Financial Services

External Research Funding Policy

External research funding is administrated through Research Services.

A summary of the processes involved is detailed here.

Policy statement

Application and acceptance of research funding

  • All applications should be directed through the Research Grants Office. Where the application is for funding through a formal granting scheme, the Research Grants Office normally sets a deadline of 10 days prior to the external funding agency's closing date to allow the office to review administrative aspects of the application. In respect of University-based schemes, the deadline specified is the final date for lodgment and late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Most funding agencies require applications to be signed by the applicant, Head of School or Equivalent and a responsible officer of the University (who signs on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor or Registrar).
  • An Application Cover Sheet form must accompany the application. It provides essential details for the research grants management database and an assurance that the Head of School or Equivalent acknowledges the resource implications of the proposal. In any event, the investigator and Head of School or Equivalent must sign the coversheet.
  • Students and staff (including the Head of School or Equivalent) do not have the authority to accept research grants or conditions of award on behalf of the University. A signed Acceptance of Offer form provides the Research Grants Office with the authority to arrange the signing of the funding agency's offer on the University's behalf and signifies that the researcher has read and understood the conditions of funding.

Grant terms and conditions

  • The finalisation of the research grant application/acceptance process is evidenced by the completion of the Acceptance of Offer form by the Chief Investigator and Head of School or Equivalent. Amongst other things, the form evidences the Chief Investigator's and Head of School's or Equivalent's commitment to adhering to the grant conditions.
  • The nature and source of research grants varies substantially as do the terms of the contracts that govern their use. This lack of consistency raises the need for checking contracts to ensure that the University is capable of delivering on agreed terms. It is essential that the Chief Investigator reads and understands the contract.
  • Research contracts must be entered into in the name of the University. This has several important implications:
    • Agreements must be signed by University staff under authority delegated by the Senate.
    • Agreements are in the name of The University of Western Australia. Agreements cannot be in the name of Faculties, Schools or Centres as these do not have a separate legal existence.
    • Generally, property and equipment acquired belong to the University.
    • The Chief Investigator is responsible to the University for compliance with the agreed terms and conditions.
  • Legal Services assists the Research Grants Office by checking that research contract terms are suitable for the University and negotiating the terms where this is not the case.
  • Forming part of the grant conditions, indemnities and warranties apportion the risk and potential liabilities between the parties. The University will not provide an indemnity to any party in circumstances where the indemnity:
    • is general in scope
    • covers losses associated with the infringement of the intellectual property rights of a third party
    • covers the commercial activity of the collaborator, or the commercial use of project results, or the intellectual property licensed to the collaborator.

Ownership of assets acquired/developed

  • Property and equipment acquired from research grant funds are the property of the University. Although the Chief Investigator secures the funding and is responsible for carrying out the agreed terms and conditions of the contract, the Chief Investigator performs these functions in the capacity of an employee of the University.
  • Purchased assets are any assets acquired from University funds regardless of the source of funds and brought to account in the University's Financial Information Management and Asset Register systems.

Intellectual property

  • The Intellectual Property Regulations and General Regulation 32A guide the University's policy on intellectual property.
  • Where a conflict exists between the provisions of an agreement entered into with external parties and the Intellectual Property Regulations, the provisions of the agreement apply. Further, intellectual property will be treated in accordance with University Regulations where agreements are silent on the issue of intellectual property.
  • When negotiating agreements that contain provisions regarding intellectual property, the Regulations require the University to as far as possible, model these provisions on the requirements and intent of the intellectual property policy.

Generally ownership is as follows:

Students
Subject to the provisions of other agreements, intellectual property created is owned by the student. Where the agreement provides that the student does not own the intellectual property, students have identical rights to staff with respect to the intellectual property policy. Under these circumstances a separate agreement must be negotiated between the student and the University.
Staff
The University owns all intellectual property (excluding copyright works apart from computer programs) created by staff in the course of their employment.
Visitors
Ownership of intellectual property should be governed by an agreement between the University and the visitor.
Where specific resources are provided for the purpose of creating intellectual property, a separate agreement that outlines the ownership between the recipient of the resources and the University must be negotiated.
The originators of patentable inventions or commercially significant computer programs are obliged to notify the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of these creations. An obligation also exists for originators to consult with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) regarding appropriate measures that must be taken in protecting intellectual property and commercialisation that is likely to become commercially significant.
Intellectual property ownership and any potential revenue will be shared between the inventors and the collaborators as detailed in the University's Intellectual Property Regulations.

Finance and reporting responsibilities

The University is required to prepare financial information that supports the review and control of the University's financial resources and meets the needs of various external parties. For external research funding these responsibilities are met by various sections of the University and further details can be obtained from the following references.

Grant applications: Administrative process

Grant application forms

Research Agreements

Acquisition of property and equipment from research funds

Intellectual Property

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