1. Introduction

Most direct funding for research comes from external sources such as competitive research grants, contract research, joint ventures (including centres) and consultancies.

The University also funds research internally through, for example, faculty or school/budget unit project allocations, university-wide programs supported from the Planning and Budget Committee Research Vote, provided to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), funding for research training and investment in research and research training infrastructure.

With the exception of some donations, all external direct funding should have some form of agreement detailing the funding to be provided, the conditions of award and the rights and responsibilities of the parties (including about the ownership of intellectual property).

A distinction is typically drawn between:

  • research grants: †where an agency calls for applications to a grant program or scheme, and

  • contract research: †which is arranged under an individual agreement between the sponsor or contracting party and the University for the services of a particular researcher or group of researchers.

Further information: Melbourne Research Office

1.1 Research Grants

The University receives external research funding from grants. The two major grant sponsors are:

  • Australian Research Council (ARC)

  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Most major schemes of the ARC and NHMRC, plus approximately 40 more Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth schemes that meet certain criteria, are known as Australian Competitive Grants (ACGs). The ACG list is published annually by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).

Other competitive grants are offered by:

  • various Commonwealth departments and statutory authorities

  • state and local government agencies

  • professional bodies

  • charitable foundations and trusts

  • international agencies, such as the United Nations

  • foreign governments

  • overseas research agencies, such as US National Institutes of Health.

Examples of other competitive funding opportunities include the Co-operative Research Centres (CRC) Program and ARC Centres of Excellence.

The Melbourne Research Office (MRO) handles applications for, and the administration of, all publicly advertised research grants.

Further information: Research Grants

1.2 Contract Research

The University attracts funding for contract research from public and private bodies. Such funding is often based upon a research proposal prepared by the researcher and agreed with the other party but project plans may also be developed jointly. Individual and case specific contracts are negotiated between the University and the contractor of the research.

The MRO is responsible for the negotiation of research grants and recommending to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) that agreements be signed on behalf of the University. Legal Services' research contract lawyers provide specialist advisory and negotiation support.

The University prefers to use its own 'standard' research agreements, at least as the basis for initial discussions, as these agreements clearly set out and help protect its rights and those of its staff and students. Negotiations can be concluded much more quickly if University 'template' agreements are used.

1.3 Consultancies

Consultancies typically involve the provision of expert advice or assistance on a commercial basis to a private or public sector organisation, often with a written report completed on a confidential basis.

Consultancies that involve the advancement of knowledge, risk and innovation, and where that findings may be disseminated widely (after, perhaps, an initial period of confidential disclosure) and contribute to the research and professional literature, may normally be termed 'research consultancies'.

Funding for research consultancies may be reported to DEST as research income. See Section 11.3 - Institutional Grants Scheme (IGS)

1.4 Other 

From time to time the University receives donations to support research projects and research facilities.

Special protocol, accounting and reporting processes are in place to administer such donations.

Further information: See Section - Trusts

2. Information on Sources of Funding

The MRO provides information and advice on publicly advertised research funding opportunities from government and non-government sources, as well as internal university research grant programs.

Such funding opportunities include:

  • project grants

  • collaborative grants

  • centres

  • research equipment

  • research travel

  • schemes which support university staff to undertake research or advanced research training at other institutions and return to the University of Melbourne.

  • schemes that would support visitors to conduct research at the University of Melbourne

  • postdoctoral and other research fellowships tenable at the University of Melbourne

  • postgraduate research scholarships offered by Australian Competitive Granting bodies to support students at the University of Melbourne.

All active researchers, research managers, heads of academic budget units and relevant general staff should subscribe to the weekly Research Bulletin which includes details of new funding opportunities, reminders of schemes closing within the next six weeks and advice on workshop and on-line services (eg scheme-specific web sites).

Click on hyperlink to subscribe to the Melbourne Research and Grants Bulletin

Contract research opportunities normally arise either from:

  • organisations approaching the University or specific budget units, research groups or individual researchers

  • researchers actively seeking funding or collaborative links with government or non-government organisations.

