We commission various types of research to inform the direction and development of our activities and their subsequent evaluation. This includes

  • needs assessments
  • scoping and mapping exercises
  • surveys
  • pretesting
  • systematic and literature reviews

Commissioning process

1. Expression of interest

We advertise research contracts below and on the Public Contracts Scotland-Tender (PCS-T) portal (external website). Active members of the research contractors' database will be alerted by email when research contracts are advertised.

Researchers who wish to be considered for our research contracts are asked to complete a European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) for each new contract advertised. ESPDs will be assessed in accordance with the methodology set out in the corresponding ESPD Guidance Note.

2. Invitation to tender

We will issue an invitation to tender (ITT) containing the research brief through the PCS-T portal to the researchers who exceed the maximum score as stated in the ESPD Guidance Note. If you submit a tender you accept our contract terms and conditions. We will not open or consider submitted tenders until after the specified closing date, as stated within the ITT. 

3. Assessment of tender

Overall assessment of tenders will focus on identifying the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). We will assess tenders in accordance with the methodology set out within the ITT. The tender assessment process normally results in the identifying a preferred tenderer, although we are not bound to accept any tender. We will notify all tenderers in writing as soon as possible after completion of the tender assessment process.  

4. The briefing meeting

The preferred tenderer is invited to meet with the project group at the briefing meeting. The purpose of the briefing is to discuss the research design and approach as well as operational aspects of the conduct of the research to move toward final agreement and award of the contract. 

5. The contract agreement

Individual contract agreements are drawn up for each research contract and mutually agreed by the parties. Each agreement sets out the terms and conditions for research services together with

  • the research proposal
  • payment schedule
  • copyright and ownership of the research data and outputs
  • which country’s law applies.

New contract alerts

You can apply to join our database of research contractors if you wish to receive alerts by email when new research contracts are advertised.

You can email us an application form to request to join our contractors’ database. 

Open research contracts

There are no open contracts at present.

You can find out more about our open contracts on the Public Contracts Scotland-Tender (PCS-T) portal. You will need to register to view contracts.

Research contract award notices

Commissioned research contract award notices are included on our contract register.

Contact us

You can contact us for further information on our commissioning process.