5. Faculty Affairs

5.1 Policy on Freedom of Expression

Georgia Tech holds the first amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the right to assemble peaceably as an essential cornerstone to the advancement of knowledge and the right of a free people. Georgia Tech remains firmly committed to affording every member of the Institute community the opportunity to engage in peaceful and orderly exercise of these rights. Such opportunities must be provided on an equal basis and support the principle that the Institute should remain neutral to the views of public expression. In order to achieve this objective, while at the same time insuring that the Institute fulfills its educational mission, the Institute has the responsibility to maintain a peaceful, safe environment for its campus community as well as visitors to campus. This policy will help to ensure that individuals’ or groups’ rights are not abridged, while also supporting a means to maintain safety. Assuming responsibility for the use of Institute facilities includes ensuring that the Institute does not restrict the First Amendment rights of the public, students, staff, and faculty, including protecting the rights of speakers to be heard, the rights of the Institute community to hear speakers, and the reputation of the Institute as a center for free speech and scholarly inquiry.

The law permits reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to allow for reasonable regulation of use of campus facilities to support Institutional missions for teaching, education, research, and other forms of learning. This policy is intended to make it possible to support the Institute’s goals by implementing balanced procedures.

Access to the campus of Georgia Tech generally shall be limited to authorized visitors, invited guests, and persons in an official Institutional capacity attending an officially recognized campus-oriented function or activity. Others may express their views in the Amphitheater located adjacent to the Ferst Center under the conditions set forth in this policy and procedures.

Students, faculty, staff, and Institute affiliates are supported in their right to assemble. They can publicly assemble on campus in any place where, at the time of the assembly, the persons assembling are permitted to be. This right to assemble is subject to the rules on use of Institute facilities, as expressed in Section 6.

5.2 Academic Rights and Responsibilities

The Georgia Institute of Technology has embraced the ideas presented in the American Council on Education "Statement on Academic Rights and Responsibilities" as published on 23 June 2005.

In accordance with other sections of the Faculty Handbook, academic decisions impacting students and faculty (including grades, promotion, and performance evaluations) shall be consistent with the mission of Georgia Institute of Technology and based on considerations that are intellectually relevant to the subject matter under consideration. At no time shall students or faculty be disadvantaged or evaluated on the basis of their political opinions.

Any grievance based on an alleged incident shall follow the appropriate procedure outlined elsewhere in the Faculty Handbook.
 

5.3 Intercollegiate Athletics Governance

Purpose
Georgia Tech is committed to the development, preparation, support, and graduation of student-athletes involved in intercollegiate athletic activities. The Faculty is vitally interested in promoting participation in athletics programs in a way that enhances the educational programs of the Institute, so that Georgia Tech student athletes are encouraged to excel in the classroom, on the field, and in life.

Key Roles in Athletics Governance
The Institute administration, the Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA) Board of Trustees, and the Faculty all play vital roles ensuring that Georgia Tech intercollegiate athletic programs meet the high purposes just stated.

Institute Administration
The President of the Institute is committed to the achievement and maintenance of the highest standards in intercollegiate athletics as a harmonious part of the whole educational mission of the Institute. The President implements this through a system of athletics governance and a number of key appointments outlined below. In addition, an Executive Director of Affiliated Organizations, reporting to the Executive Vice-President for Administration and Finance, has oversight of the business operations of all affiliated organizations, including the GTAA.

Georgia Tech Athletic Association Board of Trustees
Based on the Bylaws of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association, 2004
The GTAA exists to promote the educational program of the Georgia Institute of Technology by affording facilities for and encouraging participation by the student body in healthful exercises, recreation, athletic games, and contests. The GTAA Board of Trustees has control of the intercollegiate athletics conducted at or in the name of the Georgia Institute of Technology and all of the business affairs of the GTAA.

The voting membership of its Board of Trustees shall consist of the President of the Georgia Institute of Technology; the Treasurer of the Association, who shall be Georgia Tech’s Executive Vice-President for Administration and Finance; eight (8) members of the Georgia Tech Faculty, of whom six (6) must be members of the Academic Faculty (one of whom shall be designated by the President as the Faculty Athletics Representative); three (3) alumni; and three (3) Georgia Tech Students.

The Faculty, alumni, and honorary members of the Board of Trustees of the Association shall be appointed by the Georgia Tech President for a term of three (3) years and may be reappointed. The President will consult with the Faculty Executive Board concerning the appointment of the Faculty Athletics Representative and with the Chair of the Faculty Executive Board for the remaining Faculty appointments to the Board of Trustees each time appointments or reappointments are made. These appointments should be made with care to ensure that each Faculty member can represent the educational interests of the Institute with independence and effectiveness.

The Director of Athletics shall be hired by and with the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Director of Athletics shall be responsible to the Board for the proper conduct of intercollegiate athletics; for the maintenance and efficient use of the physical plant of the Association; and for the general administration of the affairs of the Association according to the directions and regulations of the Board.

Faculty Athletics Representative
Based on the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Handbook, 1/1998
The Faculty Athletics Representative should ensure, either directly or indirectly, that student-athletes meet all NCAA, conference and institutional requirements for eligibility for practice, financial aid, and intercollegiate competition. This should include both initial and continuing academic eligibility requirements for both freshmen and transfer student-athletes. These certifications should be performed by the Faculty Athletics Representative, performed under the direction of the Faculty Athletics Representative or, at a minimum, periodically reviewed and audited by the Faculty Athletics Representative. Academic eligibility certifications should be performed by persons outside of the athletics department.

The Faculty Athletics Representative should develop, or arrange to have developed, periodic statistical reports on the academic preparation and performance of student-athletes for each sports team. This information should be provided by the GTAA academic support staff and the Registrar’s Office. The Faculty Athletics Representative should be knowledgeable about the academic preparation and performance of each sports team and should use such reports to uphold high academic standards and expectations for these team members. Such reports should be shared with the Academic Faculty Senate in accordance with the reporting requirement covered below under

The Faculty Athletics Representative should be responsible, either directly or indirectly, for institutional compliance activities or responsibilities, which involve campus entities outside the athletics department. Such entities include, but are not limited to, the following: (a) Office of Student Financial Planning and Services, (b) Office of Undergraduate Admission, (c) Registrar’s Office, and (d) offices of the Provost and the Deans of the colleges. The Faculty Athletics Representative should work in concert with the Director of Athletics to ensure a comprehensive and effective rules education and compliance program at Georgia Tech.

The Faculty Athletics Representative should be knowledgeable about the NCAA and conference rules related to academic eligibility, transfer requirements, and   restrictions and enforcement procedures. He or she should participate, or otherwise be fully informed about, institutional investigations of allegations of rules violations. No infractions report to either the NCAA or a conference should leave the campus until it has been reviewed by the Faculty Athletics Representative. He or she should play a major and direct role in matters that potentially involve major violations of NCAA rules.

The Faculty Athletics Representative should have direct contact with student-athletes on a systematic and periodic basis. He or she should participate in new student-athlete orientation activities and should interact frequently with student athlete advisory committees. Student-athletes should recognize the Faculty Athletics Representative as a source of information, support, and counseling, which is located administratively outside of the athletics department.

The Faculty Athletics Representative is a senior advisor outside of the athletics department to the President of Georgia Tech on matters related to intercollegiate athletics. Together with the Director of Athletics, the Faculty Athletics Representative formulates and recommends institutional positions on NCAA legislation and other matters affecting, or related to, intercollegiate athletics on the campus.

The Faculty Athletics Representative represents the Institute to the NCAA and to the Atlantic Coast Conference of which Georgia Tech is a member.

The Faculty Athletics Representative should be an active member of the GTAA Board of Trustees.

Academic Faculty Senate
The Faculty Athletics Representative shall make an annual presentation to the Academic Faculty Senate on the state of Georgia Tech’s intercollegiate athletics program, covering contributions to the education mission of the Institute, statistical information on the academic performance of the participants in the programs, compliance with all institutional, conference, and NCAA regulations, and any matters of concern in the planning and implementation of programs in relation to the best interests of the Institute. Matters of Faculty concern shall be referred to the appropriate offices or committees of the Faculty.
 

5.4 Intellectual Property Policy

5.4.1 Introduction

This policy shall be applicable to all full or part-time faculty, staff, and students of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) is dedicated to teaching, research, and the extension of knowledge to the public. Its personnel recognize as two of their major objectives, the production of new knowledge and the dissemination of both old and new knowledge. Inherent in these objectives is the need to encourage the development of new and useful devices and processes, the publication of scholarly works and educational materials, the development of computer Software, and other forms of Intellectual Property. Such activities

  1. Contribute to the professional development of the faculty, staff, or students involved,
  2. Enhance the reputation of GIT,
  3. Provide additional educational opportunities for participating students, and
  4. Promote the general welfare of the public at large.

Patentable inventions and materials often come about because of activities of GIT faculty, staff, or students who have been aided wholly or in part through the use of GIT resources. It becomes significant, therefore, to insure the utilization of such inventions for the public good and to expedite their development and marketing. The rights and privileges, as well as the incentive, of the inventor must be preserved so that his or her abilities and those of other GIT faculty, staff, and students may be further encouraged and stimulated.

GIT recognizes and encourages the publication of scholarly works as an integral part of the processes of teaching, research, and service. GIT encourages faculty, staff, and students to regularly prepare for publication, usually through individual effort and initiative, articles, pamphlets, books, and other scholarly works which may be subject to copyright and which may generate royalty income for the author. Publication may also result from work supported either partially or completely by the institution. With the advent of innovative techniques and procedures, the variety and number of materials that might be created in a university community have increased significantly, causing the ownership of such copyrightable materials to become increasingly complex.

GIT aims to be at the forefront of teaching and to provide diverse high-quality learning environments. To achieve these purposes, GIT wishes to encourage and provide incentives for innovators in the development of improved educational materials. Through the efforts of faculty and staff, digital and other storage and transmission media will have an increasing role in expanding educational effectiveness and accessibility. When such materials are used to expand programs outside the traditional campus, they require and deserve Intellectual Property protection.

GIT recognizes the need for enhanced development and dissemination of software technology as a means of expressing both old and new knowledge. Inasmuch as GIT is aware of the dynamic nature of Software and that the value of Intellectual Property comes from the ability of its owner to control its use and that such value is directly related to the degree of protection it enjoys under the law, GIT encourages the protection of such expressions of knowledge by the utilization of appropriate Intellectual Property laws and the creation of comprehensive software technology transfer policies and procedures.

The Board of Regents has, by contract, granted rights to Intellectual Property created at GIT to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC). When this policy speaks to ownership of Intellectual Property by GIT, GTRC shall be the owner.

The foregoing considered, the Georgia Institute of Technology does hereby establish the following policy with respect to the development, protection, and transfer of rights to Intellectual Property resulting from the work of its faculty, staff, or students.

5.4.2 Definitions

"Intellectual Property" shall be deemed to refer to Patentable Materials, Copyrighted Materials, Trademarks, Software, and Trade Secrets, whether or not formal protection is sought.

"Patentable Materials" shall be deemed to refer to items other than Software which reasonably appear to qualify for protection under the patent laws of the United States or other protective statutes, including Novel Plant Varieties and Patentable Plants, whether or not Patentable thereunder.

"Copyrighted Materials" includes the following: (1) books, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, study guides, laboratory manuals, syllabi, tests, and proposals; (2) lectures, musical or dramatic compositions, unpublished scripts; (3) drawings, sketches, renderings, blueprints, photographs; (4) films, filmstrips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids; (5) video and audio tapes or cassettes; (6) live video and audio broadcasts; (7) programmed instructional materials; (8) mask works; and (9) other materials or works other than Software which qualify for protection under the copyright laws of the United States (see 17 U.S.C.102 et seq.) or other protective statutes whether or not registered thereunder.

"Software" shall include one or more computer programs existing in any form, or any associated operational procedures, manuals, or other documentation, whether or not protectable or protected by patent or copyright. The term "computer program" shall mean a set of instructions, statements of related data that, in actual or modified form, is capable of causing a computer or computer system to perform specified functions.

"Trademarks" shall include all trademarks, service marks, trade names, seals, symbols, designs, slogans, or logotypes developed by or associated with the Georgia Institute of Technology. (See 15 U.S.C.1127.)

"Trade Secrets" means information including, but not limited to, technical or nontechnical data, a formula, a pattern, a compilation, a program, a device, a method, a technique, a drawing, a process, financial data, financial plans, product plans, or a list of actual or potential customers or suppliers which: (i) derives economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons, who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and (ii) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. (See O.C.G.A. 10-1-761.)

"Patentable Plant" means an asexually reproduced distinct and new variety of plant. (See 35 U.S.C.161.)

"Mask Work" means a series of related images, however fixed or encoded: (i) having or representing the predetermined, three dimensional pattern of metallic, insulating, or semiconductor material present or removed from the layers of a semiconductor chip product; and (ii) in which series the relation of the images to one another is that each image has the pattern of the surface of one form of the semiconductor chip product. (See 17 U.S.C. 901.)

"Novel Plant Variety" means a novel variety of sexually reproduced plant. (See 7 U.S.C.2321 et seq.)

“Creator” means a member of the Georgia Tech faculty, staff, or student body who makes an invention, as defined under U.S. patent law, or who participates in the creation of a copyrightable work, under US copyright law, or both. One is a participant in creating a copyrighted work when one makes an original work of authorship (or part thereof) fixed in any tangible medium of expression from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Being an editor or otherwise facilitating a creation does not ordinarily qualify one as a “Creator.”

“Commercialization” means the process of developing marketable Intellectual Properties and licensing them to parties outside GIT who, in turn, will develop products or services based on them to sell or license to others. Thus, for example, this term does not apply to GIT offering a course or seminar for a fee.

5.4.3 Intellectual Property Advisory Committee

Intellectual Property activities shall be under the general cognizance of the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR) and administered by the General Manager of GTRC. An Intellectual Property Advisory Committee will be appointed by the EVPR after consultation with the Faculty Executive Board. The IP Advisory Committee will be constituted as follows: one representative shall be selected from the Office of Administration and Finance, one representative shall be selected from the Office of Legal Affairs; one representative shall be selected from the Georgia Tech Research Corporation; and one or more faculty representative(s) shall be selected from each of the colleges so that there is an adequate representation of specialized areas such as but not limited to software, instructional materials, translational research, and inventions; and one representative shall be selected from the student body. The EVPR shall appoint the Chair of the Committee to serve as needed.

The role of the IP Advisory Committee is to:

  1. Advise the EVPR and General Manager of GTRC on policy matters relating to Intellectual Property;
  2. Propose amendments considered necessary to the Intellectual Property Policy;
  3. Advise on settlement of disputes; and
  4. Advise on deviations from this policy.

5.4.4 Assignment and License of Rights

A.  All full or part-time faculty and staff shall, as a condition of employment with the Institute, execute an agreement, assigning all rights, title, and interest, to the extent prescribed in this policy, in any Intellectual Property to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation. Students shall not be required to execute an agreement except as set forth in this policy under section 50.5.B. This policy shall, however, be applicable to them as provided in the General Catalog and Student Handbook.

B.  Students shall be required to execute an agreement only:

1.  When working on a research project funded by an entity other than GIT, the Georgia Tech Foundation, or the Board of Regents;

2.  When employed by GIT; or

3.  When required by the Office of the Provost. Such requirement may be recommended by a faculty member who has students working in faculty-directed research.

C.  For Copyrighted Material that is (1) created by a student in furtherance of or in connection with student’s studies or activities at GIT during his/her matriculation at GIT and (2) that does not fall under Section 5.4.4B above, the student hereby grants to GTRC and GIT a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to copy, display, distribute, perform, display and make derivate works of the Copyrighted Materials for GTRC’s and GIT’s purposes only.
 

5.4.5 Determination of Rights in Intellectual Property

A. Sponsor-Supported Efforts
The grant or contract between the sponsor and GTRC, under which Intellectual Property is produced, may contain specific provisions with respect to Intellectual Property. The Creators must be aware of these provisions as they can impact the licensing and Commercialization opportunities of the Intellectual Property.

B. Institution-Assigned Efforts
Ownership of Intellectual Property developed as a result of assigned institutional effort, including any effort normally associated with one's discipline and position, in education, research, and service, shall reside with GTRC.

The general obligation to produce scholarly and creative works, such as textbooks and associated supplementary material, books, journal articles, does not constitute a specific assignment for this purpose. Creation of computer Software may be a scholarly activity and it may not necessarily constitute a specific assignment for this purpose. (See also Definitions in Section 5.4.2).

C. Institution-Assisted Individual Effort
Ownership of Intellectual Property developed by faculty, staff, or students of GIT where GIT provides support of their efforts or use of institutional resources in more than a purely incidental way (unless such resources are available without charge to the public) shall reside with GTRC.

D. Individual Effort
In accordance with U.S. copyright law, textbooks, books, and journal articles and their directly associated electronic media will normally be treated as individual efforts owned by the author(s) unless one of the exceptions listed in 5.4.5 A-C applies.
In addition, ownership rights to Intellectual Property developed by GIT faculty, staff, or students shall reside with the Creator of such Intellectual Property provided that: (1) there is no use, except in a purely incidental way, of GIT resources in the creation of such Intellectual Property (unless such resources are available without charge to the public); (2) the Intellectual Property is not prepared in accordance with the terms of GIT contract or grant; and (3) the Intellectual Property is not developed by faculty, staff, or students as a specific institution assignment as discussed in 5.4.5 B above. The nature and extent of the use of GIT resources shall be subject to GIT regulations.

When there are multiple Creators, some or all may have ownership rights subject to the tests described above, but the parties are encouraged to enter into a mutually signed written agreement to clarify their respective rights and responsibilities, in accordance with guidance in Section 5.4.6.

E. Other Efforts
Ownership rights to Intellectual Property developed under any circumstances other than those listed in Section 5.4.5 A-D of this policy shall be determined on an individual basis and approved by the General Manager of GTRC or his or her designated representative.
 

5.4.6 Administrative Procedures

Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) is responsible for implementation of the Institute's Intellectual Property policy other than the management of Trademarks pertaining to the name, emblem, insignias, and logos of the Georgia Institute of Technology, which Trademarks shall be managed by the Georgia Tech Foundation.

