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Memorial University of Newfoundland

  Memorial University of Newfoundland

Research Contracts and Agreements

Approval Date: 2014-07-03

Effective Date: 2018-03-06

Review Date: 2022-07-03


Vice-President (Research)


To ensure that all research contracts/agreements entered into by the University meet all legal requirements on the University, are aligned with the University's basic commitment to the free pursuit of knowledge and that any potential academic consequences are appropriately assessed, and are executed in accordance with the University's policies and procedures.


All research contracts/agreements entered into by the University involving University faculty, staff and/or students and/or using University facilities and/or services.


Academic Unit — Refers to a centre, department, division, faculty, program or school, other than an administrative unit, as the context requires and as defined in the University Calendar.

Campus Head — The executive positions responsible for each of the Marine Institute, Grenfell Campus and the Labrador Institute.

Deliverables — Include the results of a research project that are explicitly defined in the Research Contract and which may include reports, papers, presentations, models, prototypes and demonstrations. Deliverables may include a license, or a first right of refusal to negotiate a license, to the intellectual property developed during the course of the contract but do not include the underlying intellectual property developed by the University's faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows or students.

Direct Costs — Include, but are not limited to, the stipends, salaries and benefits for research personnel, including faculty, staff, postdoctoral trainees and students, materials and supplies, travel, equipment, purchase of specialized services, and subcontracts.

Indirect Costs — Include, but are not limited to, building use and depreciation, utilities, equipment depreciation, physical plant and maintenance (including utilities, hazardous waste disposal, security), insurance, pre- and post-award research administration, financial administration (including purchasing and accounting), human resources administration, and common resources, including libraries and computing services.

Principal Investigator(s) — The researcher(s) who leads a proposal submitted by the University for external funding and who agrees to undertaking the research in accordance with the terms of the Research Contract.

Research Contract — Any formal, legally enforceable agreement signed between the University and an external Organization/Sponsor which, in exchange for payment of Direct Costs and Indirect Costs, sets out a task or tasks to be completed within a specified timeframe to arrive at a research outcome which constitutes intellectual property that advances the state of knowledge in the researcher's research area. Deliverables are also defined under the agreement. The research must able to be published in the scholarly literature. In some instances such publication may be subject to an appropriate deferral period in which a review of proposed publications can be carried out to identify confidential or commercially sensitive information and to provide time to secure protection of such information.

Unit Head — Deans, Department Heads, Division Heads, Heads of Schools, Directors, Executive Directors, University Librarian, University Registrar and other senior administrators at a comparable level; Associate Vice-Presidents and Vice-Presidents, as applicable.

University — Memorial University of Newfoundland.


1) All research contracts/agreements entered into by the University involving University faculty, staff or students and/or using University facilities and/or services are made with the University through the Vice-President (Research) in accordance with the Contract Administration Policy.

2) The contracting organization(s) is expected to pay all of the costs, both direct and indirect, including the salaries of the researchers, on a pro-rated basis if applicable. See Indirect Costs of Externally Funded Research Policy.

3) In cases where salaries, or portions thereof, are paid under the contract/agreement, the payments are in the form of reimbursement to the University.

4) The project title, name of the contracting agency, contract/agreement duration and value are published in appropriate University publications, such as the annual Inventory of Sponsored Research and other official University publications.

5) The Principal Investigator and Academic Unit administering the research contract/agreement will follow University policies and procedures in order to ensure that all researchers - faculty members, research assistants, research associates, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students or others - are informed of the conditions attached to the research contract/agreement in which it is proposed that they will be involved. For greater clarity, informed consent of all individuals proposed to participate in a project must be obtained prior to their engagement on a project.

6) The University and its researchers retain the ownership to all intellectual property developed during the course of a research contract/agreement. The University may license intellectual property to the contracting organization on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis based on negotiation with the contracting organization.

7) In exceptional circumstances and only where the benefit to the University and the researchers is significant and beyond the full costs of undertaking the research, the University may be prepared to assign project intellectual property to the contracting organization as long as the University retains the right to use the intellectual property for future research and teaching purposes, including academic publication and presentation.

8) All University faculty, staff and students involved in Contract Research must comply with the University's Conflict of Interest Policy with respect to disclosure and management of conflicts of interest.

9) All University faculty, staff and students involved in Contract Research must comply with the University's Integrity in Scholarly Research Policy. 

10) The researchers must be able to publish their work. The research contract/agreement may include terms which provide for a deferral of publication or presentation for a reasonable period of time if it is clearly justified by the nature of the work. Such a deferral period shall not exceed six months and under no circumstances may the deferral result in a delay in the progress of a student's thesis work, including defense of a thesis. The research contract/agreement may also include terms which provide for confidentiality of the contracting organization's background intellectual property, confidential information or data that is provided in order to carry out the work defined in the contract/agreement.

11) The Principal Investigator is responsible for the security of confidential information, including data dealing with identifiable persons.

12) For exceptional and compelling reasons, the Vice-President (Research) may agree to variance to this policy as may from time to time be appropriate.

Related Documents

Indirect Costs of Externally Funded Research Policy
Contract Administration Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy
Integrity in Scholarly Research Policy

For inquiries related to this policy:

Vice-President (Research) - 709-864-2530

Sponsor: Vice-President (Research)

Category: Research

Previous Versions:

There is at least one previous version of this policy. Contact the Policy Office to view earlier version(s)

Approval Date 2014-07-03   Effective Date 2014-07-03
Approval Date 1978-04-01   Effective Date 1978-04-01

Policy Amendment History

Date: 2019-05-30 11:51:13

This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: Connected definitions using definitions from the glossary.

Date: 2019-07-22 11:06:56

This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: Updated the review date from 2018-07-03 to 2022-07-03 during the 2019 Annual Policy Review.