Getting started with a research partnership

Are you looking to develop a research partnership and not sure where to begin? Wondering what you need to consider? Searching for funding opportunities? Below are a few resources you can use to begin planning your project.

Building a partnership

Find a partner

Agreements / forms

Definitions and terms

Working with UVic offers many potential benefits and resources to partners, but it is important that potential partners realize that the university is subject to a number of policies, procedures and practices that apply to its research which may be inconsistent with arrangements usually made between commercial partners.

As a publicly-funded body established to support education and research with a mandate of encouraging knowledge transfer for the social and economic benefit of society, UVic has certain policies and practices which limit the types of arrangements that can be made with funders and collaborators. The following is a summary of some of the key terms or limitations that apply to university-supported research projects which potential partners should consider. It should be noted that, to the extent a joint project involves leveraging available funding though another program, the policies, terms and condition of such leveraging program will also apply to the project in question.


University policy prohibits the university from engaging in secret or classified research. Therefore, the university will not participate in research activities where the fact that the project is being undertaken is secret or classified. As well, as an academic environment, the university does not have the same type of information management systems and controls in place as might be present in a private environment. Nevertheless, the university understands that the exchange of confidential information may be necessary to pursue joint research activities and the university will agree to terms and conditions protecting third party confidential and proprietary information subject to the need to ensure that any confidentiality provisions reflect the reality of the university environment.

Conflict of interest

University members are required to disclose any conflict of interest in accordance with their employment or collective agreement and university policy.

Intellectual property

The University of Victoria has a creator owned intellectual property policy. The policy provides that subject to the terms and conditions of any relevant funding program or agreement and certain exceptions, intellectual property created by university members in their university-related work and/or using university resources is owned by its creator. Such ownership is subject to the creator’s obligations to the university. Given this policy, with the agreement of the researchers involved and subject to the policies and conditions of any applicable leveraging program, the university has a fair amount of flexibility in setting terms of ownership and access rights to intellectual property arising from funded research projects. In setting such terms, the objectives and interest of researchers are a significant factor but all such arrangements must also comply with applicable university policy.

Retention of research and academic rights

In keeping with its mandate, in the ordinary course, UVic expects to retain the rights (on its own behalf and on behalf of the researchers involved) to use intellectual property developed at the university in educational, academic, research and other non-commercial activities involving its members. In certain cases, usually limited to the provision of research services, a research or academic license will not be required.

Non-compete clauses

The university's mandate includes fostering academic freedom. As well, the membership of the university is broad with no centralized monitoring or control of academic or research pursuits. Therefore, the university cannot agree to terms that limit research or academic activities of its members.

Non-profit status/Non-competition

As a publicly funded institution, the university's activities are conducted on a not for profit basis. University facilities and research services are made available as a service to the community to recognize that university facilities are often highly specialized and not generally available within the region and the provision of such facilities and services is not intended to compete with private business or industry.


In the ordinary course, the university expects that its members will be able to publish the results of their research. In the case of students, the university is prohibited from entering into agreements which unnecessarily prohibit or delay the use of research results by graduate students for academic requirements related to the completion of their degrees. This means that most research agreement provide for publication following a review by sponsors to ensure that their confidential information is not included in a proposed publication without their consent and to enable a sponsor to request a limited delay in publication to seek patent protection. In very limited circumstances, additional limitations on publication may be available with the agreement of the researchers and provided that students’ interests in completing their degrees are not compromised.

Regulatory approvals

To maintain eligibility to participate in various funding programs, to fulfill its ethical responsibilities, and to comply with legal requirements the university is subject to a variety of regulatory committees. In particular, research involving humans and animals must be conducted in accordance with university policy and the standards identified by the federal granting agencies.

Research costs

Consistent with most universities, UVic conducts research on a cost-recovery basis. Funding terms may provide for a fixed amount or be structured as reimbursement of certain costs up to a stated or capped amount. In either instance, research budgets must include provision for the indirect costs of research in accordance with university policy.