Consultancy opportunities may emerge from either of these means or through organisations approaching the University (eg Faculty Office, Budget Unit Office, the MRO) or the School of Enterprise

Further information: Research Grants

3. Research Proposals

3.1 Research Project Proposals 

Applicants should be aware of the academic and financial implications of research project submissions.

Applications take time and attention, so it is important that advice be sought early from the MRO.

Errors, ambiguities and/or insufficient attention to the terms and conditions can cause delay, jeopardise the success of an application and sometimes involve the University in protracted negotiations with sponsors.

Care must be taken to assess conditions attached by sponsors and to seek advice from the MRO on the acceptability of those conditions to the University.

The applicant's head of budget unit should be consulted before making a grant application or when seeking research funding. The head is responsible for ensuring the project is academically and financially acceptable to the budget unit.

Some grant applications require the applicant to make an offer regarding the sharing of any intellectual property arising from the research. Where this is the case, the application should be discussed with MRO to determine an appropriate division of the intellectual property in accordance with University policy.

3.2 Budget

A budget of the direct costs of a research project may be prepared on the basis of:

  • a financial year

  • a calendar year

  • any other basis required by a sponsor.

Consult the MRO at an early stage for advice on the calculation of the project direct costs, and current terms and conditions specified by the sponsor.

Items to consider when estimating the costs include:

  • payroll costs (including where applicable, annual increments)

  • associated staff costs

  • non-salary direct costs

  • provision for cost increases.

Care must be taken to specify the correct designation, classification and incremental level of academic, technical and other staff.

Many projects have additional costs for items such as consumable, equipment and travel.

The estimated direct costs form part of the costing and pricing of the research project within the provisions of competitive neutrality.

Further information: See Section 4 - Competitively Neutral Costing and the Pricing of Research

Contact details for the Melbourne Research Office

4. Competitively Neutral Costing and the Pricing of Research

Further information on: Research Contracts: Costing and Pricing Policies

4.1 Costing Policy for Research in Compliance with the National Competition Policy

Refer to the Costing Policy for information regarding competitive neutral costing for research programs and reporting in-kind contributions for research programs.

4.2 Pricing Policy for Research

Further information: The Pricing Policy for Research

5. Intellectual Property Considerations

The treatment of intellectual property is a key issue in any of the agreements associated with the granting of research funding.

Further information: Intellectual Property Policy

5.1 Where University brings Substantial Intellectual Property

Where the University brings substantial background intellectual property and know-how to the collaboration, the preferred option is for the University to retain ownership of new intellectual property.

The University would then grant an exclusive licence, if requested, to the commercial partner in return for appropriate licence fee royalties and other conditions including a performance clause.

This position applies to most commercially sponsored research programs undertaken by the University and is usually sufficient to protect the commercial interests of the commercial sponsor.

This takes into account that further research may be obstructed if the University does not retain ownership of intellectual property.

The University may not receive fair returns for its endeavours if intellectual property ownership has been granted to the company and the company does not commercially exploit the intellectual property.

5.2 Joint Ownership

An alternative arrangement is one of joint ownership of intellectual property. Joint ownership means:

  • the company has the right to use the knowledge for its own commercial purposes

  • the University is free to develop other relationships to market new intellectual property outside the direct commercial environment or field of interest of the company.

Appropriate royalty and licencing agreements are negotiated.

5.3 Full Ownership

Full ownership gives the commercial partner full ownership of the new intellectual property.

It is the University's least preferred option and is rarely approved.

In agreeing to such a position, the University requires at least full cost recovery for the project and an agreed financial arrangement regarding the use of the background intellectual property contributed by the University.

5.4 Royalties and Licences

In all agreements, the University normally retains a right to a non-exclusive royalty free and irrevocable licence to use new intellectual property for its own teaching, training and research activities consistent with any confidentiality clauses.

