Collaborative Research

roadmapEach year, researchers at Northeastern conduct over $100 million in externally-funded research.  While some research is funded by grants awarded to the university by governmental bodies, private-sector firms also contract with the university to conduct research.

The highly specialized equipment and the unique expertise of CHN researchers are available on a fee-for-service basis.  Most research is carried out on a collaborative basis, with the university and the partner both receiving certain benefits from the work.  

Research projects range in size and scope, from $5,000 projects to multi-year initiatives with budgets of $500,000 or more.  

Funding specialized research at Northeastern is generally a four-step process.  Step one is a meeting or discussion to understand the interests of each party: the business and the university.  If there is unique and special confidential information that needs to be considered as part of these discussions, step two may be non-disclosure agreement (NDA).  The third step is a formal sponsored research agreement (SRA), which outlines the work to be carried out, fees and issues relating to intellectual property (if relevant).  The fourth and final step is carrying out the research. In some cases, company employees participate in some of the research activities at Northeastern, or a NU graduate student or postdoc may do some work at the business’s own labs.  Interim and final reports are submitted to the client company when the work is done.

For more information, please contact Eric Howard at 617-373-3294.

Examples of collaborative research activities at the CHN:

  • Analysis and characterization of nanomaterials
  • Design of new nanomanufacturing equipment
  • Development of nanomanufacturing processes
  • Development of sensors for specific applications