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Policy Statement

This policy applies to programs for broadly defined areas of basic research of common interest to academia, business, and industry which are typically referred to as Industrial Affiliates Programs (IAPs). IAPs are supported by multiple companies through membership fees and serve as an alternative way for The University of Texas Permian Basin research community and IAP members to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and discussion.


The purpose of this policy is to describe procedures for the establishment and administration of Industrial Affiliates Programs (IAPs).


This policy applies to all departments, colleges, schools, laboratories, centers, institutes, bureaus, and research groups, projects, or teams.


Industrial Affiliates Programs (IAP)

These membership programs are a gateway for launching and conducting frequent, open communication between participating researchers and the corporate community. Companies gain direct access to state-of-the-art research capabilities and other benefits in exchange for annual membership fees which primarily fund basic research for program team members.

IAP members are not granted intellectual property rights, there are no required deliverables, and therefore there are no indirect costs associated with this research, as there are with other Research Participation Agreements (RPAs) that provide access to the use of the intellectual property.

Sponsored Research Projects

In contrast to IAPs, sponsored research projects are supported by an external funding source, under a mutually binding agreement that restricts the use of the funds to the approved project and stipulates other conditions with which the university must comply. Sponsored projects typically:

  • are initiated by a formal proposal and award notice
  • are restricted to a particular purpose as described in the proposal
  • require technical and/or financial reports to the sponsor, and
  • entail other administrative requirements.

Roles & Responsibilities

Office of the Vice President for Research

Reviews and approves all written requests to establish Industrial Affiliates Programs at UTPB.

Deans Office/Head Administrator

Reviews written requests from faculty to establish Industrial Affiliates Programs and forwards them to the Office of the Vice President for Research for approval.

Office of Industry Engagement

  • Prepares standard Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) Membership Agreements
  • Forwards approved Industrial Affiliates Program Membership Agreements to IAP Program Coordinators
  • Reviews and negotiates requests for modifications to the standard Industrial Affiliates Program Membership Agreement
  • Educates Program Coordinators and/or Program Directors on IAP compliance issues

Program Director/Faculty Lead

  • Identifies basic area of research
  • Develops research methodology
  • Recruits students
  • Sets membership fees
  • Acts as IAP Director
  • Hosts annual workshop/meeting to present research results, working sessions, opportunities to discuss employment of University students and graduate students for both permanent and co-op/internship programs

Program Coordinator

  • Maintains a website of member affiliates
  • Prepares and sends invoices to member affiliates
  • Collects membership fees and routes them through the Office of Sponsored Projects for deposit.
  • Attends training on IAP compliance issues
  • Handles day-to-day program administration


The principles which apply to all Industrial Affiliates Programs at UT Austin include:

  • Promotes opportunities for undergraduate and/or graduate student education
  • Increases the awareness of academia to the challenges facing industry and exposes university faculty to industry approaches to research
  • Provides opportunities to industry scientists to stay current in the latest developments in broad areas of basic science which are of strategic interest to their companies
  • Leverages the contributions of member affiliates to stretch limited resources and furnish cost effective means of doing research;
  • Maintains the University's role as a credible and impartial resource
  • Protects the right of faculty members to pursue research topics and methodology of their choice.


  • Approval to establish Industrial Affiliates Programs (IAPs) must be requested from the Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research and the originating investigator's department/school Dean, or Head Administrator. IAPs that violate the rights and privileges of faculty or students or impair the education of students or restricts their subsequent career choices will not be approved.
  • Access to membership in Industrial Affiliates Programs (IAPs) should be available equally to all companies prepared to meet the obligations of membership as set forth by each program, subject to constraints of program size and programmatic focus. Industrial Affiliates Programs can offer facilitated access to UTPB's research programs and to relevant faculty and students. However, non-member companies must not be excluded from access to such resources, although the access by non-member companies may be in less convenient forms.
  • While member companies may offer suggestions for research activities, the involved faculty must be free to select research topics, adopt research methodology, select participants, and direct research funded by the programs.
  • Within 30 days of the commencement of a new IAP, the director of each Industrial Affiliates Program, in collaboration with the Office of Graduate Studies & Research, is required to create a link on his/her department's home page for the university's Industrial Affiliates Programs' homepage naming the new project. Industrial Affiliates Programs must have at least three companies participating as program members.
  • Industrial Affiliates Program membership does not convey specific project deliverables, nor are membership fees subject to the University's negotiated indirect cost rates. Industrial Affiliate Program membership fees are for the unrestricted use of the program being supported. The University may use a portion of the membership fees for university infrastructure.
  • Licenses and other intellectual property rights may be offered to Industrial Affiliates Program members consistent with Regents Rules and Regulations on Intellectual Property and University policy.
  • Each Industrial Affiliates Program is required to designate an employee responsible for coordinating the Industrial Affiliates Program's activities. The designated employee's duties will include responsibility for understanding the requirements and limitations of Industrial Affiliates Programs and reviewing the programs for compliance with this policy.
  • Each member of an Industrial Affiliates Program must sign the University's standard membership agreement. Any comments regarding the agreement should be forwarded to the office of Graduate Studies and Research for review.
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