As a Higher Degree by Research candidate at The University of Queensland, you are not only a student but researcher participating our academic community. Your research project will involve collaboration with other candidates and staff, funding from the University and external bodies, and the production of new and innovative ideas. Your research project may also involve the creation of valuable intellectual property. The University endeavours to foster a research culture in which the creation of intellectual property is valued, protected and commercialised, and staff and students are supported and rewarded for its creation. For these reasons we may request you to assign your IP at the beginning of your program.

The Student Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Deed Poll (SIPC) form is located at the bottom of this page.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property (IP) is the product of creative or intellectual efforts. IP rights determine who may own, use, protect, transfer, commercialise and develop these products.

How is intellectual property different from copyright?

Copyright protects written works (e.g. your written thesis), musical and artistic works. Copyright is automatic and you not need to apply for it. Copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, styles, techniques or information. The University of Queensland Library offers information on copyright here.

How does assignment of IP affect my thesis copyright and my ability to publish?

You will still own the copyright in your thesis, and be able to publish your thesis and related scholarly works, unless specifically agreed otherwise.

You will always need to seek the written permission of your Principal Advisor to publish your thesis or other project IP.

What does it mean to assign IP?

IP assignment is the transfer of the ownership of intellectual property (IP) created in your research project. IP assignment transfers the right to use, commercialise and protect intellectual property.

When and why would I be asked to assign IP?

In some cases, a research project will be:

  • part of a larger project involving other staff or students of the University;
  • involve international collaboration such as a Joint PhD;
  • involve confidential information or data that has already been generated; or
  • involve scholarships or research costs which are significantly funded by the University or a third party.

For some Schools and Faculties, the majority of research projects will involve collaboration or interdependent IP in some way, and these Schools and Faculties will request all their HDR candidates to assign their IP.

Participation in these projects means that you benefit from collaboration and the provision of data and funding. It also means that the IP produced during your HDR program will be jointly or interdependently generated, so UQ will request that you assign your project IP to allow management of the IP generated during your candidature.

If you are required to assign your project IP as a condition of undertaking a certain research project, you will need to do so as a condition of accepting your offer from UQ, and before commencing at UQ. If you do not assign your IP when requested, you will not be able to undertake the project.

How does assignment of IP to UQ benefit me?

If you assign your IP to the University and the IP is commercialised, you will receive the same benefits and protections as University staff. This means that UQ will negotiate on your behalf to commercialise any inventions. It also means that the high costs of protecting and commercialising your discovery or invention would be borne by UQ, and you would receive a share of any commercial returns.

How is IP assigned?

You will be requested to complete a Student Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Deed Poll (SIPC) before enrolment. UQ recommends that you obtain Independent Legal Advice before signing the deed, to assist you to understand the legal consequences of signing the deed and to clarify any queries or concerns you may have about signing.  However, you may choose not to seek independent legal advice.

Confidential information

  • You must:
    • not disclose any Confidential Information to any person without the prior written approval of The University of Queensland;
    • not use any Confidential Information for any purpose other than the relevant Project;
    • keep and store the Confidential Information secure from unauthorised access; and
    • deliver to The University of Queensland all Confidential Information in your possession or control if your participation in the Project comes to an end.
  • The confidentiality obligations do not apply to information which was already in your lawful possession prior to the date of this offer, is in or comes into the public domain lawfully or is required to be disclosed by law.

You only need to complete the student IP and Confidentiality Deed Poll when someone has written to you to request it. If you receive this notice you should:

  1. Sign and date on page 2 in the presence of a witness. The witness may be anybody over the age of 18.
  2. Your witness must sign on page 2.
  3. Fill out your student details in the schedule on page 3.

Download the deed poll

UQ’s Intellectual Property policy is available online.