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Frequently asked questions

Why do I need a research contract?

Research contracts record the agreement between the partners as to exactly who is going to do what during a project as well as covering things like payment, dispute resolution, intellectual property ownership and the right for academics to publish. Often we're obliged to put a contract in place as a condition of funding and we also need to make sure the funder's terms are flowed down to anyone else involved in the project. For academics, having your work covered by a University of Reading contract also means that you're covered by the University's insurances.

We hope it never happens but research contracts help protect academics, students and the University should anything go wrong!

Who signs a research contract?

All research contracts are signed by, or have signature arranged by a member of the Research Contracts team.

Who do I contact?

Visit our Contacts page to find the Contract Manager who covers your School or Department

How do I initiate a new research contract and what information do I need to provide?

Please get in touch with your School or Department's Contract Manager via our Contacts page. Our Resources page has a checklist of information that's really helpful in getting a new research contract in progress as quickly as possible.

What do I do once a research contract is signed?

For funded projects details of the completed contract are passed to Research Accounts, who will manage the project income and expenditure. They also handle finance queries and issue guidance on project finances, including audit and compliance requirements. They can be contacted at

For all completed research contracts, whether funded or unfunded, academics will receive a copy of the fully signed agreement for their records. Please let your Contract Manager know if, at any point, the contract needs to be amended or extended.

I have a question about tax.

The University's tax office can be contacted at or more information can be found on their internal webpages here.

I have a question about intellectual property.

Priti Purohit, University of Reading's Intellectual Property Manager, can be contacted at

I have a question about recruitment.

For post-graduate recruitment please contact the Graduate School at For all other recruitment queries please get in touch with Human Resources at

How long does it take to arrange a contract?

We know it's important to get contracts signed and in place as soon as possible. However, the amount of time it can take to get an agreement in place can depend on the number of parties to the agreement, how speedily they respond to our queries/request for signatures, and whether we need to negotiate any parts of the contract wording. If there's a lot of partners or a complex document there can be several rounds of drafts! We always aim to get contracts signed as quickly as we can.

I've been sent a contract by a partner, what do I do with it?

Contracts received, together with any background information, should be forwarded to your School or Department's Contract Manager for review.

Whose contract template do we use?

Research Contracts have a wide range of templates covering most types of research arrangements, all of which can be tailored to specific projects and situations. We prefer to use our own templates where possible but we'll also accept agreements received from other organisations.

What don't Research Contracts cover?

We cover the majority, but not all, of contracts relating to research and related services such as consultancy. A full list of contracts and the department covering them can be found here and, if in doubt, please contact your Contracts Manager for advice. We also can't assist with project management.