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Applying for industrial contracts

What to consider before getting involved in serious talks with a company, who are funding your research.

Procedures for industrial funding

Although there is no formal application process, you must still follow University procedures for obtaining external research funding with a company. These are:

Costing projects

Projects must be costed using our Proposal to Award Management (PAM) system. The full economic cost (FEC) should be the minimum price that you quote. Do not send or give the funder the PAM output report showing the break-down of costs. Instead, quote an overall price for the project based on at least the full cost as calculated in PAM. Pre-Award can help with the costing.

Recovering VAT

If the company is UK-based, VAT will always be charged on top of the price of the work. Companies are able to recover VAT that they have paid so this will not be seen as an extra cost to them.

Discussing your plans

Discuss your plans with your Head of Department. They will need to give approval via the PAM workflow approval, once you have worked out the finances.

Ethical approval

You must also complete the online ethics form and obtain full approval before agreeing anything with the company.

Additional approval

If the company will not agree to pay at least the full economic cost, further approval is needed from the Dean of Faculty, via the Dean's checklist.


These services in RIS can support you with your industrial contract:

  • Research and Commercialisation Contracts - setting up and supporting contracts between academics and external organisations
  • Research Commercialisation Managers - helping you commercialise the outcomes of your research, including protecting your intellectual property and disclosing your inventions to the University
  • Industrial Partnerships - helping you build relationships with industry partners, apply for funding and manage projects in support of internal and external strategies
  • Pre-Award - preparing funding proposals and accept and set up research awards


If you have any questions, please contact us.