The office of Corporate Engagement and Research Support (CERS) is eager to engage faculty within Texas A&M AgriLife to pursue relationships toward sponsored research projects. CERS works diligently to initiate discussions with industry partners with goals of developing a relationship that leads to research activities with faculty that are significant in size and scope. When projects initiated with CERS are implemented, our staff serves as the single point of contact to help ensure our faculty can be more engaged in the research and our industry partners can reach out to a single individual for any information surrounding the project(s) being proposed and/or executed. When CERS is involved in Industry relationships, our project managers work to:
- Facilitate initial discussions to understand the opportunity and interest from the company
- Build multidisciplinary teams that can conduct the appropriate research to meet the company’s needs/requests
- Conduct a strategic meeting at an AgriLife or company location to present our R&D capabilities in their area of interest and determine the level of potential support
- Prepare an executive summary (2-5 pages) based on face-to-face discussions
- Review executive summary with company and discuss path forward for collaborative research
- Expand the executive summary into a research scope of work that is milestone- and deliverable-driven with the goals of outlining the project, but also meeting the needs of AgriLife Contract Office’s staff to easily begin drafting the agreements that would govern the research. We do this through an iterative process of discussions with the company personnel and AgriLife faculty to ensure the final SOW is mutually beneficial
- Complete a full proposal to include a comprehensive budget
- Work closely with AgriLife Administrative Services to provide any necessary information for their development of agreements toward project implementation
- Upon award, and for complex/large sponsored projects, CERS provides thorough project management services to allow our faculty to focus on the science
- Coordinate progress meetings (monthly/quarterly conference calls or annual face-to-face meetings) to ensure projects are on track to meet deliverables
- Work closely with TAMU Sponsored Research Services to perform financial tracking and close-out of projects
Additionally, the office works closely with the AgriLife Research Intellectual Property and Commercialization office to ensure that the intellectual property and commercialization interests and opportunities of the A&M System, AgriLife, and the external organizations that we work with align.
We understand there are a significant number of ongoing or new industry projects that are better facilitated with direct communication with AgriLife Contracts and it is not necessary for CERS to be engaged. For projects where faculty believe the research objectives and SOW are more straightforward and less complex (e.g., product testing, single or fewer PI’s, smaller in nature, typical of other projects that have been executed in the past), the AgriLife Contract Office would be the appropriate first contact.
If you are an AgriLife faculty member needing assistance with a corporate engagement or an outside company interested in sponsored research with us, please contact us below.