Warranties and indemnities

Please be advised that UVic does not provide any warranties or representations with respect to research activities or research results including non-infringement representations and warranties. As a public institution with an educational and research mandate, the university does not have systems in place to investigate intellectual property produced through the research activities of its members or to effectively manage the risk inherent in providing warranties or representations on research activities or output. Any use of research results or intellectual property provided by UVic is undertaken at the user's risk and parties intending to do so are required to do their own due diligence to assure themselves that an intellectual property is non-fringing, suitable for use etc. Those wishing to obtain access to university intellectual property will assume the risk of all use including assuming the risk of any third party claims relating to such use (usually through provision of an indemnity in favour of the university). The university’s ability to provide indemnities to third parties is limited by rules imposed by the British Columbia provincial government. Circumstances in which the university can provide indemnities to third parties are strictly limited and such indemnities are subject to an approval process.

Writing your knowledge mobilization (KM) plan

General strategies

Knowledge Translation (KT) Pathways

Pathways for Research to Impact workshop

Ready to up your research-to-action game? KT Pathways is a digital assessment and learning tool for students, faculty  and others who want to increase impact of their research on practice and policy. Created by the Michael Smith Foundation in partnership with UVic, and other academic and health system partners from around BC, the tool is online and free to use. Find out how you can use it to increase your skills in knowledge mobilization.  

This workshop was hosted by RPKM and presented by Genevieve Creighton, Manager of Knowledge Translation at the Michael Smith Foundation. 

Genevieve is responsible for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Foundation’s knowledge translation strategy. She is also a key contributor to the development of the knowledge translation strategy. Genevieve has a PhD in educational studies and a Master of Arts in adult education from the University of British Columbia.


Research Impact Canada (RIC) webinars and trainings

Co-founded by UVic and York University in 2007, Research Impact Canada (RIC) is now a global leading network of 15 post-secondary institutions with more than 50 persons dedicated to supporting researchers, students and their partners to demonstrate the contribution to and impact of research excellence. As part of our engagement with RIC, we co-host a number of trainings and webinars throughout the year.

Would you like to get invitations to upcoming trainings and webinars like these? Email  to stay in the know. 

Social media strategies for research

On January 16, 2020, Krista Jensen, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at York University led this webinar to share how to help researchers use social media to mobilize their research and build partnerships. Topics include how to create a social media strategy, effective ways of using social media and how to measure and evaluate social media activities.

Here are some of the examples shared in the webinar presentation:

  • homeless hub is a gold standard example for using social media for knowledge mobilization
  • Piktochart, Venngage, and Canva are examples of tools that can be used to create infographics to convey visual narratives and storytelling
  • The Conversation is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community. They invite academics to author articles

Smart social media practices:

Supporting Research Impact in Grant Applications

On February 12, 2019, Dr. David Phipps presented this webinar related to his research and practice on research impact planning.

Watch webinar

Successful Practices in Knowledge Brokering

Brokers from Memorial University, University of Guelph, McMaster University and Western University share their insights on knowledge brokering practices on May 17, 2018.

Watch webinar

Clear Language Communications and Knowledge Mobilization

Jointly led by Bojan Furst (Memorial University) and Michael Johnny (York University) on November 7, 2017, this one hour webinar shares principles and insight from practice at both Memorial and York University’s in areas of clear language communications and knowledge mobilization. Aimed at knowledge brokers, researchers and research administrators, content includes brief presentations followed by questions from Research Impact Canada members.

Watch webinar

Clear language writing and design 

This in-person session provided participants an opportunity to create a two-page Research Snapshot™, aimed to make research accessible to a broad audience by offering opportunities to understand and apply research findings. Using clear language writing and design principles, the Research Snapshot template is being used by many members of the Research Impact Canada network including UVic. Participants left this 3-hour session having drafted a Research Snapshot™. Within this session, the group discussed other knowledge products and the opportunities for clear language principles to better support knowledge mobilization.

  • Visit our Research Snapshots page for examples Research Snapshots featuring UVic research. Contact for a research snapshot template and writing guidelines.
  • View the PowerPoint presented by Michael Johnny, Manager of Knowledge Mobilization for York University.
  • View the PowerPoint presented by Matthew Schulman, a clear language writing trainer and Executive Director of Peel-Halton-Dufferin Adult Learning Network (PHDALN).
  • Read the article participants reviewed as part of this workshop:
    • Barwick, M., Phipps, D., Myers, G., Johnny, M., & Coriandoli, R. (2014). Knowledge Translation and Strategic Communications: Unpacking Differences and Similarities for Scholarly and Research Communications. Scholarly and Research Communication, 5(3). Available through UVic Libraries.

