Research contract negotiation

The amount of negotiation that takes place between the time the funder expresses serious interest in your project and when the contract is finally agreed can vary considerably.

  • some funders will just respond with a "yes" or "no" and the ‘negotiation' could be as simple as accepting the grant offer
  • others may come back positively but with some suggested changes and a proposed (invariably) lower budget offer
  • some schemes (eg UK research council schemes) provide you with feedback from the external peer reviewers and may request more factual information or clarification.

For commercial funders, after an agreement in principle, there can often be a protracted series of discussions around the price, scope and intellectual property issues in the project.

For all but the simplest of interactions you are strongly advised to contact your research office for advice and potentially to negotiate on your behalf.

When the terms of the project are agreed a signature will be required on behalf of your institution. This is unlikely to be you or your head of department but more likely someone in the central part of your institution - check with your research office.

Have you already secured funding for your project? Visit the pages on managing your project.