Research Contracts 10-13 September 2019

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Is this course right for me?

The course is for people who deal with collaborative research relationships/partnerships. So it’s likely to be of most value for those who have either just moved into the role or those who wish to develop their role in research contracts (or industry liaison role/business development/IP contracts management roles). They’ll most likely be working in higher education, public sector research organisations such as NHS Trusts R&D support/governance offices, and potentially also in Research Council funding bodies, members of the AMRC community and businesses also. 

Delegates might have experience in Knowledge Exchange (KE), but less knowledge and understanding of the general and specific issues around research contracts.

This course is also suitable for:

  • The ARMA and ASTP community

  • Business development professionals who wish to enhance their understanding as to how they may facilitate and enhance the role of the contracts office, research interactions and in brokering/managing strategic relationships between organisations.

  • Those who have attended PraxisAuril’s Essentials of Business Development course might find this to be a valuable next step, especially if they are seeking to understand and develop a greater understanding of what is required for collaborations from a contracts perspective (a good contract works in tandem with good management of the collaboration between the parties and helps in the overall relationship for all parties to achieve impact).

Why should I attend this course?

Research contracts – “which are fit for purpose” – are essential to cover all aspects of the relationship in a collaborative project for both those collaborating and also funders (which may or may not be a party to the collaborative partnership).  Research contracts between organisations can deliver mutual benefit, enable new outcomes and create considerable benefit for society.

There is a requirement for Universities, PSREs – NHS etc., research institutes to put research agreements in place for collaborations – so to be skilled at reviewing, setting up and managing research contracts are key skills to ensure the projects are delivered, understanding how these agreements work enable such agreements to be put in place more efficiently.  Creating and managing these (sometimes complex) collaborative relationships between organisations can often prove challenging and frustrating.

What will I learn from the course?

  • That the research contracts you deal with are structured and laid out in a way which is easy to read and understand and which ensures that express terms are enforceable (compliant with the fundamental requirements of contract law in England and Wales. 

  • Understanding of the significance of boilerplate terms and be able to negotiate changes appropriate to individual research contracts. 

  • Be able to critically assess instructions received from a researcher; prepare for a meeting with the researcher; review the proposed deal; to elucidate what further information is required from the researcher.

  • Determine whether a research contract is compliant with charity law and to seek further specialist advice if required.

  • Be able to review a research contract for errors and omissions with confidence.

  • To interpret research contracts with greater confidence and with an awareness of the common pitfalls of interpretation of contracts.

  • Interpret and amend IP clauses within contracts taking into account the impact the clause will have on future uses of the research results and pre-existing materials.

  • An awareness of your own and your institution’s attitude to risk and an ability to be proactive in managing any difference between the two.  (They should be risk aware but not risk averse, and understand that risk can never be fully eliminated; only managed).

  • Awareness of the model agreements available for both academia, clinical and business; and an ability to select and use a model agreement when appropriate

  • Be able to review, negotiate and draft indemnities in research contracts.

  • Be able to take a position in a research contract negotiation;  understand the impact of your position on others; communicate effectively with other departments; be assertive when required, to push the position as needed; gain confidence in influencing skills. 

The course also focuses on networking, providing a valuable platform to meet peers, discuss best practice, and interact with the course team and other contributors.

PLEASE NOTE: There may be a requirement for delegates to undertake some pre-course work/reading before the course begins.

View provisional programme (subject to change)


The course will be held at Burleigh Court which is located on the Loughborough University campus (West Entrance). Loughborough railway station is three miles away - taxis are available at the station or there is a regular shuttle bus every 20 minutes from the station to the venue. If you are driving, Burleigh Court is one mile from junction 23 on the M1; ample free secure on-site car parking is available. Nottingham East Midlands Airport is just eight miles away.


Discounted bed and breakfast accommodation is available at Burleigh Court at £92 per night, per person. Please book your accommodation direct with Burleigh Court by calling 01509 633030 and quote the PraxisAuril event reference number 321305 in order to receive the discounted rate. Discounted rates are not available when booking accommodation online.  Any bedrooms that are not booked by Tuesday 13 August 2019 will be released. Accommodation may still be available at Burleigh Court after this date but might not be at the discounted rate.

Please note that the course begins with registration, including dinner and drinks, on Tuesday 10 September 2019 from 1830-2030.

