Collaborative Agreement

"Although each research project has unique features, certain core issues are common to most of them and can be addressed by collaborators posing the following questions:

  • "Overall Goals

    • What is the overall vision for the collaboration?
    • What are the scholarly issues, goals, and anticipated outcomes or products of the collaboration?
    • When is the collaboration over?
    • When is the project over?

  • "Who Will Do What?

    • What are the expected contributions of each participant?
    • Who will write any progress report and final reports?
    • How and by whom will personnel decisions be made?  How and by whom will personnel be supervised?
    • How and by whom will data be managed?  How will access to the data be managed?  How will you handle long-term storage and access to the data after the project is complete?

  • "Authorship, Credit

    • What will be the criteria and the process for assigning authorship and credit?
    • How will credit be attributed to each collaborator’s institution for public presentations, abstracts, and written articles?
    • How and by whom will media inquiries be handled?
    • When and how will you handle intellectual property and patent applications?

  • "Contingencies and Communicating

    • What will be your mechanism for routine communications among members of the research team (to ensure that all appropriate members of the team are kept fully informed of relevant issues)?
    • How will you decide about redirecting the research agenda as discoveries are made?
    • How will you negotiate the development of new collaborations and spin-off projects, if any?
    • Should one of the principals of the research team move to another institution or leave the project, how will you handle data, specimens, laboratory books, and authorship and credit?

  • "Conflict of Interest

    • How will you identify potential conflict of interest among collaborators?
    • Could a collaborator or any close family members or associates benefit financially from the research?
    • Is a collaborator receiving money from someone who could benefit financially from the research?”

Quoted from pages 132-133 in Bennett, L. M., Gadlin, H., Marchand, C. (2018). Collaboration and Team Science Field Guide. 2nd edn., National Institutes of Health Publication No. 18-7660, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, United States of America.