Negotiating Sponsored Research Agreements

As one of the major public research institutions in the province, the University of Alberta is committed to actively pursuing research relationships with external sponsors. Within its mandate and policy structure, the University fosters research scenarios that benefit the public, the researcher, the sponsor and the University. Each research relationship has its own unique attributes, and the University is committed to entering into industry-sponsored agreements that embody the principles outlined in this section.

  1. What is the process to negotiate a sponsored research agreement with the University of Alberta? 
  2. What are the types of sponsored research relationships that typically exist between sponsors and the University? 
  3. What are the University policies regarding confidentiality and secrecy? 
  4. Does the University keep the research results secret? 
  5. Do we keep it a secret that the University is conducting research for my company? 
  6. Does the University protect my company’s proprietary information? 
  7. What are the University’s policies on publication? 
  8. Does the sponsor own the researchers’ publications that come out of the project? 
  9. How long can the University delay publication in order for the sponsor to protect the research results before they are disclosed? 
  10. Does a sponsor approve the content of a proposed publication before the researcher publishes it? 
  11. What are the University’s policies regarding ownership of copyrighted materials and works arising from research? 
  12. What are the University’s policies regarding ownership of intellectual property arising from research?
  13. I’m contributing money, materials, etc. to this project. Will the intellectual property arising from the research project be jointly invented or jointly owned? 
  14. Are there any other principles that I should be aware of regarding the ownership and use of the results of the research? 
  15. As a principal investigator, how do I let the Research Services Office know how I would like my intellectual property to be owned/licensed to the sponsor in my sponsored research agreement?
  16. Does my company sign an agreement directly with the researcher? If so, is the researcher a party to the agreement? 
  17. Does the researcher sign anything with the University so that my company has assurances that the researcher will perform the research? 
  18. Can the sponsor use the University, principal investigator or any other student or employee’s name or trademark?
  19. How does the University make sure that it can comply with its contractual obligations to the company regarding ownership and licensing of intellectual property? 
  20. What if a student is working on a research project in furtherance of his or her thesis or educational requirements? 
  21. What is the University’s position on indemnities and limitations of liability? 
  22. Does the University guarantee its research results?
  23. What is the University’s position on sponsor’s insurance? 
  24. Does the sponsor own the equipment being purchased for use in the research project? 
  25. What are indirect costs, and why do I have to pay them? 
  26. What are committed and un-cancellable costs, and why does the University require a sponsor to cover them if an agreement is terminated early?