Design projects are screened to assess adequacy of local resources and time. Generally, there is no cost to the sponsoring organization for the project work, and student groups usually have a small budget (around a few hundred dollars) available for supplies and/or access to University of Rochester high performance computing resources. If a project requires significant materials or resources beyond this, the sponsor may need to agree to provide funding or other support as part of the project plan. This will be discussed and resolved with the instructor early in the process.
Sponsors need to make a time commitment to advise and mentor their student team on a pre-agreed basis during the active project duration.
The Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences recognizes, respects, and will adhere to the right of industry sponsors to protect their intellectual property (IP) and sensitive trade secrets.
In cases where sponsored projects involve improvements to existing products and processes developed by the sponsor, the sponsor rightly retains the right to its background IP throughout the course of the senior design project.
Undergraduate students typically own the intellectual property that they create at the University of Rochester. If a sponsor requires ownership rights of intellectual property developed by students in a Senior Design project, they can request that students complete a non-disclosure agreement/intellectual property (NDA/IP) agreement. Students are not obligated to participate in projects that require the assignment of the student’s intellectual property to a sponsor. Occasionally, new products and processes are invented in the course of a sponsored senior design project. In such cases, if a patent is filed and a student meets the legal definition to be an inventor, then it is appropriate for the sponsor to include the student(s) as a named inventor on the patent.
Sponsors should not expect that University faculty will have significant creative involvement in a Senior Design project. Organizations that wish to work with faculty directly can sponsor a research project or other arrangements with the University.
For more information see our intellectual property page.