Harvard University Participation Agreement

Individuals who perform research at Harvard and/or who may create intellectual property through the use of Harvard resources are subject to certain University policies and, in some cases, to the terms of agreements between Harvard and third parties (e.g., other institutions, organizations or companies).  Such policies cover, for example, the ethical conduct of research, publication of research results, retention of research records and handling of intellectual property.  Among these policies is the University’s “Statement of Policy in Regard to Intellectual Property” (or “IP Policy”), which governs patentable inventions, copyrightable works and tangible materials made through the use of funds, facilities or other resources provided by or through Harvard.  The IP Policy can be found at:


The Harvard University Participation Agreement is designed to help carry out the IP Policy and other research policies and to help Harvard fulfill its responsibilities relating to research.

Harvard University Participation Agreement

I understand that my research is governed by the policies of Harvard University, including Harvard’s “Statement of Policy in Regard to Intellectual Property” (the “IP Policy”). Among the other important research-related policies of the University and its Schools are, for example, policies concerning research integrity, protecting human and animal subjects, conflicts of interest and commitment, collaboration with industry, and data retention. For information on University-wide research policies, see http://vpr.harvard.edu/pages/research-policies-guidance.

To help carry out the IP Policy and other research policies and to help Harvard fulfill its responsibilities relating to research, I agree as follows, in consideration of my employment by Harvard, my participation in Harvard research or other projects, and/or my use of funds, facilities or other resources provided by or through Harvard:

  • I acknowledge that I am bound by and must comply with Harvard’s research policies, including the IP Policy, as they may be amended from time to time and posted on Harvard’s website.
  • I will report promptly to the Office of Technology Development any Invention, Sponsored Computer Software and/or Unpatented Material (as those capitalized terms are defined in the IP Policy, here referred to together as “Developments”) that the IP Policy requires me to disclose to Harvard.  I hereby assign to Harvard all my right, title and interest in all Developments that Harvard is entitled to own under the terms of the IP Policy, and all patent rights, copyrights and other intellectual property rights in those Developments throughout the world.  I hereby grant to Harvard any rights required to be granted to Harvard under the terms of the IP Policy with respect to Incidental Inventions (as defined in the IP Policy) or other Developments I am entitled to own.
  • I understand that Harvard sometimes makes agreements with third parties involving funding of research, research collaboration, or use of materials, data, rights, equipment or other things.  I understand that if I do work to which such a third party agreement pertains, I must abide by that agreement as it relates to me.  If any such agreement requires that my copyrights in works of authorship (for example, research reports or articles) be assigned or licensed to Harvard or a third party, I hereby assign or license to Harvard the copyrights that are needed in order to fulfill the agreement
  • I agree to cooperate with Harvard in such reasonable steps as may be needed to carry out its research policies and to confirm, establish or protect the rights of Harvard or its designees.  This may include, for example, executing additional documents, assisting in the filing of patent applications, and letting Harvard see my research data or materials as needed to respond to inquiries or conduct internal and external oversight activities.
  • If I have previously made any agreement with another person, organization or company regarding rights in inventions or intellectual property which is, or could reasonably be construed to be, in conflict with this Agreement, I will promptly write to the Office of Technology Development at otd@harvard.edu, so that we may address the situation.
  • If I am a Faculty member of a Faculty or School of the University that has adopted an Open Access Policy, I hereby confirm my grant to Harvard of a non-exclusive license with respect to my scholarly articles, as set forth in that policy.
  • The obligations of this Agreement relating to my Harvard activities will continue after the end of those activities.  This Agreement is binding on me and my estate, heirs and assigns.

 To access the Harvard University Participation Agreement for signature, please follow this link: https://gmas.harvard.edu/gmas/participationagreement.