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Policies Affecting Agreements with Industry

See a list of policies related to industry agreements.

UC Office of the President policies for working with industry can be found at the UCOP website.

Publication Policy

A fundamental principle of the University is that the teaching and research environment should be open so that ideas can be exchanged freely among faculty and students. The University's research activities are conducted as an integral part of the total educational program, and these activities often form the basis for articles in professional journals, seminar reports, presentations at professional meetings, and student dissertations and theses. Therefore, the University will undertake research or studies only if the scientific results can be published or otherwise promptly disseminated. Copyrights and publication rights belong to the University and/or the author.

Patents and Other Intellectual Property

The basic aim of the University's intellectual property policies is to promote the progress of science and technology, to assure that discoveries and inventions are used to benefit the public, to provide appropriate royalty revenues to the University and the inventor, and to support University research and education through the use of invention-related income.

The University retains all patent rights from sponsored research, and any invention or patentable idea conceived or reduced to practice in the course of the research belongs to the University. The University will grant to the sponsor a time-limited first right to negotiate an exclusive or nonexclusive license, based upon the level of sponsor support. 


Contracts with sponsors are performed on a "no-profit--no loss" basis. Therefore, research projects incorporate both direct and indirect costs in the research budget. It is also the University's established policy to receive payment in advance of work performed.

Use of the University's Name

It is University policy that under no circumstances shall a sponsor be permitted to state or imply in any publication or other published announcement that the University has approved any product that is or might be manufactured, sold, or otherwise distributed. The University also requires that its name not be used in connection with any advertisement, press release, or other form of business promotion or publicity, or refer to a research agreement, without its prior written approval.

Liability, Risk, and Best Efforts

Since research by its nature is unpredictable and without guarantee of successful results, University research is conducted on a "best efforts" basis. However, research projects are organized in a manner which is sensitive to the differing time constraints of sponsors.

The University receives no fee or profit on its research. For this reason, and also because it is inconsistent with the best efforts principle, the University is unable to accept contract provisions that guarantee results, impose penalties for failure to make progress by firm deadlines, or provide for withholding of payment if the sponsor is not satisfied with the results.

The University will agree, however, to indemnify the research sponsor for the conduct of University officers, agents, employees, students, invitees, and guests under contracts. In certain medical research projects, the sponsor may be requested to share the cost of any compensation paid in the event of injury to a human subject used in the performance of the research.

Conflict of Interest (COI)

700-U: Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators

Under State and University requirements, all Principal Investigators must file Conflict of Interest disclosure statements (700-U) indicating whether or not they have a direct or indirect financial interest in each private sponsor of their research. The statements are open to public inspection.

For the 700-U and additional assistance, go to the COI Forms page.

Disclosing Financial Interests

When disclosure indicates that a financial interest exists, a committee composed of faculty and administrators conducts an independent substantive review of the disclosure statement and the research project prior to acceptance of a contract, grant, or gift.

For a detailed breakdown, go to the COI: Disclosing Financial Interests page.

Termination of Funding Agreement

In the event a funding agreement is terminated by the sponsor for any reason, the sponsor will be expected to reimburse the University for all costs incurred to the date of termination and for all uncancellable obligations.

Indirect Costs for Industry (IDC)

UC Policy on IDC

UC policy mandates that a Sponsor must cover the full direct and indirect costs of the project in order to receive full access to the data and results of the research and an opportunity to license any inventions that might result.

It is the policy of UC San Diego to recover the full direct and indirect costs of sponsored research. For-profit industry sponsors must be charged the full IDC rate applicable to the type of research or clinical trial listed on the UC San Diego Indirect Cost Rates table. 

Preparing Budgets to get Full Direct Costs

When preparing and presenting proposed budgets to industry sponsors, Principal Investigators must ensure that the budget applies the full indirect cost rate. Draft and preliminary budgets that exclude the applicable indirect cost rates lead sponsors to expect a lower overall cost for our research. Efforts to resolve the under-funded budget may lead to reductions in direct costs, revisions to the scope of work for the anticipated research project, and/or long delays in the execution of the agreement.

Why IDC Matters

Indirect costs are real costs incurred by the University to acquire and maintain its buildings and equipment, and to provide operational support. These support services include maintenance and operations (utilities, janitorial services, police services, etc.), library operations and administrative services. All of these costs are real, and without them, the University could not exist.

Full cost recovery is necessary to support the University’s physical and administrative capacity to perform research. When indirect costs are not fully recovered, maintaining the University’s research capabilities and infrastructure is compromised.

Since indirect costs are real, actual costs, a reduction of indirect cost rates (or exempting certain costs) on funds received from for-profit organizations in support of research performed at the University are considered a gift of public funds for private benefit as the sponsor is not reimbursing the full cost of the project. Without full indirect cost recovery, the University is subsidizing the cost of the project for the sponsor and this is contrary to our public benefit principle.


Any exceptions to this practice of collecting full IDC are delegated to the Chancellor to approve, after consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Assistant Vice Chancellor Contracts & Grants. As a general rule, UC San Diego Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Research expect for-profit sponsors to pay the full federally negotiated indirect cost rate as this ensures coverage of all applicable facilities and administrative costs borne by the University.


For more information, contact our main desk at 858-534-3330 or email