Under the Statute 14.1 - Intellectual Property Policy, any intellectual property created under the terms of a third party ('specified') agreement, such as a research grant or contract, created by a staff member of the University will be owned by the University. The rights for commercial exploitation of that intellectual property will be exercised as per the specified agreement.

The University will advise the terms of the agreement in regard to ownership and intellectual property rights to all academic staff, including honorary staff, and students conducting research under the agreement.

Contact details for the Research Innovation and Development Group

6. Submission of Grant Applications

Sponsors' invitations for grant applications are circulated within the University via the Research Bulletin. For the more popular or larger schemes, the MRO will generally create web pages that includes a profile of the scheme, quick links to relevant University policies or resources (eg costing sheets, salary tables) and checklists.

An internal closing date is set, generally at least two weeks before the external sponsor's closing date to allow time for the final checking, university signature where required and dispatch to the sponsor.

Contact the MRO for sponsor application forms, if required, and details of the sponsor's required format.

Further information: Grant Application Invitations

Contact details for the Melbourne Research Office

6.1 Draft Submission 

A date will be set by which drafts are due with the MRO. Researchers will be notified of what material is required to accompany the draft application (this may include Head of Budget Unit preliminary sign-off, costing and budget forms or the draft budget).

It is important that drafts are submitted on time for:

  • return to applicant for revision

  • amendment where necessary

  • multiple copying

  • re-submission by the final internal closing date.

6.2 Ethics and Biosafety Clearances

Applicants should check the requirements of the granting agency in relation to ethics and biosafety clearances, and ensure that applications for clearances are submitted in sufficient time for consideration.

All cases for ethical clearances must be submitted before a grant may be accepted, even in cases where an agency requires clearances to be submitted at the same time as the grant application.

Relevant approvals must be obtained if the project falls within the terms of reference of the following committees:

  • Gene Technology Regulation and Biosafety Committee

  • Animal Experimentation Committee

  • Human Research Ethics Committee

6.3 Lodgement of Grant Applications

All applications for advertised research grants must be lodged through the Grants Office.

The Executive Director (Research) is the only University officer authorised to sign grant applications on behalf of the University.

Grant applications must not be signed on behalf of the University by a Chief Investigator or Head of Budget Unit.

Web Contact details: Grants Office

6.4 Copies of Applications

The following copies of the grant application must be submitted to the Grants Office by the internal closing date:

  • the required number of copies to be forwarded to the granting body

  • one copy of University records.

This allows for final processing, collation with other applications and dispatch by the external closing.

Web Contact details Grants Office

7. Accepting Research Grants or Contracts

Refer to Financial Delegations 

Council Meeting 14 December 2009 - revocation of regulation 17ir6

Only the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) can sign University research and development contracts. These include:

  • research grant acceptances

  • contracts

  • collaborative research agreements

  • research-related agreements

  • grant or contract variations or extensions.

If a granting body sends a grant offer and/or related agreement directly to chief investigators or a budget unit, the researchers must send this material to the MRO for handling.

The MRO is responsible for all contract research and related agreements. Draft agreements or contract offers must be forward to that Office.

The MRO will in conjunction with the research contracts lawyers in Legal Services as appropriate:

  • advise the Head of Budget Unit of the terms and conditions of a proposed research grant or contract

  • provide an opportunity to discuss the terms and conditions with the chief investigator(s) and Head of budget unit

  • formally accept the terms before any agreement is recommended for signature.

Members of the Research Contracts Group can:

  • provide advice on terms and conditions

  • seek clarification from external bodies

  • negotiate changes or additions to agreements.

8. Opening of Projects

The Research Reporting section in Finance & Planning will open a project for research funds on the advice of the Melbourne Research Office (MRO) and based on the criteria set out in the General Ledger Project Code Determination the finance and planning forms website.

Further information: Administration of Research and Other Income in Themis

9. Reporting Requirements

Research Reporting will ensure the specific reporting requirements of granting bodies are met.

Research Reporting prepares reports in consultation with the budget unit involved.

