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The Pathway to Mastery - Part 2 – Turning Training into Reality


Research Contracts Departments at Universities often have a mix of legally qualified and scientifically/research qualified staff. Other departments also involved in reviewing and drafting contracts might only have staff with a research/science background. Regardless of the staff’s background and/or academic qualifications, the benefit of training cannot be underestimated.

Even those with a background in contracts or law, will need refresher training from time to time as the peculiarities of the Higher Education sector can be numerous.

Recently the Research Grants Department of one our university clients requested that we deliver a workshop regarding the provisions in a typical collaboration agreement.


Detailed Review of Collaboration Agreements


During the workshop we discussed the university’s template collaboration agreement, the Brunswick template along with an agreement being negotiated at that time. Examining a current contract such as this provides relevancy and context and greatly assists with understanding.

We analysed the substantive provisions in such agreements including those covering:

·        Liabilities (along with limitations);

·        Indemnities;

·        Confidentiality;

·        Law/Jurisdiction;

·        Intellectual property etc. 

These clauses naturally have implications so a thorough assessment of them aids fruitful negotiations with the other party and arrives at terms that are acceptable to both.


We also reviewed:

1.     a template agreement between a funder and the main contractor (which also referred to standard terms and conditions);

2.     flow-down agreements between the main contractor and subcontractor(s) – both a multi-party agreement which formed a consortium and a straightforward agreement with a single subcontractor. 

These discussions included an analysis of the relationship between main contract and the subcontract(s).



Ultimately the attendees felt confident that they understood the provisions of typical contracts and therefore could be adept at minimising contractual risks and maximising the benefits available.


A testimonial from the Head of the Research Grants Department was as follows:

“Just a short email to let you know we had a great session with Richard yesterday morning.  We found it really useful, particularly the interactive nature and discussions of the relevant areas and clauses. I also had excellent feedback from the team here”.


To learn more about the services we provide, visit or contact Richard Jenkins on 024 7698 0613 or



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