20 ATTP Points

10th September - 13th September


Course fee (Member Price £1,125) £ 1495.00

Meet the Speakers/Trainers

Dr. David Brownlee

Course Director
Innovation Adviser, HSC Innovations
David Brownlee is the Innovation Advisor for Health and Social Care (HSC) in N. Ireland, where he heads up the HSC Innovations regional service. David graduated with First Class honours and a PhD from Queens University, Belfast in the early 90’s. After a period of Medical Research Council funded post-doctoral research, he then moved into technology transfer at the University of Southampton, subsequently consolidating these skills at the University of Ulster, prior to taking up the current position of Innovation Advisor within the N. Ireland Health Service. Over the past 10 years in HSC, he has been responsible for amongst other things; the creation and delivery of the "Supporting Innovation in the HSC “framework project, the roll-out and adoption of the Innovation Policy for HSC, securing funding for and development of the infrastructure of HSC Innovations as a regional service; and managing and commercialising a pipeline of varied technologies in the healthcare arena. Within the technology transfer arena David is involved in all aspects of the innovation process, as well as strategic management of technology portfolios. His interests include knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC), intellectual asset management, research translation, assessing value (savings) of the introduction of healthcare technologies, technology management and innovation strategy. He has served on the Life and Health Sciences Horizon Panel of MATRIX (the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel which advises Government on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology), NIHR-MRC Working Group for model agreements, Government led study to examine ways to maximise the commercial and economic Impact of the Northern Ireland publicly funded research base, steering committee of the £25k (now INVENT) Entrepreneurship competition, and on various assessment panels including Knowledge Exchange and SBRI. David is also on the professional development committee of PraxisAuril, a world leading national professional association for public sector KEC practitioners - that drives the commercialisation of academic and public sector research for social and economic impact. He represents HSC in this important area of Innovation within the healthcare environment both nationally and internationally.

Mr. Richard Nugent

Co-Course Director
Head of IP Strategy, Coller IP
Richard began his career in Northern Ireland, after roles as a financial advisor and retail manager, he moved into the legal sector while doing his law degree, and took on work within the Northern Ireland Courts Service. Following his law degree he negotiated the contracts for all the sub-contractors involved in the building of Belfast City Airport. In 2002, he moved to the south of England, working in the legal teams of Canon, Orange, and SAS Software. Richard moved into the research sector, and worked for Rothamsted Research from January 2007 to October 2015, both as a Contracts Manager and as an IP Manager. Once he began managing the IP portfolio, Richard increased filings through liaison with innovators, and associated incomes, whilst reducing the per matter cost through effective outsourcing and strong management of renewals. During this time he negotiated a major agreement with EMBRAPA, was part of the team that put the Syngenta relationship in place, and he negotiated a major agrochemical licence agreement. Key systems he introduced included a database, >60 contract templates, and an e-signature system. Richard also resolved contractual conflicts with a major U.K. health institution, the JRC in Brussels, and negotiated away a patent opposition. After Rothamsted he worked for his own IP & Contracts consulting and training firm, Totalinfo Ltd., returning to the research sector in November 2016 working as a Contracts Manager for Queen’s University Belfast on short-term contract, before joining Coller IP in July 2018.

Sophie Baines

Senior Research Contracts Specialist, University of Oxford
Sophie is a Senior Research Contracts Specialist working within Research Services, Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford. Sophie joined the team in 2012 and has worked on a broad range of research-related contracts with HE, charity, government and industry parties. Most recently she has focussed on template agreements, co-ordinating the process for the 2018 re-drafting of the Brunswick agreements and contributing to the drafting group of the 2018 update to the Model Non-Commercial Agreement.

Ms. Vicky Clark

Consultant Solicitor, Keystone Law
Vicky is a commercial lawyer who specialises in intellectual property matters. She has a particular interest in the life sciences sector, drawing upon a scientific background to advise clients on the protection and exploitation of innovative diagnostics, medicines and medical devices. Her clients include individuals, private companies and PLCs.

