Accessibility statement

13. Dissemination of research results, intellectual property rights and responsibilities


The University requires all PGRs to obtain an ORCID (tm) personal identifier (ID). ORCID gives researchers and authors a single unique ID which works across the research landscape, ensuring that all research outputs and activities are correctly attributed. PGRs will be expected to submit their ORCID ID upon enrolment and, if not submitted at enrolment, required to have signed up for an ORCID ID by the first Thesis Advisory Panel meeting. PGRs are expected to comply with reasonable requests from the University and funding bodies (where applicable) for recording the outputs of research conducted as part of a PGR programme, and career progression information.


PGRs will be encouraged to make presentations on the results of their research in the University and at external meetings, and where appropriate to different audiences (eg academic peers, undergraduate students, school pupils). They should receive appropriate training for this purpose. PGRs should also be encouraged to submit work for publication during the course of their studies, where appropriate. PGRs are bound by the University’s Policy on the publication of research, and authorship of publications should be decided in line with University policy on authorship.


In line with the University’s commitment to Open Research, as set out in the Policy on the Publication of Research, all theses deposited by PGRs after examination will be available to the general public, in full, for consultation and for reproduction (as permitted in copyright law), unless approval is obtained for embargo or redaction as set out below).

Embargo and redaction policy


A thesis may be embargoed (ie withheld from the general public and, with the exception of an abstract, none of the material reproduced) for a fixed period or made available with redaction for the following reasons: (i) intent to publish; (ii) commercial sensitivity; (iii) data protection compliance; (iv) issues of health and safety; (v) unlicensed reproduction of third-party copyright material (copyright guidance is provided by the Library), or; (vi) exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In considering whether to embargo or redact a thesis, a PGR and their supervisor(s) must ensure that they take into account all appropriate considerations, including intellectual property issues and the Research Data Management expectations.


Where a PGR's research is funded, the funder may have particular requirements around access to the thesis (or material within the thesis). Where a funder requires embargo or redaction of a thesis, this must be for a valid reason, as set above. Any embargo period (counting from the date of the Award) requested by a funder should be as short as reasonably possible, ideally no more than 12 months, normally not more than 36 months and in any event less than five years (unless there are exceptional grounds (see below).  Where a PGR is in receipt of a UKRI training grant, the maximum embargo period is normally 12 months (counting from the date of the Award). Funder requirements around access to the thesis (or material within the thesis) should be set out in writing in the funder's terms and conditions and/or a studentship agreement and agreed by all parties at the outset. The PGR and their supervisor(s) are jointly responsible for adhering to the terms agreed with the funder.


A thesis may be embargoed on the request of the supervisor and/or PGR, subject to a valid reason as set out above and confirmation that the request is in line with any applicable and agreed funder requirements. An embargo of up to 12 months (total period, including any extensions) can be approved by the PGR and their supervisor(s). An embargo of between 13 and 36 months (total period, including any extensions) requires the additional approval of the Graduate Chair. An embargo of between 36 months and five years (total period, including any extensions), requires the additional approval of the Dean of YGRS.  Lifting an embargo in advance of the set date requires the consent of the PGR and their supervisor(s). If a dispute about the embargo of a thesis arises between the PGR and their supervisor(s), the decision of the supervisor(s) is final; if a dispute arises between supervisors, the decision of the Graduate Chair is final.


A thesis may be subject to a long-term (more than 5 years) or permanent embargo in the following circumstances: (i) contractual agreement with an external sponsor (on exceptional grounds only); (ii) issues of national or personal security, or (iii) when requested by the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research for a breach of the Code of Practice on Research Integrity. All requests for long-term or permanent embargo must be approved by the Dean of YGRS and the SCA.


A thesis may be redacted on the request of the supervisor and/or PGR, subject to a valid reason as set out in 13.4 and confirmation that the request is in line with any applicable and agreed funder requirements. The PGR should deposit a redacted version of the thesis (which will be made publicly available) in addition to their examined (unredacted) thesis.  Redaction for third-party copyright infringement will be indefinite unless notification of clearance is received.


Except by formal agreement between the PGR and an external organisation, copyright in the original material in a thesis is owned by the PGR. In many cases, however, other forms of intellectual property arising from the thesis, including patentable inventions and software, may be subject to contractual conditions, for example with sponsors of the research, which may require ownership to be vested in a third party or in the University. Furthermore, in many instances, intellectual property is jointly conceived by a PGR together with his or her supervisor(s) or with other colleagues in the same research group. In such cases, the University would expect to own such IPR but would share any benefits accruing from its exploitation with the PGR according to the University's Intellectual Property Regulation (Regulation 12). 


Where the PGR studentship is sponsored by a commercial or other external organisation, such as UKRI, to which the University owes contractual responsibilities, the supervisor will ensure that the PGR receives and, where appropriate, signs a copy of the contract covering the research.