To assure protection and potential Commercialization, Georgia Tech faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to disclose Intellectual Property to GTRC in a timely manner prior to any disclosure outside of Georgia Institute of Technology. GTRC will work with the Colleges, GTRI, Georgia Tech Professional Education, and other involved units to ensure that there are adequate tools in place to facilitate the disclosure of all types of Intellectual Property and that these are received by GTRC in a timely manner. There is a long history of disclosure of patentable technology but attention must also be paid to documenting and managing other types of Intellectual Property.

GTRC may be obligated to report certain Intellectual Property to federal and other sponsors of research. Georgia
Tech faculty, staff, and students should discuss the extent and nature of such disclosures with GTRC.

GTRC generally seeks Intellectual Property protection for potential licensing purposes only. Intellectual property protection for reasons other than such purposes must be funded by the relevant school, laboratory, center, or individual Creator.

GTRC will advise the Creators of its decision to accept Intellectual Property for administration within ninety (90) days of receipt of the completed Intellectual Property disclosure. Should GTRC decide not to accept the Intellectual Property for administration, or if it at any future time decides not to take any further action in marketing, or encouraging further development as a prelude to marketing, the Intellectual Property, it shall within thirty (30) days of such decision notify the Creators and, should the Creators so request, and if able to do so, release the Intellectual Property to the Creators.

On acceptance by GTRC of any Intellectual Property for administration, the Creators shall do all things necessary and comply with reasonable requests by GTRC, to assist in obtaining Intellectual Property protection and/or marketing the Intellectual Property. Such assistance will be at no cost to the Creators.

No Institute personnel shall take any action to seek Commercialization of, or receive any benefit from, any GTRC-owned Intellectual Property other than in accordance with the Georgia Institute of Technology Intellectual Property policy.

Distribution of Income
The first Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500) of gross licensing income derived from the Commercialization of any Intellectual Property shall be paid to the Creators if they have filed a disclosure with GTRC in accordance with these procedures. Thereafter, the net income, computed on a cumulative basis, shall be distributed as follows:
 

 Net $500 K$501 K - $1,000 K> $1,000 K
Creator(s)33%33%33%
Unit17%27%33%
GTRC50%40%34%


All licensing net income from royalties and similar income, i.e. gross income less all expenses attributable to that specific disclosure (e.g., patent costs, attorney costs, marketing costs, reproduction, mailing, consumables, and unreimbursed development costs, etc.), shall be distributed quarterly by GTRC to the Creator and/or unit. Any expenses to be reimbursed before distribution of royalties, over and above GTRC expenses, should be preapproved by all parties (GTRC, Unit, and Creators) before they are incurred but must be agreed in writing by all the parties (GTRC, Unit, and Creators) prior to distribution.

In the case of the death of a Creator, any payment due, or which would have been due to such Creator, shall be made to the Creator’s estate.

The “Creator” will be the Creator or Creators of record listed on the original Intellectual Property disclosure, or as subsequently updated in writing.  When more than one Creator is listed, the allocation will be determined by the percentage of ownership listed in the original or updated disclosure. That allocation may only be altered for future distribution of royalties or other proceeds by written request signed by all Creators listed on the original disclosure. In the case of the death of a Creator, any payment due, or which would have been due, to such Creator shall be made to the Creator’s estate.

Reinvestment funds are intended to seed additional research and development of new Intellectual Property. Distribution of a portion of royalties, and similar or related income, for reinvestment will be made in the form of a GTRC grant to the primary home unit of the principal Creator for use in funding additional research and development or other scholarly activities at the unit level.
The portion of royalty and similar or related income that accrues to GTRC shall be used to partially offset the costs of technology transfer or dissemination not allocable to specific licensed Intellectual Property and to support the research and teaching infrastructure and programs of GIT.

Equity Stakes
In the event that GTRC accepts equity in a start-up company as part of consideration for a license to technology or to any other Intellectual Property, the Creators may be entitled to receive a portion of the equity shares received from the company by GTRC. A Creator may participate, subject to the GIT Conflict of Interest Policy, in the formation of a company to commercialize Intellectual Property that is licensed from GTRC and hold equity in the resulting start-up company. However, a Creator who accepts an equity interest of any form or size from a licensee shall receive no portion of any equity shares received from the licensee by GTRC.

Creators choosing not to accept an equity interest directly from a licensee will receive a portion of the equity shares received by GTRC according to the following schedule: a) If there is a single Creator then one-third (1/3) of the total shares received by GTRC, the Creator’s portion, will be distributed to that individual. GTRC will carry the remaining two-thirds (2/3) of the shares received, the GTRC portion, until sale at a date to be determined later. b) If there is more than one Creator and all Creators choose not to accept an equity interest directly from a licensee, then one-third (1/3) of the total shares received by GTRC, the Creators’ portion, will be distributed to all Creators on a pro-rata basis based on their relative contributions to the discovery and development of the Intellectual Property in question. GTRC will carry the remaining two-thirds (2/3) of the shares received, the GTRC portion, until sale at a date to be determined later. c) If there is more than one Creator and one or more Creators choose to accept an equity interest directly from the licensee and one or more choose not to participate in the formation of the company (i.e. not accept shares directly from the company), then the normal Creators’ portion of the total shares received by GTRC (that is, the one-third (1/3) portion in a) and b) above) is reduced by the contributions of those Creators choosing not to receive shares from GTRC relative to all Creators. The remaining Creators’ portion of shares received by GTRC is distributed to those Creators based on each of the remaining Creators’ contributions relative to those remaining Creators. The GTRC will obtain all remaining shares. [Example: There are two (2) Creators with a mutually agreed upon split of 60% contribution by Creator#1 and 40% by Creator #2. Creator #1 takes equity directly from the company and GTRC negotiates for a total of one hundred (100) shares of equity with the company. The normal 33% Creators’ share would be thirty-three (33) shares. Since Creator #1 chose to take equity directly from the company, he would not receive any GTRC received shares. Creator #2 would get 0.33 x 40 = 13.2 shares, the same number he would have received if Creator #1 had not opted for directly receiving company equity. The remaining 33 - 13.2 = 19.8 shares will be held by GTRC, along with the other sixty-seven (67) shares.] GTRC will carry its portion of the shares received until sale at a date to be determined later.

Upon sale of any equity shares received by GTRC, the net proceeds received will be kept by GTRC and will be distributed to the sponsoring unit for reinvestment according to the chart shown above for the unit and GTRC.

The distribution of royalties to the Creator(s), to reinvestment, and to GTRC will continue regardless of the equity choices made by the Creators.

Retention of Ownership
Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights will normally be retained by GTRC. This is to ensure that all licensable knowledge created or invented will be available for public use. Exclusive licensing agreements by GTRC will contain a due diligence provision to require the license to revert to GTRC within a reasonable period of time if the licensee does not make the Intellectual Property available to the public.
 

5.4.7 Fair Use and Other Protections Relating to Copyrights

Faculty members may from time to time participate in creating a copyrighted work, which may be owned by GTRC in accordance with Sections 5.4.5 and 5.4.6. That notwithstanding, such faculty members have the right To make modifications to their parts of such works and to prepare derivative works therefrom; and To use and present said derivative works, whether or not the faculty member is still employed by GIT, subject to the GIT Conflict of Interest Policy.

GIT recognizes the need and has the right to require that the quality and freshness of Copyrighted Materials used in its programs be maintained. It will make every reasonable effort to involve faculty, staff, and student Creators of copyrighted works in on-going quality assurance and improvement of the works they created. GIT shall, in any case, recognize and acknowledge the Creators of any material used in university programs, subject to the permission of the Creators.

Within the GIT community, parties involved in the development of copyrightable materials (Georgia Tech faculty, staff, students, and appropriate units of Georgia Tech) may enter into mutually signed written agreements to determine the particular terms and conditions of these policies applicable to specific developments. GTRC shall administer the execution of these agreements.
Students have rights to hold copyrights, subject to the criteria governing copyright ownership as set forth in Sections 5.4.5 and 5.4.6.

Names and Trademarks associated with and belonging to GIT may not be used except by permission of the Office of Institute Communications and Public Affairs, acting on behalf of the Georgia Tech Foundation. Members of the GIT community may identify themselves as such, in ways customary in scholarly work, but any such use shall seek to avoid inappropriate implications of sponsorship or endorsement by GIT, and where necessary, include specific disclaimers.

Members of the GIT community are cautioned to respect and observe the rights of other copyright owners, in accordance with fair use provisions of current U.S. copyright law. Similarly the rights of any sponsors involved in the development of Intellectual Property must be respected and protected appropriately.

5.4.8 Other Matters

Appeals and Conflicts
GIT personnel shall have the right to appeal from decisions of the General Manager of GTRC regarding IP protection and commercialization. Appeals shall be made to the EVPR.

Changes in Policy
This policy may be changed by the EVPR on the recommendation of the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee, with the endorsement of the Faculty Executive Board, or on his or her own initiative, after consulting with the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee and the Faculty Executive Board.

Order of Precedence
In the event of conflict, between this policy and any policy of the Board of Regents, the latter shall prevail.
 

5.4.1 Introduction

This policy shall be applicable to all full or part-time faculty, staff, and students of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) is dedicated to teaching, research, and the extension of knowledge to the public. Its personnel recognize as two of their major objectives, the production of new knowledge and the dissemination of both old and new knowledge. Inherent in these objectives is the need to encourage the development of new and useful devices and processes, the publication of scholarly works and educational materials, the development of computer Software, and other forms of Intellectual Property. Such activities

  1. Contribute to the professional development of the faculty, staff, or students involved,
  2. Enhance the reputation of GIT,
  3. Provide additional educational opportunities for participating students, and
  4. Promote the general welfare of the public at large.

Patentable inventions and materials often come about because of activities of GIT faculty, staff, or students who have been aided wholly or in part through the use of GIT resources. It becomes significant, therefore, to insure the utilization of such inventions for the public good and to expedite their development and marketing. The rights and privileges, as well as the incentive, of the inventor must be preserved so that his or her abilities and those of other GIT faculty, staff, and students may be further encouraged and stimulated.

GIT recognizes and encourages the publication of scholarly works as an integral part of the processes of teaching, research, and service. GIT encourages faculty, staff, and students to regularly prepare for publication, usually through individual effort and initiative, articles, pamphlets, books, and other scholarly works which may be subject to copyright and which may generate royalty income for the author. Publication may also result from work supported either partially or completely by the institution. With the advent of innovative techniques and procedures, the variety and number of materials that might be created in a university community have increased significantly, causing the ownership of such copyrightable materials to become increasingly complex.

GIT aims to be at the forefront of teaching and to provide diverse high-quality learning environments. To achieve these purposes, GIT wishes to encourage and provide incentives for innovators in the development of improved educational materials. Through the efforts of faculty and staff, digital and other storage and transmission media will have an increasing role in expanding educational effectiveness and accessibility. When such materials are used to expand programs outside the traditional campus, they require and deserve Intellectual Property protection.

GIT recognizes the need for enhanced development and dissemination of software technology as a means of expressing both old and new knowledge. Inasmuch as GIT is aware of the dynamic nature of Software and that the value of Intellectual Property comes from the ability of its owner to control its use and that such value is directly related to the degree of protection it enjoys under the law, GIT encourages the protection of such expressions of knowledge by the utilization of appropriate Intellectual Property laws and the creation of comprehensive software technology transfer policies and procedures.

The Board of Regents has, by contract, granted rights to Intellectual Property created at GIT to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC). When this policy speaks to ownership of Intellectual Property by GIT, GTRC shall be the owner.

The foregoing considered, the Georgia Institute of Technology does hereby establish the following policy with respect to the development, protection, and transfer of rights to Intellectual Property resulting from the work of its faculty, staff, or students.

5.4.2 Definitions

"Intellectual Property" shall be deemed to refer to Patentable Materials, Copyrighted Materials, Trademarks, Software, and Trade Secrets, whether or not formal protection is sought.

"Patentable Materials" shall be deemed to refer to items other than Software which reasonably appear to qualify for protection under the patent laws of the United States or other protective statutes, including Novel Plant Varieties and Patentable Plants, whether or not Patentable thereunder.

"Copyrighted Materials" includes the following: (1) books, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, study guides, laboratory manuals, syllabi, tests, and proposals; (2) lectures, musical or dramatic compositions, unpublished scripts; (3) drawings, sketches, renderings, blueprints, photographs; (4) films, filmstrips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids; (5) video and audio tapes or cassettes; (6) live video and audio broadcasts; (7) programmed instructional materials; (8) mask works; and (9) other materials or works other than Software which qualify for protection under the copyright laws of the United States (see 17 U.S.C.102 et seq.) or other protective statutes whether or not registered thereunder.

"Software" shall include one or more computer programs existing in any form, or any associated operational procedures, manuals, or other documentation, whether or not protectable or protected by patent or copyright. The term "computer program" shall mean a set of instructions, statements of related data that, in actual or modified form, is capable of causing a computer or computer system to perform specified functions.

"Trademarks" shall include all trademarks, service marks, trade names, seals, symbols, designs, slogans, or logotypes developed by or associated with the Georgia Institute of Technology. (See 15 U.S.C.1127.)

"Trade Secrets" means information including, but not limited to, technical or nontechnical data, a formula, a pattern, a compilation, a program, a device, a method, a technique, a drawing, a process, financial data, financial plans, product plans, or a list of actual or potential customers or suppliers which: (i) derives economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons, who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and (ii) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. (See O.C.G.A. 10-1-761.)

"Patentable Plant" means an asexually reproduced distinct and new variety of plant. (See 35 U.S.C.161.)

"Mask Work" means a series of related images, however fixed or encoded: (i) having or representing the predetermined, three dimensional pattern of metallic, insulating, or semiconductor material present or removed from the layers of a semiconductor chip product; and (ii) in which series the relation of the images to one another is that each image has the pattern of the surface of one form of the semiconductor chip product. (See 17 U.S.C. 901.)

"Novel Plant Variety" means a novel variety of sexually reproduced plant. (See 7 U.S.C.2321 et seq.)

“Creator” means a member of the Georgia Tech faculty, staff, or student body who makes an invention, as defined under U.S. patent law, or who participates in the creation of a copyrightable work, under US copyright law, or both. One is a participant in creating a copyrighted work when one makes an original work of authorship (or part thereof) fixed in any tangible medium of expression from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Being an editor or otherwise facilitating a creation does not ordinarily qualify one as a “Creator.”

“Commercialization” means the process of developing marketable Intellectual Properties and licensing them to parties outside GIT who, in turn, will develop products or services based on them to sell or license to others. Thus, for example, this term does not apply to GIT offering a course or seminar for a fee.

5.4.3 Intellectual Property Advisory Committee

Intellectual Property activities shall be under the general cognizance of the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR) and administered by the General Manager of GTRC. An Intellectual Property Advisory Committee will be appointed by the EVPR after consultation with the Faculty Executive Board. The IP Advisory Committee will be constituted as follows: one representative shall be selected from the Office of Administration and Finance, one representative shall be selected from the Office of Legal Affairs; one representative shall be selected from the Georgia Tech Research Corporation; and one or more faculty representative(s) shall be selected from each of the colleges so that there is an adequate representation of specialized areas such as but not limited to software, instructional materials, translational research, and inventions; and one representative shall be selected from the student body. The EVPR shall appoint the Chair of the Committee to serve as needed.

The role of the IP Advisory Committee is to:

  1. Advise the EVPR and General Manager of GTRC on policy matters relating to Intellectual Property;
  2. Propose amendments considered necessary to the Intellectual Property Policy;
  3. Advise on settlement of disputes; and
  4. Advise on deviations from this policy.

5.4.4 Assignment and License of Rights

A.  All full or part-time faculty and staff shall, as a condition of employment with the Institute, execute an agreement, assigning all rights, title, and interest, to the extent prescribed in this policy, in any Intellectual Property to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation. Students shall not be required to execute an agreement except as set forth in this policy under section 50.5.B. This policy shall, however, be applicable to them as provided in the General Catalog and Student Handbook.

B.  Students shall be required to execute an agreement only:

1.  When working on a research project funded by an entity other than GIT, the Georgia Tech Foundation, or the Board of Regents;

2.  When employed by GIT; or

3.  When required by the Office of the Provost. Such requirement may be recommended by a faculty member who has students working in faculty-directed research.

C.  For Copyrighted Material that is (1) created by a student in furtherance of or in connection with student’s studies or activities at GIT during his/her matriculation at GIT and (2) that does not fall under Section 5.4.4B above, the student hereby grants to GTRC and GIT a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to copy, display, distribute, perform, display and make derivate works of the Copyrighted Materials for GTRC’s and GIT’s purposes only.
 

5.4.5 Determination of Rights in Intellectual Property

A. Sponsor-Supported Efforts
The grant or contract between the sponsor and GTRC, under which Intellectual Property is produced, may contain specific provisions with respect to Intellectual Property. The Creators must be aware of these provisions as they can impact the licensing and Commercialization opportunities of the Intellectual Property.

B. Institution-Assigned Efforts
Ownership of Intellectual Property developed as a result of assigned institutional effort, including any effort normally associated with one's discipline and position, in education, research, and service, shall reside with GTRC.

The general obligation to produce scholarly and creative works, such as textbooks and associated supplementary material, books, journal articles, does not constitute a specific assignment for this purpose. Creation of computer Software may be a scholarly activity and it may not necessarily constitute a specific assignment for this purpose. (See also Definitions in Section 5.4.2).

C. Institution-Assisted Individual Effort
Ownership of Intellectual Property developed by faculty, staff, or students of GIT where GIT provides support of their efforts or use of institutional resources in more than a purely incidental way (unless such resources are available without charge to the public) shall reside with GTRC.