10. Shared Credit for Research Grants or Contracts Research

10.1 Introduction

Questions can arise about how the financial credit for a research grant is recorded and reported in cases where the grant is held by either:

  • two or more investigators from different institutions

  • two or more investigators from different budget units/schools within the University of Melbourne

The following scenarios explain how shared credit may be established for the direct grant as well as for performance based funding through the Institutional Grant Scheme (IGS). Research Training Scheme (RTS) or the Research Infrastructure Block Grants (RIBG) Scheme.

10.2 Scenario 1: Sharing Between Two Separate Institutions

Background

Dr. X from University of Melbourne and Dr. Y from Monash University apply for a grant. Dr. X is the first named investigator and the grant is administered by the University of Melbourne. Drs X and Y have discussed and agreed how the grant would be spent. In this case, it is 70% at Melbourne and 30% at Monash. The grant application is successful and $100,00 is paid to the University of Melbourne.

Action required to receive funding and credit for the Grant

Monash must invoice the University of Melbourne for their share of the grant. If Monash administers the grant, the Melbourne researcher must request Research Reporting to raise an invoice to effect the transfer of funds. A separate project must be created to record all transactions relating to the research. This project must have attributes to identify the original grantor.

Shared grants should be split between recipient institutions for the purposes of the Higher Education Financial and Publications Research Data Collection. The administering institution must report the net amount retained, and the other institution must report the received share. In this case it is $70,000 and $30,000 respectively.

At the University of Melbourne, Research Reporting in Finance & Planning is responsible for the accounting and reporting.

Outcome

Each institution receives the funding required and the credit for the purposes of calculating the Research Quantum (RE) or Research Infrastructure Block Grant (RIBG).

10.3 Scenario 2: Sharing Between Two Budget Units Within The University

When a project is established in the Agreements module of the Themis Research System, the ratio in which the reported income is to be shared can be stored as part of setting up the project. This information can be updated during the life of the project.

These ratios will only be used when reporting (internally or externally) is for research quantum purposes.

11. Research Infrastructure Funding

11.1 Background

The University receives funding for research and research training infrastructure such as laboratory refurbishment and equipment and research services (eg, IT library and administration) from the following Commonwealth Schemes:

  • Research Infrastructure Block Grant (RIBG)

  • Institutional Grants Scheme (IGS)

  • Research Training Scheme (RTS)

11.2 Research Infrastructure Block Grant

RIBG funding is provided by the Commonwealth through Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and is for the support of specific areas of research and infrastructure.

The funding is calculated by reference to the success of the University in obtaining research grants from organisations involved in the Australian Competitive Research Grants Scheme. This grant is a major source of funds for the provision of research infrastructure.

Planning and Budget Committee control the internal distribution of funds received.

Further information: Melbourne Research Office

11.3 Institutional Grants Scheme (IGS)

IGS funding supports general university research and research related activities.

The funding comes from the Commonwealth through the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and is distributed between universities based on relative performance on three parameters:

  • research income

  • research publications

  • research higher degree completions.

Planning and Budget Committee controls the internal distribution of funds received.

11.4 Research Training Scheme (RTS)

RTS funding for research training is allocated from the Commonwealth through the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), taking into account 'separations' (withdrawals and completions) and based on:

  • all research higher degree completions, DEST or other funded (weighting: Masters 1, PhD and Higher Doctorates 2)

  • research income (all equally weighted)

  • research publications (DEST categories only)

11.5 Defining Research Income

DEST adopts the following Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's definition of Research and Experimental Development:

Research and experimental development comprises creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man (sic), culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.

Research and experimental development (R&D) is characterised by originality.

R&D should have:

  • investigation as a primary objective

  • the potential to produce results that are sufficiently general for humanity's stock of knowledge (theoretical and/or practical) to be recognisably increased.