Knowledge mobilization strategy building

Granting councils are asking more and more for researchers to identify a knowledge mobilization (KM) or knowledge translation (KT) strategy. This 2-hour hands on session facilitated by Michael Johnny, allowed participants to develop and present a KM strategy framework for their work using several emerging tools in existence.


Using KM in grant applications


Using social media to mobilize research


Using video for research impact

 Examples of using video in research:

Resources to help you get started:

Show us your research stories in 3 minutes or less

UVic Communications + Marketing is currently seeking entries for the fourth annual Research Reels video showcase. Videos must be under three minutes and demonstrate the vital impact of research or creative activities taking place at UVic. All students, faculty, staff and alumni are welcome to submit entries, regardless of experience or equipment. Finalists will be screened March 2, 2020 during IdeaFest, with a top prize of $2,000 and total prize money of $4,000. Submission deadline is Feb. 18, 2020, so grab your camera (yes, cellphone cameras count) and get filming!

Visit the Research Reels website for details

Research snapshots

Research Snapshots deliver a concise and clear language research summary to non-academic research users. Visit Research Snapshots to see examples and contact for a research snapshot template and writing guidelines.

Online engagement

Online Engagement: A guide to creating and running virtual meetings and events

This National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) guide focuses on designing and delivering online meetings and events. This guide was compiled with the help of the NCCPE network’s experience and innovative thinking.

Read more

Public engagement opportunities at UVic

Deans' Lunchtime Lecture Series

Speakers Bureau

  • The UVic Speakers Bureau is a community service provided by volunteer speakers from among the faculty, staff, graduate students and retirees who teach, conduct research, study and work at UVic.

Open access publications

Human research ethics


UVic resources

External resources

  • Mitacs offers funding opportunities for students, post-doctorates, professors, and businesses looking to develop partnerships
  • Grant Connect is a funding resource that allows you to search for grants by date of posting, award amount, eligible region and field. Anyone with a UVic account can access the site through the university Libraries' account (once signed into UVic, follow the hyperlink beside "Web Link" to automatically log in to Grant Connect)
  • Tri-Council funding
    • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's (SSHRC) funding page
    • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's (NSERC) website
    • The Canadian Institute of Health's (CIHR) funding page

Setting up your research account

Research Accounting is responsible for the post award financial administration of all sponsored research accounts and projects as well as a number of specific purpose and internal accounts. They provide assistance and advice to the university community while at the same time ensuring the university's responsibilities for the financial administration of these accounts are met.

Inventions and commercialization

Below are some common questions and answers regarding inventions and commercialization. If you have other questions, please .

Who should disclose their invention or intellectual property to RPKM?

All persons covered under UVic policy 1180. This is defined as members of the university in their university-related work and/or using university resources. Members of the university are defined as all:

  • faculty members holding one of the following academic appointments at the University: a tenured appointment or an appointment with eligibility for tenure as assistant professor, associate professor or professor
  • senior instructors, lecturers, adjunct professors, honorary professors
  • limited-term appointment with a term of more than one year
  • artist-in-residence
  • librarians holding a regular librarian appointment (regular or confirmed) or limited-term appointment as a librarian and includes an archivist
  • graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and research associate appointees
  • external research contractors, unless there are written contract clauses that stipulate otherwise and that have been approved by the vice-president research or delegate and an authorized individual representing the contractor

When should I contact RPKM about my invention?

RPKM encourages an early disclosure in order to prevent inadvertent public disclosures which could hinder or even prevent any patenting protection for your intellectual property.

Although the official disclosure requirement for commercially-viable IP is three months from creation, RPKM encourages disclosure even while you are still in the process of developing the innovation. This will allow our staff to work with you on all the options for successful knowledge transfer, including the development of long-term partnerships.

What is UVic’s intellectual property policy?

UVic's intellectual property policy is a “creator-owned” policy designed to promote a supportive climate for the development of IP and the provision of services based upon mutually beneficial partnerships that respect the interests of researchers and creators, the university, and the wider community.

As with almost all university “creator owned” policies, creators own the IP subject to the terms of an sponsored research agreements and in all cases have a revenue sharing obligation with the university where commercialization of IP takes place.

