Contract research, consultancy and licensing

We have a long history and a solid track record of working with business and public sector organisations that are keen to improve their people, products and services. By working with the University, you can seek to add value to in-house capabilities or buy-in specialist knowledge and expertise.

We work alongside you to offer solutions to your research and development problems.

This research might be collaborative, with your staff working alongside our researchers, or you may simply employ us to undertake a particular piece of research work.

The University also provides a consultancy service giving you access to specialist expertise and experience to find solutions for your problems. Whether it is a short-term consultancy agreement or a longer-term project, we work with businesses of all sizes to help you stay ahead of the competition.

Our expertise

The University has over 1,100 academic experts in more than 70 disciplines, research centres and related areas, all of which undertake research activities. 

Our expertise across a broad field of subject areas makes us an ideal partner, and over the past few years we have collaborated with over 2,000 organisations keen to harness our expertise, technology, and insight. These have ranged from some of the world's largest corporations to smaller regional companies.


The University understands the importance of confidentiality at all stages of discussions and, where appropriate, we will happily assist in putting in place formal confidentiality agreements to ensure that you feel fully protected in terms of any confidential and/or commercially sensitive projects you wish to discuss.

Contracts and intellectual property

Whatever the nature of the interaction, we will endeavour to ensure that all legal and contractual matters are dealt with as swiftly and smoothly as possible. The University of Sheffield has an excellent track record of working with organisations to secure value from Intellectual Property (IP) through collaborations, spinouts and licence arrangements.

We have an online portal for accessing 'click-to-buy' intellectual property and our dedicated commercialisation team are available to discuss licensing arrangements for all forms of IP.

Contract signatories

All research contracts are signed on behalf of the University by one of the following signatories.

Please note that the University of Sheffield reserves the right to declare null and void any application, grant or contract signed on its behalf by any person other than those positions shown.

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Assistant Directors of Finance
  • Faculty Finance Managers
  • Cross Cutting Finance Manager
  • Financial Controller AMRC
  • Head of Estates and Facilities Management Finance
  • Head of Finance Accommodation and Commercial Services
  • Management Accountant Professional Services
  • Director of Research, Partnerships and Innovation
  • Head of Impact and IP
  • Assistant Director of Research, Partnerships and Innovation
  • Heads of Faculty Research Support
  • Research Grants and Agreements Managers

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.