D. Individual Effort
In accordance with U.S. copyright law, textbooks, books, and journal articles and their directly associated electronic media will normally be treated as individual efforts owned by the author(s) unless one of the exceptions listed in 5.4.5 A-C applies.
In addition, ownership rights to Intellectual Property developed by GIT faculty, staff, or students shall reside with the Creator of such Intellectual Property provided that: (1) there is no use, except in a purely incidental way, of GIT resources in the creation of such Intellectual Property (unless such resources are available without charge to the public); (2) the Intellectual Property is not prepared in accordance with the terms of GIT contract or grant; and (3) the Intellectual Property is not developed by faculty, staff, or students as a specific institution assignment as discussed in 5.4.5 B above. The nature and extent of the use of GIT resources shall be subject to GIT regulations.

When there are multiple Creators, some or all may have ownership rights subject to the tests described above, but the parties are encouraged to enter into a mutually signed written agreement to clarify their respective rights and responsibilities, in accordance with guidance in Section 5.4.6.

E. Other Efforts
Ownership rights to Intellectual Property developed under any circumstances other than those listed in Section 5.4.5 A-D of this policy shall be determined on an individual basis and approved by the General Manager of GTRC or his or her designated representative.
 

5.4.6 Administrative Procedures

Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) is responsible for implementation of the Institute's Intellectual Property policy other than the management of Trademarks pertaining to the name, emblem, insignias, and logos of the Georgia Institute of Technology, which Trademarks shall be managed by the Georgia Tech Foundation.

To assure protection and potential Commercialization, Georgia Tech faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to disclose Intellectual Property to GTRC in a timely manner prior to any disclosure outside of Georgia Institute of Technology. GTRC will work with the Colleges, GTRI, Georgia Tech Professional Education, and other involved units to ensure that there are adequate tools in place to facilitate the disclosure of all types of Intellectual Property and that these are received by GTRC in a timely manner. There is a long history of disclosure of patentable technology but attention must also be paid to documenting and managing other types of Intellectual Property.

GTRC may be obligated to report certain Intellectual Property to federal and other sponsors of research. Georgia
Tech faculty, staff, and students should discuss the extent and nature of such disclosures with GTRC.

GTRC generally seeks Intellectual Property protection for potential licensing purposes only. Intellectual property protection for reasons other than such purposes must be funded by the relevant school, laboratory, center, or individual Creator.

GTRC will advise the Creators of its decision to accept Intellectual Property for administration within ninety (90) days of receipt of the completed Intellectual Property disclosure. Should GTRC decide not to accept the Intellectual Property for administration, or if it at any future time decides not to take any further action in marketing, or encouraging further development as a prelude to marketing, the Intellectual Property, it shall within thirty (30) days of such decision notify the Creators and, should the Creators so request, and if able to do so, release the Intellectual Property to the Creators.

On acceptance by GTRC of any Intellectual Property for administration, the Creators shall do all things necessary and comply with reasonable requests by GTRC, to assist in obtaining Intellectual Property protection and/or marketing the Intellectual Property. Such assistance will be at no cost to the Creators.

No Institute personnel shall take any action to seek Commercialization of, or receive any benefit from, any GTRC-owned Intellectual Property other than in accordance with the Georgia Institute of Technology Intellectual Property policy.

Distribution of Income
The first Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500) of gross licensing income derived from the Commercialization of any Intellectual Property shall be paid to the Creators if they have filed a disclosure with GTRC in accordance with these procedures. Thereafter, the net income, computed on a cumulative basis, shall be distributed as follows:
 

 Net $500 K$501 K - $1,000 K> $1,000 K
Creator(s)33%33%33%
Unit17%27%33%
GTRC50%40%34%


All licensing net income from royalties and similar income, i.e. gross income less all expenses attributable to that specific disclosure (e.g., patent costs, attorney costs, marketing costs, reproduction, mailing, consumables, and unreimbursed development costs, etc.), shall be distributed quarterly by GTRC to the Creator and/or unit. Any expenses to be reimbursed before distribution of royalties, over and above GTRC expenses, should be preapproved by all parties (GTRC, Unit, and Creators) before they are incurred but must be agreed in writing by all the parties (GTRC, Unit, and Creators) prior to distribution.

In the case of the death of a Creator, any payment due, or which would have been due to such Creator, shall be made to the Creator’s estate.

The “Creator” will be the Creator or Creators of record listed on the original Intellectual Property disclosure, or as subsequently updated in writing.  When more than one Creator is listed, the allocation will be determined by the percentage of ownership listed in the original or updated disclosure. That allocation may only be altered for future distribution of royalties or other proceeds by written request signed by all Creators listed on the original disclosure. In the case of the death of a Creator, any payment due, or which would have been due, to such Creator shall be made to the Creator’s estate.

Reinvestment funds are intended to seed additional research and development of new Intellectual Property. Distribution of a portion of royalties, and similar or related income, for reinvestment will be made in the form of a GTRC grant to the primary home unit of the principal Creator for use in funding additional research and development or other scholarly activities at the unit level.
The portion of royalty and similar or related income that accrues to GTRC shall be used to partially offset the costs of technology transfer or dissemination not allocable to specific licensed Intellectual Property and to support the research and teaching infrastructure and programs of GIT.

Equity Stakes
In the event that GTRC accepts equity in a start-up company as part of consideration for a license to technology or to any other Intellectual Property, the Creators may be entitled to receive a portion of the equity shares received from the company by GTRC. A Creator may participate, subject to the GIT Conflict of Interest Policy, in the formation of a company to commercialize Intellectual Property that is licensed from GTRC and hold equity in the resulting start-up company. However, a Creator who accepts an equity interest of any form or size from a licensee shall receive no portion of any equity shares received from the licensee by GTRC.

Creators choosing not to accept an equity interest directly from a licensee will receive a portion of the equity shares received by GTRC according to the following schedule: a) If there is a single Creator then one-third (1/3) of the total shares received by GTRC, the Creator’s portion, will be distributed to that individual. GTRC will carry the remaining two-thirds (2/3) of the shares received, the GTRC portion, until sale at a date to be determined later. b) If there is more than one Creator and all Creators choose not to accept an equity interest directly from a licensee, then one-third (1/3) of the total shares received by GTRC, the Creators’ portion, will be distributed to all Creators on a pro-rata basis based on their relative contributions to the discovery and development of the Intellectual Property in question. GTRC will carry the remaining two-thirds (2/3) of the shares received, the GTRC portion, until sale at a date to be determined later. c) If there is more than one Creator and one or more Creators choose to accept an equity interest directly from the licensee and one or more choose not to participate in the formation of the company (i.e. not accept shares directly from the company), then the normal Creators’ portion of the total shares received by GTRC (that is, the one-third (1/3) portion in a) and b) above) is reduced by the contributions of those Creators choosing not to receive shares from GTRC relative to all Creators. The remaining Creators’ portion of shares received by GTRC is distributed to those Creators based on each of the remaining Creators’ contributions relative to those remaining Creators. The GTRC will obtain all remaining shares. [Example: There are two (2) Creators with a mutually agreed upon split of 60% contribution by Creator#1 and 40% by Creator #2. Creator #1 takes equity directly from the company and GTRC negotiates for a total of one hundred (100) shares of equity with the company. The normal 33% Creators’ share would be thirty-three (33) shares. Since Creator #1 chose to take equity directly from the company, he would not receive any GTRC received shares. Creator #2 would get 0.33 x 40 = 13.2 shares, the same number he would have received if Creator #1 had not opted for directly receiving company equity. The remaining 33 - 13.2 = 19.8 shares will be held by GTRC, along with the other sixty-seven (67) shares.] GTRC will carry its portion of the shares received until sale at a date to be determined later.

Upon sale of any equity shares received by GTRC, the net proceeds received will be kept by GTRC and will be distributed to the sponsoring unit for reinvestment according to the chart shown above for the unit and GTRC.

The distribution of royalties to the Creator(s), to reinvestment, and to GTRC will continue regardless of the equity choices made by the Creators.

Retention of Ownership
Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights will normally be retained by GTRC. This is to ensure that all licensable knowledge created or invented will be available for public use. Exclusive licensing agreements by GTRC will contain a due diligence provision to require the license to revert to GTRC within a reasonable period of time if the licensee does not make the Intellectual Property available to the public.
 

5.4.7 Fair Use and Other Protections Relating to Copyrights

Faculty members may from time to time participate in creating a copyrighted work, which may be owned by GTRC in accordance with Sections 5.4.5 and 5.4.6. That notwithstanding, such faculty members have the right To make modifications to their parts of such works and to prepare derivative works therefrom; and To use and present said derivative works, whether or not the faculty member is still employed by GIT, subject to the GIT Conflict of Interest Policy.

GIT recognizes the need and has the right to require that the quality and freshness of Copyrighted Materials used in its programs be maintained. It will make every reasonable effort to involve faculty, staff, and student Creators of copyrighted works in on-going quality assurance and improvement of the works they created. GIT shall, in any case, recognize and acknowledge the Creators of any material used in university programs, subject to the permission of the Creators.

Within the GIT community, parties involved in the development of copyrightable materials (Georgia Tech faculty, staff, students, and appropriate units of Georgia Tech) may enter into mutually signed written agreements to determine the particular terms and conditions of these policies applicable to specific developments. GTRC shall administer the execution of these agreements.
Students have rights to hold copyrights, subject to the criteria governing copyright ownership as set forth in Sections 5.4.5 and 5.4.6.

Names and Trademarks associated with and belonging to GIT may not be used except by permission of the Office of Institute Communications and Public Affairs, acting on behalf of the Georgia Tech Foundation. Members of the GIT community may identify themselves as such, in ways customary in scholarly work, but any such use shall seek to avoid inappropriate implications of sponsorship or endorsement by GIT, and where necessary, include specific disclaimers.

Members of the GIT community are cautioned to respect and observe the rights of other copyright owners, in accordance with fair use provisions of current U.S. copyright law. Similarly the rights of any sponsors involved in the development of Intellectual Property must be respected and protected appropriately.

5.4.8 Other Matters

Appeals and Conflicts
GIT personnel shall have the right to appeal from decisions of the General Manager of GTRC regarding IP protection and commercialization. Appeals shall be made to the EVPR.

Changes in Policy
This policy may be changed by the EVPR on the recommendation of the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee, with the endorsement of the Faculty Executive Board, or on his or her own initiative, after consulting with the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee and the Faculty Executive Board.

Order of Precedence
In the event of conflict, between this policy and any policy of the Board of Regents, the latter shall prevail.
 

5.5 Policy on Open Access to Faculty Publications

The Faculty of Georgia Tech is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In addition to the public benefit of such dissemination, this policy is intended to serve faculty interests by promoting greater reach and impact for articles, simplifying author retention of distribution rights, and aiding in electronic preservation. In keeping with these commitments, the Faculty adopts the following policy:

Each Faculty member grants to Georgia Tech Research Corporation (hereinafter "GTRC") nonexclusive permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles for the purpose of open dissemination. In legal terms, each Faculty member grants to GTRC a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide license to exercise any and all copyrights in his or her scholarly articles published in any medium, provided the articles are not sold or licensed for a profit by GTRC or any GTRC-granted licensee.

This policy applies to all published scholarly articles that any person authors or co-authors while appointed as a member of the Faculty, except for any such articles authored or co-authored before the adoption of this policy, or subject to a conflicting agreement formed before the adoption of this policy, or conducted under a classified research agreement.   Upon notification by the author, the Provost or Provost's designate will waive application of this license for a particular article. At author request, access will be delayed for up to one year.

To assist in distributing the scholarly articles, each Faculty member will make available an electronic copy of his or her final version of the article at no charge to a designated representative of the Provost’s Office in appropriate formats (such as PDF) specified by the Provost’s Office, no later than the date of publication. The Provost’s Office or designate will make the scholarly article available to the public in an open-access institutional repository.

In lieu of submission to a Georgia Tech institutional repository, an author may satisfy the terms of this policy by making such work available through an alternative repository of the author's choosing, with notification to the Provost or Provost's designate, provided that such repository makes the work accessible in full-text to the public, without costs imposed on any individual user, and that it offers to preserve and maintain access to the work indefinitely.

The Provost will charge an Open Access Policy and Implementation Committee with policy interpretation and with developing a plan that renders compliance with the policy as convenient for the faculty as possible.   The OA Policy and Implementation Committee comprises two members of the Library/Faculty Advisory Board, one member of the Faculty Services Committee, one member of the library staff, and one representative of GTRC.

The policy and service model will be reviewed after three years and a report presented to the Faculty. Thereinafter, the policy will be reviewed every five years.

In applying these policies to specific scholarly articles, faculty should utilize the Library’s website,
http://openaccess.gatech.edu/ or http://library.gatech.edu/scdc/SMARTech_submission.

5.6 Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy

5.6.1 Introduction

State laws governing ethics and conflicts of interest are based on the premise that public employees are acting on behalf of government for the benefit of the public. As public employees of an institute serving the educational and public purposes of teaching, research, and professional service, there is an obligation to conduct research and official duties on behalf of the Institute in such a manner consistent with statutes and regulations. The avoidance of conflict of interest is vital to ensuring the integrity and objectivity in conducting and reporting research.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To set forth acceptable parameters relating to possible conflicts of interest which may arise from the outside professional activities of an Institute Employee;
  • To define and establish a mechanism to reduce, eliminate, or manage a situation that may pose a real or potential Conflict of Interest;
  • To ensure the integrity of research, education or business transactions of the Institute and to identify real or potential Conflicts of Interest;
  • To ensure that sponsored research at the Institute is conducted in compliance with regulations promulgated by the sponsor thereof including but not limited to the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health as appropriate [Ref. NSF - Investigator Financial Disclosure Policy http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/stis1996/iin117/iin117.txt and NIH Guide – Objectivity in Research http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-08-25/pdf/2011-21633.pdf]; and
  • To articulate activities that would be prohibited.
     

This policy applies to all Institute Employees, including Emeritus faculty, visiting faculty and scientists, adjunct faculty, affiliates and Tech Temps. It applies to students and trainees if they are involved in the design, conduct or reporting of research at the Institute.

Penalties for non-compliance with this policy are outlined in Section 5.6.6.

5.6.2 Definitions

Definitions as used in this policy, the term:

  1. "Agency" means any agency, authority, department, board, bureau, commission, committee, office or instrumentality of the State of Georgia.
  2. "Business" means any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, self-employed individual, trust or other legal entity.
  3. “Conflict of Commitment” occurs when an Employee undertakes external commitments which burden or interfere with the Employee’s primary obligations to the Institute. Conflicts of Commitment may arise out of consulting arrangements or with an entrepreneurial interest when a faculty member is involved in a startup company.
  4. "Conflict of Interest" means any situation in which
    1. It reasonably appears that a significant financial interest could affect the design, conduct, or reporting of activities funded or proposed for funding by a sponsor; or
    2. The personal interest of an Employee or his or her Family may prevent or appear to prevent the Employee from making an unbiased decision with respect to the Employee’s employment with the Institute
       
