Considerable variation in practice exists among graduate programs within the University. For example:
- In some social sciences and humanities departments, a student may pursue his or her thesis work largely independently
- In many physical and life sciences departments, graduate students often work as part of a team that can also include post-doctoral fellows, research assistants and associates, and research technicians.
- Many disciplines are guided by external standards maintained by a scholarly association such as the American Chemical Society, the Canadian Psychological Association or the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Some graduate students are employees of the University and/or a hospital or other research institute where their work overlaps their research area
This guide highlights the similarities and distinctions between applications of intellectual property policies to individuals in various situations. It discusses issues such as:
- who has the right to claim authorship, inventorship and other intellectual property rights
- when is there a need to maintain confidentiality
- what is patentable
- how to avoid potential conflicts of interest
References throughout the Guide identify the appropriate policies, sources of addition information, and knowledgeable individuals who can provide answers and guidance specific to your individual situation. The guide is intended to assist you in interpreting University policies. It does not replace the need to obtain additional advice in specific circumstances or to refer to original policies, laws and contracts that apply to your particular situation.