Negotiate your award

Have you received an award contract? Contact us early so we can support you from the start - call us on 020 7106 1202 or email

If you have secured funding from a UK research council, a charity, a commercial body or a government agency, you will require a contract. A contract is a legally binding document to state your rights within the project and mark the parameters protecting your intellectual property. 

There are many different types of contract, with varying complexity. The Research Development team can help you navigate your way through the process. 

Issues to include in a contract:

  • the right to publish academic work
  • ownership of the ideas
  • related intellectual property
  • the risk and cost of the work 

Negotiating your award contract  [click to expand]

During the early phase, state what you want to achieve from the project and what you wish to retain at the end of it. While you may be offered a set contract from a funding body you can ask to use LSE's own standard research contract templates held by the Research Division. We can adapt the templates to fit your project. To discuss the options available contact your grant applications manager.

Collaborating with a research partner  [click to expand]

A collaboration agreement is required for work involving at least one other research partner. It is designed to set out the responsibilities, role and rights of collaborating parties working on a specific research project or set of projects.


All parties will be bound by the same terms and conditions, and the agreement will usually set out how the overall project will be managed between the parties. The agreement is often drawn up following a joint award/research funding agreement and the terms of this main award will often be reflected in the collaboration agreement. The agreement may also contain funding terms, for example, a transfer of funding from the lead partner to the other collaborators, or the transfer of additional funding from a commercial partner.  Liaise with the Research Development team to ensure this is set up before the project start date.

Sub-contractors and outsourcing [click to expand]


Consideration should be made at the proposal stage regarding work to be sub-contracted or outsourced. Under these circumstances a sub-contract may be required and standard templates are available for use.  Liaise with the Research Development team to ensure this is set up before the project start date. 

Contract amendment   [click to expand]


There are many occasions when a project will need to be amended once the research has started. Any extensions to a project will need to be discussed directly with the sponsor but the Research Awards team should be informed about this at an early stage. 


Issues regarding the budget allocation should also be discussed with the Research Awards team alongside any associated contracts which will need to be amended to reflect such changes.  For any contract amendments, contact us on

Contract signature  [click to expand]


The Research Division is your first point of contact for negotiating any contracts and can also arrange for a contract to be signed on your behalf.  The LSE may not be committed to a contract until it has been agreed and signed by the relevant authorised signatory. At LSE these are the Research Division director, David Coombe, and the school secretary, Andrew Webb.


Contract considerations  [click to expand]

Publication rights - The corner stone of academic research is the right to publicly disseminate the outcomes of the research.  While there may be good reason to delay or restrict publication (for example, confidentiality, the patenting process, or arrangements with the collaborators), LSE always seeks to protect this fundamental right in its research agreements.


This right to publish is also linked to the institution's academic mission and how it classifies its research activity. Any onerous restrictions need to be carefully considered from an academic perspective and also whether the activity itself may be defined as research.


Intellectual property (IP) - Intellectual property (IP) is a key consideration and often the most contentious issue in an agreement.  The LSE will always try to ensure the rights of academics are protected with regard to the future use of their IP and the potential use of any new IP generate from a project.


If there's a request to exchange IP ownership, the Research Development team will wish to assist in this negotiation and ensure that any project undertaken is advantageous to both the academic and the institution. Please contact us for further information.

Transfer of an existing grant  [click to expand]

Grants and contracts may be transferred when a researcher moves to another institution. For projects governed by contracts (e.g. industry funded, government department funded), it is usual for the contract to be terminated and a new contract negotiated with the institution to which the project will transfer.


For awards made by research councils, charities and other grant making bodies the funding body will usually transfer the unspent portion of the funding. The institution releasing the grant and the institution receiving the funding must provide written agreement to the relevant funding body. The Research Development team will coordinate this process for you. Please contact us directly for further support

Announcing new awards on Twitter  [click to expand]

All new awards will be announced on our Twitter pages. Principal Investigators who wish to opt out should contact their grant applications manager.