The University requires robust contracts to be put in place to ensure the success of your R&I project and provide safeguards for your future activities. Leading the way on this is the RIS Contracts Team – Wendy Mullee and Mark Jackson – who have years’ of experience working with contracts across the HE sector. Supported by Mike Muscat from the RIS Operations Team, their role is to review and draft agreements to cover the University’s R&I portfolio, allowing you to focus on the important stuff: your research!
Setting up your R& I contract doesn’t have to be daunting. Whatever concerns you may have, Wendy and Mark can advise on all manner of contract-related issues from Intellectual Property to a potential embargo on your publications. If you are worried about any aspect of the contractual arrangements of your project, please contact Wendy or Mark who will be happy to help.
Did you know that it’s not just Research Councils that can fund your projects? Many different organisations choose to fund R&I, but these funders don’t always think about what’s best for you, and you may find you or your project at risk if these terms aren’t properly checked.
Too many cooks? Speeding up the process
To ensure your R&I contract is fit for purpose, it may go through a number of iterations before the University can sign it off. With many different people working on your contract, this can take time and may cause frustration. To help speed up the process and avoid a ‘too many cooks’ scenario, there are steps you can take to make this as pain-free as possible. These steps differ slightly depending on whether you need a funded or unfunded arrangement put in place.
Funded projects come in many shapes and sizes, and include:
- Research projects or collaborations
- Bids and tenders
- Consultancy/testing services
- Provision to supply training (short courses or CPD)
- Subcontracts from UoP to outside organisations
You can ensure your project progresses through the process as quickly as possible by emailing Wendy or Mark. The email@example.com inbox is monitored regularly, and your request will be picked up promptly by one of the team. Don’t forget to include the following information to help the Contracts Team get a clear picture of what’s needed:
- Full description (scope) of the work to be undertaken. This will include the start and end dates and who will be working on the project (i.e., the principal investigator, the co-investigator(s) and any (named) researchers, students, etc.)
- Contact details for the funding/collaborating organisation(s) or subcontractor(s), including the organisation’s name and an email address for the principal contact
- Details of the publication and/or ownership of results. As well as any restrictions on publication (if known)
- Completed F31 or business plan. If you don’t have this then you will need an email from your faculty finance officer showing the agreed price of the project, together with confirmation that a credit check is underway
You can really help speed up the time it takes to process unfunded arrangements by emailing Wendy and Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org with as much background information on your project as possible. This should include a full description of the work to be undertaken (known as the ‘Scope of Work’), and the name and contact details of the other party/parties involved, as well as contact details (definitely an email address) for the principal contact at the collaborating organisation.
Unfunded arrangements include:
- Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreements (NDAs/CDAs)
- Materials Transfer Agreements (MTAs)
- Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)
- Non-funded research collaborations
If you are ever in any doubt as to how to progress your project, or if you have any questions, then Mark and Wendy are always happy to help. Please give them a call via Google Hangouts or email email@example.com
More information on R&I contracts and legal issues can be found on the RIS website here. With a wide range of additional support materials on working with business, staff development and applying for funding found here.