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Review of Research Services Division: Notice

A Notice was published in the Reporter on 24 March 2004 soliciting submissions to the Research Services Division (RSD) Review Panel. No guidance for structure of submissions was provided.

As well as open-ended comments, the Panel would like to receive more systematic input. The survey below will be distributed to Heads of Faculties and Departments. However, the Panel welcomes responses to the survey from any member of the Regent House, University employees, and others.

Before completing the survey, it may be helpful to consult the Research Services Division's declared service standards, which can be viewed at: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/rco/service.html (Research Collaboration Office) and http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/tto/service.html (Technology Transfer Office).


It is likely that you will not wish to comment on all parts of this survey.
Are you responding on behalf of a Faculty or Department or as an individual?

Research applications and grants

Please comment on how you have found working with RSD when applying for research grants to Research Councils, charities, industry, and the European Union. Please include feedback on the following:

Overall handling
Processing speed
Effectiveness of the process
Communication of grant progress
Invoice raising
Accuracy of costings
Grant closure (e.g. are the demands of the sponsors and contractual obligations met?)
Are IPR issues which arise in applications handled correctly?
Division of labour between RSD and Departments.


Please comment on the performance of RSD on licensing issues in relation to:

Time it takes to receive a response to questions with legal considerations
Provision of advice in relation to licensing intellectual property, partners, and companies
Conducting negotiations
Is the whole licensing process conducted in a timely fashion?
Do you have any experience of RSD licensing copyrighted material? Were RSD effective in this?

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)

How effective is RSD in handling MTAs?
Is the time taken to handle MTAs appropriate?

Sponsored Studentships

How well does RSD deal with sponsored Studentships?
Do they act properly in relation to IPR?
Should this be handled primarily by RSD? Or by Faculties/Departments?

Consultancy via CUTS

Do you do consulting through CUTS?
How effective is CUTS as a consultancy umbrella?

Cambridge Enterprise: Technology Transfer

What do you believe the overall goals of the Technology Transfer Office should be?
Should the University be providing incubation space and service for new companies?
Should the Technology Transfer function be in RSD, a separate entity within the University, or a wholly owned subsidiary of the University?
How should Technology Transfer be funded? Should it be linked with funding for research?

Challenge Fund (Early Seed Funding for New Ventures)

Should the University manage a fund to provide funding for new ventures or invest in companies coming out of the University?
If you have been funded by the Challenge Fund how have you found it? Was advice on commercial viability realistic?
Should a Challenge Fund be managed within or outside the University?
If you think we should have a Challenge Fund should it be part of the same entity that deals with licensing and technology transfer?
Do you believe the University should be investing its own money in a Challenge Fund?

Corporate Liaison Office (CLO)

Have the introductions from the CLO aided your research?
Has the CLO been helpful in other ways?

The Panel will be chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Ian Leslie. Submissions to the Panel should be made by noon on 14 May 2004. These should be made in writing to Ian Troupe, Secretary to the Panel, The Old Schools, Cambridge, CB2 1TN (e-mail idt21@admin.cam.ac.uk). It is hoped that the Panel will report to the Registrary in June.

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Cambridge University Reporter 28 April 2004
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