Universities and other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are recognised as charities under the law of England and Wales. The University’s governing document is its Royal Charter and Statutes and the objects of the University as set out therein are ‘the advancement of learning and knowledge by teaching and research and the provision of University education’.
All research work carried out by the University must comply with the Charities Act and further the charitable purpose of the University. Contracts will only be authorised if the research is for the public benefit with any private benefit being incidental. For private benefit to be incidental the research must be necessary (either in furthering the University’s Objects or as a consequence of doing so), reasonable and in the interests of the University. Private benefits will be incidental if the research directly contributes towards achieving the University’s aims and/or are a necessary result or by-product of carrying out those aims. Research will only be considered if the University’s interests are protected. Any conflicts of interest must be considered. Therefore all research agreements with third parties must be made in the context of ensuring that the project and the terms and conditions comply with the Charities Act.
The Objects of the University are as contained in the current version of the Charter located through Section 2.1 Charters and Statutes: www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/calendar/section2/charterandstatutes/
Charities Act 2006 review: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/charities-act-2006-review