Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Office of Research and Economic Development’s (ORED) contact information?

Florida International University
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
11200 S.W. 8 Street, MARC 430
Miami, FL 33199-0001
Phone: (305) 348-2494
Fax: (305) 348-4117

Where can I find the official ORED policies?

All University policies and procedures are located in one central on-line location in the University Policies and Procedures Library maintained by the University Compliance Office at http://policies.fiu.edu/. All of the policies and procedures of the Office of Research and Economic Development may be reviewed on that database which is arranged by Pre-Award and Award, Post-Award, Research Compliance and Office of Technology Management and Commercialization. Additionally, users may search the database using key words and all policies and procedures containing the key words will be listed, regardless of the University unit to which they pertain. This is particularly useful for sponsored research matters as administration of projects routinely involves other University units such as Purchasing, Travel, Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety and many other units. Thus, the ability to search the Policies and Procedures Library using key words provides users with an expedient way to ensure that all relevant policies and procedures are accessed. The on-line policies and procedures also list the appropriate University contacts so that users may know whom they can call if they have any questions on the policies or procedures. Needed forms and background information are also included in the policies and procedures.

I need a confidentiality agreement, teaming agreement, material transfer agreement or memorandum of understanding executed on behalf of the University. Can I process that through the Office of Research and Economic Development, and if so, how?

See Office of Research and Economic Development Policy #2320.055, Negotiation and Execution of Sponsored Project Awards and Agreements at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/257.pdf.

Pre-Award may execute agreements that are not related to an existing proposal or sponsored project, but which are related to research or to potential future sponsored research projects or related to University intellectual property as follows.
Examples of these types of agreements are:

  • Memoranda of Understanding setting forth that the parties will work together to determine if a research project may be pursued in the future;
  • Confidentiality Agreements where documentation is to be exchanged for the purpose of determining if the parties may be able to pursue a future research project or related to University intellectual property review. An approved form confidentiality agreement is on the Pre-Award website at http://www.research.fiu.edu/forms/administrative/nonDisclosureAgreement.doc;
  • Material Transfer Agreements where biological material is being transferred for research purposes;
  • Teaming Agreements for a proposal effort

To request that Pre-Award execute an agreement other than an award document, the PI must provide to Pre-Award:

  1. The completed Agreement Request form
  2. A draft of the proposed agreement, if the PI has a draft (e.g., the form FIU confidentiality agreement with the blanks filled in)

Pre-Award will determine if the agreement is appropriate for execution by Pre-Award and if needed, will negotiate the agreement with the entity with which the agreement will be executed. The negotiation will be done in consultation with the PI and other FIU units, as necessary (e.g., Office of the General Counsel, Office of Technology Management and Commercialization). When the agreement is signed by all parties, Pre-Award will send a copy to the PI.

Special Considerations relating to Material Transfer Agreements

If a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) seeks to transfer any Special Hazards Material (as defined in policy #125.405, Security in Laboratories with Special Hazards), the PI must obtain the approval from Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) before the MTA may be signed by Pre-Award. Policy #125.405 defines Special Hazards Materials as including, but being not limited to, radioactive materials, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substances, select agents, carcinogenic and explosive materials, infectious materials, and laser devices, and any other hazardous materials, the purchase, handling, storage or transfer and disposal of which is regulated by federal, state, or local laws.?

The PI must provide to Pre-Award, the appropriate EH&S Research Clearance Form (found on the Pre-Award website at http://www2.fiu.edu/~ehs/dsrt/index.htm) with EH&S? approval of the transfer of the materials.

If the MTA is for the transfer of animals, the PI must work with the Laboratory Animal Research to ensure the Facility is prepared for the transfer and the care of the animals. Any IRB, IBC or IACUC approvals must also be in place, as applicable, before beginning to use the material transferred in any research project. See Office of Research and Economic Development Policy #2350.060, Purchase or Receipt of Items Requiring EH&S Prior Approval.

How do I inform the University that I have made an invention?

An FIU Faculty, staff, or student informs the University of an invention he/she has made by completing and submitting a IP Disclosure Form to the Office of Technology Management and Commercialization. To access the form or for additional information on the disclosure process at FIU, visit the Office Technology Management and Commercialization section of our website or call our office for assistance at 305-348-0008

What is the University’s policy on intellectual property?

See the following University policy links on inventions, works, and copyrightable materials:

Inventions and Patents
“University Staff (non-bargaining unit faculty and employees)”
http://policies.fiu.edu/record_profile.php?id=549

Inventions and Works (UFF)
“University in-unit Faculty/United Faculty of Florida (UFF)”
http://policies.fiu.edu/record_profile.php?id=204

Works and Copyrightable Materials
“University Staff (non-bargaining unit faculty and employees)”
http://policies.fiu.edu/record_profile.php?id=463

I need a confidentiality agreement, teaming agreement, material transfer agreement or memorandum of understanding executed on behalf of the University. Can I process that through the Office of Research and Economic Development, and if so, how?

See Division of Research Policy #2320.055, Negotiation and Execution of Sponsored Project Awards and Agreements at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/257.pdf.

Pre-Award may execute agreements that are not related to an existing proposal or sponsored project, but which are related to research or to potential future sponsored research projects or related to University intellectual property as follows.

