Frequently Asked Questions
Are all contracts required to go through Science Contracts?
If you are in the Faculty of Science and want help with a research-related contract, you must start at Science Contracts.
Science Contracts is also happy to act as a first port of call for any contract-related questions, regardless of whether they are about research. As the Science Contracts web page says, we help get contracts signed.
What documents will I need to lodge a Science Contracts request?
When you lodge your request, you will need to upload the agreement you want reviewed. Also upload any related documents such as acceptance letters etc.
For agreements with research funding, you will also need to complete a 'UQ Research Budget Spreadsheet' and a 'Funding Application Coversheet', signed by your Head of School. Both of these documents are on the Research Management website.
How long will it take to get my research-related agreement signed?
There is no set answer to this question. It depends on the time of year (e.g. end of financial year is a busy time), number of staff available, complexity of the agreement, succinctness and completeness of your instructions and so on. Research Legal has published the following information on its web page about the typical work required to review and execute the more common agreements.
- Example of a typical workflow for a research funding agreement
- Example of a typical workflow for a research collaboration agreement
- Example of a typical workflow for a material transfer
- Example of a typical workflow for a data transfer agreement
- Example of a typical workflow for a disclosure of confidential information
Which UQ policies are relevant to research agreements?
You should be aware of Section 4.10, Research Management and Administration, from the Universities Policies and Procedures library. The sections are as follows:
- 4.10.04 Submission of Applications for Research Funding
- 4.10.05 Research Contract Risk Assessment
- 4.10.06 First named Chief Investigators on Research Grant Applications - Eligibility
- 4.10.07 Conditions of Acceptance of Research Funds
- 4.10.08 Recording of Research Grants - Significance of Block Grants
- 4.10.10 Research Budgets - Direct Costs
- 4.10.11 Equipment Purchased from Research Funds
- 4.10.12 Recovery of Indirect Costs from Research Funding and Consultancy Contracts
- 4.10.13 Intellectual Property for Staff, Students and Visitors
Can I sign my research-related agreement?
The University's policy on contract delegations is available at:
Other than the 'University Standard Research Agreements' and 'Approved Third Party Research Agreements' listed in the sections below, research contracts may only be signed on behalf of the University as mandated by the UQ Policy and Procedures Library 1.10.03 Contract Delegations.
University Research Standard Agreements
Subject to compliance with the Conditions of Use, the following UQ standard research contracts can be approved and signed on behalf of the University by an Executive Dean or Director of Institute. An electronic copy of each fully signed research contract must be submitted to Research and Innovation – contact Science Contracts for this step.
- Confidentiality Agreement for one way disclosure by the University - Project Discussions
- Confidentiality Agreement for reciprocal disclosure - Project Discussions
- Material Transfer Agreement - Incoming Material
- Material Transfer Agreement - Outgoing Material
Approved Third Party Research Agreements
Subject to compliance with the Condition of Use, these third party standard research contracts can be approved and signed on behalf of the University by an Executive Dean or Director of Institute. An electronic copy of each fully signed research contract much be submitted to Research and innovation - contact Science Contracts for this step.
- NIH Simple Letter Agreement for the Transfer of Materials
- Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement with Implementing Letter (UBMTA) - incoming material
- UBMTA variation - Specific Implementing Letters that vary standard UBMTA terms
Are there standard contracts for non-research activities?
The Chief Operating Officer and the Legal Office have approved Standard Agreements, including the following, for use by University of Queensland institutes, faculties, schools and centres.
- Consultancy Agreements
- Student Placement Agreements
- Incoming Sponsorship Agreement
- QH and Mater Joint Appointment Agreements
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Performers Agreement
- Secondment Agreements
- Queensland GITC v. 5.02
- High School Work Experience
- Procurement Contract – Goods – Less than $25,000
- Procurement Contract – Goods/Services
- Speakers Agreement
If you require non-research legal assistance, log a request for help on the UQ Legal website at https://legaloffice.app.uq.edu.au/.
