[Skip to Content]

Research Funding Opportunities


SRC funds research which addresses member-defined research agendas; members are responsible for articulating the research needs and selecting the research that best meets these needs.

Research funding opportunities typically start with a call for white papers; promising projects result in requests for proposal. The typical result of a successful research proposal is a multi-year research contract with an initial 12-month funding term. At the end of the research contract period, researchers may apply to additional research funding opportunities.

White Papers

A white paper represents the initial step in a process that could result in the awarding of a research contract. Selected white papers will be followed by requests for proposal. Calls for white papers are made by each research program as research needs are identified and as funds are available. Selection decisions are made by a review committee comprised of member company advisors and the technical staff.

Research Proposals

A Request for Proposal is sent to the researcher following the selection of a white paper by the review committee. Research proposals provide sufficient information to permit an evaluation of the intended research—its technical merits, innovative approach, and relevance to the research agenda. Research proposals, in turn, are evaluated by a review committee comprised of member company advisors and the technical staff. Selected research proposals are awarded research contracts.

Sponsored Research Agreement

The Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) provides framework for both implementing specific research plans and enhancing the communication of research results. It documents and conveys the needs and expectations of SRC Members and Participants while ensuring protection of Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

Intellectual Property

SRC desires to protect IP rights vesting in you and your University emanating from sponsored research. In return for sponsoring the research, SRC receives certain IP rights. The primary goal of SRC’s IP policy is to provide Members and Participants freedom to practice the results of sponsored research. The technical staff and industry representatives assist researchers in the identification of inventions that may be formally protected.

The SRA provides for IP license rights, which are sublicensed to Members and Participants. The license grant is worldwide, non-exclusive, non-transferrable, royalty free and includes the right to make, have made, use, or sell inventions, and to prepare software derivative works. In addition, SRC retains an option to negotiate an exclusive license. The University retains ownership of the IP and is free to license the IP to companies that are not SRC Members or Participants, subject to SRC’s option for an exclusive license.

This license includes all IP that can be protected by patent, copyright, or other form of protection, including inventions, works of authorship, and mask works.

Background Intellectual Property

For many researchers, the definition of Background Intellectual Property (BIP) may include publications, papers, software, or patents that were developed by that researcher. For SRC, the term is something slightly different. For SRC, BIP means, patents, patent applications, and computer software of any party not generated in the course of the research services performed under the SRA (or any other SRC SRA) but for which a license to such BIP is necessary for SRC’s Members and Participants to have the freedom to practice the research results. If BIP exists, before the start of the SRA, SRC must either obtain a limited-scope license (only to the extent necessary to practice the research results) to the BIP or re-scope of the project to avoid the BIP. SRC is precluded from sponsoring research in situations where Members and Participants’ freedom to practice the research results is restricted or blocked by BIP.

SRC’s goal is to identify BIP early enough so as to resolve any issues without delaying the execution of the SRA. When BIP is not reported until after the University receives the SRA, the additional time needed to resolve the BIP can significantly delay the start of the project, in some cases by up to several months.

For more details, please see Disclosure of Background Intellectual Property. If you are unfamiliar with the BIP language incorporated into the SRA, please contact the University's Office of Sponsored Programs or SRC Contracts.

Follow Us Twitter LinkedIn