      Illustrative examples of such situations include, without limitation, the following situations:
    • The Employee, or a member of his or her Family, has a significant financial interest in a business which transacts business with the Institute.
    • The Employee, or a member of his or her Family, has a significant financial interest in an entity that competes or may compete with the Institute for sponsored activities.
  5. “Conflict of Interest Review Committee” shall mean an advisory committee to the Executive Vice-President for Research that shall be composed of the Chief Legal Counsel, the Vice-President for Research, a representative for the student body, and a member of the Faculty appointed by the Faculty Executive Board. In absence of a standing Committee the Executive Vice-President for Research shall appoint an ad hoc committee as dictated by the circumstance.
  6. “Conflict of Interest Management Office” (COI Office) shall mean the central office designated by the Institute to review all disclosures that present actual or perceived conflicts of interest. The COI Office works with the COI Review Committee and the Responsible Unit Official to ensure that any conflicts of interest are reduced, managed, or eliminated in conjunction with federal, state, and local regulations and Institute policy.
  7. "Consulting" means any professional activity related to the person's field or discipline (e.g. consulting, speaking, scientific advisory boards, paid attendance at company meetings, expert witness services, etc.), where a fee-for-service or equivalent relationship with a third party exists. Consulting includes organizing or operating any educational program outside Georgia Institute of Technology.
  8. "Employee” includes all Institute personnel who receive salary or wages from the Institute. Students and trainees are included if they receive pay from the Institute. Also included, by way of example without limitation, are Visiting Faculty and Scientists, Professors of the Practice, Affiliates, Adjunct Faculty, Emeritus Faculty (if they are engaged in part time work for pay), and Tech Temps.
  9. "Family" means spouse or partner and dependent children [Georgia Official Code 45-10-20] and anyone who could reasonably be assumed to be family in the context of situations in which there may be the appearance of a Conflict of Interest stemming from an action of an Employee in combination with such persons.
  10. "Full-time" means thirty (30) hours or more of work for the state per week for more than twenty-six (26) weeks per calendar year.
  11. ”Individual Conflicts” means a Conflict of Interest that arises when an Employee has the opportunity to influence research, academic or Institute decisions in ways that could lead to personal financial gain. The financial gain may be derived from owning stock in a company that is sponsoring research, from ownership interest or employment in a company that may benefit as a licensee of an invention, or from the existence or expectation of entering into a consulting arrangement with a company sponsoring research.
  12. “Institute/Institution” means the Georgia Institute of Technology.
  13. “Institutional Conflicts” occur when the Institute, or one of its affiliated entities such as the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation, Georgia Tech Foundation or Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures, has a financial stake in the outcome of its research programs or licensed technology. The conflict may arise out of an equity interest in a start-up that licenses technology from the Institute or in the nature of royalties to be earned from licensing such technology.
  14. ”Institutional Responsibilities/Institutional Obligations” means Investigator’s professional responsibilities on behalf of the Institution, including for example, activities such as research, research consultation, teaching, professional practice, Institutional committee memberships, and service on panels such as Institutional Review Boards or Data and Safety Monitoring Boards.
  15. "Investigator" means the project director or principal investigator and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research, which may include, for example, collaborators or consultants.  If the research involves human subjects, it includes all personnel named in the protocol submitted to the Institutional Review Board. [from NIH: Financial Conflict of Interest http://www.grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/coi/index.htm and from FDA: Guidance for Industry: Financial Disclosure by Clinical Investigators http://www.fda.gov/downloads/RegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM341008.pdf].
  16. "Part-time" means any amount of work other than full-time work.
  17. "Public Official" means any person elected to state office or any person appointed to a state office where, in the conduct of such office, the person so appointed has administrative and discretionary authority to receive and expend public funds and to perform certain functions concerning the public which are assigned to him or her by law.
  18. “Responsible Representative of the Institution” means the person designated by the Institute to oversee the solicitation and review of financial reporting statements from any Investigators who will be participating in Research.  For purposes of this Policy, the Responsible Representative of the Institution is the Vice-President for Research or his/her designee(s).
  19. "Responsible Unit Official" means the supervisor of the school, laboratory, or department of the person making a disclosure.  For such supervisors, the Responsible Unit Official will be the person he or she reports to at the next supervisory level. For any other cases, it will be an individual designated by the Executive Vice-President for Research.
  20. "Significant Financial Interest," as defined in current Federal Regulations, means:
    1. A financial interest consisting of one or more of the following interests of the Investigator (and those of the Investigator's spouse and dependent children) that reasonably appears to be related to the Investigator’s institutional responsibilities:
      1. With regard to any publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure and the value of any equity interest in the entity as of the date of disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds $5,000. For purposes of this definition, remuneration includes salary and any payment for services not otherwise identified as salary (e.g., consulting fees, honoraria, paid authorship); equity interest includes any stock, stock option, or other ownership interest, as determined through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value;
      2. With regard to any non-publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds $5,000, or when the Investigator (or the Investigator's spouse and dependent children) holds any equity interest (e.g., stock, stock option, or other ownership interest); or
      3. Intellectual property rights and interests (e.g., patents, copyrights), upon receipt of income related to such rights and interests.
    2. The term significant financial interest does NOT include the following types of financial interests:
      1. Salary, royalties, or other remuneration paid by the Institution to the Investigator if the Investigator is currently employed or otherwise appointed by the Institution;
      2. Intellectual property rights assigned to the Institution and agreements to share in royalties related to such rights;
      3. Equity in and income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts, as long as the Investigator does not directly control the investment decisions made in these vehicles;
      4. Income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by a federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an institution of higher education;
      5. Income from service on advisory committees or review panels for a federal, state, or local government agency, or an Institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an institution of higher education.
    3. Investigators who receive US Public Health Service funding (e.g. NIH) or a subcontract from another entity that receives funds from a US Public Health Service funding agency, also must disclose the occurrence of any reimbursed or Sponsored Travel, related to their institutional responsibilities; provided, however, that this disclosure requirement does not apply to travel that is reimbursed or sponsored by a federal, state, or local government agency, an Institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education. The disclosure must include the purpose of the trip, the identity of the sponsor/organizer, the destination, and the duration. Please refer to http://coi.research.gatech.edu/files/FAQ_Sponsored_Travel.pdf for answers to frequently asked questions.
  21. “Sponsored travel” means travel expenses that are paid on behalf of the Investigator and not reimbursed to the Investigator so that the exact monetary value may not be readily available.
  22. “Substantial Interest” is “the direct or indirect ownership of more than twenty-five (25) percent of the assets or stock of any business.”  [Official Code of Georgia 45-10-20].  An Employee, alone or in combination with Family, may not have an ownership interest of more than 25% of the assets or stock in any business which Transacts Business with the State of Georgia including the Institute. Therefore caps of 24.9% are placed on the percentage of ownership an Employee, alone or in combination with Family, may have in any business which Transacts Business with the Institute. Ownership interests below this cap may be managed as provided in this policy.
  23. "Transact Business" or "Transact any Business" means to sell or lease any personal property, real property, or services on behalf of oneself or on behalf of any third party as an agent, broker, dealer, or representative and means to purchase surplus real or personal property on behalf of oneself or on behalf of any third party as an agent, broker, dealer, or representative.

5.6.3 Conflict of Interest

Entrepreneurship
The mission of the Institute includes both assuring that research conducted at the Institute benefits the public and assisting the State of Georgia in creating or retaining industry, creating jobs, and promoting economic development. The Institute recognizes that Employee participation in bringing their inventions and other results of research conducted at the Institute into public use through commercialization plays an important role in this mission. Such participation may involve creation of a new company, in which an Employee or Employees have an ownership interest, to license and commercialize such technology. The policies and procedures for licensing technology are set forth in the Intellectual Property Policy (Faculty Handbook Section 5.4). New companies may or may not be housed in the Advanced Technology Development Center. Companies in which Employees have such an interest may Transact Business with the Institute only after such transaction(s) are/have been reviewed by the COI Office, Responsible Unit Official, and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee, as set forth below, and any conflicts of interest are managed, reduced, or eliminated as described in Section 5.6.4.

Policy
Based on State and federal law and regulations, the following two rules will be followed as a matter of Institute policy:

  1. Activities which constitute a Conflict of Interest where there is Significant Financial Interest are prohibited unless a plan to reduce, eliminate or manage the Conflict of Interest has been expressly approved in accordance with the provisions of this policy; and
  2. Activities which constitute a Conflict of Interest where there is a Substantial Interest are unlawful.

Board Memberships
As an Employee of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Full-time Employees of the Institute may serve as members of governing boards of private, nonprofit, educational, athletic, or research related foundations and associations which are organized for the purpose of supporting institutions of higher education in this state and which in furtherance of this purpose may Transact Business with such institutions or with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. [Official Code of Georgia 45-10-23]

5.6.4 Disclosure of Real or Potential Conflict of Interest

Disclosure to the State of Georgia
Except as provided in subsection (b) of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 45-10-26, any Public Official or Employee whether for himself or herself, or on behalf of any Business, or any Business in which such Public Official or Employee or any member of his Family has a Substantial Interest who transacts business with the state or any agency thereof, shall disclose such transactions. Such disclosure shall be submitted prior to January 31 each year to the Secretary of State on such forms as he or she shall prescribe and shall include an itemized list of the previous year's transactions with the dollar amount of each transaction reported and totaled. Such disclosure statements shall be public records. [Official Code of Georgia 45-10-26]

Disclosure to the Institution
Every Employee of the Institute, including all who participate in outside professional activities and/or sponsored research must complete an annual disclosure using the online Conflict of Interest system. In answering the questions, if an Employee has indicated an actual or potential conflict, the system will notify the COI Office for review.  Employees must update their disclosures on an ongoing basis when circumstances change.

Disclosure to Sponsors
Any person involved in the design, conduct, or reporting of research (technical and financial) or educational activities proposed for funding by a sponsor must complete the Investigator Financial Interest In Research Report via the online Conflict of Interest System disclosing any potential or actual Significant or Substantial Financial interests of the Employee (including those of the Employee’s Family).  (See https://ecoi.research.gatech.edu for this system.) Disclosures should include, but is not limited to:

  1. Performance or business transactions related to the sponsored activity;
  2. Equity interests in or fees from either the sponsor of the research or a subcontractor;
  3. Intellectual property rights.

Each such Disclosure needs to be updated via the online system by the Employee during the life of any award, as new Significant or Substantial Financial Interests are recognized.

In completing a disclosure on the Conflict of Interest Online System, the Employee is certifying to the following:

"In submitting this form I affirm that the above information is true to the best of my knowledge and I certify that I have read and understood the Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy as set forth in the Georgia Institute of Technology Faculty Handbook, that I have made all required disclosures, and that I will comply with any conditions or restrictions imposed by the Institute to manage, reduce or eliminate conflicts of interest."

In any proposal submitted to a potential sponsor, the Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for certifying that the Institute has implemented a written and enforced conflict of interest policy that is consistent with the provisions of Grant Policy Manual Section 510 of the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health Guide for Objectivity in Research, and other applicable sponsor regulations. In submitting the proposal, the Office of Sponsored Programs certifies that to the best of their knowledge all financial disclosures required by such conflict of interest policy have been made and that all identified conflicts of interest will have been satisfactorily managed, reduced or eliminated prior to the Institute’s expenditure of any funds under the award, in accordance with the Institute’s Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy.

Disclosure to the Institutional Review Board
Investigators submitting protocols to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the use of human subjects in research or other activities shall disclose any and all Significant Financial Interests that may appear to affect the design, conduct or reporting of such research. It is imperative that Investigators fully disclose to the IRB an ownership interest in any Business proposing to test any drug, device or other technology with human subjects or any potential financial interest in such technology that the Investigators, or the Investigators' Families might have. The IRB, in collaboration with the COI Office, shall conduct an independent review and may or may not impose restrictions, including denial of approval for the protocol, as it deems is in the best interest of the subjects and the Institute.

Disclosure to Students
Special care needs to be taken when dealing with students involved in research so that a potential or actual Conflict of Interest does not adversely affect their education, i.e. their ability to graduate or publish. Prior to retaining students on research projects that may involve a potential or actual Conflict of Interest, the Investigator and senior personnel will disclose to the student as well as to the COI Office and Responsible Unit Official, any interests in outside companies that may be perceived to benefit from the student’s research.  Should a conflict of interest exist, the COI Office, the Responsible Unit Official, the conflicted Investigator, and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee, will design a conflict management plan to manage, reduce or eliminate the conflict prior to the student’s involvement in the project pursuant to the procedure provided for below.

Review of Financial Disclosures and Resolution of Conflicts of Interest
When a financial disclosure or report of a conflict of interest is made via the online Conflict of Interest module and forwarded to the COI Office, the COI Office reviews the disclosure per the COI Office Procedures.

Should an actual or apparent conflict of interest exist, the COI Office and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee will design a conflict management plan to manage, reduce or eliminate the conflict prior to the Institute's expenditure of any such funds.

In developing a management plan, the COI Office and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee will work with the conflicted Employee and with the Responsible Unit Official and will consider the relationships between the Employee and the Institute to ensure adequate conditions or restrictions are in place to manage, reduce or eliminate the conflict(s).

Such conditions may include, without limitation:

  1. Public disclosure of significant financial interests;
  2. Monitoring of research by independent reviewers;
  3. Modification of the research plan;
  4. Disqualification from participation in the portion of the sponsor funded research that would be affected by the Significant or
         Substantial Financial Interests;
  5. Divestiture of Significant or Substantial Financial Interests; and/or
  6. Severance of relationships that create actual or potential conflicts.

Conflict management plans and/or restrictions must be in writing and forwarded to the conflicted Employee and the Responsible Unit Official(s).  The COI Office and the Responsible Unit Official(s) will monitor compliance with the plan. A copy of the plan and relevant documentation will be maintained in the COI Office.

Upon recommendation by a Responsible Unit Official, the Conflict of Interest Review Committee may determine a) that imposing conditions or restrictions would be ineffective or b) that any potential negative impacts which may arise from a Significant or Substantial Financial Interest is outweighed by interests of scientific progress, technology transfer, or the public health and welfare.  In such cases, the Responsible Unit Official and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee may recommend to the Provost that the Institute allow research to go forward provided that any conflict management plan includes ongoing monthly review by the Responsible Unit Official and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall permit the Institute to authorize an activity that is contrary to the laws of the State of Georgia, federal regulations, or other restrictions imposed by regulation or contract by research sponsors. Furthermore, no activity involving human subjects may be authorized that has not been approved by the Institutional Review Board which in compliance with 45CFR46 may, in its sole discretion, deny such approval.

Should the Responsible Representative of the Institution find that the Institute is unable to satisfactorily manage a conflict of interest prior to the Institute's expenditure of any such funds, the Responsible Representative of the Institution shall immediately notify the COI Office and the Office of Sponsored Programs.

All determinations made or actions taken by the COI Office, and/or the Conflict of Interest Review Committee shall be in writing and together with all financial disclosures made hereunder, be maintained until at least three years after the later of the termination or completion of the award to which they relate, or the resolution of any government action involving those records.  If the Investigator is engaged in any research or other sponsored activity supported by the Department of Health and Human Services including but not limited to the National Institutes of Health, the Responsible Representative of the Institution shall forward this information to the sponsor in compliance with regulation.

Written management plans must be reviewed annually or upon a change in circumstances affecting the plan and appropriate disclosures should continue during the ongoing management of any conflict.

Conflict of Interest Training Requirements
Conflict of interest training is required for all Investigators before engaging in funded research and every four years thereafter.

5.6.5 Consulting

Principles and General Standards
The Institute recognizes that consulting is a benefit to the institution and the Faculty. By gaining experience working closely with companies Faculty are aware of new technical directions and innovations, therefore the Institute encourages and permits its Faculty to consult. The practice of consulting calls for the Faculty to enter the non-academic world as a professional, with special disciplinary talents and knowledge. The Institute approves of such practices and set forth below are the principles and general standards for such practices.

Consulting can provide an important means of continuing education of the Faculty and can provide them with a currency and experience in aspects of their professional field outside the context of the Institute itself. Though such attributes of consulting may make faculty better scholars and teachers, the employer/employee nature of the consulting process has in it the potential for diversion of Faculty, Staff, and student employees from their primary activities and responsibilities.

Consulting is encouraged, provided the faculty member's primary obligation to the Institute is met. The responsibility for adhering to the limit on consulting days, and other aspects of the Institute's consulting policy, lies first with the individual faculty member. Faculty members have an obligation to report, fully and currently, the level of their consulting activities. Faculty members should resolve any questions or ambiguities with the appropriate Institute official before the fact, so that the Institute community is not injured by their actions. The Institute has the right, and indeed, the obligation, to protect itself from losses due to excess consulting.

Conflict of Commitment
The purpose of the policy on consulting and related activities is to state with both clarity and generality the limits on the time that an Institute Faculty member may spend in consulting. The limits set forth below are intended to strike a balance between consulting and regular duties within the Institute and serve to safeguard the interest of both parties. In cases of ambiguity, the primary guide should be the intention to promote the interests of the Institute as a place of education, learning, and research. It is the Faculty’s obligation to obtain prior consent from the appropriate Institute officer.

Prior Approval
The Institute encourages and assists faculty members in the practice of their profession. The Institution particularly encourages Faculty to consult, providing guidelines for this type of activity. It must be recognized, however, that professional consulting activities and involvement in business ventures can result in an apparent or actual Conflict of Interest. This policy provides several principles which should be followed to avoid conflicts.

It is not possible to anticipate all types of potential outside involvements. It is, therefore, always a faculty member's obligation to obtain prior written consent from his/her School Chair or Laboratory Director, Dean, or Director of GTRI, and the appropriate Institute officer before undertaking any activities. Approval must be obtained by completing and obtaining authorization via the Conflict of Interest Online System. If the faculty member’s consulting activities are related to his/her Institutional Obligations, and if the faculty member has either a Significant Financial Interest or a Substantial Interest in the outside entity with which he/she consults, the consulting activity must also be reviewed and approved by the COI Office prior to the initiation of services.

Distance Learning and Continuing Education
In the case of a faculty member organizing or generating any continuing educational program not affiliated, sponsored, or endorsed in any way by the Institute, the faculty member must obtain permission from the Dean of Professional Education via the Conflict of Interest Online System.

Use of Georgia Institute of Technology Facilities
In competing for consulting, Employees are not to take advantage of their access to Institute facilities. State law precludes Institute Employees from using State facilities or property for personal gain or benefit. The facilities and services of the Institute may not be used in connection with compensated outside work, except in a purely incidental way. This is not envisioned to exclude contracts with the Institute for the use of facilities or services such as the Computer Center or the Library or other facilities for which cost centers have been established.

Payment for Consulting
Full-time Institute Employees may not be on the payroll of other organizations except as a consultant. (Payment for services must be reported on an IRS 1099 Form, not on a W-2 form.)

Members of the faculty may, for tax liability reasons, undertake consulting assignments through a personal corporation. This is not considered a conflict of interest in and of itself. However, see the "Prohibited Activities" subsection.

Consulting Agreements
Consulting agreements are personal agreements between Employees and a private company. The Institute cannot provide advice to Employees regarding private matters, however Employees should carefully review such agreements to ensure the terms are not in conflict with their employment agreement with the Institute or GTRC nor in conflict with any of the Institute’s policies, including but not limited to this Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy and the Intellectual Property Policy. Most companies require a consultant to sign a consulting agreement. Any Institute Employee who is asked to sign such an agreement should consult with his or her personal attorney for review and advice. Any consultant agreement, at a minimum, should state that the consultant is an Employee of the Institute and, as such, has commitments, responsibilities and obligations (contractual or otherwise) that must be fulfilled and may not be negatively impacted by a consulting agreement terms/conditions or actual consulting.

To avoid conflict with Institute-assigned duties, the following language is recommended as part of an Employee’s consulting agreement:

"This agreement is made subject to the understanding that Consultant is an Employee of the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT), that he/she must fulfill certain obligations including teaching, directing laboratory operations and conducting research; and that as a result of his/her employment by GIT, GIT has certain rights to intellectual property developed by him/her and any rights conveyed hereunder shall be subject to those rights. Under no circumstances are any rights to GIT or Georgia Tech Research Corporation intellectual property conveyed hereunder. All consulting activity hereunder shall be on a non-interfering basis with normal GIT activities. Nothing contained in this Agreement shall directly or impliedly affect the obligations listed above."

Activities Not Considered "Consulting"

  1. Publication
    Scholarly communications in the form of books, movies, television productions, art works, etc. though frequently earning financial profit for a faculty member and for another party (e.g., publisher), are not viewed as consultation.
  2. Professional Service
    Service on national commissions, advisory bodies for governmental agencies and boards, granting agency peer review panels, visiting committees or advisory groups to other universities, and on analogous bodies is not considered to be Consulting. The fundamental distinction between these activities and consulting is that they are public or Institute service. Although participants may receive an honorarium or equivalent, these professional service activities are not undertaken for personal financial gain.
  3. "Moonlighting"
    Employee may pursue a variety of endeavors for financial profit that are not directly related to the person’s field or discipline. These efforts are part of the faculty member's private life and do not come under Institute regulation for this consulting policy. Such endeavors may be pursued only after the primary commitment to the Institute has been fulfilled and upon prior approval from a Responsible Unit Official of the Institute.

