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Research Office: Legal Services

Wits is a research intensive University committed to growing the quality and quantity of its research output. In order for this to be achieved, Wits has established a separate legal services branch called Research Office: Legal Services for a number of years now, which focuses on managing, negotiating and empowering the process to conclude research contracts in accordance with Wits Delegation of Authority Policy. The Research Office: Legal Services has worked closely with researchers to finalize research contracts as soon as possible to enable them to conduct the necessary research timeously. This allows for the best negotiated research contract for the researcher, Wits and any contracting party. The Research Office: Legal Services was established under the Research Development division, under the directorship of Dr Robin Drennan in January 2014.

Research Contract Guidelines

In order for a research contract to be concluded efficiently, a researcher must complete the Research Contract checklist before contacting the Research Office: Legal Services - Legal Adviser for research contracts.  This will assist the Legal Adviser and the researcher to ensure that sufficient information is provided and that any risk which Wits may be exposed to is managed and/or mitigated, that academic freedom is promoted and maintained and that the vital objective of Wits, which is serving the public good, is achieved.

The Research Office: Legal Services has been fully integrate its activities with those of the Research Development division, Research Office, the Legal Office as well as Wits Commercial Enterprise and Wits Health Consortium. Therefore provides a “complete” service to the Wits research community. The principle values of the Research Office: Legal Services are transparency, efficiency, and accountability, and the overall aim is to promote good research.