Transparency is an essential element for maintaining the public’s trust in scientific research. As researchers are increasingly encouraged to engage in entrepreneurial activities related to their university research, it is vital for researchers to proactively identify potential conflicts of interest and ensure transparency between their university and outside activities and interests.
In accordance with relevant federal, state and university policies, the Conflict of Interest Committee recommends that Investigators with Significant Financial Interests related to their research adhere to the following best practices. Implementing these best practices is an important step in ensuring transparency and mitigating the perception of a conflict of interest in matters relating to sponsored research.
A. Public Disclosure in Publication/Presentations
Investigators should disclose their significant financial interest(s) in an outside entity in any publication(s) resulting from research that relates to that financial interest. Academic journals routinely require authors to disclose competing interests, and it is important to closely follow the specific journal’s requirements.
B. Safeguarding Intellectual Property
Investigators should be familiar with university policy relating to intellectual property and take all necessary steps to protect against inappropriate disclosure of research information and intellectual property by promptly disclosing to the Office of Technology and Industry Alliances the development of new or improved technologies, inventions, innovations, creations, or discoveries in the course of this sponsored research. Investigators should refer to guidance on the Technology & Industry Alliances website.
C. Protection of Students and Postdoctoral Scholars
An Investigator’s involvement with an outside entity must not be allowed to unduly influence or restrict the academic or research choices of their graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. To assist in this, the Investigator will disclose their relationship with the entity, in writing, to all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars under their supervision or direction participating in this project and will be particularly diligent in allowing students to publish in a timely manner. Investigators and graduate students should be familiar with the Graduate Division’s Policy on Conflict of Interest in Graduate Education.
D. Investigator Responsibility Regarding Disclosure to Unit
Pursuant to University of California Policy on Outside Professional Activities (APM-025), any Investigator subject to this policy must disclose all activities to their department that may create a potential conflict of commitment. Category I activities may not be initiated without prior approval.
E. Collaboration with a Foreign Entity, Institution or Government
International collaboration is encouraged and is an important part of our research mission. If the project involves collaboration with a foreign entity, institution or government, the PI must be aware of sponsor requirements to report certain foreign research support and foreign components. The Investigator should review guidance on the Other Support webpage.