Understand your contract and IP rights

Understanding your rights around contract management and intellectual property is essential for protecting your work and navigating professional relationships.

Contract management ensures all parties meet their obligations in agreements, while intellectual property safeguards your creative and innovative contributions. Review the information below to find out how you can protect your ideas in academic and professional settings.

Any research-related contracts and agreements with external organisations must be approved by the Research Grants and Awards team to ensure they are acceptable to both you and the University. Where appropriate, these contracts are reviewed and drafted by the Research Office Legal Team within the General Counsel.

Contracts may relate to:

  • funding
  • non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements
  • data sharing
  • material transfer arrangements

Only the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or their delegate is authorised to sign research contracts or agreements on behalf of Macquarie University.

In December 2023, the University reviewed its Intellectual Property Policy, and Graduate Research Students are no longer required to assign their IP to the University as a condition of enrolment. In accordance with clause 31 of the updated IP Policy:

Generally, students retain ownership of Intellectual Property created by them in the course of their study at the University unless:

a. the Student is engaged in a research project whereby the work that led to the creation of the Intellectual Property was funded by a Third Party and which the University has a contractual obligation to transfer Intellectual Property rights to that Third Party or protect Intellectual Property rights for the benefit of that Third Party;

b. a specific contract has been negotiated to the contrary;

c. the Intellectual Property is created using University Background Intellectual Property, which is Intellectual Property, other than Teaching Materials, created prior to, or independently of, a particular research project; and/or

d. a University Employee has made a Substantial (more than 40%) Contribution to the Intellectual Property.

If a Student creates Intellectual Property pursuant to clause 31 (a) to (d), the Student will be required to execute an assignment of Intellectual Property to the University in accordance with the Intellectual Property Policy.

Assignment of IP back to Graduate Research Students

If you completed an Intellectual Property Agreement on or after 15 December 2023 as part of your enrolment document, you can request that your IP be assigned back to you. Please contact the Graduate Research Academy to discuss what you need to do: gr.enquiries@mq.edu.au.