FAQs - Commercial Research and Consultancy Services
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Sponsored Research occurs where:
Examples of sponsored research include the major project funding by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Contract Research occurs where:
Consultancy occurs where:
For further details refer to the Research and HERDC page.
First you should contact Research Services. Often, tenders are submitted on the basis that submission implies acceptance of the tender terms and conditions, leaving little scope for variation of standard sponsor terms and conditions after award. Therefore, we ask that researchers email a copy of the Terms and Conditions of the tender and tender application to Research Services for legal review and comment before it is submitted.
Note: the following delegations apply to submission of research only tenders/responses/proposals. Such delegations should only be exercised on the advice of Research Services and with Head of School Project Approval.
Authority to submit tenders/responses or sign agreements/contracts for the provision of commercial research and research or non research consultancy services
This policy applies to any commercial or non-commercial activity.
|Approval of a non-commercial or commercial activity or project, including pricing, with a total value of less than $500,000 (GST exclusive)||Relevant Dean of College, Directors of Institutes or equivalent|
|Approval of a non-commercial or commercial activity or project, including pricing, with a total value equal to or greater than $500,000 (GST exclusive)||Deputy Vice Chancellor, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor|
Policy: For more information, refer to JCU Policy FMPM 620: Financial Management Practice Manual.
Who signs the agreement or contract for a successful research tender or proposal?
The Director, Research Services or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Should I negotiate the terms of the contract with the client?
Terms of commercial and non-commercial contracts must be negotiated through the University. All consultancies must be undertaken though the University unless formal written exemption is obtained (refer Human Resource Policy on Staff External Activities)
A client has presented a contract to me for a consultancy/contract research. What do I do?
You need to refer it to Research Services 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. Note: that the contract can only be signed by those with appropriate delegations as above. Ensure that pricing is in accordance with policy
All contracts and agreements (including variations) must be entered into by the University and not by the individual staff member undertaking the work.
Research Services will lodge the tender submission unless the tendering body requires it be submitted online or electronically. If this is the case then you need to provide a final copy of the submission to Research Services for their records.
Based on information provided by Research Services, a separate project account is established by FaBS if:
A separate project account is generated upon execution of the contract/agreement and where relevant obtaining of Ethics approval.
For research activities, a project account may be created earlier in limited circumstances upon written request to the Director, Research Services.
Indirect costs (overheads) are applied at the time the account is established based on the activity/project pricing budget, unless otherwise directed by the Dean of College.
If revenue is received in excess of the original budget (e.g. if the activity/project contract is extended), then indirect costs (overheads) will be applied to the additional income on the same basis as the original terms, unless otherwise directed.
The respective Grants Finance team in Financial and Business Services (FaBS) is responsible for financial reporting and invoicing for project accounts.
Refer to Procedure FMPM 621 Financial Management Practice Manual for more information on procedures to follow related to pricing of contracts.
The relevant Grants Finance team within FaBS will invoice the client once:
Approval to open the account has been given by Research Services. FaBS generally creates an account within 2-3 days of receiving approval from Research Services.
Either. Our preference is for Research Services to draft the contract for the client to consider for signing (our template contains favourable IP and publication terms) however in many cases clients insist on using theirs. Contact Research Services at the earliest possible opportunity, to ensure that the expectations of both researcher and client can be met.
Once the agreement has been signed by JCU and the client, an original should end up with Research Services (and the other with the client). A copy is then sent to Grants Finance team within FaBS for account opening and will be attached to the Project Account in FinWeb. Invoicing is handled by Grants Finance team.
Places to look for tender opportunities include:
As the university does not have control over the length of time it takes to negotiate with a funding organisation or third party the process may vary. The following categories of contract can take longer to process:
If you have reasons for a contract to be dealt with urgently or within a specified timeframe (e.g. the contractor has given a deadline for acceptance, delay in acceptance will cause financial hardship for a staff member or student who will be funded by the grant), please advise Jim Campbell Research Legal Officer (x15238) as early as possible so that an effort can be made to accommodate your needs.
