Research Collaboration

Increasingly, research now involves collaboration between researchers, institutions and organisations and is extending across borders. Collaboration is essential to the sphere of research as it can offer expertise and resources that would not otherwise be available.

This need for collaboration creates challenges in relation to the responsible conduct of research due to differences across disciplines and institutions in research norms, rules and regulations. In particular, the researcher may find issues arising from the sharing of intellectual property, conflicts of interest, and commercialisation and management of research findings. There must be clarity on all these issues if the benefits of collaboration to all parties and to the community, are to be realised.

Differences between institutions in rules and regulations may affect practices related to authorship, data management, research ethics, conflicts of interest and intellectual property. Researchers involved in collaboration must ensure that differences in standards do not compromise the integrity of data collection and analysis. Effective collaboration, therefore, begins with a clear understanding of the roles, responsibilities and expectations of each party.

Researchers collaborating with other institutions must act in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018), the supporting Collaborative Research Guide, University policies and any agreements that govern collaborative research. Researchers wishing to engage in collaborative research should consult their Associate Dean, Research, or contact the Research Office for advice and assistance.

When entering into a collaborative research arrangement or undertaking collaborative research, researchers should consider the following principles in conjunction with the appropriate policies, codes and agreements. These principles should be followed even when conducting research outside Australia. Any deviation from the Code or the University's policies must obtain institutional approval.

  1. Agreements between the University's researchers and partners, collaborators or sponsors will be clearly articulated in writing and will reflect the principles of integrity, honesty and commitment to excellence.
  2. The management and administration of a research agreement will be handled by the Research Office in conjunction with Research Legal. Agreements will cover issues of intellectual property, sharing commercial returns, responsibility for ethics and compliance clearances, conflict of interest, ownership and storage of research data and primary materials and equipment, reporting to appropriate agencies; and protocols to be followed by the parties when disseminating the research outcomes.
  3. Researchers must be aware of and comply with all policies and written agreements affecting the research project, including those relating to the dissemination of research findings and the management of research data.
  4. Collaborative research across institutions is subject to approval from the University's ethics and compliance committees shall be undertaken in accordance with the University's ethics and compliance policies and procedures.

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