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Activities closely related to Consultancy

Activities such as contract research, collaborative research and CPD projects are all closely related and the decision tree below (taken from HESA guidance) can be very useful in helping to decide how to categorise a piece of work.

Graphic of the decision tree 

Contract Research

Contract research is externally funded academic/scientific research activity (involving the creation of new knowledge) based in the University, and using University resources such as scientific equipment, workshops, laboratories, technical staff and one or more researchers. This research activity is core to the School/Department’s activities.

Key characteristics of contract research

  • Co-creation of research projects of mutual interest to University and external organisation but with a specific solution expected
  • Creation of new knowledge/know-how and the furtherance of scientific understanding during the project
  • May be longer timescales (1+ years) and may include PDRA and PhD students costed into the project
  • Ownership of IP will be negotiated for each contract but the expectation is that results will be published (with slight delays to ensure arising IP is protected). The results should usually be usable within the University for further teaching and research
  • Costed using Full Economic Costing, but prices charged to the funder should take into account factors such as the market, the value of the results to the University and the funder, ownership of the IP and how risk is shared within the project.