The Number of Permissible Consulting Days
The maximum number of consulting days permitted for a member of the Faculty without hourly time keeping on a twelve (12) month or nine (9) month appointment is one (1) day per week. Institute holidays are included in each thirty-nine (39) week academic year from which the thirty-nine (39) day consultation limit is derived. A limited amount of "averaging" of consulting time is permissible if, on occasion, a Faculty member plans to consult for more than one day per week but no more than thirty-nine days for an academic year. Thirty-nine (39) days of consulting per academic year, or fifty-two (52) days for a calendar year of active duty, is intended to be a liberal allocation, yet one that is fair to the Institute. Members of the Faculty whose time and effort is accounted for through hourly timekeeping may engage in consulting only outside their normal working hours or while on leave from the Institute.

  1. Consulting During Periods of Part-Time Institute Employment
    The thirty-nine (39) day limit should be prorated for those members of the Faculty holding part-time appointments, using the following formula: [39 X F ], where F is the fraction of full-time duty, thirty-nine (39) represents the average number of academic weeks per year. Thus, a faculty member holding a seventy-five (75%) appointment is permitted up to twenty-nine (29) days of consulting per academic year for the 75% time commitment to the Institute.
  2. Consulting During the Summer Term or During Periods of Leave Without Salary
    Faculty members on nine-month appointments with no salary supplement for the Summer Term (or other off-duty period) are not subject to the one day per week limit during that semester. Nor does the limit apply to faculty members on leave without salary. If the faculty member receives a salary for full-time service during the Summer Term, the regular one day per week (or thirteen-days for Summer Term) consulting limit shall apply.
  3. Consulting While on Study Leave
    The purpose of study leave is to permit faculty members to take time off from normal Institute duties to advance their scholarly interests so that they may return to their posts with renewed vigor, perspective, and insight. A Faculty member on study leave receiving full-time Institute salary may consult up to the regular one day per week during the period of sabbatical.

Consulting Services for Other State Offices
As a general rule Employees of the Institute may not receive compensation for services performed for other state offices. [Official Code of Georgia 45-10-20]

Employees of one State agency may teach or work as consultants for another state agency provided the work falls within one of the following classifications and provided the conditions stated below are met.

Employees of one state agency may teach or work as consultants for another state agency if the transaction involves part-time employment by the state agency seeking consulting services of a chaplain, fireman, any person holding a doctorate or master's degree from an accredited college or university, a licensed physician, dentist, psychologist, registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse, or veterinarian.

The chief executive officer of the department or agency desiring to obtain the services of a person falling within the class of exceptions shall certify in writing the need for the services and shall set forth why the best interest of the state will be served by obtaining the part-time services of such a person in lieu of obtaining such services from a person not presently employed by the State.

The chief executive officer of the department or agency employing the person in the class of exceptions shall certify in writing that the person whose services are desired is available to perform such services, that the performances of such services will not detract nor have a detrimental effect on the performance of the person's employment, and, where appropriate, that the part-time employment of this person will be in the best interest of the State.

The two departments or agencies involved will then agree on the procedures under which the Employee shall perform the additional services. The agreement shall specify the means of employment, whether as a part-time employee or as a consultant, the compensation, and other pertinent details and conditions of the employment relationship. The agreement may be terminated at any time by either of the parties to the agreement.

5.6.6 Penalties

Any Employee who violates this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

There are also sanctions under State law [Official Code of Georgia Section 45-10-28] as described in the following paragraphs.

Any appointed public official or Employee who violates Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 45-10-23 ("Full-time employees prohibited from transacting business with own state agency; exception to prohibition for Board of Regents employees"), Section 45-10-24 ("Part-time public officials with state-wide powers prohibited from transacting business with any state agency; part-time employees prohibited from transacting business with own state agency; exceptions to prohibitions"), or Section 45-10-26 ("Public officials and employees to file yearly disclosure statements concerning business transactions with state; statements to be public records") shall be subject to:

  • Removal from office or employment;
  • A civil fine not to exceed $10,000.00; and
  • Restitution to the state of any pecuniary benefit received as a result of such violation.

Any business which violates Code Section 45-10-23, 45-10-24, or 45-10-26 shall be subject to:

  • A civil fine not to exceed $10,000.00; and
  • Restitution to the state of any pecuniary benefit received as a result of such violation.

5.6.7 Institutional Conflicts

Institutional Conflicts occur when the Institute has a financial stake in the outcome of its research programs or licensed technology. The Conflict may arise out of an equity interest in a start-up that licenses technology from the Institute or in the nature of royalties to be earned from licensing such technology. For example, the Institute may benefit from Georgia Tech Research Corporation’s equity in licensees, as equity is often taken in lieu of royalties or other license fees, this may create Institutional Conflicts for several reasons:

  1. Owners of equity may cash out prior to product going to market, creating a situation under which the Georgia Tech Research Corporation may have an enhanced position relative to other shareholders;
  2. The equity interest could have substantial value if the technology is successfully commercialized, creating a more apparent
         conflict.

Georgia Tech Research Corporation should be permitted to take stock in Licensee Companies that do not have the financial resources to make full license payments but, as with Employees, Georgia Tech Research Corporation must avoid the appearance of Conflicts of Interest in research programs, education, or business transactions. Therefore equity should not be held in significant amounts to confer management power in companies, and ownership interests in companies should be disclosed.

Review and approval may be provided by the Conflict of Interest Review Committee.

5.6.1 Introduction

State laws governing ethics and conflicts of interest are based on the premise that public employees are acting on behalf of government for the benefit of the public. As public employees of an institute serving the educational and public purposes of teaching, research, and professional service, there is an obligation to conduct research and official duties on behalf of the Institute in such a manner consistent with statutes and regulations. The avoidance of conflict of interest is vital to ensuring the integrity and objectivity in conducting and reporting research.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To set forth acceptable parameters relating to possible conflicts of interest which may arise from the outside professional activities of an Institute Employee;
  • To define and establish a mechanism to reduce, eliminate, or manage a situation that may pose a real or potential Conflict of Interest;
  • To ensure the integrity of research, education or business transactions of the Institute and to identify real or potential Conflicts of Interest;
  • To ensure that sponsored research at the Institute is conducted in compliance with regulations promulgated by the sponsor thereof including but not limited to the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health as appropriate [Ref. NSF - Investigator Financial Disclosure Policy http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/stis1996/iin117/iin117.txt and NIH Guide – Objectivity in Research http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-08-25/pdf/2011-21633.pdf]; and
  • To articulate activities that would be prohibited.
     

This policy applies to all Institute Employees, including Emeritus faculty, visiting faculty and scientists, adjunct faculty, affiliates and Tech Temps. It applies to students and trainees if they are involved in the design, conduct or reporting of research at the Institute.

Penalties for non-compliance with this policy are outlined in Section 5.6.6.

5.6.2 Definitions

Definitions as used in this policy, the term:

  1. "Agency" means any agency, authority, department, board, bureau, commission, committee, office or instrumentality of the State of Georgia.
  2. "Business" means any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, self-employed individual, trust or other legal entity.
  3. “Conflict of Commitment” occurs when an Employee undertakes external commitments which burden or interfere with the Employee’s primary obligations to the Institute. Conflicts of Commitment may arise out of consulting arrangements or with an entrepreneurial interest when a faculty member is involved in a startup company.
  4. "Conflict of Interest" means any situation in which
    1. It reasonably appears that a significant financial interest could affect the design, conduct, or reporting of activities funded or proposed for funding by a sponsor; or
    2. The personal interest of an Employee or his or her Family may prevent or appear to prevent the Employee from making an unbiased decision with respect to the Employee’s employment with the Institute
       
      Illustrative examples of such situations include, without limitation, the following situations:
    • The Employee, or a member of his or her Family, has a significant financial interest in a business which transacts business with the Institute.
    • The Employee, or a member of his or her Family, has a significant financial interest in an entity that competes or may compete with the Institute for sponsored activities.
  5. “Conflict of Interest Review Committee” shall mean an advisory committee to the Executive Vice-President for Research that shall be composed of the Chief Legal Counsel, the Vice-President for Research, a representative for the student body, and a member of the Faculty appointed by the Faculty Executive Board. In absence of a standing Committee the Executive Vice-President for Research shall appoint an ad hoc committee as dictated by the circumstance.
  6. “Conflict of Interest Management Office” (COI Office) shall mean the central office designated by the Institute to review all disclosures that present actual or perceived conflicts of interest. The COI Office works with the COI Review Committee and the Responsible Unit Official to ensure that any conflicts of interest are reduced, managed, or eliminated in conjunction with federal, state, and local regulations and Institute policy.
  7. "Consulting" means any professional activity related to the person's field or discipline (e.g. consulting, speaking, scientific advisory boards, paid attendance at company meetings, expert witness services, etc.), where a fee-for-service or equivalent relationship with a third party exists. Consulting includes organizing or operating any educational program outside Georgia Institute of Technology.
  8. "Employee” includes all Institute personnel who receive salary or wages from the Institute. Students and trainees are included if they receive pay from the Institute. Also included, by way of example without limitation, are Visiting Faculty and Scientists, Professors of the Practice, Affiliates, Adjunct Faculty, Emeritus Faculty (if they are engaged in part time work for pay), and Tech Temps.
  9. "Family" means spouse or partner and dependent children [Georgia Official Code 45-10-20] and anyone who could reasonably be assumed to be family in the context of situations in which there may be the appearance of a Conflict of Interest stemming from an action of an Employee in combination with such persons.
  10. "Full-time" means thirty (30) hours or more of work for the state per week for more than twenty-six (26) weeks per calendar year.
  11. ”Individual Conflicts” means a Conflict of Interest that arises when an Employee has the opportunity to influence research, academic or Institute decisions in ways that could lead to personal financial gain. The financial gain may be derived from owning stock in a company that is sponsoring research, from ownership interest or employment in a company that may benefit as a licensee of an invention, or from the existence or expectation of entering into a consulting arrangement with a company sponsoring research.
  12. “Institute/Institution” means the Georgia Institute of Technology.
  13. “Institutional Conflicts” occur when the Institute, or one of its affiliated entities such as the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation, Georgia Tech Foundation or Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures, has a financial stake in the outcome of its research programs or licensed technology. The conflict may arise out of an equity interest in a start-up that licenses technology from the Institute or in the nature of royalties to be earned from licensing such technology.
  14. ”Institutional Responsibilities/Institutional Obligations” means Investigator’s professional responsibilities on behalf of the Institution, including for example, activities such as research, research consultation, teaching, professional practice, Institutional committee memberships, and service on panels such as Institutional Review Boards or Data and Safety Monitoring Boards.
  15. "Investigator" means the project director or principal investigator and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research, which may include, for example, collaborators or consultants.  If the research involves human subjects, it includes all personnel named in the protocol submitted to the Institutional Review Board. [from NIH: Financial Conflict of Interest http://www.grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/coi/index.htm and from FDA: Guidance for Industry: Financial Disclosure by Clinical Investigators http://www.fda.gov/downloads/RegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM341008.pdf].
  16. "Part-time" means any amount of work other than full-time work.
  17. "Public Official" means any person elected to state office or any person appointed to a state office where, in the conduct of such office, the person so appointed has administrative and discretionary authority to receive and expend public funds and to perform certain functions concerning the public which are assigned to him or her by law.
  18. “Responsible Representative of the Institution” means the person designated by the Institute to oversee the solicitation and review of financial reporting statements from any Investigators who will be participating in Research.  For purposes of this Policy, the Responsible Representative of the Institution is the Vice-President for Research or his/her designee(s).
  19. "Responsible Unit Official" means the supervisor of the school, laboratory, or department of the person making a disclosure.  For such supervisors, the Responsible Unit Official will be the person he or she reports to at the next supervisory level. For any other cases, it will be an individual designated by the Executive Vice-President for Research.
  20. "Significant Financial Interest," as defined in current Federal Regulations, means:
    1. A financial interest consisting of one or more of the following interests of the Investigator (and those of the Investigator's spouse and dependent children) that reasonably appears to be related to the Investigator’s institutional responsibilities:
      1. With regard to any publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure and the value of any equity interest in the entity as of the date of disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds $5,000. For purposes of this definition, remuneration includes salary and any payment for services not otherwise identified as salary (e.g., consulting fees, honoraria, paid authorship); equity interest includes any stock, stock option, or other ownership interest, as determined through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value;
      2. With regard to any non-publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds $5,000, or when the Investigator (or the Investigator's spouse and dependent children) holds any equity interest (e.g., stock, stock option, or other ownership interest); or
      3. Intellectual property rights and interests (e.g., patents, copyrights), upon receipt of income related to such rights and interests.
    2. The term significant financial interest does NOT include the following types of financial interests:
      1. Salary, royalties, or other remuneration paid by the Institution to the Investigator if the Investigator is currently employed or otherwise appointed by the Institution;
      2. Intellectual property rights assigned to the Institution and agreements to share in royalties related to such rights;
      3. Equity in and income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts, as long as the Investigator does not directly control the investment decisions made in these vehicles;
      4. Income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by a federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an institution of higher education;
      5. Income from service on advisory committees or review panels for a federal, state, or local government agency, or an Institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an institution of higher education.
    3. Investigators who receive US Public Health Service funding (e.g. NIH) or a subcontract from another entity that receives funds from a US Public Health Service funding agency, also must disclose the occurrence of any reimbursed or Sponsored Travel, related to their institutional responsibilities; provided, however, that this disclosure requirement does not apply to travel that is reimbursed or sponsored by a federal, state, or local government agency, an Institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education. The disclosure must include the purpose of the trip, the identity of the sponsor/organizer, the destination, and the duration. Please refer to http://coi.research.gatech.edu/files/FAQ_Sponsored_Travel.pdf for answers to frequently asked questions.
  21. “Sponsored travel” means travel expenses that are paid on behalf of the Investigator and not reimbursed to the Investigator so that the exact monetary value may not be readily available.
  22. “Substantial Interest” is “the direct or indirect ownership of more than twenty-five (25) percent of the assets or stock of any business.”  [Official Code of Georgia 45-10-20].  An Employee, alone or in combination with Family, may not have an ownership interest of more than 25% of the assets or stock in any business which Transacts Business with the State of Georgia including the Institute. Therefore caps of 24.9% are placed on the percentage of ownership an Employee, alone or in combination with Family, may have in any business which Transacts Business with the Institute. Ownership interests below this cap may be managed as provided in this policy.
  23. "Transact Business" or "Transact any Business" means to sell or lease any personal property, real property, or services on behalf of oneself or on behalf of any third party as an agent, broker, dealer, or representative and means to purchase surplus real or personal property on behalf of oneself or on behalf of any third party as an agent, broker, dealer, or representative.

5.6.3 Conflict of Interest

Entrepreneurship
The mission of the Institute includes both assuring that research conducted at the Institute benefits the public and assisting the State of Georgia in creating or retaining industry, creating jobs, and promoting economic development. The Institute recognizes that Employee participation in bringing their inventions and other results of research conducted at the Institute into public use through commercialization plays an important role in this mission. Such participation may involve creation of a new company, in which an Employee or Employees have an ownership interest, to license and commercialize such technology. The policies and procedures for licensing technology are set forth in the Intellectual Property Policy (Faculty Handbook Section 5.4). New companies may or may not be housed in the Advanced Technology Development Center. Companies in which Employees have such an interest may Transact Business with the Institute only after such transaction(s) are/have been reviewed by the COI Office, Responsible Unit Official, and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee, as set forth below, and any conflicts of interest are managed, reduced, or eliminated as described in Section 5.6.4.

Policy
Based on State and federal law and regulations, the following two rules will be followed as a matter of Institute policy:

  1. Activities which constitute a Conflict of Interest where there is Significant Financial Interest are prohibited unless a plan to reduce, eliminate or manage the Conflict of Interest has been expressly approved in accordance with the provisions of this policy; and
  2. Activities which constitute a Conflict of Interest where there is a Substantial Interest are unlawful.

Board Memberships
As an Employee of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Full-time Employees of the Institute may serve as members of governing boards of private, nonprofit, educational, athletic, or research related foundations and associations which are organized for the purpose of supporting institutions of higher education in this state and which in furtherance of this purpose may Transact Business with such institutions or with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. [Official Code of Georgia 45-10-23]

5.6.4 Disclosure of Real or Potential Conflict of Interest

Disclosure to the State of Georgia
Except as provided in subsection (b) of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 45-10-26, any Public Official or Employee whether for himself or herself, or on behalf of any Business, or any Business in which such Public Official or Employee or any member of his Family has a Substantial Interest who transacts business with the state or any agency thereof, shall disclose such transactions. Such disclosure shall be submitted prior to January 31 each year to the Secretary of State on such forms as he or she shall prescribe and shall include an itemized list of the previous year's transactions with the dollar amount of each transaction reported and totaled. Such disclosure statements shall be public records. [Official Code of Georgia 45-10-26]

Disclosure to the Institution
Every Employee of the Institute, including all who participate in outside professional activities and/or sponsored research must complete an annual disclosure using the online Conflict of Interest system. In answering the questions, if an Employee has indicated an actual or potential conflict, the system will notify the COI Office for review.  Employees must update their disclosures on an ongoing basis when circumstances change.

Disclosure to Sponsors
Any person involved in the design, conduct, or reporting of research (technical and financial) or educational activities proposed for funding by a sponsor must complete the Investigator Financial Interest In Research Report via the online Conflict of Interest System disclosing any potential or actual Significant or Substantial Financial interests of the Employee (including those of the Employee’s Family).  (See https://ecoi.research.gatech.edu for this system.) Disclosures should include, but is not limited to:

  1. Performance or business transactions related to the sponsored activity;
  2. Equity interests in or fees from either the sponsor of the research or a subcontractor;
  3. Intellectual property rights.

Each such Disclosure needs to be updated via the online system by the Employee during the life of any award, as new Significant or Substantial Financial Interests are recognized.

In completing a disclosure on the Conflict of Interest Online System, the Employee is certifying to the following:

"In submitting this form I affirm that the above information is true to the best of my knowledge and I certify that I have read and understood the Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy as set forth in the Georgia Institute of Technology Faculty Handbook, that I have made all required disclosures, and that I will comply with any conditions or restrictions imposed by the Institute to manage, reduce or eliminate conflicts of interest."