James Fry

Senior Partner, Mills & Reeve LLP
James is a partner specialising in intellectual property work and read Chemistry at The University of Sheffield before qualifying as a solicitor in 1996. He has significant experience of acting for clients in a range of industrial and technology sectors, and has significant experience of advising universities and a wide range of public and private sector clients in the biopharma, chemical, IT and engineering sectors. Much of his work in these sectors is focused on IP due diligence, strategy and audit, IP licensing and R&D and other collaborative agreements. He also has significant experience of advising on regulation and how this impacts IP/product development e.g. REACH, advertising regulation and the regulation of medical devices and pharmaceuticals. James is a regular speaker on IP and contract issues. He is rated as a leading IP lawyer in both Chambers and the Legal 500, the main legal directories, where he has been quoted as being: ""not afraid to express his opinion"" and ""a highly skilled, commercially astute negotiator"". Qualifications: BSc Special Honours Chemistry - 2(i) Common Professional Examination in Law - Commendation Legal Practice Course - Distinction

Lizelle Gouverneur

Knowledge Exchange Manager, The Pirbright Institute
Lizelle has been at the Pirbright Institute in the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation department for about four and a half years, where she is currently the manager of a team responsible for establishing and achieving the Institute's KEC strategy. Lizelle covers all aspects of KEC: identifying and managing intellectual property through appropriate contracts and patent filings; managing and negotiating different types of contracts related to KEC, e.g. funding agreements, collaborations, subcontracts, MTAs, CDAs, service agreements, MOUs etc; supporting staff involved in any commercial activities such as product sales, contract service provision etc. Also responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with external partners, particularly industrial partners. Sometimes, Lizelle is the primary contact for such engagement, other times the researchers are the main contact, and support is provided such as help with project planning and contract management. Additionally, appropriate support is provided for researchers, in applications for funding, particularly projects with a more applied focus, where such applications require a commercialisation plan or similar, or the source of funding is a commercial organisation - working closely with grant administration and finance teams to provide support for management of different types of funding. A UK member of the European Commission's expert Guidance Development Group for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Research Institutions. This group is responsible for writing guidance documentation to be released to research institutes and universities to help them understand and implement European regulations regarding access and benefit sharing (the Nagoya protocol). This document is in its final stages of revision and will hopefully be released soon. Lizelle also provides in-house training to new students regarding intellectual property and will be providing training regarding the Nagoya protocol soon.

Mr. Paul Maclennan

Partner / Solicitor, Anderson Law LLP
Paul Maclennan is a solicitor and a Partner at Anderson Law LLP, a niche firm of commercial/IP solicitors based in Oxfordshire. Paul advises on a wide variety of commercial agreements focussing on transactional work within the IT, life sciences and university sectors. His clients include leading UK universities and an international IT/telecoms company. Paul is listed in Chambers & Partners as a leading UK lawyer in the field of Intellectual Property and is a contributor to a number of Anderson Law’s publications on intellectual property and commercial law, most recently Technology Transfer (3rd Ed, Bloomsbury, 2010). Paul can be reached at

Robert Marshall

, Robert Marshall & Associates
Robert Marshall is passionately interested in the psychology of the workplace, staff motivation and dispute resolution. After two decades working at a senior level in the university sector and manufacturing management, he now provides training, consultancy, personal coaching and advice on technology transfer, commercial negotiation, conflict resolution and management development for a wide range of private and public sector clients worldwide. Robert was Head of Technology Transfer at the University of Cambridge, where he was instrumental in the creation and development of the Technology Transfer Office (now called Cambridge Enterprise). For four years he was Director of Research & Business Services at the University of East Anglia (UK), and before that he worked in manufacturing management, consultancy, research management and as a quality manager in specialist engineering companies. He has many years of practical experience in successfully negotiating commercial contracts and agreements, as well as in strategic development, business process design, and managing large teams and budgets. In recent years, he has trained the most senior civil servants in many countries, as well as business leaders, academics and administrators. Robert’s recent clients include The University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the London School of Economics & Political Science (where he is an Associate Lecturer), the European Association of Science and Technology Transfer Professionals (ASTP-Proton), Management Forum Ltd, the Universities of Liverpool, Exeter, Aachen, Leuven, Gerona and Copenhagen, the Research Council of Norway, Cancer Research Technology and the governments of Ireland, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Brunei, China and many more.

Ciara McGahey

Events Coordinator, PraxisAuril
I am the Event Coordinator responsible for this event. If you need to contact me please email or phone 01223 659951.
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