Research agreements

The University of Calgary assists companies in a wide variety of industry sectors with research which contributes to product/process development and improvement.  These collaborations can be accommodated either through research contract or grant agreements.  In addition, the University has access to a number of funding programs and research consortia which provide matched or shared funding to further leverage any funds contributed by an industry partner. 


General legal inquiries:

Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure (View Sample) 

Prior to discussing participation in a research project, companies and other organizations often ask for a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement from the researcher.  The Legal & IP Unit processes these requests, and all agreements are set up in the name of the Governors of the University of Calgary. The Legal & IP Unit has a template agreement designed for this purpose. 


Matched Funding 

The federal and provincial governments both have research programs which offer funds to support University research conducted for industry. For example, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (“NSERC”) now has the Alliance Grant program which requires partner involvement.  

In each of these cases, the researcher must apply to the program for funding. If the application is successful, the funding agency requires the industry partner to enter into a research agreement with the University which triggers matched funding from the government. 

The Legal & Intellectual Property Unit has specific template agreements which have been approved by the funding programs to document the relationship and funding provided by the industry partner. 

Please contact the Legal & IP Unit for any Information on overhead rates for these programs.


Research Consortia 

Some research programs are designed as a consortium involving several companies as sponsors. In this case, sponsor funds or useful field data are pooled to generate research results are that shared among all sponsors. The Legal & IP Unit has developed a form of “grant” agreement outlining the terms and conditions governing all sponsors within a consortia. 


Research Contract (request sample) 

For collaborations which do not involve matched funding or research consortia, if the industry partner requires a license to use intellectual property emerging from the research and requires publication restrictions, then the agreement will usually be characterized as a “Research Contract”. Following University policy, the budget for work to be completed for “Research Contracts” must include an allowance for overhead of 25% of direct costs. 


Research Grant (request sample) 

For collaborations which do not involve matched funding or research consortia, if the industry partner does not require any license to use intellectual property and deliverables are limited to a report on the research, then the agreement may be characterized as a “Research Grant”, and will be subject to overhead at the rate of 25% of direct costs. 

The terms “Research Contract” and “Research Grant” are defined in the Research Overhead and Indirect Costs Policy. Further details are located in the Policies section of this website. 


Material Transfer (request sample) 

Researchers often seek to obtain material samples from a company or other organization for the purpose of a research project. The company may require the researcher to accept a Material Transfer Agreement outlining the terms and conditions upon which the material is provided. These agreements often contain provisions dealing with ownership of research results and confidentiality. 

The Legal & Intellectual Property Unit is responsible for ensuring that these agreements are set up in the name of the Governors of the University of Calgary and has a template agreement which is designed for this purpose.  


Medical Research 

Please note that agreements involving industry funding for clinical research are handled by Centre for Clinical Research in the Faculty of Medicine. 

Agreements for all other industry funding for medical research are handled by the Cumming School of Medicine Research Office.