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For Research Staff: Research journey
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Establish contract

Research contracts are required as part of the grant funding process. They are typically prepared after the grant has been awarded.

Contracts are to be completed before the Finance and Business Service Centre will open the project code and funds can be accessed.

Why have contracts?

Research contracts are required under ECU Policy, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (Updated March 2014), and Higher Education Research Data Collection and funding organisations. They must clarify:

  • the funding amount;
  • the period of the project;
  • how the funds may be utilised;
  • intellectual property;
  • confidentiality;
  • reporting requirements;
  • financial acquittals; and
  • insurance.

The contract will affect how the Chief Investigator may use the research findings, including publishing and intellectual property ownership and licensing.

Important notes

Only the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Director, Research Services are authorised to legally bind ECU to research contracts.

All acceptances and contracts provided by funding bodies direct to researchers must be forwarded to Research Services, who will arrange reviews, obtain institutional sign-off, and return to the funding body.

Preparation of research contracts

The Office of Research and Innovation organises the preparation of research contracts. As part of the preparation, Research Services will:

  • review the agreement and highlight areas of interest to ECU;
  • arrange for review by ECU parties where necessary (including the Chief Investigator, Legal and Integrity, Risk and Assurance, Finance and Business Service Centre and the Commercialisation Office);
  • communicate with external parties regarding the terms and details of the contracts;
  • coordinate other parties to the agreement to sign the agreement;
  • arrange for signing by ECU authorised signatory; and
  • provide a copy of the executed agreement to relevant ECU staff and other parties to the agreement.

Chief Investigator review

Chief Investigators are requested to review the entire research contract and to consider how the research project will be conducted and how they plan to use the research findings.

Details within the agreement may already be determined as part of the research proposal, award letter or application terms and conditions.

Areas for the researcher to consider include confirming that:

  • the term of the agreement aligns with the date for the commencement and completion of the project;
  • the amounts (including in-kind) are correct and detail if the amount is GST inclusive or exclusive;
  • if project assets are being used or purchased in the project, the detailed requirements for ownership and usage past the end of the project;
  • the project milestone requirements and dates are recorded;
  • the reporting requirements including format, content, date and delivery are recorded;
  • the primary contact and address for the notices in the contract is the Office of Research and Innovation
  • if students are involved, the agreement reflects ECU’s requirements for its students
  • the publication terms are acceptable, particularly in relation to any confidentiality requirements by the other parties; and
  • Intellectual Property ownership and licensing terms are acceptable.

Intellectual Property

All ECU staff and students involved in a research project are required to sign either a Staff or Student Intellectual Property Deed assigning ownership of intellectual property to ECU. Completion of the deeds by ECU staff and students ensures that there isn’t any uncertainty about the intellectual property ownership and enables ECU to enter into agreements that include intellectual property arrangements.

Research Services sends a request for deeds to be signed to the Chief Investigator who is responsible for arranging the deeds from the research team and providing them to Research Services in person or through internal mail.  The Chief Investigator also arranges for new research team members to sign and provide deeds to Research Services when they join the project.


Research Contracts Advisor
Sandra Green
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 2850

Research Contracts and Funding Officer
Sallyann Webster
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 2077

Research Contracts and Funding Officer
Dawn Owen
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 5783

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