Skip to main content

Non-standard research

Contracts are classed as non-standard where they:

  • are not Standard Approved Funder terms and conditions
  • are from a Standard Approved Funder or scheme but include provisions which differ from the pre-approved terms
  • include a clinical or human tissue component
  • relate to expert witness work in a litigious or contentious context, or to matters which are highly sensitive by virtue or current affairs or political developments; or
  • include the transfer or personal data to or from the University

All non-standard contracts must be approved by the RIS Contracts Team who will draft or review the agreements required to ensure the University’s and our academics’ interests are suitably protected.

Further details on the University’s position on some key contractual terms can be found here.

The RIS Contracts Team will carry out an appropriate review, provide feedback on the terms and advice on any required changes.

For updates on the status of your contractual matter as it is being progressed by the RIS Contracts Team, please visit the “System for tracking Legal Agreements in RIS” (SOLAR), which can be accessed by logging into the selfservice portal. Please see this guidance on how to use SOLAR as a read-only user.

There are different approaches to a review which the RIS Contracts Team may take, depending on the circumstances of the matter. Usually the process for review will follow one of the below formats:

  • Short-form review. Contracts between UK universities (including agreements where the lead institution is subcontracting activity from an industry partner) and agreements relating to European Commission research and innovation programmes will receive a short-form review unless otherwise requested by the Faculty Research/Finance Office, or business lead.

The short-form review considers five key risk factors only:

    1. retention of existing IP ownership
    2. limitations on research use of project results
    3. restrictions on future research activities (i.e. non-compete)
    4. unlimited University financial risk or other escalation point identified in the Contract Procedure
    5. severe publication restriction or complete veto
  • Full contract review. For more complex contracts the RIS Contracts Team will provide comprehensive review and drafting support.

A full contract review will always be undertaken for:

    1. contract research or consultancy contracts (with a value over £10,000 for consultancy)
    2. contracts with a clinical or human tissue component; and
    3. contracts where funds are paid to third parties

A full contract review may be detailed in the Contract Review and Recommendation Form (CRRF) – for review of contracts which involve incoming research grant funding.  The CRRF will provide an overview of the contractual terms, summarise any risks and provide a recommendation by the RIS Contracts Team member responsible as to how to proceed