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The student declaration is important. It imposes obligations on you as a graduate student and affects rights and privileges including property rights. You must not enrol as a student at the University if you do not agree to become bound by the declaration below. By agreeing to become a student, you make the declaration below and agree to be bound by it.
Upon enrolling in classes, you have initiated a contract with the University and you are bound by the following declaration:
I hereby accept and submit myself to the policies, rules and regulations of Simon Fraser University and any amendments thereto, which may be made while I am a student of the University, and solely to the laws of the Province of British Columbia and the federal laws of Canada, as applicable, and I promise to observe and be bound by the same and, in any litigation, to attorn to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of the Province of British Columbia or Canada, as applicable.
Graduate Student Handbook
Policies, Rules, Regulations & Ordinances
You are required to inform yourself of the policies, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws and codes) and to any amendments thereto applicable at the University. These regulations may change during the course of your program and it is your responsibility to review and follow the current applicable policies.
It is your responsibility to be aware of program requirements stated in the Calendar. Should the academic program requirements change during your credential, please contact your graduate program chair as you may select to use the program requirements which are most beneficial to you.
You must also adhere to any additional handbooks or guidelines provided by your program.
Important Policies to Understand
All research plans involving human or animal subjects must receive ethics approval. Copies of the policy, procedures and forms for this review may be obtained from the Office of Research Services.
Research at SFU is conducted under the general authority of the Vice President, Research who administers several relevant University policies; for further information on these policies, consult the Office of the Vice President, Research.
The result of research is the generation of new knowledge. The "ownership" of that new knowledge, especially when it is knowledge with commercial implications and/or results in scholarly publications, is a sensitive issue. The question of ownership in the context of the student-supervisor relationship is often complicated by the close collaboration between supervisor(s) and student during the course of the research. It is further complicated by the fact that the University and possibly an outside agency provide resources (e.g. space, library, equipment, supplies) in support of the research.
At Simon Fraser University, unlike many other universities, the person (student, staff or faculty member) who generates patentable new knowledge is the owner of that knowledge; the University makes no claim on it, unless the University is asked to help with the patenting of the idea. The main federal and provincial agencies which support university research through research grants (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR and SCBC) also make no claims on the results. On the other hand, copyrightable new knowledge (e.g. books and software) is usually owned jointly by the author and the University.
GRADUATE STUDENTS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
The question which is most likely to cause difficulty is the calculation of the degrees of "ownership" held by the student and by the supervisor(s) who are involved in the research. There are no University regulations governing this area and research contracts normally do not differentiate among the University researchers as to which of them retain the rights not claimed by the sponsoring agency.
It is therefore very important that students and their supervisors reach agreement, in advance, on the principles under which the "ownership" of patent and license rights and the authorship of resultant publications will be decided. Because of the uncertainties intrinsic to research, it is often not possible to agree in advance on the rights to specific discoveries. The principle that all students who participate in research that leads to publication (or profit) should receive appropriate credit should be maintained.
There is very wide variation among the disciplines in the style and nature of supervision and in the degree of involvement of the supervisor(s) in the research. Therefore, it is not possible to provide further guidance that would be generally useful; some academic units have their own policies in this area and students should consult the graduate program chair.