Terms and conditions

The terms and conditions of using the RIC-KI platform are detailed below. Please also familiarise yourself with the FAQs page.

General overview

Co-workers in office

The terms and conditions listed here define the expectations for the conduct of collaborations generated through RIC-KI. This document sets out a framework for how researchers should use RIC-KI to develop their mutual interests, and the expectations for any subsequent relationships or collaborations that might arise from connecting via the RIC-KI platform. These terms and conditions are not written as a prescription for how researchers must work together, but as a guide for how RIC-KI seeks to generate a spirit of working in collaboration with others. 

An inclusive and responsible research culture is key to the governance of RIC-KI, and thereafter of research excellence. RIC-KI, and Loughborough University as the host institution, is committed to research excellence. As such, RIC-KI is committed to maintaining the highest standards of scholarly and scientific integrity through the connections and collaborations it creates. RIC-KI expects that all users will work to these standards.

Research integrity

A commitment to good research conduct lies at the heart of an effective research system, such as RIC-KI. Therefore, high standards of research integrity must underpin the quality, spirit and reliability of the research outcomes generated by RIC-KI.  All users are expected to observe the highest standards of integrity and professionalism and to embed good practice in any research generated through RIC-KI.

All users, whether Idea Inventors or Research Collaborators, have a reasonable expectation of trust and confidentiality for the research Idea. Within RIC-KI, conducting collaborative research with integrity means meeting the professional standards expected of researchers working at universities and other organisations.

Users must agree that they will not develop ideas found on the RIC-KI platform without the Idea Inventor. We offer Idea Inventors the option to request enhanced privacy settings, whereby potential collaborators must contact the RIC-KI team to access full details of the Idea. This allows us to track who has had access to the details of the idea.

Please do not share log in details or pass on details of Ideas held on RIC-KI. Each potential Research Collaborator should set up their own account. For Ideas with enhanced privacy settings, please do not pass the full details on to others, each potential collaborator must request details themselves.

Research ethics

Users of RIC-KI should adhere to the highest level of research ethics, in line with requirements set out by national and international regulatory bodies, professional and regulatory research guidance and research ethics frameworks issued in the United Kingdom.  It is imperative that users of RIC-KI follow the rules of their respective employing or affiliate organisation pertaining to obtaining ethical and governance approvals etc.  It is essential to maintain trust in, and between users. 

All parties should be mindful of the guidelines set out in this document and ensure all partners in the RIC-KI research collaboration, and their employing organisation, are able to meet the required standards of appropriate research conduct. This is particularly important in relation to the provenance of intellectual ideas and ownership of research outcomes, and the specific conditions under which these may be shared.

Roles and responsibilities

Researchers are responsible and accountable for their own conduct and for abiding by the terms and conditions set out here. Users should be clear about their respective roles and responsibilities within the collaboration, and where appropriate drawing up written agreements and/or a document that sets out a clear framework for how the collaboration will work.  For example, this might include a publication policy, that also includes a statement on authorship position, a document outlining roles and responsibilities on a grant funding application, or a written proposal about how data will be collected for a RIC-KI study. You may wish to use the example agreement document provided here or develop an alternative document. 

There is an expectation that Idea Inventors and Research Collaborators are likely to need to meet to shape and progress the idea. During these initial meetings, all parties should agree a way of working and document their expectations of each other, along with their roles and responsibilities. For example, this may be achieved through exchanging minutes/notes, or through recording meetings. Once a plan for the research is agreed, it may then be appropriate to complete an agreement following the RIC-KI example template, which can be adapted for the specific requirements of studies.  The guidance on intellectual property and commercialisation provided below should also be considered.

Intellectual property rights and commercialisation

It is possible that new innovations are developed or ‘come to light’ as a result of RIC-KI connecting researchers. Where this is the case, it is imperative that all parties are considerate to maintaining confidentiality to achieve protection of any intellectual property rights, commercially sensitive data, personal data and other confidential information (where appropriate), that the procedures to be followed are set out from the outset with collaborators.

If relevant, it is also important that all parties set out from the outset what procedures and principals will be followed if an invention or discovery with potential commercial significance is made during a research collaboration generated via RIC-KI. In some instances, it may be appropriate for users to consult with an appropriate office (e.g. Commercialisation or Enterprise Departments) at their employing organisation before embarking on a RIC-KI collaboration.

Listing ideas

In listing ideas your ideas on RIC-KI you must agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • You have the right to decline an expression of interest in your idea from a potential Research Collaborator without giving a reason, but should do so within 21 days of receiving the Expression of Interest Form.
  • Upon receiving an expression of interest in your idea, you are expected to make the connection with the potential Research Collaborator, within 21 days of receiving their Expression of Interest Form. 
  • As a guide, it is expected that you will meet 2-3 times (face-to face, virtually, email, telephone etc.) with the Research Collaborator(s) to think through the idea further together. Thereafter, a decision can be made between both parties as to whether they wish to pursue the idea together or not, and how this relationship will progress. If an agreement is made the idea will be removed from RIC-KI and no longer available for others to view. If an agreement is not reached the RIC-KI idea will be re-listed.
  • Conversations and discussions between the Idea Inventor and Research Collaborators must remain confidential unless both parties agree otherwise.
  • You must offer research collaborators the opportunity for authorship on research publications arising from the work, subject to meeting the appropriate academic rules for authorship.
  • Initially, potential Research Collaborator can only express an interest in your listed idea by completing the Expression of Interest Form on the RIC-KI website. When someone expresses an interest in your idea the expression of interest form will be forwarded to you by the RIC-KI support team. If an expression of interest form has not been completed we ask that you do not engage in dialogue about your idea via other channels, otherwise you may be prevented from listing any further ideas on RIC-KI.
  • You are permitted to consider up to two expressions of interest forms in your idea.
  • You must provide written feedback each year, for five years, to RIC-KI on how the collaboration has progressed and details of any outputs generated from the collaboration.
  • The following acknowledgement statement must be included in all outputs: “This research resulted from a collaboration generated via the Research Ideas Catalogue- Knowledge Impact (RIC-KI) platform, hosted by Loughborough University.” 

Expressing an interest in a collaboration

If you wish to collaborate on a listed idea you must agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • Initially, you must only make contact with an Idea Inventor by completing the expression of interest form via the RIC-KI website.
  • We will only accept one expression of interest at a time from a Research Collaborator. If your expression of interest is not successful you are welcome to express an interest in another Idea.
  • Conversations between Idea Inventors and Research Collaborators remain confidential unless both parties agree otherwise.
  • The Idea Inventor is acknowledged as such in any outputs and publications arising from the RIC-KI research idea (unless agreed otherwise).
  • You must give the Idea Inventor the opportunity for authorship on any research publications arising from the work, subject to meeting the appropriate academic rules for authorship.
  • You must give the Idea Inventor the opportunity to be included as a co-applicant on any research funding applications arising from the RIC-KI research idea for a period of five years.
  • Normally, an idea that has been offered to a Research Collaborator, but which has not developed in to research agreement within 12 months after submission of an expression of interest form may be re-listed on RIC-KI and subsequently offered to other potential Research Collaborators.
  • A 750 words final report of the idea/study is required to be posted on the RIC-KI platform within six months of completing the research.
  • There is an expectation that any publications arising from a RIC-KI research idea/collaboration will be made available using an open access platform.
  • The following acknowledgement statement must be included in all outputs – “This research resulted from a collaboration generated via the Research Ideas Catalogue – Knowledge Impact (RIC-KI) platform, hosted by Loughborough University.”