In any proposal submitted to a potential sponsor, the Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for certifying that the Institute has implemented a written and enforced conflict of interest policy that is consistent with the provisions of Grant Policy Manual Section 510 of the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health Guide for Objectivity in Research, and other applicable sponsor regulations. In submitting the proposal, the Office of Sponsored Programs certifies that to the best of their knowledge all financial disclosures required by such conflict of interest policy have been made and that all identified conflicts of interest will have been satisfactorily managed, reduced or eliminated prior to the Institute’s expenditure of any funds under the award, in accordance with the Institute’s Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy.

Disclosure to the Institutional Review Board
Investigators submitting protocols to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the use of human subjects in research or other activities shall disclose any and all Significant Financial Interests that may appear to affect the design, conduct or reporting of such research. It is imperative that Investigators fully disclose to the IRB an ownership interest in any Business proposing to test any drug, device or other technology with human subjects or any potential financial interest in such technology that the Investigators, or the Investigators' Families might have. The IRB, in collaboration with the COI Office, shall conduct an independent review and may or may not impose restrictions, including denial of approval for the protocol, as it deems is in the best interest of the subjects and the Institute.

Disclosure to Students
Special care needs to be taken when dealing with students involved in research so that a potential or actual Conflict of Interest does not adversely affect their education, i.e. their ability to graduate or publish. Prior to retaining students on research projects that may involve a potential or actual Conflict of Interest, the Investigator and senior personnel will disclose to the student as well as to the COI Office and Responsible Unit Official, any interests in outside companies that may be perceived to benefit from the student’s research.  Should a conflict of interest exist, the COI Office, the Responsible Unit Official, the conflicted Investigator, and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee, will design a conflict management plan to manage, reduce or eliminate the conflict prior to the student’s involvement in the project pursuant to the procedure provided for below.

Review of Financial Disclosures and Resolution of Conflicts of Interest
When a financial disclosure or report of a conflict of interest is made via the online Conflict of Interest module and forwarded to the COI Office, the COI Office reviews the disclosure per the COI Office Procedures.

Should an actual or apparent conflict of interest exist, the COI Office and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee will design a conflict management plan to manage, reduce or eliminate the conflict prior to the Institute's expenditure of any such funds.

In developing a management plan, the COI Office and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee will work with the conflicted Employee and with the Responsible Unit Official and will consider the relationships between the Employee and the Institute to ensure adequate conditions or restrictions are in place to manage, reduce or eliminate the conflict(s).

Such conditions may include, without limitation:

  1. Public disclosure of significant financial interests;
  2. Monitoring of research by independent reviewers;
  3. Modification of the research plan;
  4. Disqualification from participation in the portion of the sponsor funded research that would be affected by the Significant or
         Substantial Financial Interests;
  5. Divestiture of Significant or Substantial Financial Interests; and/or
  6. Severance of relationships that create actual or potential conflicts.

Conflict management plans and/or restrictions must be in writing and forwarded to the conflicted Employee and the Responsible Unit Official(s).  The COI Office and the Responsible Unit Official(s) will monitor compliance with the plan. A copy of the plan and relevant documentation will be maintained in the COI Office.

Upon recommendation by a Responsible Unit Official, the Conflict of Interest Review Committee may determine a) that imposing conditions or restrictions would be ineffective or b) that any potential negative impacts which may arise from a Significant or Substantial Financial Interest is outweighed by interests of scientific progress, technology transfer, or the public health and welfare.  In such cases, the Responsible Unit Official and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee may recommend to the Provost that the Institute allow research to go forward provided that any conflict management plan includes ongoing monthly review by the Responsible Unit Official and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall permit the Institute to authorize an activity that is contrary to the laws of the State of Georgia, federal regulations, or other restrictions imposed by regulation or contract by research sponsors. Furthermore, no activity involving human subjects may be authorized that has not been approved by the Institutional Review Board which in compliance with 45CFR46 may, in its sole discretion, deny such approval.

Should the Responsible Representative of the Institution find that the Institute is unable to satisfactorily manage a conflict of interest prior to the Institute's expenditure of any such funds, the Responsible Representative of the Institution shall immediately notify the COI Office and the Office of Sponsored Programs.

All determinations made or actions taken by the COI Office, and/or the Conflict of Interest Review Committee shall be in writing and together with all financial disclosures made hereunder, be maintained until at least three years after the later of the termination or completion of the award to which they relate, or the resolution of any government action involving those records.  If the Investigator is engaged in any research or other sponsored activity supported by the Department of Health and Human Services including but not limited to the National Institutes of Health, the Responsible Representative of the Institution shall forward this information to the sponsor in compliance with regulation.

Written management plans must be reviewed annually or upon a change in circumstances affecting the plan and appropriate disclosures should continue during the ongoing management of any conflict.

Conflict of Interest Training Requirements
Conflict of interest training is required for all Investigators before engaging in funded research and every four years thereafter.

5.6.5 Consulting

Principles and General Standards
The Institute recognizes that consulting is a benefit to the institution and the Faculty. By gaining experience working closely with companies Faculty are aware of new technical directions and innovations, therefore the Institute encourages and permits its Faculty to consult. The practice of consulting calls for the Faculty to enter the non-academic world as a professional, with special disciplinary talents and knowledge. The Institute approves of such practices and set forth below are the principles and general standards for such practices.

Consulting can provide an important means of continuing education of the Faculty and can provide them with a currency and experience in aspects of their professional field outside the context of the Institute itself. Though such attributes of consulting may make faculty better scholars and teachers, the employer/employee nature of the consulting process has in it the potential for diversion of Faculty, Staff, and student employees from their primary activities and responsibilities.

Consulting is encouraged, provided the faculty member's primary obligation to the Institute is met. The responsibility for adhering to the limit on consulting days, and other aspects of the Institute's consulting policy, lies first with the individual faculty member. Faculty members have an obligation to report, fully and currently, the level of their consulting activities. Faculty members should resolve any questions or ambiguities with the appropriate Institute official before the fact, so that the Institute community is not injured by their actions. The Institute has the right, and indeed, the obligation, to protect itself from losses due to excess consulting.

Conflict of Commitment
The purpose of the policy on consulting and related activities is to state with both clarity and generality the limits on the time that an Institute Faculty member may spend in consulting. The limits set forth below are intended to strike a balance between consulting and regular duties within the Institute and serve to safeguard the interest of both parties. In cases of ambiguity, the primary guide should be the intention to promote the interests of the Institute as a place of education, learning, and research. It is the Faculty’s obligation to obtain prior consent from the appropriate Institute officer.

Prior Approval
The Institute encourages and assists faculty members in the practice of their profession. The Institution particularly encourages Faculty to consult, providing guidelines for this type of activity. It must be recognized, however, that professional consulting activities and involvement in business ventures can result in an apparent or actual Conflict of Interest. This policy provides several principles which should be followed to avoid conflicts.

It is not possible to anticipate all types of potential outside involvements. It is, therefore, always a faculty member's obligation to obtain prior written consent from his/her School Chair or Laboratory Director, Dean, or Director of GTRI, and the appropriate Institute officer before undertaking any activities. Approval must be obtained by completing and obtaining authorization via the Conflict of Interest Online System. If the faculty member’s consulting activities are related to his/her Institutional Obligations, and if the faculty member has either a Significant Financial Interest or a Substantial Interest in the outside entity with which he/she consults, the consulting activity must also be reviewed and approved by the COI Office prior to the initiation of services.

Distance Learning and Continuing Education
In the case of a faculty member organizing or generating any continuing educational program not affiliated, sponsored, or endorsed in any way by the Institute, the faculty member must obtain permission from the Dean of Professional Education via the Conflict of Interest Online System.

Use of Georgia Institute of Technology Facilities
In competing for consulting, Employees are not to take advantage of their access to Institute facilities. State law precludes Institute Employees from using State facilities or property for personal gain or benefit. The facilities and services of the Institute may not be used in connection with compensated outside work, except in a purely incidental way. This is not envisioned to exclude contracts with the Institute for the use of facilities or services such as the Computer Center or the Library or other facilities for which cost centers have been established.

Payment for Consulting
Full-time Institute Employees may not be on the payroll of other organizations except as a consultant. (Payment for services must be reported on an IRS 1099 Form, not on a W-2 form.)

Members of the faculty may, for tax liability reasons, undertake consulting assignments through a personal corporation. This is not considered a conflict of interest in and of itself. However, see the "Prohibited Activities" subsection.

Consulting Agreements
Consulting agreements are personal agreements between Employees and a private company. The Institute cannot provide advice to Employees regarding private matters, however Employees should carefully review such agreements to ensure the terms are not in conflict with their employment agreement with the Institute or GTRC nor in conflict with any of the Institute’s policies, including but not limited to this Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy and the Intellectual Property Policy. Most companies require a consultant to sign a consulting agreement. Any Institute Employee who is asked to sign such an agreement should consult with his or her personal attorney for review and advice. Any consultant agreement, at a minimum, should state that the consultant is an Employee of the Institute and, as such, has commitments, responsibilities and obligations (contractual or otherwise) that must be fulfilled and may not be negatively impacted by a consulting agreement terms/conditions or actual consulting.

To avoid conflict with Institute-assigned duties, the following language is recommended as part of an Employee’s consulting agreement:

"This agreement is made subject to the understanding that Consultant is an Employee of the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT), that he/she must fulfill certain obligations including teaching, directing laboratory operations and conducting research; and that as a result of his/her employment by GIT, GIT has certain rights to intellectual property developed by him/her and any rights conveyed hereunder shall be subject to those rights. Under no circumstances are any rights to GIT or Georgia Tech Research Corporation intellectual property conveyed hereunder. All consulting activity hereunder shall be on a non-interfering basis with normal GIT activities. Nothing contained in this Agreement shall directly or impliedly affect the obligations listed above."

Activities Not Considered "Consulting"

  1. Publication
    Scholarly communications in the form of books, movies, television productions, art works, etc. though frequently earning financial profit for a faculty member and for another party (e.g., publisher), are not viewed as consultation.
  2. Professional Service
    Service on national commissions, advisory bodies for governmental agencies and boards, granting agency peer review panels, visiting committees or advisory groups to other universities, and on analogous bodies is not considered to be Consulting. The fundamental distinction between these activities and consulting is that they are public or Institute service. Although participants may receive an honorarium or equivalent, these professional service activities are not undertaken for personal financial gain.
  3. "Moonlighting"
    Employee may pursue a variety of endeavors for financial profit that are not directly related to the person’s field or discipline. These efforts are part of the faculty member's private life and do not come under Institute regulation for this consulting policy. Such endeavors may be pursued only after the primary commitment to the Institute has been fulfilled and upon prior approval from a Responsible Unit Official of the Institute.

The Number of Permissible Consulting Days
The maximum number of consulting days permitted for a member of the Faculty without hourly time keeping on a twelve (12) month or nine (9) month appointment is one (1) day per week. Institute holidays are included in each thirty-nine (39) week academic year from which the thirty-nine (39) day consultation limit is derived. A limited amount of "averaging" of consulting time is permissible if, on occasion, a Faculty member plans to consult for more than one day per week but no more than thirty-nine days for an academic year. Thirty-nine (39) days of consulting per academic year, or fifty-two (52) days for a calendar year of active duty, is intended to be a liberal allocation, yet one that is fair to the Institute. Members of the Faculty whose time and effort is accounted for through hourly timekeeping may engage in consulting only outside their normal working hours or while on leave from the Institute.

  1. Consulting During Periods of Part-Time Institute Employment
    The thirty-nine (39) day limit should be prorated for those members of the Faculty holding part-time appointments, using the following formula: [39 X F ], where F is the fraction of full-time duty, thirty-nine (39) represents the average number of academic weeks per year. Thus, a faculty member holding a seventy-five (75%) appointment is permitted up to twenty-nine (29) days of consulting per academic year for the 75% time commitment to the Institute.
  2. Consulting During the Summer Term or During Periods of Leave Without Salary
    Faculty members on nine-month appointments with no salary supplement for the Summer Term (or other off-duty period) are not subject to the one day per week limit during that semester. Nor does the limit apply to faculty members on leave without salary. If the faculty member receives a salary for full-time service during the Summer Term, the regular one day per week (or thirteen-days for Summer Term) consulting limit shall apply.
  3. Consulting While on Study Leave
    The purpose of study leave is to permit faculty members to take time off from normal Institute duties to advance their scholarly interests so that they may return to their posts with renewed vigor, perspective, and insight. A Faculty member on study leave receiving full-time Institute salary may consult up to the regular one day per week during the period of sabbatical.

Consulting Services for Other State Offices
As a general rule Employees of the Institute may not receive compensation for services performed for other state offices. [Official Code of Georgia 45-10-20]

Employees of one State agency may teach or work as consultants for another state agency provided the work falls within one of the following classifications and provided the conditions stated below are met.

Employees of one state agency may teach or work as consultants for another state agency if the transaction involves part-time employment by the state agency seeking consulting services of a chaplain, fireman, any person holding a doctorate or master's degree from an accredited college or university, a licensed physician, dentist, psychologist, registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse, or veterinarian.

The chief executive officer of the department or agency desiring to obtain the services of a person falling within the class of exceptions shall certify in writing the need for the services and shall set forth why the best interest of the state will be served by obtaining the part-time services of such a person in lieu of obtaining such services from a person not presently employed by the State.

The chief executive officer of the department or agency employing the person in the class of exceptions shall certify in writing that the person whose services are desired is available to perform such services, that the performances of such services will not detract nor have a detrimental effect on the performance of the person's employment, and, where appropriate, that the part-time employment of this person will be in the best interest of the State.

The two departments or agencies involved will then agree on the procedures under which the Employee shall perform the additional services. The agreement shall specify the means of employment, whether as a part-time employee or as a consultant, the compensation, and other pertinent details and conditions of the employment relationship. The agreement may be terminated at any time by either of the parties to the agreement.

5.6.6 Penalties

Any Employee who violates this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

There are also sanctions under State law [Official Code of Georgia Section 45-10-28] as described in the following paragraphs.

Any appointed public official or Employee who violates Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 45-10-23 ("Full-time employees prohibited from transacting business with own state agency; exception to prohibition for Board of Regents employees"), Section 45-10-24 ("Part-time public officials with state-wide powers prohibited from transacting business with any state agency; part-time employees prohibited from transacting business with own state agency; exceptions to prohibitions"), or Section 45-10-26 ("Public officials and employees to file yearly disclosure statements concerning business transactions with state; statements to be public records") shall be subject to:

  • Removal from office or employment;
  • A civil fine not to exceed $10,000.00; and
  • Restitution to the state of any pecuniary benefit received as a result of such violation.

Any business which violates Code Section 45-10-23, 45-10-24, or 45-10-26 shall be subject to:

  • A civil fine not to exceed $10,000.00; and
  • Restitution to the state of any pecuniary benefit received as a result of such violation.

5.6.7 Institutional Conflicts

Institutional Conflicts occur when the Institute has a financial stake in the outcome of its research programs or licensed technology. The Conflict may arise out of an equity interest in a start-up that licenses technology from the Institute or in the nature of royalties to be earned from licensing such technology. For example, the Institute may benefit from Georgia Tech Research Corporation’s equity in licensees, as equity is often taken in lieu of royalties or other license fees, this may create Institutional Conflicts for several reasons:

  1. Owners of equity may cash out prior to product going to market, creating a situation under which the Georgia Tech Research Corporation may have an enhanced position relative to other shareholders;
  2. The equity interest could have substantial value if the technology is successfully commercialized, creating a more apparent
         conflict.

Georgia Tech Research Corporation should be permitted to take stock in Licensee Companies that do not have the financial resources to make full license payments but, as with Employees, Georgia Tech Research Corporation must avoid the appearance of Conflicts of Interest in research programs, education, or business transactions. Therefore equity should not be held in significant amounts to confer management power in companies, and ownership interests in companies should be disclosed.

Review and approval may be provided by the Conflict of Interest Review Committee.

5.7 Policy for Responding to Allegations of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct

5.7.1 Introduction

General Policy
Georgia Tech expects all personnel to conduct themselves in a professional manner that will maintain the high standards and integrity of the Institute.

Scope
This policy and the associated procedures apply to all individuals at Georgia Tech engaged in research or other scholarly activity regardless of the source of funding for the activity including but not limited to funding or proposed funding from federal sources (see References 1 and 2). This policy applies to any person paid by, under the control of, or affiliated with the institution, such as scientists, trainees, technicians and other staff members, students, fellows, guest researchers, or collaborators with or at Georgia Tech. The policy and associated procedures will normally be followed when an allegation of possible misconduct in science is received by an institutional official. Particular circumstances in an individual case may dictate variation from the normal procedure deemed in the best interests of Georgia Tech and the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). Any change from normal procedures also must ensure fair treatment to the subject of the inquiry or investigation. Any significant variation should be approved in advance by the Provost of Georgia Tech.

This policy and the procedural requirements involved in handling allegations of scientific or other scholarly misconduct are intended to be sensitive to the varied demands made on those who conduct research and other scholarly activities, those who are accused of misconduct, and those who report apparent misconduct in good faith.

This policy does not replace or supersede the Academic Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct found in the Georgia Institute of Technology General Catalogue (see Reference 3) for students subject to that policy, except when the alleged scientific or other scholarly misconduct occurs in sponsor supported activities.

5.7.2 Definitions

Allegation means any written or oral statement or other indication of possible Scientific or Other Scholarly

Misconduct made to an institutional official.

Complainant means a person who makes an allegation of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct.

Conflict of interest means, for purposes of the administration of this policy, the real or apparent interference of one person's interests with the interests of another person, where potential bias may occur due to prior or existing personal or professional relationships (see Reference 4).

Good faith allegation means an allegation made with the honest belief that Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct may have occurred. An allegation is not in good faith if it is made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation.

Inquiry means gathering information and initial fact-finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct warrants an investigation.

Investigation means the formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine if misconduct has occurred, and, if so, to determine the responsible person and the seriousness of the misconduct.

ORI means the Office of Research Integrity, the office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that is responsible for the scientific misconduct and research integrity activities of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS).  In the event the sponsor is the PHS, ORI will be notified as required by Section 50.104(a)(1-7) of 42CFR Part 50, Subpart A.

