Process - Research Contracts
Where do I start?
Prior to entering into any contractual activities, always call the Research Partnerships & Innovation unit of the OOR to inform them of your project. It will be included in our pre-contract database and the progress of the activity will be disclosed to your Dean and/or designate on a quarterly basis.
Please remember that we are a service unit and as such are here to assist you with your research and creative endeavours. If a query should fall outside of our mandate, we will do our best to put you in touch with the appropriate individual or unit.
How do I find sponsors to support my research?
Networking is the most successful method of obtaining research contracts. Most faculty members belong to associations and external committees which are often comprise of members from the academic, public and private sectors. By making your research expertise and willingness to collaborate known within these groups you will become more attuned to the types of contracting activities available. Former students, colleagues at other institutions and research centres and alumni also provide good contacts.
How do I approach a contracting agency?
Whenever a contracting agency is approached it is done so in the name of the University. It is necessary that the Research Partnerships & Innovation unit be kept informed at the initial stages of negotiation. A proposal may be submitted to a government agency, research institute, non-profit organization or a private industry, and may be submitted as a result of any of the following:
- An unsolicited proposal;
- Direct negotiations with a governmental department, a public agency or a private firm;
- Negotiations initiated or undertaken by the Research Partnerships & Innovation unit (OOR);
- A subcontract from another sponsor
- Public knowledge of Concordia’s expertise in a given field.
In each case the proposal should be structured into three parts, namely:
- Technical Proposal
A precise description of the work to be undertaken should be included so that the agency or firm can determine if the proposal is technically feasible and if the results will be useful.
- Statement of Qualification
The Statement of qualification should consist of the following:
- A brief outline of the background and experience of the Principal Investigator (P.I.) and/or the Co-Investigators particularly as they relate to the tasks to be performed. An updated curriculum vitae should be attached for each faculty member.
- If other parties are to be subcontracted for a portion of the work, their curricula vitae should be included as well as the nature of their interest and expertise in the project.
- A description of the University facilities required for the undertaking of the contract should be included.
- Price Proposal
The estimated cost of the project should include a detailed breakdown of expenses.
The Research Partnerships & Innovation unit/OOR strongly recommends that all contracts indicate the following statement in the budget:
The Principal Investigator reserves the right to redistribute the funds among these categories so long as he/she stays within the total contract budget.
What are important things to remember when preparing a contract proposal?
- Never sign any document prior to obtaining university approval, e.g. confidentiality or secrecy agreements or purchase orders;
- Ensure that your proposed budget has adequate provisions for employer benefits, GST and QST on all materials, supplies and equipment, and the appropriate rate of overhead;
- Since proposed budgets are always an estimate, it is advised to always mark-up the total cost by at least 10%. It is far easier to decrease the budget during the negotiations process rather than attempting to increase the amount after the fact to cover unforeseen expenses;
- Whenever possible, present the sponsor with a firm lump sum price. In this way, any surplus at the end of your contract can be reinvested in your research or creative endeavours;
- Ensure that any special intellectual property rights are clearly indicated in the proposal, e.g. a student will be using the intellectual property for their thesis.