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Research at Boston College

Materials Transfer Policy

SUMMARY: This policy cover the use of materials and information that a sponsor may wish to provide to faculty members in support of their research or other related activities, and for which the sponsor may desire to place restrictions on the use of such materials and information.

The Boston College "University Research and Projects Policy" provides that the University may not accept agreements for sponsored projects that either deny the faculty the right to publish the results of their work or require the faculty to provide information on a confidential basis to a given sponsor. There may be occasions in which faculty are requested to use proprietary materials (e.g. unpublished software and biological or chemical materials) in their work that the owner does not desire to have freely distributed. This policy is written to cover such situations.

  1. For a number of legitimate reasons (e.g. safety, proprietary interests) external parties may be willing to provide research materials to Boston College faculty if and only if he or she complies with certain restrictions on the use of such materials or access to them. However justified such restrictions may be, investigators may not agree to abide by them if they conflict with the University's policies related to sponsored projects. Limitations on the disclosure or publication of the results of university-based projects by those who furnish materials are no more acceptable than limitations on disclosure or publication by those who sponsor research. In addition, agreements ordinarily should not prevent investigators from providing pertinent information and/or materials as necessary to enable other appropriate parties to verify or replicate the investigator's work. An acceptable alternative would exist if the provider of such materials agrees to provide the materials under similar conditions to others who wish to verify or replicate the work conducted by Boston College investigators.
  2. Institutional agreements restricting the use of materials must be negotiated either by or in close association with the Office for Sponsored Programs. Such agreements may contain sections to which the investigator, in co-signing the agreement, may agree and for which the University may absolve itself of any responsibility. Such provisions may not place the investigator in conflict with his or her responsibilities as a member of the Boston College faculty. Further, no personal agreements may be made by faculty with the provider of materials outside of the agreement executed by an authorized signatory of the University.