3.6 Working with individuals and organisations outside the University

Guidance on collaborative working and negotiation of agreements with external parties
  1. If research is conducted in partnership with individuals or organisations outside the University, formal agreements must be put in place prior to the commencement of the research. Formal agreements normally include agreement on publication and authorship, ownership of intellectual property, the responsibilities of researchers, procedures for the resolution of issues and the investigation of allegations of misconduct. Depending on the nature of the project, agreements may also include arrangements for data sharing, supply of drugs, chemical or other materials and other project-specific issues.
  2. All philanthropic support for research projects or programmes must be the subject of a Gift Agreement and the PI must work with the Development and Alumni Relations Office in producing such documents for approval.
  3. The PI must ensure that the Research and Enterprise Division is informed and they will negotiate agreements with the relevant individuals and organisations. You must not sign any research-related agreements (including, but not limited to, consultancy, research grants, materials transfer and confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements) without specific approval from the Research and Enterprise Division.
  4. You must contact the Research and Enterprise Division for advice if a project may result in exploitable intellectual property or any revenue sharing agreements following the commercialisation of intellectual property, as outlined in the University’s intellectual property policy. You must consider any issues that might arise relating to intellectual property at the earliest opportunity, and ensure agreement is reached in advance on how they will be addressed.
  5. Researchers must familiarise themselves with and adhere to the standards and procedures for the conduct of research laid out in any collaboration agreement. You should pay particular attention to projects involving collaborators from different countries or work carried out in another country, and be aware of any additional legal and ethical requirements or other guidelines which may apply as a result. The OECD Global Science Forum report Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Opportunities, Challenges and Good Practices in International Research Cooperation between Developed and Developing Countries (PDF, 3.52MB) contains useful guidance in this area.
  6. Researchers must not enter into any agreement that may be overridden by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Researchers should be aware that the University is considered a ‘public authority’ subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and thus information held by the University, including research data, may be subject to freedom of information requests. You must contact Information Assurance Services for FOI or Research and Enterprise Division for contracts, so they can negotiate any confidentiality, non-disclosure or similar agreements.

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Who to contact

Research Support Services Contact details

Tel - (0116) 252 2437 or (0116) 229 7763

Fax - (0116) 252 2028

E mail - RED@le.ac.uk