Services Rendered generally involves the provision of services to, or access to University facilities by, an external organisation, in exchange for a fee. Crucially, services rendered do not involve a high degree of intellectual input from University staff, no new knowledge should be created and the client would ordinarily expect to own any results arising from the services provided.
|Support for Services Rendered activities
Pre-award support is provided by Research Services for services rendered activities that are aligned to our expertise and responsibilities:
- Analysis or testing performed by University staff which does not include advice or interpretation of the result.
- Editorship of academic journals
- Secondments to companies which are not part of a research or teaching collaboration (eg. when associated with the formation of a spin out company)
- Sponsorship of a chair or lecturer post where this is not related to a research or teaching programme.
Pre-award support for other types of services rendered activities is provided by Faculty Finance. These include but are not limited to:
- Use of University facilities or equipment or equipment loans
- Delivery of short courses delivered at the University of Sheffield
- Delivery of short courses beyond the University of Sheffield where there is involvement in the organisation of the course
- Running conferences
- Contributions to University expenses from external organisations (eg. travel and subsistence for attending a conference, seminar or meeting)
- Donations unless specifically to support a research project.
- Teaching and collaborative courses and agreements.
Post-award support for all services rendered activity, including invoicing and accounting, is provided by Faculty Finance.
Benefits of undertaking Services Rendered activity
- If properly costed, services rendered activity represents a source of additional income for departments.
- Building relationships with external organisations which could lead to strategic partnerships and/or funded research collaborations.
- Generation of new perspectives and ideas
- Opportunities for knowledge and expertise to make an impact on industry or society.
- Raising the profile of the University.
|Initiating a Services Rendered project
- Identification of an opportunity: Services rendered activity can arise either via existing contacts or through enquiries by organisations seeking to access our services and/or facilities. An informal discussion with Research Services or Finance at this early stage may be useful in identifying any potential issues and clarifying the next steps.
- Costing and Proposal Form: You will need to complete the Costing and Proposal Form to provide a clear but concise description of the proposed activity.
Complete the Costing and Proposal Form
- Client contracts: In some instances, as a result of early discussions with the client, they may have provided you with a contract. You should forward this to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that the client's terms and conditions are acceptable.
|Approving a Services Rendered project
- Budget approval: Based on the information in the Costing and Proposal Form, we will send you a budget proposal form. This will need to be approved by your Head of Department. In doing so, they will be agreeing (i) the proposed budget and associated staff commitments (ii) that the proposed consultancy will not commit the University to any additional costs (iii) that the activity will be carried out in line with HR guidelines.
- Consideration of indemnity, IP, controversy and conflict of interest: We will consider indemnity, IP, controversy and conflicts of interest relating to the proposed activity, and liaise with other professional services in ensuring that both you and the University are appropriately protected. In particular, consideration will be given to whether:
- The proposed service involves activities that are not be covered by the University's existing insurance.
- The costs of special insurance may need to be added to the project costs.
- Special arrangements are needed in respect of IP. Any IP arising from service rendered is ordinarily owned by the client.
- Any elements of the proposed service may be considered controversial and thereby pose a risk to your reputation or that of the University.
- There are any conflicts of interest which may, or appear to, impair the independence of the services that you will be providing.
- Negotiation and agreement of consultancy contract: We will prepare a contract for the planned activity, based on the information you provided in the Costing & Proposal Form. In some instances, the client will prefer to use their own contract and we will review any such client-issued contract. It is important to note that:
- As the University's standard contract includes standard terms and conditions, we will ordinarily be able to generate a contract and progress to 'sign off' quickly.
- As client contracts may include non-standard terms and conditions, they will require detailed scrutiny and may necessitate negotiation between you, the client and Research Services. The terms that frequently require discussion are those relating to ownership and access to existing IP, confidentiality, publication, insurance and warranties and termination. This may delay the agreement of the consultancy contract and thereby the start of the services rendered activity.
- In either case, we will ensure that the contract reflects the agreed budget and covers the contractual issues described above.
- Consultancy contract sign-off: We will send the agreed contract to the client, and an authorised member of Research Services will act as signatory for the University. Once the contract has been signed off by both the University and the client, the services rendered activity can start.
|Completion of a Services Rendered project
- Start: When the contract has been signed off by both the University and the client, the services rendered activity can start. Work must not begin prior to this as, in the absence of a signed contract, there is no formal agreement to pay the agreed fee. Additionally, you and the University may be exposed to financial and/or reputational risk should problems arise.
- Invoicing of client: The contract will include an invoicing schedule against which University Finance will issue invoices to the client. Ad hoc invoices may also be raised against additional agreed activity/expenditure, if necessary via an invoice request form. If no set payment schedules are included then invoicing will be carried out upon completion of the work.
Request an invoice
- Project closure: Once you have completed the services rendered activity, you will need to complete an invoice request form. Any outstanding costs will then be invoiced and the project will be formally closed.