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  • Consider putting a confidentiality agreement in place before entering in to discussions  regarding a new collaboration;
  • Discuss the project and involvement of other third parties to ensure all parties are clear about the expectations, working arrangements, legal contracts needed, activities, deliverables and timelines;
  • Liaise with any other department such as export control, information governance, research governance etc. as applicable, to ensure regulatory compliance and approval;
  • Ensure that the work is fully costed by the Research Support Team and appropriate approvals are in place;
  • Set realistic and achievable time frames for the project start date, staff recruitment and project delivery;
  • Make sure that the Research Support Team and Contracts Team are aware of any hard deadlines for concluding and finalising any contracts;
  • Provide the Contracts Team with all the necessary information and approval to ensure a speedy contract sign off.


  • Disclose any valuable proprietary or commercial information until a confidentiality agreement is in place;
  • Agree to a price for the project until you know from the Research Services Team the full cost;
  • Disclose a budget breakdown to third parties, particularly industrial companies as they can use this to re-negotiate and reduce the funding available;
  • Agree that a third party can own any intellectual property or commit to arrangements regarding rights of intellectual property use as this could restrict your ability to use the results in the future.  These will be negotiated by the Contracts Team following a discussion with you;
  • Agree to any restrictions on publication rights as this could impact on your academic freedom and rights to publish.  These will be negotiated by the Contracts Team following a discussion with you;
  • Provide any template agreements to third parties unless it has been agreed with the Contracts Team.  A contract previously agreed, is not necessarily appropriate for your new project;
  • Sign any agreements on behalf of the University as this could have personal implications for you.  There are a limited number of authorised signatories at the University, the Contracts Team will arrange for signature of a contract.