Most higher education research work qualifies as research and experimental development. Research includes:

  • pure basic research

  • strategic basic research

  • applied research

  • experimental development

11.6 Research Income Categories

Research income is reported in four categories:

  • Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants as defined by DEST (specific sponsors and schemes)

  • Category 2: Other Public Sector Research Funding

  • Category 3: Industry and Other Funding for Research

  • Category 4: Income from Co-Operative Research Centres (CRCs)

Income received for purposes other than research, for example, profits from work shops or fee-paying courses, must not be counted in this collection even if the income is spent on research activities.

Further information: Melbourne Research Office

11.7 Grant for a Student Stipend

A grant providing:

  • a stipend to a student, and/or

  • the cost of a student's higher degree by research fee-paying place

may be included in the collection.

11.8 Excluded Activities

Activities excluded from the collection include income received for:

  • scientific and technical information services

  • general purpose or routine data collection

  • standardisation and routine testing

  • feasibility studies (except into research and experimental development projects)

  • specialised routine medical care

  • routine computer programming, systems work or software maintenance.

Research and experimental development into applications software, new programming languages and new operating systems is included.

In terms of consultancies, the DEST guidelines require that universities:

Exclude consultancy fees for projects which do not meet the definition of 'research'...

Funds are not included for consultancies as reviews of, or advice on:

  • the operation of programs or agencies

  • the presentation or repacking of existing knowledge to professionals, companies, agencies or others who do not have the same level of expertise as the consultant.

Consultancy fees for services and testing services would normally be excluded.

Contract research does count for the purposes of this collection.

12. Cooperative Research Centres

12.1 Introduction

Commonwealth Government has established approximately 60 Co-operative Research Centres (CRCs).

12.2 Establishment of a CRC

Once an application has been successful to establish a CRC, two agreements are signed by the parties.

The first agreement is between the Commonwealth and the CRC participants governing the terms and conditions for Commonwealth funding of the CRC.

The second agreement is between the participants in the CRC. This agreement:

  • establishes the management and administration of the CRC

  • ownership of any intellectual property

  • the methods of commercialising any developments.

University participants must estimate the amount of:

  • University funding required for participation in the CRC

  • in-kind and other contributions the University would bring to the CRC project.

12.3 Funding Arrangements

Funding is through renewable contracts between the Commonwealth Government and the core participating organisations.

Contracts normally run from five to seven years initially.

Funding is provided in a quarterly basis.

The Commonwealth contribution tends to be less than, or equal to, the total contributions provided by the participating institutions. Commonwealth contributions may be used for:

  • capital items, such as equipment

  • salaries for researchers and support staff, fellowships and student stipends, and salary on-costs

  • the direct cost of research

  • indirect support costs.

Contact details for the Melbourne Research Office

12.4 In-Kind Contributions

In-kind contributions relate to the real costs of a research project and could include:

  • direct payroll costs for University academic and research staff: salaries and on-costs

  • infrastructure costs: overhead costs associated with providing services to research personnel operating within the normal University environment such as library, computing, administration, buildings and grounds, office support, office space, access to facilities, and general equipment

  • direct costs: costs associated with consumable materials and supplies or specific services or personnel

  • fit-out costs: costs associated with major building works

  • equipment costs: costs associated with major items or equipment including maintenance and depreciation costs

  • higher degree students

  • funds from external organisations: if used directly to support the research program in question.

The Costing Policy describes how contributions are calculated for a submission.

Contact details for the Melbourne Research Grants Office

Further information Costing Policy

12.5 Management of the Centres

Each CRC establishes its Board of Management to:

  • determine policy

  • monitor research

  • control finances.

Boards appoint their own directors, administration agents, business managers and auditors.

12.6 CRC Administration

CRCs may employ full time administrative and finance staff or draw on existing resources.

There is no standard management structure for a CRC. Arrangements vary, but must meet the Commonwealth's CRC guidelines and ensure that there are clear lines of financial management and accountability.

Levels of authority for a University officer working in CRCs are described in other policy documents.

Different purchasing and Tender Board rules apply for CRCs than for the University in general. Authority limits are the responsibility of the Board of Management of each CRC.