Creators are required to disclose their IP to the university (RPKM). The confidential disclosure of patentable IP should be made within three months after the creation of the IP and confidentiality must be maintained until such protection is secured by the university or the university has passed on the opportunity to participate. Please see the above link to view formal policies in detail.

What is UVic’s official policy on invention disclosures?

UVic’s policy on intellectual property is as follows:

“Where IP is anticipated to be commercially viable, it shall be disclosed by the University member on a confidential basis at as early a stage of development as possible to the university. In this manner, the University shall ensure that it has the first opportunity to offer its services through the OVPR / IDC (now UVic Industry Partnerships). In order to protect eligibility for patent, the confidential disclosure of patentable IP should be made within three months after the creation of the IP; confidentiality must be maintained until such protection is secured.”

What is public disclosure, and what are its implications?

Public disclosure is any form of disseminating information about your IP to a non-intimate member or members of the public. It can take many forms, for example:

  • Publishing information about your IP
  • Giving a spoken or visual presentation about the IP
  • Discussing your IP with someone who is not a privileged colleague (such as a contributor, business advisor, family member) or any member of the public not under a confidentiality agreement
  • Using your IP in a public location, making it visible to the public at anytime, intentionally or otherwise, for instance in the passenger seat of a parked car.

Prior to public disclosure, you have the ability to file for protection of your IP throughout the world as long as it meets the other requirements for IP protection, (i.e. novelty of invention and non-obviousness). Canada and the United States has a one year grace period for patent protection after the public disclosure, but this is not the case in the rest of the world. If you are unsure whether or not you have publicly disclosed your IP, contact UVic Industry Partnerships as soon as possible to learn more about the options of protecting your work.

Where can I find more UVic policies related to research and intellectual property?

All UVic policies can be found online at the University Secretary’s website.

Does it cost anything to work with RPKM?

RPKM does not charge faculty members, staff members or students for its time. However, any hard cost incurred by RPKM for marketing, legal and IP-protection, etc., (all non-staff project related expenses) are deducted from first revenues received prior to any parties participating in revenue share.

What if my discovery is made during the course of a sponsored research project?

In case of the invention that is a result of a sponsor-funded research, the rights to the resulting IP and to commercialization proceeds are subject to the terms of the sponsored research agreement. Such agreements frequently assign some or all of the rights in IP resulting from the research to the sponsor. Therefore, it is very beneficial for the researchers to be aware of any obligations entailed by the terms of sponsor research agreement.

How are revenues shared?

To meet its role as a research and educational institution, UVic strives to provide incentives for the pursuit of research and creative activities. Revenue sharing is one such incentive.

The university supports the principle that the revenue accruing from IP should be shared fairly and proportionately between the creator(s) and the university in relation to the contributions of the university and the creators. The contributions of the university may include but are not limited to the following:

  • provision of paid release time (over and above any academic leave or professional development leave) for the development of IP
  • provision of remuneration over and above regular salary for the development of IP
  • provision of space, facilities, and equipment for the development of IP over and above normal infrastructure requirements
  • the expansion of the commercial potential of a piece of IP by UVic or RPKM action
  • the ratio of liability assumed by the university, RPKM, and the creator
  • the negotiation of any contractual agreements with external research or development partners.

The university’s share of net revenues accruing from the commercialization of IP is as follows:

  • when the university’s technology transfer services have been utilized for commercialization of the IP, the terms of revenue sharing (for IP other than course materials) shall be negotiated by the vice-president research or delegate, in consultation with other parties as appropriate, in accordance with the guiding principle of net benefits following the contributions of all parties;
  • when the university indicates an interest in commercializing the IP, but the university member chooses to commercialize elsewhere, the university shall normally claim 20% of net revenues that result from the commercialization to reflect the university’s infrastructure investment and to ensure a return on investment to support further research and creative activity. This clause shall not apply if the university has indicated in writing that it has no interest in commercializing the IP or the net revenues concerned are less than $5,000 in a calendar year;
  • UVic and the university member shall receive equal shares of the net revenue resulting from commercialization of course materials

Who is an inventor?

For the purpose of determining who is an inventor, only a person’s role in the conception (idea) stage is considered. Each person who makes an original and substantive contribution to conceiving the thing ultimately invented or one of its essential elements is legally entitled to be named as an inventor. An inventor is one who formulates and describes the means of making the thing ultimately invented.

