4. Collaboration agreements with external partners

At the Faculty of Health, Aarhus University's basic principles and core principles are followed, including specific requirements for the handling of research collaboration with external parties. This must ensure that it is not possible to cast doubt on the independence, reliability and objectivity of the researcher and the research. In this context, external parties refers to legal entities other than Aarhus University.

These basic principles do not apply to national and international research collaboration with other universities unless funding is received for the collaboration or a party has rights to the results of the collaboration. In this context, results are defined as intellectual property rights/Intellectual Property. 

4.1 Types of collaboration

As a researcher you may become involved in many different types of collaboration. Based on the character, contents and conditions for the collaboration, these can be categorised under four types: Researchers and research teams at Aarhus University can see examples of the different types of collaboration and get help with specific handling of the different types of research collaborations with external parties by clicking on the type of collaboration.

  1. Co-financed research: A collaboration between a university and at least one external party. The parties define the scope of the collaborative project together, and both contribute to carrying it out. Generally speaking, results generated wholly or in part by AU researchers belong to the university, and publication must be possible. The university co-funds the project (financially or by contributing manhours). 
  2. Commissioned research: The university may perform commissioned research projects or services for an external party. All of the university’s costs must be borne by the external party. Ownership of results and publication rights must be defined in the collaboration agreement.
  3. Unconditional grants, donations and deeds of gift: A financial contribution to support research is made to a researcher or to the university. All conditions must be clearly described. In case of unconditional grants (aside from standard requirements for reporting, bookkeeping, information on changes, etc.), the notice of award will normally be considered sufficient as a written agreement. If the grant giver attaches special conditions to the grant, the collaboration is then classified as co-financed research or commissioned research.
  4. Research-based public sector consultancy: This is an umbrella term for a variety of research services the university performs for the government, the municipalities and companies. Framework agreements are entered into between the universities and the respective ministries. Research results must be made accessible to the public.

In regard to all types of collaboration, it is important that the parties' rights and obligations are clear. For this reason, it is necessary that a written agreement be concluded for each collaboration describing the parties’ contributions, division of responsibilities and rights.

All research projects that rely on external funding in the Central Denmark Region must comply with the rules in the FAS regulations (in Danish) regarding externally financed projects in the Central Denmark Region, including rules regarding accounts and personnel.

The TTO can provide more information, advice and guidance.

4.2 Regulatory requirements in regard to collaboration with companies

The Danish Health Act lays down so-called ‘association rules’, that require public sector healthcare professionals who conduct research or consultancy for pharmaceutical or biotech companies to report these associations, regardless of whether they receive remuneration for the work.

Consultancy work performed by the healthcare professional on a private basis and in a privately owned company is also covered by the rules of association.

The healthcare professional must personally:

  • report the activity, or
  • apply for authorisation for the activity from the Danish Medicines Agency, depending on the nature of the collaboration.

The association rules will continue to be supplemented by applicable rules on marketing.