Project Set-Up and Partner Contracts
Overseas projects will usually involve working with partners and other third-parties, PIs and research support teams should undertake suitable due diligence checks and consider the ethical implications of the proposed research before establishing these relationships:
Project setup FAQs
1) Ethics and Research Integrity
The Ethics Code applies to all staff, students and other members of the College community, encouraging consideration of the ethical aspects of their work and studies
All applicants are expected to review the ethical implications of their work and take any steps necessary to ensure the work is conducted in line with expectations outlined in the Ethics Code and the relevant policies on Research Integrity
2) Conflicts of Interest
In preparing a proposal involving overseas research and approaching partners, research teams should be mindful of the College’s Conflict of Interest Policy, defined as a situation in which a College Member has an Interest which may compromise their obligations to the College or to any other body with which the College has a relationship. This can be:
· An Interest - a financial or non-financial interest to the College Member, or to a Connected Person
· A Connected Person - anyone with whom the College Member has a relationship that may influence the College Member’s objectivity
If a College Member has a Conflict of Interest (actual, perceived or potential), they have a duty to disclose it and to take such actions as may be appropriate.
3) Engaging Partners or Contractors
Partners and contractors should be selected based on their suitability to undertake the work specified in the project application. However research teams should be mindful of the College’s Relationship Review Policy which outlines best practice and recommends early consideration of the appropriateness of external connections.
College members are likewise advised to give careful consideration to any ethical issues arising from work with particular partners or contractors that may jeopardise the College’s mission and strategic aims. The Policy also outlines the process for the ongoing review of such relationships and ways to escalate concerns.
Project holders in association with their departmental administrative support and research services teams should adhere to guidance provided by finance on payment to overseas organisations. [link tbc]
4) Third-party agreements
It is good practice to have collaboration or related agreements in place with all partners before starting the project, specifying the scope of work undertaken by overseas partners and clearly outlining the financial arrangements including the agreed method by which overseas or non-standard partners, suppliers and employees will receive funding or payment from the project.
Depending on the type of work being undertaken, the research team may enter into contractual arrangements with a variety of partners, suppliers and service providers, most likely including other higher education institutions, NGOs, overseas government, small-scale overseas industry and local contractors.
Most of these contracts will be:
In the first instance PIs should collate all the information listed on the Research Office website, and then contact their Faculty Contracts team for guidance:
5) Data Protection
If an overseas project requires the transfer of personal data abroad, the Data Protection Act requires the College to ensure that any data transferred out of the European Economic Area (EEA) can be adequately protected by the recipient country, and that the individual to whom the data refers is aware that their personal information will be sent outside the EEA.
In the first instance, research teams should discuss any plans to transfer personal date with their Head of Department, Departmental Operating Manager and HR Manager to agree whether the overseas research/project should proceed. If agreed, Faculty and College approval is additionally required from the Provost’s Board before any work begins on the project: Working Overseas – Guidance for Managers (page 5)
6) Research Data Management
All applicants are required to complete a Data Management Plan specifying the data to be collected, and how it will be stored and protected.
The College is committed to excellence in research data management and research teams should familiarise themselves with policies on collecting, storing and sharing data, as outlined on the Scholarly Communication page.