A person will not be considered an inventor, if he or she merely:

  • Suggested or thought about an idea or end result or posed the question to be solved, but did not also come up with the actual way of implementing the idea, achieving the end result or solving the problem
  • Contributed an obvious, rather than an original and substantive, element of the invention
  • Was involved in testing or reducing someone else’s idea into practice
  • Suggested an extraneous idea or a variation that was not incorporated into nor contributed directly to the actual invention
  • Followed instructions of those who conceived the end result or solution
  • Is the department head, supervisor or head of the laboratory where the invention was developed, but did not contribute directly and substantially to the inventive process
  • Provided funding for the research, equipment or laboratory where the invention was created.

Inventorship is also different than authorship. A person may be an author or co-author of a publication describing an invention, but will not be considered a co-inventor unless he or she made an independent conceptual contribution to the invention.

Who qualifies as a joint or co-inventor?

An invention may have more than one inventor. To qualify as a joint or co-inventor, you must have made an independent, conceptual contribution to an invention or one of its essential elements. The contribution must be substantial and one that makes a difference in the essence, use, application or production of the invention.

Joint or co-inventorship requires some form of communication between the inventors. It is not necessary, however, that they physically work together or for the ideas to have occurred to the co-inventors at the same time. Rather the invention is the result of collaboration, each co-inventor contributing in an original substantive way to conceiving that which is ultimately invented.


The University of Victoria is home base for a number of trailblazing community-university networks aimed at building a local, national and global effort in community-based and engaged research, community-university partnerships, policy and funding.

These groups include:

Research Impact Canada (RIC)

Founded in 2006 by UVic and York University, RIC is a national, bilingual network of 12 Canadian universities committed to maximizing the impact of academic research for the social, economic, environmental and health benefits of Canadians. Our unit serves as a link to this national network.

Community-Based Research Canada (CBRC)

CBRC is a network of people and organizations engaged in community-based research to meet the needs of both people and communities. CBRC came into being through the community-university Expo Conference held in Victoria, BC in May 2008 and has grown into a strong national network of community partners, NGOs and post-secondary institutions.

Canadian Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Community of Practice (KTECOP)

The KTECOP is a network of knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) practitioners and researchers who share KTE practices and experience, build peer relationships for information exchange and support, build KTE capacity, advance knowledge of KTE effectiveness, and share KTE events, job opportunities and other related KTE activities. The KTECOP has a BC Chapter for BC based members.

Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH)

The CCPH is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes health equity and social justice through partnerships between communities and academic institutions. We view health broadly as physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being and emphasize partnership approaches to health that focus on changing the conditions and environments in which people live, work, study, pray and play.

By mobilizing knowledge, providing training and technical assistance, conducting research, building coalitions and advocating for supportive policies, we help to ensure that the reality of community engagement and partnership matches the rhetoric.

Global Alliance on Community-Engaged Research

The Global Alliance on Community-Engaged Research involves steering committee representatives from the Participatory Research Institute of Asia (PRIA), the Sub-Saharan Africa Participatory Research Network, the Centro Boliviano de Estudios Multidisciplinarios, the Living Knowledge Network (Germany) and universities in Canada, the UK and Malaysia.

Indigenous Child Well-being Research Network (ICWRN)

The ICWRN of academics, community members, professionals, policy makers, elders and youth is a great example of community-university engagement.

The Living Knowledge Network

The international Living Knowledge Network (LK) is set up for people interested in building partnerships for public access to research. Members use the network platform and its tools for documentation and to exchange information, ideas, experiences and expertise on community-based research and science and society relations in general.

National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)

The NCCPE seeks to support a culture change in universities. Their vision is of a higher education sector making a vital, strategic and valued contribution to 21st-century society through its public engagement activity.

Pacific Housing Research Network (PHRN)

The PHRN works provincially to facilitate housing research in BC, connect researchers and practitioners, and disseminate the knowledge gained to apply to real housing solutions.

This provincial network is co-lead by UVic and UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning.

Vancouver Island Community Research Alliance (VICRA)

VICRA is a Vancouver Island-focused community-campus research alliance between the five post-secondary institutions on Vancouver Island working with partners including the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, the United Way and community foundations, local governments, community agencies, and provincial government bodies.

The goal of VICRA is to mobilize the collective and diverse research, knowledge, skills and capacities in service of the people of Vancouver Island.