Further information:

  • Authority Levels

  • Purchasing and Tender Board

12.7 Reporting Requirements 

Each CRC must provide an annual report describing its activities.

This report should contain details of the:

  • research

  • educational and business strategy

  • details of the operation of the CRC over the preceding year

  • plans for the next year.

The report must also contain an annual certified financial statement, incorporating details from the current and preceding financial years plus estimates of future expenditure.

Reporting of in-kind contributions is required as part of the Annual Report. Each University of Melbourne CRC should use the services of the Internal Audit Office to certify its annual accounts.

To help certify the University's in-kind contributions, academic and research personnel should maintain a record of time spent on CRC activities, and the use of resources provided by the University (not accounted for in other ways) in supporting CRC activities.

A signed statement setting out these contributions should be produced by all research personnel. This statement should be procedural at least quarterly, and preferably monthly with the report counter signed by the research programme leader and the Head of budget unit. 

12.8 Finance and Accounting

The University's accounting system and procedures can accommodate the accounting and reporting needs of the University.

Contact details for Accounting Operations

12.9 Research Infrastructure Cost

The research infrastructure costs to be included in any CRC submission must be calculated in accordance with the principles of competitive neutrality.

Further information: Section 4 - Competitively Neutral Costing and the Pricing of Research

Contact details for the Melbourne Research Office

12.10 CRC Audit

Each CRC Board of Management appoints its own auditor.

The Auditor is required to confirm some essential elements to provide an assurance that:

  • the audit has been conducted according to established professional standards

  • the participant contributions have been provided in accordance with the Commonwealth Agreement, and the grant is matched

  • the grant has been used for the purposes for which it was provided.

Contact details for the Melbourne Research Office

13. Intellectual Property Management

The Intellectual Property Statute sets out University policy on the management of intellectual property.

Provided the creator complies with all obligations under that policy, the creator of intellectual property will own and have all rights with respect to the intellectual property. However, any intellectual property created under the terms of a third party ('specified') agreement, such as a research grant or contract, created by a staff member of the University will be owned by the University. The rights for commercial exploitation of that intellectual property will be exercised as per the specified agreement.

The Intellectual Property Officer Guidelines developed pursuant to the Statute, prescribe how income derived from the commercialisation of intellectual property shall be distributed.

The University provides services to support the management and commercialisation of intellectual property.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) receives funds to support the filling of provisional patents where a strategic benefit to the University can be demonstrated.

Central funding will be provided on a matching basis where securing a provisional patent will enhance the University's capacity to attract R&D funding and improve prospects for eventual commercialisation. Provisional patents are generally filled in the name of the University of Melbourne.

The content of the provisional patent is the responsibility of the researcher/s.

Under the University's Intellectual Policy, creators may subsequently file for an assignment of rights to them.

Further information on:

Contact details for the:

14. Consultancies

14.1 Introduction

The University and its academic staff are often called upon to provide the following to commercial, government and semi-government bodies:

  • professional advice

  • testing and evaluation services

Sometimes a consultancy arises from:

  • a tender by a budget unit or the School of Enterprise (SoE) in response to an advertisement or other public offer

  • a direct approach to the University or the School of Enterprise (SoE).

A consultancy may arise from a personal approach by a University researcher to a commercial company or public body or vice-versa.

14.2 Options

An academic staff member has five options when undertaking a consultancy.

#

Option

Framework

1.

If the consultancy requires only the academic's personal involvement, then, provided the work complies with the Outside Work Guidelines, the academic may undertake the work directly.

The academic personally accepts all risks associated with the consultancy.

The individual academic must have appropriate professional indemnity and public risk insurance.

Paid Outside Work Guidelines

 

Managed Privately

Outside Work Consultancies

2.

Under the Outside Work Guidelines, where the consultancy requires only the academic's personal involvement, then the academic may choose to manage the consultancy through the School of Enterprise (SoE).

Under these arrangements, the consultancy contract is between the SoE and the outside party. SoE has the necessary insurance and provides administrative, contractual and financial support services.