Collection of biological material (whole or part plants, animals whether living or dead) for further investigation may fall under the legal requirements of the Biodiscovery Act. Contact Mohan Sridhar, Associate, Innovation and Commercialisation (x16458), to discuss your plans and submit any permits required before collecting in the field.
My activities may involve the supply and/or publication of controlled military and "dual use" goods and technologies. Is there a requirement to notify anyone?
Supply and/or publication of goods, software and technologies listed in the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) is regulated under the Defence Trade Controls (DTC) Act 2012. If you believe you are working with goods, software and technologies listed on the DSGL, contact Mohan Sridhar, Associate, Innovation and Commercialisation for further assessment of activities and to apply for any required permits before supply and/or publication of controlled goods/software/technologies. For more details on the DTC and to access the DSGL visit the Defence Export Control Office (DECO) homepage by clicking here. A self-assessment tool to help clarify whether the goods, software or technology used in your research.
In the event that a portion of the project is to be subcontracted then the subcontractors must enter into a formal agreement with the University that ensures that the obligations under the head agreement are passed through to the subcontractor. Subcontracting may require the principal’s permission.
Research Services will draft any necessary subcontract.
Donations for specific research projects are processed by Research Services in the standard way as any other grant. Otherwise, donations for non-research related activities are processed by the Engagement Directorate.
For further information on how donations are received, visit the Directorate of Engagement page.
Statutory Declarations need to be signed in the presence of a Justice of Peace (JP). In the first instance researchers should contact their Divisional JP. Alternatively it may be referred to the Research Services, Research Legal Officer however you will need to arrange this in advance of the tender submission date in case of unavailability, rather than on the day.
It will be up to the Dean of College as to how much of the salary component from a consultancy is transferred to the researcher’s Individual Research Account (IRA) or Discretionary Budget Allocation (DBA) account. The process for transferring the funds between accounts will be a matter to be dealt with at the College level.
Also refer to JCU Policy FMPM 620: Financial Management Practice Manual.
I am submitting a proposal for a tender. The RFT document specifies that intellectual property rights will not reside with the contracted party. I will have students involved in the project, what do I need to do.
If the tendered project outcomes are intended to be included in student theses you may have a problem. Terms that vest ownership of project IP in the client will most probably be inconsistent with an open, published thesis outcome.
The general rule is that students should not be included on a consultancy project team unless as hired research assistants with no expectation of accessing project results. Refer to the further information on Students and IP.
The Request for Tender terms and conditions include a clause that authors must waive their Moral Rights in relation to the material they produce under the agreement. What do I need to do to meet this requirement?
Moral Rights are personal rights of an author: to be named as author of work s/he produces, to have no-one else named as author and to have the work treated with integrity. It is the University’s preference that Moral Rights not be affected by contract terms, but government funding contracts in particular standardly do so for contracted reports.
If the tender is successful authors will need to provide this waiver in writing via an email to Research Services to the effect “I hereby waive my Moral Rights in relation to the project titled 'XXXX' in accordance with clause ‘XXX’ of the funding agreement. The Research Legal Officer will provide further advice as to how this should be effected.
Yes. For various reasons:
Your Dean of College must be satisfied that the project/company is not conflicting with the mandate of the School and that the nature of the work is suitable for JCU involvement.
The tender documents ask for certificates of currency for public liability, workers compensation and professional indemnity. Where do I find these?
Certificates of currency are available from the FaBS website.
It is appropriate to provide succinct CVs that are tailored to the tender. They should be no longer than 3-4 pages at a maximum. All CVs should be formatted with the same style, font, headings etc. This adds to the presentation of your document whilst also indicating a well coordinated team with the ability to deliver a high quality final report or product. Tenderers may require you to use their own provided template for this purpose.
If the funding is a scholarship towards a living allowance or salary to complete your PhD then the matter would be dealt with through the Graduate Research School. However, if the company would like to provide funds towards a specific research activity, then Research Services will either develop a contract between the company and JCU or negotiate as necessary the terms in the company’s contract.
Your first step should be to contact the Research Legal Officer, Jim Campbell, on x15238.