PHS means the U.S. Public Health Service, an operating component of DHHS.

PHS regulation means the Public Health Service regulation establishing standards for institutional inquiries and investigations into allegations of scientific misconduct, which is set forth at 42 C.F.R. Part 50, Subpart A, entitled "Responsibility of PHS Awardee and Applicant Institutions for Dealing With and Reporting Possible Misconduct in Science."

PHS support means PHS grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements or applications for such funding.

Research record means any data, document, computer file, computer diskette, or any other written or non-written account or object that reasonably may be expected to provide evidence or information regarding the proposed, conducted, or reported research that constitutes the subject of an allegation of scientific misconduct. A research record includes, but is not limited to, grant or contract applications, whether funded or unfunded; grant or contract progress and other reports; laboratory notebooks; notes; correspondence; videos; photographs; X-ray film; slides; biological materials; computer files and printouts; manuscripts and publications; equipment use logs; laboratory procurement records; animal facility records; human and animal subject protocols; consent forms; medical charts; and patient research files.

Respondent means the person against whom an allegation of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct is directed or the person whose actions are the subject of the inquiry or investigation. There can be more than one respondent in any inquiry or investigation.

Retaliation means any action that adversely affects the employment or other institutional status of an individual that is taken by an institution or an employee because the individual has in good faith made an allegation of scientific misconduct or of inadequate institutional response thereto or has cooperated in good faith with an investigation of such allegation.

Scientific or other scholarly misconduct or misconduct in science means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

Sponsor means any agency of the U.S. Federal government, state government, private foundation, corporation, or other entity external to Georgia Tech that provides funds or other support to support a research project, research program, or other scholarly activity.  In the event the sponsor is the PHS, ORI will be notified (as defined above).

Sponsor support means any grant, contract, cooperative agreement, fellowship award, or any proposal or application for such funding.

5.7.3 Rights & Responsibilities

Provost
The Provost in consultation with the Vice President for Legal Affairs and Risk Management (VP-LA&RM) will have primary responsibility for implementation of the procedures set forth in this document.

The Provost will appoint the inquiry and investigation committees and ensure that necessary and appropriate expertise is secured to carry out a thorough and authoritative evaluation of the relevant evidence in an inquiry or investigation.

The VP-LA&RM on behalf of the Provost will assist inquiry and investigation committees and all institutional personnel in complying with these procedures and with applicable standards imposed by government or external funding sources. The VP-LA&RM will attempt to ensure that confidentiality is maintained. The VP-LA&RM is also responsible for maintaining files of all documents and evidence and for the confidentiality and the security of the files.

The Provost will report to any sponsor as required by law, regulation, or contractual agreement and keep the sponsor apprised of any developments during the course of the inquiry or investigation that may affect current or potential funding for the individual(s) under investigation or that the sponsor needs to know to ensure appropriate use of sponsor funds and otherwise protect the public interest.

Complainant
The complainant will have an opportunity to testify before the inquiry and investigation committees, to review portions of the inquiry and investigation reports pertinent to his/her allegations or testimony, to be informed of the results of the inquiry and investigation, and to be protected from retaliation. Also, if the Provost has determined that the complainant may be able to provide pertinent information on any portions of the draft report, these portions will be given to the complainant for comment. The complainant is responsible for making allegations in good faith, maintaining confidentiality, and cooperating with an inquiry or investigation.

Respondent
The respondent will be informed of the allegations when an inquiry is opened and notified in writing of the final determinations and resulting actions. The respondent will also have the opportunity to be interviewed by and present evidence to the inquiry and investigation committees, to review the draft inquiry and investigation reports, and to have the advice of counsel. The respondent is responsible for maintaining confidentiality and cooperating with the conduct of an inquiry or investigation. If the respondent is not found guilty of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, he or she has the right to receive institutional assistance in restoring his or her reputation such as verbal notification or written documentation that no misconduct was found (see Reference 5).

President
The President will receive the inquiry and/or investigation report and any written comments made by the respondent or the complainant on the draft report. The President will consult with the Provost or other appropriate officials and will determine whether to conduct an investigation, whether misconduct occurred, whether to impose sanctions, or whether to take other appropriate administrative actions as provided in Georgia Tech policies and the policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

5.7.4 General Policies & Principles

Responsibility to Report Misconduct
All employees or individuals associated with Georgia Tech shall report observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct in science to the Provost or Executive Vice-President for Research. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, he or she may call the VP-LA&RM to discuss the suspected misconduct informally. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct, the Provost will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem. Compliance concerns in the Georgia Tech Research Institute may also be reported via their hotline. At any time, an employee may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the Provost and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations.

Protecting the Complainant
The Provost will monitor the treatment of individuals who bring allegations of misconduct or of inadequate institutional response thereto, and those who cooperate in inquiries or investigations. The Provost will ensure that these persons will not be retaliated against in the terms and conditions of their employment or other status at the institution and will review instances of alleged retaliation for appropriate action. Employees should immediately report any alleged or apparent retaliation to the Provost.

Also the institution will protect the privacy of those who report misconduct in good faith to the maximum extent permitted by Georgia law. For example, if the Complainant requests anonymity, the institution will make an effort to honor the request during the allegation assessment or inquiry within applicable policies and regulations and Georgia law. The Complainant will be advised that if the matter is referred to an investigation committee and the complainant's testimony is required, anonymity may no longer be guaranteed. Georgia Tech will make efforts to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations.

Protecting the Respondent
Inquiries and investigations will be conducted in a manner that will ensure fair treatment to the respondent(s) in the inquiry or investigation and confidentiality to the extent possible without compromising public health and safety or thoroughly carrying out the inquiry or investigation.

Institute employees accused of scientific or other scholarly misconduct may consult with legal counsel or a non-lawyer personal adviser (who is not a principal or witness in the case) to seek advice.

Cooperation with Inquiries and Investigations
All Georgia Tech employees will cooperate with the Committee of Inquiry, committee of Investigation and VP-LA&RM and other institutional officials in the review of allegations and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. All employees have an obligation to provide relevant evidence to the committees or VP-LA&RM or other institutional officials on misconduct allegations.

Decision to Conduct an Inquiry
Upon receiving an allegation of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, the Provost in consultation with the VP-LA&RM will immediately assess the allegation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant an inquiry, whether sponsor support is involved, and whether the allegation falls under the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct found in Section 5.7.2 of this policy.

5.7.5 Conducting the Inquiry

Responsibility to Report Misconduct
Following the preliminary assessment, if the Provost determines that the allegation provides sufficient information to allow specific follow-up, involves PHS support, and falls under the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, he or she will immediately initiate the inquiry process. In initiating the inquiry, the Provost should identify clearly the original allegation and any related issues that should be evaluated. The purpose of the inquiry is to make a preliminary evaluation of the available evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct to warrant an investigation. The purpose of the inquiry is not to reach a final conclusion about whether misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible. The findings of the inquiry must be set forth in an inquiry report.

Sequestration of the Research and Other Records
After determining that an allegation falls within the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, the Provost must ensure that all original research and other records and materials relevant to the allegation are immediately secured (see Section 5.7.13, Reference 6).

Appointment of the Inquiry Committee
The Provost, in consultation with other institutional officials as appropriate, will appoint an inquiry committee and committee chair within five (5) business days of the initiation of the inquiry. The inquiry committee should consist of individuals who do not have real or apparent conflicts of interest in the case, and who are unbiased, and have the necessary expertise to evaluate the evidence and issues related to the allegation, interview the principals and key witnesses, and conduct the inquiry. These individuals may be scientists, subject matter experts, administrators, lawyers, or other qualified persons, and they may be from inside or outside the institution.

The Provost will notify the respondent of the proposed committee membership upon its appointment. If the respondent submits a written objection to any appointed member of the inquiry committee or expert based on bias or conflict of interest within five (5) business days, the Provost will determine whether to replace the challenged member or expert with a qualified substitute.

Charge to the Committee and the First Meeting
The Provost will prepare a charge for the inquiry committee that describes the allegations and any related issues identified during the allegation assessment and states that the purpose of the inquiry is to make a preliminary evaluation of the evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct to warrant an investigation as required by this policy. The purpose is not to determine whether scientific or other scholarly misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible.

At the committee's first meeting, the Provost will review the charge with the committee, discuss the allegations, any related issues, and the appropriate procedures for conducting the inquiry, assist the committee with organizing plans for the inquiry, and answer any questions raised by the committee. The VP-LA&RM will be present or available throughout the inquiry to advise the committee as needed.

Inquiry Process
The inquiry committee will normally interview the complainant, respondent, and key witnesses as well as examining relevant research records and materials.  Then the inquiry committee will evaluate the evidence and testimony obtained during the inquiry. After consultation with the Provost and institutional counsel, the committee members will decide whether there is sufficient evidence of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct to recommend further investigation.  The scope of the inquiry does not include deciding whether misconduct occurred or conducting exhaustive interviews and analyses.

5.7.6 The Inquiry Report

Elements of the Inquiry Report
A written inquiry report must be prepared that states the name and title of the committee members and experts, if any; the allegations; sponsor support; a summary of the inquiry process used; a list of the research records reviewed; summaries of any interviews; a description of the evidence in sufficient detail to demonstrate whether an investigation is warranted or not; and the committee's determination as to whether an investigation is recommended and whether any other actions should be taken if an investigation is not recommended. The VP-LA&RM will review the draft report.

Comments on the Draft Report by the Respondent and the Complainant
The Provost will provide the respondent with a copy of the draft inquiry report for comment and rebuttal and will provide the complainant, if he or she is identifiable, with portions of the draft inquiry report that address the complainant's role and opinions in the investigation.

Confidentiality
To the extent permitted by Georgia law, the Provost may establish reasonable conditions for review to protect the confidentiality of the draft report.

Receipt of Comments
Within ten (10) business days of their receipt of the draft report, the complainant and respondent will provide their comments, if any, to the inquiry committee. Any comments that the complainant or respondent submits on the draft report will become part of the final inquiry report and record. Based on the comments, the inquiry committee may revise the report as appropriate.

Decision by President
The Provost will transmit the final report and any comments to the President, who will make the determination of whether findings from the inquiry provide sufficient evidence of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct to justify conducting an investigation.  The inquiry is completed when the President makes this determination, which will be made within five (5) business days of receipt of the final report of the inquiry committee. Any extension of this period will be based on good cause and recorded in the inquiry file.

Notification
The Provost will notify both the respondent and the complainant in writing of the President's decision of whether to proceed to an investigation and will remind them of their obligation to cooperate in the event an investigation is opened. The Provost will also notify all appropriate institutional officials of the President's decision.

Time Limit for Completing the Inquiry Report
The inquiry committee will normally complete the inquiry and submit its report in writing to the Provost no more than fifteen (15) business days following its first meeting, unless the Provost approves an extension for good cause. If the Provost approves an extension such that completion of the inquiry including the report will require more than sixty (60) calendar days, the reason for the extension will be entered into the records of the case and the report. The respondent will be notified of any extension.

5.7.7 Conducting the Investigation

Purpose of the Investigation
The purpose of the investigation is to explore in detail the allegations, to examine the evidence in depth, and to determine specifically whether misconduct has been committed, by whom, and to what extent. The investigation will also determine whether there are additional instances of possible misconduct that would justify broadening the scope beyond the initial allegations. This is particularly important where the alleged misconduct involves clinical trials or potential harm to human subjects or the general public or if it affects research that forms the basis for public policy, clinical practice, or public health practice. The findings of the investigation will be set forth in an investigation report.

Sequestration of the Research Records
The Provost will immediately sequester any additional pertinent research or other records that were identified during an inquiry and not previously sequestered. This sequestration should occur before or at the time the respondent is notified that an investigation has begun. The need for additional sequestration of records may occur for any number of reasons, including the institution's decision to investigate additional allegations not considered during the inquiry stage or the identification of records during the inquiry process that had not been previously secured. The procedures to be followed for sequestration during the investigation are the same procedures that apply during the inquiry.

Appointment of the Investigation Committee
The Provost, in consultation with other institutional officials as appropriate, will appoint an investigation committee and the committee chair within ten (10) business days of notifying the respondent that an investigation will take place. The investigation committee should consist of at least three individuals who do not have real or apparent conflicts of interest in the case, are unbiased, and have the necessary expertise to evaluate the evidence and issues related to the allegations, interview the principals and key witnesses, and conduct the investigation. These individuals may be scientists, administrators, subject matter experts, lawyers, or other qualified persons, and they may be from inside or outside the institution.  Individuals appointed to the investigation committee may also have served on the inquiry committee.

Upon selection, the Provost will notify the respondent of the proposed committee membership. If the respondent submits a written objection within ten (10) business days to any appointed member of the investigation committee or expert, the Provost will determine whether to replace the challenged member or expert with a qualified substitute.

Charge to the Committee
The Provost will define the subject matter of the investigation in a written charge to the committee that describes the allegations and related issues identified during the inquiry, define scientific and other scholarly misconduct, and identify the name of the respondent. The charge will state that the committee is to evaluate the evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether, based on a preponderance of the evidence, scientific or other scholarly misconduct occurred and, if so, to what extent, who was responsible, and its seriousness.

During the investigation, if additional information becomes available that substantially changes the subject matter of the investigation or would suggest additional respondents, the committee will notify the Provost, who will determine whether it is necessary to notify the respondent of the new subject matter or to provide notice to additional respondents.

The First Meeting
The Provost, with the assistance of the VP-LA&RM, will convene the first meeting of the investigation committee to review the charge, the inquiry report, and the prescribed procedures and standards for the conduct of the investigation, including the necessity for confidentiality and for developing a specific investigation plan. The investigation committee will be provided with a copy of these instructions and, where sponsor support is involved, the applicable sponsor regulation.

Investigation Process
The investigation committee will be appointed and the process initiated within thirty (30) calendar days of the completion of the inquiry, if findings from that inquiry provide a sufficient basis for conducting an investigation.

The investigation will normally involve examination of all documentation including, but not necessarily limited to, relevant research records, computer files, proposals, manuscripts, publications, correspondence, memoranda, and notes of telephone calls.  Whenever possible, the committee should interview the complainant(s), the respondents(s), and other individuals who might have information regarding aspects of the allegations. All other interviews should be transcribed, or tape recorded. Summaries of the tape recordings or transcripts of the interviews should be prepared, provided to the interviewed party for comment or revision, and included as part of the investigatory file.

5.7.8 The Investigation Report

Elements of the Investigation Report
The final report must describe the policies under which the investigation was conducted, describe the procedures used, describe how and from whom information relevant to the investigation was obtained, state the findings, and explain the basis for the findings. The report will include the actual text or an accurate summary of the views of any individual(s) found to have engaged in misconduct as well as a description of any sanctions imposed and administrative actions taken by the institution.

Comments on the Draft Report

Respondent
The Provost will provide the respondent with a copy of the draft investigation report for comment and rebuttal. The respondent will be allowed ten (10) business days to review and comment on the draft report. The respondent's comments will be attached to the final report. The findings of the final report should take into account the respondent's comments in addition to all the other evidence.

Complainant
The Provost will provide the complainant, if he or she is identifiable, with those portions of the draft investigation report that address the complainant's role and opinions in the investigation. The report should be modified, as appropriate, based on the complainant's comments, which must be received by the committee within ten (10) business days.

Vice-President for Legal Affairs and Risk Management (VP-LA&RM)
The draft investigation report will be transmitted to the VP-LA&RM for a review. Comments should be incorporated into the report as appropriate.

Confidentiality
In distributing the draft report, or portions thereof, to the respondent and complainant, the Provost will inform the recipient of the confidentiality under which the draft report is made available and may establish reasonable conditions to ensure such confidentiality. For example, the Provost may request the recipient to sign a confidentiality statement, come to his or her office, or come to the VP-LA&RM’s office to review the report.

Transmittal of the Final Investigation Report
After comments have been received and the necessary changes have been made to the draft report, the investigation committee should transmit the final report with attachments, including the respondent's and complainant's comments, to the President, through the Provost.

Institutional Review and Decision
The President will review the final report and recommendations of the Investigation Committee. Based on a preponderance of the evidence, the President will make the final determination whether to accept the investigation report, its findings, and the recommended institutional actions. The President will make the final decision regarding any institutional actions or the imposition of any sanctions. There is no further appeal within Georgia Tech of any sanctions imposed as a result of a finding of scientific or other scholarly misconduct.

If the President’s determination varies from that of the investigation committee, the President will explain in detail the basis for rendering a decision different from that of the investigation committee in a letter to the Provost which shall become part of the investigation file.  This shall also be included in Georgia Tech’s letter transmitting the report to appropriate sponsor including ORI if PHS funding or a proposal for such funding is involved. The President's explanation should be consistent with the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct (Section 5.7.2 of this policy) and the evidence reviewed and analyzed by the investigation committee. The President may also return the report to the investigation committee with a request for further fact-finding or analysis. The President's determination, together with the investigation committee's report, constitutes the final investigation report for purposes of review as may be required by law or sponsor regulations.

When a final decision on the case has been reached, the Provost will notify both the respondent and the complainant in writing. In addition, the President will determine whether law enforcement agencies, professional societies, professional licensing boards, editors of journals in which falsified reports may have been published, collaborators of the respondent in the work, or other relevant parties should be notified of the outcome of the case. The Provost is responsible for ensuring compliance with all requirements to notify sponsors.

Time Limit for Completing the Investigation Report
An investigation should ordinarily be completed within one hundred twenty (120) calendar days of its initiation, with the initiation being defined as the first meeting of the investigation committee. This includes conducting the investigation, preparing the report of findings, making the draft report available to the subject of the investigation for comment, submitting the report to the President for approval, and submitting the report to the sponsor if required.

