For staff

Advice for academics

The University actively encourages staff to make their expertise and facilities available externally through the provision of consultancy services.

Understanding the consultancy process

Once an organisation has contacted you to undertake consultancy or service work, you should contact the EI Consultancy Office before negotiating the terms of any consultancy contract or agreeing to be an Expert Witness.

EI’s Consultancy team and in-house lawyers will assist with contractual obligations on your behalf, including:

  • Help with pricing contracts (including VAT)
  • Fee negotiation for consultancy, service work and use of facilities
  • Intellectual property
  • Publication rights

Once a consultancy contract has been signed, a Consultancy Information Sheet will be sent by EI's Consultancy Office to your School Administrator for completion and account code allocation for any consultancy fees.

The academic consultant(s) working on the consultancy contract must sign the Consultancy Information Sheet to confirm agreement on distribution of fees.

The Head of School (or other approved signatory) must then sign the Consultancy Information Sheet to ensure School approval for this work.

The School Administrator should the return the completed and approved Consultancy Information Sheet to EI’s Consultancy Office for processing. This will enable us to determine how any fees should be allocated as this form provides the necessary accounting instruction for financial processing.

Your duties and responsibilities

Be aware of your duties and responsibilities for any consultancy work you undertake.

When undertaking consultancy work make sure you do not have a conflict of interest with other commercial clients or research funders you may already be working with.

Some research funders limit the amount of time an academic can work on commercial work. Please check your terms of employment and if in doubt speak to your Business Development Executive or School Administrator.

Private consultancy

All consultancy work that goes through the Consultancy Office is fully covered under the University Professional Indemnity Insurance policy. However, academics opting to do consultancy in a private capacity must seek their own insurance cover. Any work undertaken privately must have the following disclaimer attached to any report or work.

Private Consultancy Disclaimer

Please note that the services are provided by [insert name of member of staff] acting in a personal capacity. [insert name of member of staff] is not, and shall not be deemed to be, acting as agent or employee or representing in any way the University of Edinburgh.

Accordingly, you and your company, by accepting the services, (i) acknowledge that the University of Edinburgh has no responsibility or liability for the services and (ii) is deemed to have waived any right or entitlement to pursue or instigate any claim or action against the University of Edinburgh for any injury, loss or damage you or your company may sustain as a result of [insert name of member of staff undertaking the services for you or your company].

Keep us informed

We will need to know what you intend doing with the funds once they are paid.

Please remember to email one of the EI Consultancy team to let them know whether you are taking personal payment or putting the money into a School account.

Advise us of any delays there may be in the project so we can adjust your invoicing schedule if need be.

Notify us if there are changes in staff working on the project so we make sure the correct people get paid.

Please contact us if you have any questions or queries.