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IP for researchers

Research grant applications frequently contain a section on the IP issues in your project. These can be about:

  • IP already owned by UH Bristol and the project collaborators,
  • IP that will be developed during the project
  • using other people's IP, for example, in standard assessment tools or questionnaires
  • how IP will be managed throughout the project

Reviewers also have further queries on IP issues and when your application is successful, IP terms and conditions will be included in the funding contracts and collaboration agreements.

You won't be able to patent your idea if you have publicly disclosed it. This means don't:

  • include it in a poster presentation or allow your colleagues to include it
  • tell a company about it
  • discuss it with friends
  • discuss it with external colleagues before appropriate agreements are signed

The Innovation Manager, Grants Manager and Contracts Officer in Research & Innovation work closely together to ensure these issues are addressed but please let the Innovation Manager know that you will be submitting a grant application, giving details of the funding stream and deadline and then send through a late draft version of your application at least two weeks before the deadline.

Bristol Health Partners have agreed how to manage IP between them and the guidelines are included on their website.

Most of the issues boil down to understanding 'who's doing what to whom and who's getting what in return'. We usually need to clarify:

  • terms and conditions stipulated by the funder
  • which organisations are involved as employers of collaborators or sub-contractors
  • freedom to operate - can you use other people's IP? Do you need permission or a licence to use software, standard assessment tools etc
  • project outputs - what will the project deliver and how will it be rolled out and made available to others