Policy University Management FMPM 600 - FMPM 699 - Revenue FMPM 620 Revenue  - Commercial and Non-Commercial Activities

FMPM 620 Revenue  - Commercial and Non-Commercial Activities

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To set out the administrative aspects of the review and approval of applications, tenders, proposals and contracts/agreements and the financial aspects of:

  • pricing the application for external grant funds and the negotiation or tendering to supply goods or services to external parties;
  • setting and waiving of indirect costs (overheads); and
  • the inclusion of project surpluses.


This policy applies to any commercial or non-commercial activity undertaken on behalf of JCU, including, but not limited to, revenue generating activities involving grants, contracts, consultancies and commercial services.  This policy does not apply to commercial and non-commercial activities undertaken on behalf of JCUB or JCUS.


Commercial Activity: undertaken at the specific request of industry or a government agency, where the sponsor/client would expect to:

  • exercise some control over the project results; and
  • own the project intellectual property or have some degree of exclusive access to it; or
  • have the right to enforce project confidentiality and to restrict the release of results into the public domain.

Commercial activities include fee for service, consultancies, short courses not for academic credit, tenders, some contract research, expert opinion, analysis and testing services, and product and process development.

Non-Commercial Activity: where the intellectual property and confidentiality rights are negotiable, and where University staff and students have an unfettered right to publish results (subject to issues of privacy and other forms of non-commercial confidentiality).

Non-commercial activities include grants, most contract research and activities conducted in a collaborative framework (e.g. through collaborative research centres (CRCs)).

Direct Costs: include those directly and specifically attributable to the activity including:

  • salary costs for all staff participating in the activity/project, including staff who are funded from other sources (such as general operating); and
  • non-salary costs such as travel costs, equipment costs and consumable costs.

Indirect Costs: (also known as infrastructure charges or overheads) recognise that there are real indirect costs to the University in undertaking these activities. Indirect costs for an activity may include:

  • provision and maintenance of buildings and physical infrastructure
  • information resources and technology
  • telecommunications
  • insurance and legal services
  • financial management services
  • security, electricity, water etc.
  • general administrative services

Project Surplus: the amount by which the price exceeds the total of direct and indirect costs.


1.  Responsibilities


Responsibility of

Authority to send out applications, submit tenders or sign agreements/contracts relating to non-research activities conducted by JCU.

Approval process includes pricing.

Financial Delegate

Refer Financial Delegations policy, section 4.05 Contracts.

Authority to send out applications, submit tenders relating to research activities conducted by JCU (may only be exercised on advice of the Director, Research Services).

Approval process includes pricing.

Financial Delegate

Refer Financial Delegations policy, section 4.06 Contracts.

Setting and review of indirect costs (overheads) rate and methodology

Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor Services and Resources

Setting and approval of the use of project surpluses

Relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor

2. Requirements

  • A staff member (project leader) may identify an opportunity to apply for a grant, to participate in a collaborative venture or other non-commercial activity, or to provide research or non-research services on commercial terms to a client or funding body.
  • All non-commercial and commercial activities must be negotiated by staff through the University, unless formal written exemption is obtained (refer Human Resource Policy on Staff External Activities).
  • All contracts and agreements (including variations) must be entered into by the University and not by the individual staff member undertaking the work.
  • The review of research grant applications, tenders, and where relevant proposals for research activities (commercial and non-commercial), is the responsibility of the Research Services Office. Submissions to third parties must not be made until this review is completed.
  • The review of draft contracts/agreements or the drafting and preparation of contracts is conducted by:
    • Research Services Office in respect of research activities/projects; and
    • Legal and Assurance Office in respect of non-research activities/projects.
  • The Financial Delegate is responsible for ensuring the viability, appropriateness and legitimacy of the project before signing agreements / contracts for any commercial and non-commercial activity or project.
  • Authority to send out applications or submit tenders for which there is specific external grant, contract, consultancy or commercial services revenue relating to commercial and non-commercial projects rests with the Financial Delegate (refer Financial Delegations policy, section 4 Contracts).
  • The University must not undertake uncompetitive behaviour when pricing applications, proposals or tenders through free or discounted use of University resources or infrastructure. The principle of competitive neutrality should be followed, i.e. that government business activities not enjoy net competitive advantages over their private sector competitors (or potential competitors) simply by virtue of their public sector ownership.
  • The Provost and the Deputy Vice Chancellor Services and Resources are responsible for setting the indirect costs (overheads) rate and methodology. The indirect costs (overheads) rate and methodology will be reviewed annually and, subject to an assessment of costs, may be adjusted accordingly.
  • The relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor is responsible for approving the use of any project surplus which remains after the direct and indirect costs (overheads) of the activity have been met. Project surpluses are not to be paid out to employees under any circumstances.

Related Documents, Legislation or JCU Statutes

Financial Delegations policies

FMPM 621: Pricing – Commercial and Non-commercial Activities Procedure

Staff External Professional Activities and Outside Employment

For enquiries in relation to this Finance Procedure please contact  Manager, Budgeting & Forecasting


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Domain

University Management

Policy Sub-domain


Policy Custodian

Chief Financial Officer

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Amendments to:

clarify charging for indirect costs

use of project surpluses

update terms to reflect current organisational structure

Manager, Grants




Policy Sponsor and Approval Authority updated to reflect the approved Policy and Delegations Framework

Quality Standards and Policy Unit