There are generally four types of sponsored research agreements for contracts with government or private sector: Research contract, research grant, collaborative research agreement and research services agreement, also called technical services agreement.
Each represents a step in a continuum from basic, curiosity-driven research to targeted, results-driven research.
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.
Please note that ISS has signing authority on all contracts.
- 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
Collaborative Research Agreement
This type of arrangement is often co-funded by both government and industry for strategic research or technology development.
Typical features are the same as those of 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 is 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
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.
- 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
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.
- 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