Contracts & Agreements

A very effective way to transfer technology and expertise is within direct cooperation with companies, either in the framework of research projects or by furnishing scientific services. UJ encourages its laboratories to enter into cooperation agreements with industry and with public and private organisations that support scientific research. In the context of such agreements, it is essential to determine by means of a contract the following principal aspects:

  • Planned work programme, duration of the project, milestones
  • Budget and funding
  • Rights on results, patents and software (intellectual property)
  • Scientific publications
  • Confidentiality of shared/exchanged information
  • Responsibility of the parties

The C&TTO is your partner for drafting, negotiating and approving research and service contracts. Don’t hesitate to call us quite early in the process, in order to assure that the agreements reach an efficient and successful conclusion.

Types of contracts:


Execution of a scientific research project financed by an external partner who obtains rights on the intellectual property generated. UJ researchers must maintain the right to publish the scientific results.


Financial contribution by a company to a scientific research project without any counterpart other than regular information on the results obtained and an option to negotiate access rights to intellectual property generated.


Execution of services for an external partner by using expertise, knowledge and existing installations: tests, routine analyses, expert opinions, expert advice, access to equipment, etc. Results from service contracts belong to the partner, the methods and tools remain the property of UJ.


Other research-related contracts can be drawn up, for example: for scientific research projects supported by public grants, foundations or other non-profit organisations; for the transfer of biological material (MTA) or the protection of confidential information (NDA); for the execution of South African projects; etc.

Budget and overhead

As a general rule, funding from a partner must cover all the direct expenses and all direct costs involved in the project with, in addition, an overhead that depends on the source of funding and the nature of the work being done. For services, the finalprice must be reasonable compared with the market price (no unfair competition with the private sector). The use of commonly accepted hourly fees is also possible, particularly for services; often these fees already include an overhead for general fees and indirect costs.

Contract negotiation

Before proposing a contract draft to an external partner, please contact the C&TTO to prepare the negotiation framework. Establishing the negotiation framework ​makes it possible to consider the interests and other projects of the laboratory concerned, such as: domain for exclusivity envisaged for the partner, royalties (yes or no), type of license for UJ outside the domain reserved for the partner, specific clauses for software. Then, the C&TTO prepares an initial agreement proposal or modifies the proposal sent by the partner. The negotiation is usually led by the C&TTO, in close collaboration with the head of the laboratory.

Approval and signage

Contracts are subject to approval by UJ, via the C&TTO, before signature. The C&TTO is also responsible for defining the type of contract and the applicable overhead. These decisions are communicated to the laboratory and the financial services office.

The management of research contracts is the responsibility of the laboratory concerned, or the head of a group who is acting in proxy for his/her superior.