Can I sign the non-research standard agreements?
The University's policy on contract delegations is available at:
Can I request a waiver of the UQ overheads on research funding?
You should read the material at http://www.uq.edu.au/research/research-management/overheads. A request for a waiver of overheads on research contracts is on the same web page. After reading the policy, if you still wish to request the waiver, submit your completed overhead waiver form to Science Contracts for processing.
Will GST apply to my research?
It depends. To get an answer for your specific case, you really should read the full UQ policy on GST and research, which is available under section 9 of the UQ GST Guide, http://www.fbs.uq.edu.au/docs/tax/gst_guide.pdf. The following is an extract from the FBS guide.
9.2 Research Grants
Funding provided to undertake research will be subject to GST if the findings of the research are of
material benefit to the employee.
The University enters into a formal agreement with Farmers Coalition. Farmers agree to provide the
University with $75,000 of funding to research better irrigation techniques for farming. In return for
the funding, the Farmer Coalition receives the right to use the results of the findings on its own
The Farmers Coalition receives a material benefit in the form of rights to research findings.
Therefore, the research grant is given in consideration of a supply and would be subject to GST. The
tax code SALE should be used in Unifi.
The University enters into a formal agreement with Cure Cancer Foundation. The agreement states
that $75,000 of funding will be provided to UQ to research a cure for cancer. In return for the
funding, Cure Cancer Foundation will receive notification of any patents or results that may be
Cure Cancer Foundation does not receive a material benefit. Therefore, the grant is not given in
consideration of a supply and would not be subject to GST. The tax code FREE should be used in
9.2.1 ARC & NHMRC grants
Information on specific research grants received on a regular basis by the University are as follows.
- Australian Research Council (ARC) – Discovery Project grants are not subject to GST as they are considered to be an appropriation from one government entity to another
- Australian Research Council (ARC) – Linkage Project grants are not subject to GST as the ARC receive no material benefit and hence it is not a supply.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants are not subject to GST as the NHMRC receive no material benefit and hence it is not a supply.
Why have I been asked to declare a Conflict of Interest?
As defined by UQ Policy 1.50.11, a Conflict of Interest occurs when there is a conflict between a staff member's private interests and their obligation to the University.
A Conflict of Interest may arise if a reasonable, disinterested person would think that the behaviour could conflict.
A Conflict of Interest can be financial or non-financial in nature or otherwise constitute a material benefit or advantage. A conflict of Interest includes not only a personal advantage to a staff member, but to a staff member's family, close relatives or business associates, or outside business interests or activities of the staff member.
The University’s Code of Conduct places an obligation on staff to avoid conflicts between their private interests and the University responsibilities and should avoid situations where there is a reasonable basis for the perception of such a conflict.
A Conflict of Interest declaration form is to be completed by any staff member who has an actual, potential or perceived Conflict of Interest in undertaking their University duties, responsibility and leadership role.
Can I have outside business interests?
With School Head or equivalent permission, as a general principle, the University supports members of its academic staff engaging in paid outside work with industry and government that enables them to stay at the forefront of their area of expertise and advances the wider interests of the University. Provided such commitments are congruent with the mission of the University and meet standards of public accountability they may be undertaken:
- through the University, or
- through one of the University's controlled entities, such as UniQuest, or
- in a purely private capacity.
There are two forms to be completed.
When does my student need to assign intellectual property to UQ?
UQ may require a student assignment of IP to manage intellectual property in accordance with any contract it has with a third party. For example, it may be a condition for a grant-funded project on which a student is working that any intellectual property generated from your project will be owned by UQ or jointly owned by UQ and the funding partner.
UQ students are legally distinct from UQ staff, thus UQ has no employment-based right to ownership of a student’s intellectual property. For UQ to utilise intellectual property a student generates, the student will need to specifically assign these rights to UQ by completing a standard deed of assignment, available here. Students who have assigned IP will receive benefits identical to staff in respect to any future commercialisation of the IP.