Examples of these types of agreements are:

  • Memoranda of Understanding setting forth that the parties will work together to determine if a research project may be pursued in the future;
  • Confidentiality Agreements where documentation is to be exchanged for the purpose of determining if the parties may be able to pursue a future research project or related to University intellectual property review. An approved confidentiality agreement form is on the Pre-Award website at http://www.research.fiu.edu/forms/administrative/nonDisclosureAgreement.doc;
  • Material Transfer Agreements where biological material is being transferred for research purposes;
  • Teaming Agreements for a proposal effort

To request that Pre-Award execute an agreement other than an award document, the PI must provide to Pre-Award:

  1. The completed Agreement Request form
  2. A draft of the proposed agreement, if the PI has a draft (e.g., the form FIU confidentiality agreement with the blanks filled in)

Pre-Award will determine if the agreement is appropriate for execution by Pre-Award and if needed, will negotiate the agreement with the entity with which the agreement will be executed. The negotiation will be done in consultation with the PI and other FIU units, as necessary (e.g., Office of the General Counsel, Office of Technology Management and Commercialization). When the agreement is signed by all parties, Pre-Award will send a copy to the PI.

Special Considerations relating to Material Transfer Agreements
If a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) seeks to transfer any Special Hazards Material (as defined in policy #125.405, Security in Laboratories with Special Hazards), the PI must obtain the approval from Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) before the MTA may be signed by Pre-Award. Policy #125.405 defines Special Hazards Materials as including, but being not limited to, ?radioactive materials, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substances, select agents, carcinogenic and explosive materials, infectious materials, and laser devices, and any other hazardous materials, the purchase, handling, storage or transfer and disposal of which is regulated by federal, state, or local laws.?

The PI must provide to Pre-Award, the appropriate EH&S Research Clearance Form (found on the Pre-Award website at http://www2.fiu.edu/~ehs/dsrt/index.htm) with EH&S? approval of the transfer of the materials.

If the MTA is for the transfer of animals, the PI must work with the Laboratory Animal Research to ensure the Facility is prepared for the transfer and the care of the animals. Any IRB, IBC or IACUC approvals must also be in place, as applicable, before beginning to use the material transferred in any research project. See Office of Research and Economic Development Policy #2350.060, Purchase or Receipt of Items Requiring EH&S Prior Approval at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/353.pdf .

What is a public disclosure?

A public disclosure is a non-confidential disclosure of an invention containing sufficient information as to enable someone ?skilled in the art? (i.e. familiar with the field of invention) to make, use, or otherwise practice the invention.

Generally, a public disclosure occurs when an invention is: described in a printed publication; placed in public use; or, offered for sale. Public disclosures can include printed or electronic publication of abstracts, research reports, news or scientific journal articles, manuscripts, transcripts, posters, etc. Information discussed or materials distributed in non-confidential settings (e.g. conferences, exhibits, thesis or dissertation defenses) may also constitute a public disclosure. Public disclosures can impact intellectual property rights and protection.

If you have questions regarding public disclosures, contact the Office of Technology Management and Commercialization.

I have developed software that is owned by FIU. Should it contain any copyright notice?

Yes. FIU-owned software should contain the following notice:

Copyright [INSERT YEAR] [insert: ‘published’, if software was published, otherwise insert ‘created’] The Florida International University Board of Trustees All rights reserved.

If you have any questions about whether FIU owns the software, please refer to the applicable University policies:

  • Academic Affairs policy #320.040, Inventions and Works (applies to UFF personnel)
  • Office of Research and Economic Development policy #2390.001, Inventions and Patents (applies to non-UFF and other University personnel)
  • Human Resources policy #1710.345, Works and Copyrightable Materials (applies to non-UFF and other University personnel)

What is an open source license?

An open source license allows software to be downloaded, free of charge, by anyone agreeing to the license terms. Software owned by FIU may be made available pursuant to an open source license when it is in the best interests of FIU, the inventor(s) and the public.

I have developed software that is owned by FIU and I would like to make the software available pursuant to an open source license. How do I go about that?

All FIU inventors must disclose software owned by FIU to the Technology Management and Commercialization using the Confidential Disclosure Form. If you have any questions about whether FIU owns the software, please refer to the applicable University policies:

  • Academic Affairs policy #320.040, Inventions and Works (applies to UFF personnel)
  • Office of Research and Economic Development policy #2390.001, Inventions and Patents (applies to non-UFF and other University personnel)
  • Human Resources policy #1710.345, Works and Copyrightable Materials (applies to non-UFF and other University personnel)

In the Confidential Disclosure Form, the software inventor(s) may request that the software be made available pursuant to an open source license and may request a particular open source license from the Open Source Initiative at https://opensource.org/licenses or alternative license terms. The Technology Management and Commercialization supports the inventor’s(s’) request to provide software on an open source basis if the software does not have commercial value and if open source distribution is permitted by third party interests in the software (e.g., third part entities whose software is embedded in the disclosed software and/or external sponsor rights in the disclosed software).

If the software will be made available pursuant to an open source license, the Technology Management and Commercialization will notify the inventor. The inventor may then distribute or post the software under such open source license in accordance with the instructions related to the particular license, including inserting the appropriate copyright text required by the particular license in your postings (see also question #1 above). Please also notify the Technology Management and Commercialization of the website URL for the open source software that you post.

If the Technology Management and Commercialization determines that the software has commercial potential, the software will not be made available pursuant to an open source license and will instead be sought to be commercialized by the Technology Management and Commercialization .

If an inventor is contacted by any party wishing to license University open source software for commercial purposes, the inventor should refer the inquiry to the Technology Management and Commercialization for negotiation of a commercial license.