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A Guide for Industry

Research Agreements with the University of Louisville

The University of Louisville (UofL) is increasingly more involved in sponsored research and technology transfer.  UofL has a history of successful collaborations – both from our focus on applied research and our role as a major urban research university.  Cooperative efforts with businesses are encouraged because they produce mutual benefits as well as benefits to society.  Industry support contributes to the education of scientists, doctors, engineers, and others and to the development of technologies for practical use by society.  We strive to maintain a balance between industry's search for useful knowledge to be applied toward the development of products, processes and services and the University's pursuit of research as an integral part of the educational process. 

 If you require a particular expertise to meet your needs, we can identify appropriate individuals within the UofL community.  Please contact us to set up a meeting to discuss your specific project.  This brief guide provides information about common issues involved in sponsored research agreements.

Corporate Identity
The University of Louisville is a public institution of higher education.  The University of Louisville Research Foundation (ULRF), a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation, is the agent of the University for soliciting and receiving grants and research agreements from external funding sources.   ULRF also owns and controls intellectual property on behalf of the University.

To fulfill its mission as a tax-exempt academic institution, the University must disseminate the results of research and other scholarly activities.  Therefore, the University may not accept agreements that prohibit or restrict the right to publish.  UofL clearly recognizes the need of industry sponsors to protect the confidentiality of their own information.  When a sponsor provides proprietary information to an investigator, that information will be held in confidence. Sponsors are generally given 30 days to review proposed publications and up to an additional 90-day delay if needed to protect intellectual property.  

The University publishes reports of grant and contract awards.  The information usually consists of the sponsor, title, investigator and award amount.

Intellectual Property
The University encourages commercial development of inventions made in the course of sponsored research and will normally grant the sponsor a first option for an exclusive or nonexclusive license to resulting inventions.  The cost of an option and/or royalty rates is normally determined at the time of licensing.  If federal funds contributed to the development, federal laws govern some rights to use intellectual property.  For further information about UofL’s intellectual property policy and licensing, please contact:

Office of Technology Transfer
University of Louisville
MedCenter Three
201 E. Jefferson
Louisville, KY 40292
Ph:  502-852-2965
Fax: 502-852-2410

Projects funded by public or private entities should cover the full cost of the activity, including direct and indirect costs.   There are different indirect cost rates depending on the type of activity and location.  The current rate for most research performed on campus is 48%. For off-campus and private industry the current rate is 26%.  For a complete set of rates, see the Facilites and Administrative Cost web page.

Agreements may be funded by a fixed amount or based on actual cost invoices.  To allow the University to maintain a reasonable cash position there is normally a substantial initial payment at contract signing with no more than 10% held until submission of a final report. Checks are made payable to the University of Louisville Research Foundation, IRS# 61-1029626.

Best Efforts, Liability
Due to the unpredictable nature of research the University does not agree to guarantee results.  Research is conducted on a “best efforts” basis, based on a clearly defined scope of work, and the University cannot accept a penalty if a sponsor is not satisfied with the results.  In accordance with state statute, the University may not indemnify or hold a sponsor harmless.   However, the institution will be responsible for its actions to the extent provided by statute.  

Conflict of Obligations
The University does not knowingly accept a contract that conflicts with the obligations of another agreement.  An agreement may not include a general restriction that prevents the investigator or other investigators from doing research for other sponsors in similar areas.

Authority to Contract
Faculty and staff are encouraged to discuss ideas for potential research projects with industry representatives.   Actual work should not begin on a project until the appropriate documents are submitted through the University’s internal review process and both parties sign a mutually acceptable agreement.  Only designated individuals are authorized to sign agreements for the University.  Faculty members may not obligate UofL in this manner.

To view UofL’s sample model agreements, see: Industry Contracts Agreements . Also see Information for Sponsors .

For More Information
The Office of Industry Contracts (OIC) is authorized by the University to negotiate and legally accept sponsored agreements for UofL and ULRF.  

For further information on collaborating with the University of Louisville, please contact:

David D. King, Director
Office of Industry Contracts
University of Louisville
MedCenter One
501 East Broadway, Suite 200
Louisville, KY 40202-1798
Ph:  502-852-8359
Fax: 502-852-2590


A Guide for Industry - 04Jul;    Rev 07Jan

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