disclaimer that the contents of the communications are not legally binding upon JCU.
  2. Any negotiations with respect to potentially valuable intellectual property - ie. with commercial potential or with the potential to be used in further research - should be conducted with care and through JCU Connect.
  3. In situations where either JCU or the client will be disclosing confidential or commercially valuable information during the negotiation stage, a Confidentiality Agreement should be put in place between JCU and the client before negotiations commence. The JCU Contracts team can assist with the preparation of a Confidentiality Agreement using the JCU Connect template.
  4. Project pricing must be in accordance with JCU requirements (refer FMPM 621 Pricing Commercial and Non-Commercial Activities).

More detail can be found in Pricing: Grant, Contract and Consultancy Projects, where overheads budgeting and waivers are covered in more detail, along with some notes on pricing for commercial projects and the daily charge-out rates.

It is important that you do not undervalue your research.

If there is likely to be student involvement in a research project, please contact the JCU Connect Contracts team as early as possible. The JCU Connect Contracts team can assist with the preparation of an appropriate agreement with the student.

If the primary purpose of the project is to fund a research student stipend, particular care must be taken with negotiating terms and conditions, which may inhibit the use of the student of the research outcomes for their assessable work (including theses) or may result in difficulties in having such assessable work examined. The JCU Connect Contracts team can assist with the negotiation of such terms.

Where a contract will be funding a research student stipend, it is important that you contact the Graduate Research School to confirm stipend requirements.

If a research student is going to be involved in the performance of a project under a research contract, and particularly where the student is likely to be involved in the generation of any intellectual property, care must be taken with negotiating terms and conditions.

Before involving students in a project that is governed by a contract or agreement with an external entity, it is important that you consider the requirements of the JCU Intellectual Property Policy and Procedure, in particular Section 4.3.

Remember:

  • JCU does not assert ownership of intellectual property created by students who are not engaged as employees of JCU for the performance of a project.
  • Students who are not engaged as employees of JCU for the performance of a project are not bound by the terms of any agreement between JCU and a client.

A separate agreement between JCU and the student is required to ensure that intellectual property rights are appropriately assigned or licensed and to ensure compliance with (and recognition of) JCU's contractual obligations.

It is preferred that a JCU Connect contract template, without amendment, is used for contract research work as this will reduce the contract preparation and negotiation time. If the client is agreeable to using the JCU Connect template contract, you should contact the JCU Connect Contracts team at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure that the contract can be prepared and the expectations of both researcher and client can be met or compromised, without unrealistic expectations becoming entrenched.

However, the client may present you with a contract. If so, you should refer it to the JCU Connect Contracts team at the earliest draft stage. It is not unusual for the other party to not recognise the interests of researchers in their intellectual property provisions or to require warranties or indemnities that JCU is unable to give.

Signing of contracts on behalf of JCU must be in accord with Council's Delegations (refer to column 4.07). Please note the Director of JCU Connect can sign research contracts up to $2,000,000. The signature of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor is required for research contracts with a value over $2,000,000. However, all contracts must be reviewed and approved by JCU Connect.

Once the research contract has been signed by JCU and the client, one copy will be retained with JCU Connect (and another by the client). A copy is then sent, by JCU Connect, to the Grants Finance team in Financial and Business Services (FaBS) for account opening. Invoicing is coordinated by Grants Finance.

The JCU Connect Contracts team will assist you in the preparation of appropriate research agreements with external parties.

JCU Connect has provided the below standard agreements (JCU login required). Each template has been designed for a specific purpose. Use of these standard agreements will enable JCU to enter into contracts quickly, and on acceptable terms and conditions. The standard agreements may be provided by you to 3rd parties for their consideration.

When you are ready to have an agreement prepared, please contact the JCU Connect Contracts team who will draft an agreement using either JCU Connect’s standard templates or a bespoke form of agreement, if required.

Just a reminder that for any research agreements, you will need to obtain all necessary approvals, comply with relevant policies, and follow appropriate procedures.

Useful Links

Contact the JCU Connect Contracts team

Submit an online general enquiry form or email contractsconnect@jcu.edu.au.

Photo of Naomi Galvin

Naomi Galvin

Project Manager, Contracts

naomi.galvin@jcu.edu.au

Photo of Alan Stewart

Alan Stewart

Contracts Support Officer

alan.stewart@jcu.edu.au

Mobile:

0448239557