Paid Outside Work Guidelines

 

Managed through SoE

3.

Where the consultancy requires the use of University resources and, potentially, University owned background intellectual property, SoE may manage the consultancy on behalf of the academic staff involved and their budget unit/s.

The consultancy contract is between SoE and the outside party. SoE reaches an agreement with the budget unit/s on the financial return to the University budget unit.

SoE has the necessary insurance and provides administrative, contractual and financial support services.

University staff are covered for all eventualities, as the consultancies are undertaken as part of their normal duties as University employees.

Budget Unit/University consultancy

Managed through the SoE

4.

Where a consultancy is being undertaken on behalf of the University and can be managed in accordance with the University's Standard Consultancy Agreement, then that Agreement may be used as follows:

  • Heads of budget unit or deans may execute this agreement for contracts up to $150,000

  • If the terms and conditions are modified, or the contract value is greater than $150,000, the agreement may only be executed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on the advice of the Research Contracts Group.

University staff are automatically covered for all eventualities, as the consultancies are undertaken as part of their normal duties as University employees.

5.

Where a sponsor submits a consultancy form agreement for the academic's work to be part of their University duties, the contract must be reviewed by the Melbourne Research Office.

The contract may only be signed on behalf of the University by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

University staff are automatically covered for all eventualities, as the consultancies are undertaken as part of their normal duties as University employees.

Budget Unit/University Consultancy

Managed by the Budget Unit 

Agreement/contract issued by the sponsor

Further information (HR Policy Library) on: Paid Outside Work Undertaken by Full-time Professional Staff

14.3 Risk Management

The key difference between the above options is risk management.

If the academic handles the matter personally, then they must provide all services required, and accept all risk associated with the consultancy.

Exposure to these risks can continue long after the completion of the consultancy.

If the academic decides to handle the matter personally, they are not entitled to use the following to provide the services required:

  • University facilities

  • University intellectual property

  • University staff

Further information:

Contact details for: Outside Work Consultancies

Contact details for: Melbourne Research Office

14.4 Standard Consultancies

Many consultancies undertaken by the University are relatively minor investigations, testing or similar activities.

The University has developed a standard consultancies procedure and agreement to deal with these consultancies.

Heads of budget units may authorise contracts with outside parties, where the contracts relate to the academic and research activities of the budget unit.

This is provided the consultancy does not exceed $150,000 and the standard conditions are accepted by the other party.

Further information on the University's standard consultancy agreement.

14.4.1 Standard Consultancy Agreement

The standard consultancy agreement requires details of the project and the price quoted and sets out the terms and conditions of the University offer.

Through this Agreement, the University accepts responsibility for the specified consultancy task.

When completing this agreement, the task to be completed must accurately specify and describe what is to be delivered to the customer on completion of the task, such as a report, materials etc.

The date upon which the deliverables will be made available to the customer must also be specified.

14.4.2 Costing Standard Consultancies

When costing the task or the service to be provided, all expenses and costs must be incorporated, including allowances for labour on-costs.

The project should be costed and priced in accordance with the principles of Competitive Neutrality in Costing and Pricing.

A copy of the relevant costing and pricing calculations and a copy of the Standard Consultancy Agreement must be retained.

Further information: Section 4 - Competitively Neutral Costing and the Pricing of Research

14.4.3 Standard Consultancies Agreement Conditions

The Standard Consultancies Agreement is only available on the following conditions:

  • no changes are permitted to the standard terms and conditions

  • the intellectual property arrangements set out in the Agreement are applicable and accepted by the other party

  • deans or Heads of budget units are authorised to execute this Agreement for contract values up to $150,000

  • if the terms and conditions require modification, or the contract value is greater than $150,000, the Agreement can only be executed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Any consultancy arrangements that do not meet the conditions for standard consultancies and are not managed by SoE, should be referred to the Melbourne Research Office for advice.

Contact details for Melbourne Research Office

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