Research and development contracts


  1. In order to be able to clearly define projects - especially within a working group - the framework and contents of the tasks must be clearly described.
  2. If new intellectual property rights (e.g. inventions or software) arise during an R&D project, establishing a precautionary regulation of rights in a contract has generally proven beneficial. Kiel University and the contracting authority can agree on options rights, such as license rights, exclusive rights or the right to purchase the intellectual property.
  3. Teaching and research are the fundamental tasks of universities. This principle should also be preserved when collaborating within projects. Collaboration should not prevent the right of the scientist involved to publish the results of the project. This should also be considered in amicable contractual arrangements.
  4. In business relationships between companies, the liability is almost always limited by the share capital or the value of the company, at least.  Kiel University is a corporation under public law, which means that liability limits in projects must be agreed on by contract.
  5. Legal framework parameters (such as EU state aid regulations) specify the following procedure when calculating costs for research projects:

The head of the project calculates the necessary expenditure (e.g. staff costs, infrastructure) based on content-related coordination with the contractual partner (e.g. the research contents) and sends the calculation, together with the description of the project’s content and, if applicable, a draft contract from the contracting authority, to the Technology Transfer department (Division F15). You can find a sample contract for commissioned research here, german only Mustervertrag für Auftragsforschung (.doc - nur Intern).

The Technology Transfer department will have a tax assessment conducted in every case. An exchange of services leads to VAT. An economic project requires an overhead rate for staff costs and a profit markup. In contrast to the generation of new scientific findings, the application of substantiated scientific findings leads to corporation tax (income tax).

The contracts must be checked and signed by both the University Board (administration) as well as the responsible scientist (e.g. head of the institute).

You can find information for Kiel University’s scientists in our CAU-internal section, german only  CAU-internen Bereich.