Contract Research / Research Partnerships

Types of Research Agreements

There are generally four types of sponsored research agreements for contracts with government or private sector. Each represents a step in a continuum from basic, curiosity-driven research to targeted, results-driven research.

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Research Grant

This is a funding agreement typically focusing on basic, curiosity-driven research. Grants typically come from government granting councils but there are also industrial grants.

Typical Features:

Research proposal and project control lies with the researcher

  • Unrestricted rights to publish research results
  • Payment in advance (not based on deliverables)
  • Ownership of any intellectual property resides with the researcher/University
  • Start and end dates of the project are defined
  • Sponsor is provided with a copy of the final research report

Please note that TTBE has signing authority on all contracts.

Research Contract

This is a funding agreement, often from a government department or from industry. Research is more applied in nature and is normally directed at answering questions that are of interest to the Sponsor.

Typical Features:

  • Defined scope of work/research plan
  • Start and end date of project are defined
  • Payment may be made in arrears and tied to milestones/deliverables
  • Contains provisions for confidentiality of information
  • Researcher retains the right to publish, but may allow delay for sponsor review for confidential information or for intellectual property
  • Graduate student owns copyright of thesis – possible delay in publication for up to one year
  • Background intellectual property and ownership are clearly defined
  • Researcher/University retains ownership of new intellectual property, however,
  • Sponsor is given rights to use results for non-commercial purposes
  • Sponsor has the option to acquire a license (on terms negotiated in good faith and appropriate to the industry sector).
  • Warranty: Researcher will use reasonable professional standards but does not guarantee results
  • Equipment purchased under the contract is owned by the University
  • Termination provisions are included
  • Insurance and indemnification provisions are included to protect the University, researcher and students
  • Indirect cost are a minimum of 40% of modified total direct costs excluding major equipment

Draft Contract Template

Collaborative Research Agreement

This type of research funding arrangement is often co-funded by both government and industry for strategic research or technology development.

Typical Features are the same as a Research Contract except for the following:

  • Background or underlying intellectual property and ownership are clearly defined
  • Researcher/University retains ownership of new intellectual property, however
  • If collective inventor(s) from industry of government, all share inventorship
  • Researcher/University retains rights to use results for research and education (non-commercial) purposes
  • Equipment purchased under the contract owned by the University, unless otherwise stipulated
  • Indirect cost assessment is a minimum 40% of the industry portion (unless prohibited by government co-sponsor)

Research Services Agreement (also called Technical Services Agreement)

This is a contract agreement that facilitates the delivery of specialized services, the use of University equipment and reporting of results back to the sponsor. If this is used to access a researchers’ expertise only, and no new research is performed, this may be a consulting agreement.

Typical Features:

  • Use of existing know-how to provide the service
  • Use of University of Ottawa facilities, resources and time (if a consulting agreement then Investigator must attest to the contract being < 10% FTE)
  • Start and end dates of project are defined
  • Payment can be made after services are rendered or tied to deliverables; holdback often required
  • Service results are the property of the sponsor; University of Ottawa has the right to use results for teaching and non-commercial research projects
  • Know-how developed or utilized by the University in provision of services is owned by the University
  • Normally includes provisions for publication, but they can be removed by researcher and sponsor if deemed appropriate
  • Warranty provisions: reasonable professional standards but no guarantee of results
  • Contains provisions on confidentiality of information
  • Insurance and indemnification provisions are included to protect the University, researchers and students

Indirect cost assessment varies by nature of services provided but is a minimum of 10% and can be up to 65% direct costs

Links to external resources

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Last Updated 12/3/2012