5.7.9 Requirements for Reporting to Sponsers

In the event that an allegation of scientific or other scholarly misconduct involves grants, contracts or cooperative agreements or proposals or applications for funding submitted to a Federal or other sponsor, the Provost’s decision to initiate an investigation must be reported in writing to that sponsor if required by state or Federal laws or the sponsor’s regulations or by contractual agreement (see Section 5.7.13, Reference 7). At a minimum, notification, when required, should include the name of the person(s) against whom the allegations have been made, the general nature of the allegation as it relates to the definition of scientific and other scholarly misconduct, and the applications or grant number(s) involved.  In accordance with the applicable regulations, Georgia Tech may also be required to notify the sponsor of the final outcome of the investigation and provide a copy of the investigation report.  Any significant variations from the provisions of the institutional policies and procedures should be explained in any reports submitted to a sponsor.

If Georgia Tech plans to terminate an inquiry or investigation for any reason without completing all relevant requirements of the applicable regulations, the Provost will submit a report of the planned termination to the sponsor, including a description of the reasons for the proposed termination as required by those regulations.

If Georgia Tech determines that it will not be able to complete the investigation in one-hundred twenty (120) days, Georgia Tech may be required to submit to the sponsor a written request for an extension that explains the delay, reports on the progress to date, estimates the date of completion of the report, and describes other necessary steps to be taken. If such a request is required in the event that the scientific or other scholarly misconduct occurred in a activity supported by PHS, the Provost will submit it and, if the request is granted, the Provost will file periodic progress reports as requested by the ORI.

When an admission of scientific or other scholarly misconduct is made, the individual making the admission will normally be asked to sign a statement attesting to the occurrence and extent of misconduct (see Reference 8).

The Provost will notify sponsors or other appropriate Federal, state or local officials or Georgia Tech administrative officials at any stage of the inquiry or investigation if:

  • There is an immediate health hazard involved;
  • There is an immediate need to protect Federal funds or equipment;
  • There is an immediate need to protect the interests of the person(s) making the allegations or of the individual(s) who is the subject of the allegations as well as his/her co-investigators and associates, if any;
  • It is probable that the alleged incident is going to be reported publicly;
  • The allegation involves a public health sensitive issue, e.g., a clinical trial; or
  • There is a reasonable indication of possible criminal violation (see Section 5.7.13, Reference 9).

5.7.10 Institutional Administrative Actions

Georgia Tech will take appropriate administrative actions against individuals when an allegation of misconduct has been substantiated.  If the President determines that the alleged misconduct is substantiated by the findings, he or she will decide on the appropriate actions to be taken, after consultation with the Provost. The actions may include: withdrawal or correction of all pending or published abstracts and papers emanating from the research where scientific or other scholarly misconduct was found; removal of the responsible person from the particular project; letter of reprimand; special monitoring of future work; probation; suspension; salary reduction; or initiation of steps leading to possible rank reduction or termination of employment; restitution of funds as appropriate; or failure or reduction of a grade in a course.

5.7.11 Other Considerations

Termination of Institutional Employment, Resignation, or Withdrawal from the Institution Prior to Completing Inquiry or Investigation
The termination of the respondent's institutional employment or enrollment, by resignation or otherwise, before or after an allegation of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct has been reported, will not preclude or terminate the misconduct procedures.  If the respondent, without admitting to the misconduct, elects to resign his or her position prior to the initiation of an inquiry, but after an allegation has been reported, or during an inquiry or investigation, the inquiry or investigation will proceed. If the respondent refuses to participate in the process after resignation, the committee will use its best efforts to reach a conclusion concerning the allegations, noting in its report the respondent's failure to cooperate and its effect on the committee's review of all the evidence.

Restoration of the Respondent's Reputation
If Georgia Tech finds no misconduct, after completing any required consultation with a sponsor and after consulting with the respondent, the Provost will undertake reasonable efforts to restore the respondent's reputation.

Depending on the particular circumstances, the Provost should consider notifying those individuals aware of or involved in the investigation of the final outcome, publicizing the final outcome in forums in which the allegation of scientific or other scholarly misconduct was previously publicized, or expunging all reference to the scientific or other scholarly misconduct allegation from the respondent's personnel file. Any institutional actions to restore the respondent's reputation must first be approved by the President.

Protection of the Complainant and Others
Regardless of whether the institution or ORI determines that scientific or other scholarly misconduct occurred, the Provost will undertake reasonable efforts to protect complainants who made allegations of scientific or other scholarly misconduct in good faith and others who cooperate in good faith with inquiries and investigations of such allegations. Upon completion of an investigation, the President will determine, after consulting with the complainant, what steps, if any, are needed to restore the position or reputation of the complainant. The Provost is responsible for implementing any steps the President approves.  The Provost will also take appropriate steps during the inquiry and investigation to prevent any retaliation against the complainant.

Allegations Not Made in Good Faith
If relevant, the President will determine whether the complainant's allegations of scientific or other scholarly misconduct were made in good faith. If an allegation was not made in good faith, the President will determine whether any administrative action should be taken against the complainant.

Interim Administrative Actions
Institutional officials will take interim administrative actions, as appropriate, to protect Federal funds and ensure that the purposes of the Federal financial assistance are carried out.

5.7.12 Record Retention

After completion of a case and all ensuing related actions, the VP-LA&RM will prepare a complete file, including the records of any inquiry or investigation and copies of all documents and other materials furnished to the Provost or committees. The Office of Legal Affairs will keep the file for three years after completion of the case to permit later assessment of the case. As required by law or regulation, sponsor personnel, including ORI or other authorized DHHS personnel in cases involving PHS support, will be given access to the records upon request.

5.7.13 References

  1. The PHS regulation at 42 C.F.R. Part 50, Subpart A applies to any research, research-training or research-related grant or cooperative agreement with PHS.
  2. The DOD Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFARS) lay out minimum requirements of a system of management controls to promote integrity and honesty in the contractor’s business conduct. These are found at SUBPART 203.70--CONTRACTOR STANDARDS OF CONDUCT.
  3. http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/
  4. The Georgia Institute of Technology Policy on Conflict of Interest, Consulting, and Disclosure may be found in Section 5.6 of the Faculty Handbook.
  5. See Section 5.7.11.
  6. In the event PHS funding or applications for PHS funding are involved, the Provost and VP-LA&RM may consult with ORI for advice and assistance regarding the sequestration of research records.
  7. In the event the alleged scientific or other scholarly misconduct involves PHS funding or proposals or applications submitted for PHS funding, Georgia Tech’s decision to initiate or terminate an investigation must be reported in writing to the Director, ORI, on or before the date the investigation begins.
  8. When the case involves PHS support, Georgia Tech cannot accept an admission of scientific misconduct as a basis for closing a case or not undertaking an investigation without prior approval from ORI.
  9. In this instance, the institution must inform ORI within twenty-four (24) hours of obtaining that information if PHS funding is involved.
     

5.7.1 Introduction

General Policy
Georgia Tech expects all personnel to conduct themselves in a professional manner that will maintain the high standards and integrity of the Institute.

Scope
This policy and the associated procedures apply to all individuals at Georgia Tech engaged in research or other scholarly activity regardless of the source of funding for the activity including but not limited to funding or proposed funding from federal sources (see References 1 and 2). This policy applies to any person paid by, under the control of, or affiliated with the institution, such as scientists, trainees, technicians and other staff members, students, fellows, guest researchers, or collaborators with or at Georgia Tech. The policy and associated procedures will normally be followed when an allegation of possible misconduct in science is received by an institutional official. Particular circumstances in an individual case may dictate variation from the normal procedure deemed in the best interests of Georgia Tech and the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). Any change from normal procedures also must ensure fair treatment to the subject of the inquiry or investigation. Any significant variation should be approved in advance by the Provost of Georgia Tech.

This policy and the procedural requirements involved in handling allegations of scientific or other scholarly misconduct are intended to be sensitive to the varied demands made on those who conduct research and other scholarly activities, those who are accused of misconduct, and those who report apparent misconduct in good faith.

This policy does not replace or supersede the Academic Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct found in the Georgia Institute of Technology General Catalogue (see Reference 3) for students subject to that policy, except when the alleged scientific or other scholarly misconduct occurs in sponsor supported activities.

5.7.2 Definitions

Allegation means any written or oral statement or other indication of possible Scientific or Other Scholarly

Misconduct made to an institutional official.

Complainant means a person who makes an allegation of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct.

Conflict of interest means, for purposes of the administration of this policy, the real or apparent interference of one person's interests with the interests of another person, where potential bias may occur due to prior or existing personal or professional relationships (see Reference 4).

Good faith allegation means an allegation made with the honest belief that Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct may have occurred. An allegation is not in good faith if it is made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation.

Inquiry means gathering information and initial fact-finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct warrants an investigation.

Investigation means the formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine if misconduct has occurred, and, if so, to determine the responsible person and the seriousness of the misconduct.

ORI means the Office of Research Integrity, the office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that is responsible for the scientific misconduct and research integrity activities of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS).  In the event the sponsor is the PHS, ORI will be notified as required by Section 50.104(a)(1-7) of 42CFR Part 50, Subpart A.

PHS means the U.S. Public Health Service, an operating component of DHHS.

PHS regulation means the Public Health Service regulation establishing standards for institutional inquiries and investigations into allegations of scientific misconduct, which is set forth at 42 C.F.R. Part 50, Subpart A, entitled "Responsibility of PHS Awardee and Applicant Institutions for Dealing With and Reporting Possible Misconduct in Science."

PHS support means PHS grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements or applications for such funding.

Research record means any data, document, computer file, computer diskette, or any other written or non-written account or object that reasonably may be expected to provide evidence or information regarding the proposed, conducted, or reported research that constitutes the subject of an allegation of scientific misconduct. A research record includes, but is not limited to, grant or contract applications, whether funded or unfunded; grant or contract progress and other reports; laboratory notebooks; notes; correspondence; videos; photographs; X-ray film; slides; biological materials; computer files and printouts; manuscripts and publications; equipment use logs; laboratory procurement records; animal facility records; human and animal subject protocols; consent forms; medical charts; and patient research files.

Respondent means the person against whom an allegation of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct is directed or the person whose actions are the subject of the inquiry or investigation. There can be more than one respondent in any inquiry or investigation.

Retaliation means any action that adversely affects the employment or other institutional status of an individual that is taken by an institution or an employee because the individual has in good faith made an allegation of scientific misconduct or of inadequate institutional response thereto or has cooperated in good faith with an investigation of such allegation.

Scientific or other scholarly misconduct or misconduct in science means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

Sponsor means any agency of the U.S. Federal government, state government, private foundation, corporation, or other entity external to Georgia Tech that provides funds or other support to support a research project, research program, or other scholarly activity.  In the event the sponsor is the PHS, ORI will be notified (as defined above).

Sponsor support means any grant, contract, cooperative agreement, fellowship award, or any proposal or application for such funding.

5.7.3 Rights & Responsibilities

Provost
The Provost in consultation with the Vice President for Legal Affairs and Risk Management (VP-LA&RM) will have primary responsibility for implementation of the procedures set forth in this document.

The Provost will appoint the inquiry and investigation committees and ensure that necessary and appropriate expertise is secured to carry out a thorough and authoritative evaluation of the relevant evidence in an inquiry or investigation.

The VP-LA&RM on behalf of the Provost will assist inquiry and investigation committees and all institutional personnel in complying with these procedures and with applicable standards imposed by government or external funding sources. The VP-LA&RM will attempt to ensure that confidentiality is maintained. The VP-LA&RM is also responsible for maintaining files of all documents and evidence and for the confidentiality and the security of the files.

The Provost will report to any sponsor as required by law, regulation, or contractual agreement and keep the sponsor apprised of any developments during the course of the inquiry or investigation that may affect current or potential funding for the individual(s) under investigation or that the sponsor needs to know to ensure appropriate use of sponsor funds and otherwise protect the public interest.

Complainant
The complainant will have an opportunity to testify before the inquiry and investigation committees, to review portions of the inquiry and investigation reports pertinent to his/her allegations or testimony, to be informed of the results of the inquiry and investigation, and to be protected from retaliation. Also, if the Provost has determined that the complainant may be able to provide pertinent information on any portions of the draft report, these portions will be given to the complainant for comment. The complainant is responsible for making allegations in good faith, maintaining confidentiality, and cooperating with an inquiry or investigation.

Respondent
The respondent will be informed of the allegations when an inquiry is opened and notified in writing of the final determinations and resulting actions. The respondent will also have the opportunity to be interviewed by and present evidence to the inquiry and investigation committees, to review the draft inquiry and investigation reports, and to have the advice of counsel. The respondent is responsible for maintaining confidentiality and cooperating with the conduct of an inquiry or investigation. If the respondent is not found guilty of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, he or she has the right to receive institutional assistance in restoring his or her reputation such as verbal notification or written documentation that no misconduct was found (see Reference 5).

President
The President will receive the inquiry and/or investigation report and any written comments made by the respondent or the complainant on the draft report. The President will consult with the Provost or other appropriate officials and will determine whether to conduct an investigation, whether misconduct occurred, whether to impose sanctions, or whether to take other appropriate administrative actions as provided in Georgia Tech policies and the policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

5.7.4 General Policies & Principles

Responsibility to Report Misconduct
All employees or individuals associated with Georgia Tech shall report observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct in science to the Provost or Executive Vice-President for Research. If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, he or she may call the VP-LA&RM to discuss the suspected misconduct informally. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct, the Provost will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem. Compliance concerns in the Georgia Tech Research Institute may also be reported via their hotline. At any time, an employee may have confidential discussions and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the Provost and will be counseled about appropriate procedures for reporting allegations.

Protecting the Complainant
The Provost will monitor the treatment of individuals who bring allegations of misconduct or of inadequate institutional response thereto, and those who cooperate in inquiries or investigations. The Provost will ensure that these persons will not be retaliated against in the terms and conditions of their employment or other status at the institution and will review instances of alleged retaliation for appropriate action. Employees should immediately report any alleged or apparent retaliation to the Provost.

Also the institution will protect the privacy of those who report misconduct in good faith to the maximum extent permitted by Georgia law. For example, if the Complainant requests anonymity, the institution will make an effort to honor the request during the allegation assessment or inquiry within applicable policies and regulations and Georgia law. The Complainant will be advised that if the matter is referred to an investigation committee and the complainant's testimony is required, anonymity may no longer be guaranteed. Georgia Tech will make efforts to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations.

Protecting the Respondent
Inquiries and investigations will be conducted in a manner that will ensure fair treatment to the respondent(s) in the inquiry or investigation and confidentiality to the extent possible without compromising public health and safety or thoroughly carrying out the inquiry or investigation.

Institute employees accused of scientific or other scholarly misconduct may consult with legal counsel or a non-lawyer personal adviser (who is not a principal or witness in the case) to seek advice.

Cooperation with Inquiries and Investigations
All Georgia Tech employees will cooperate with the Committee of Inquiry, committee of Investigation and VP-LA&RM and other institutional officials in the review of allegations and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. All employees have an obligation to provide relevant evidence to the committees or VP-LA&RM or other institutional officials on misconduct allegations.

Decision to Conduct an Inquiry
Upon receiving an allegation of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, the Provost in consultation with the VP-LA&RM will immediately assess the allegation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant an inquiry, whether sponsor support is involved, and whether the allegation falls under the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct found in Section 5.7.2 of this policy.

5.7.5 Conducting the Inquiry

Responsibility to Report Misconduct
Following the preliminary assessment, if the Provost determines that the allegation provides sufficient information to allow specific follow-up, involves PHS support, and falls under the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, he or she will immediately initiate the inquiry process. In initiating the inquiry, the Provost should identify clearly the original allegation and any related issues that should be evaluated. The purpose of the inquiry is to make a preliminary evaluation of the available evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct to warrant an investigation. The purpose of the inquiry is not to reach a final conclusion about whether misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible. The findings of the inquiry must be set forth in an inquiry report.

Sequestration of the Research and Other Records
After determining that an allegation falls within the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct, the Provost must ensure that all original research and other records and materials relevant to the allegation are immediately secured (see Section 5.7.13, Reference 6).

Appointment of the Inquiry Committee
The Provost, in consultation with other institutional officials as appropriate, will appoint an inquiry committee and committee chair within five (5) business days of the initiation of the inquiry. The inquiry committee should consist of individuals who do not have real or apparent conflicts of interest in the case, and who are unbiased, and have the necessary expertise to evaluate the evidence and issues related to the allegation, interview the principals and key witnesses, and conduct the inquiry. These individuals may be scientists, subject matter experts, administrators, lawyers, or other qualified persons, and they may be from inside or outside the institution.

The Provost will notify the respondent of the proposed committee membership upon its appointment. If the respondent submits a written objection to any appointed member of the inquiry committee or expert based on bias or conflict of interest within five (5) business days, the Provost will determine whether to replace the challenged member or expert with a qualified substitute.

Charge to the Committee and the First Meeting
The Provost will prepare a charge for the inquiry committee that describes the allegations and any related issues identified during the allegation assessment and states that the purpose of the inquiry is to make a preliminary evaluation of the evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct to warrant an investigation as required by this policy. The purpose is not to determine whether scientific or other scholarly misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible.

At the committee's first meeting, the Provost will review the charge with the committee, discuss the allegations, any related issues, and the appropriate procedures for conducting the inquiry, assist the committee with organizing plans for the inquiry, and answer any questions raised by the committee. The VP-LA&RM will be present or available throughout the inquiry to advise the committee as needed.

Inquiry Process
The inquiry committee will normally interview the complainant, respondent, and key witnesses as well as examining relevant research records and materials.  Then the inquiry committee will evaluate the evidence and testimony obtained during the inquiry. After consultation with the Provost and institutional counsel, the committee members will decide whether there is sufficient evidence of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct to recommend further investigation.  The scope of the inquiry does not include deciding whether misconduct occurred or conducting exhaustive interviews and analyses.

5.7.6 The Inquiry Report

Elements of the Inquiry Report
A written inquiry report must be prepared that states the name and title of the committee members and experts, if any; the allegations; sponsor support; a summary of the inquiry process used; a list of the research records reviewed; summaries of any interviews; a description of the evidence in sufficient detail to demonstrate whether an investigation is warranted or not; and the committee's determination as to whether an investigation is recommended and whether any other actions should be taken if an investigation is not recommended. The VP-LA&RM will review the draft report.

Comments on the Draft Report by the Respondent and the Complainant
The Provost will provide the respondent with a copy of the draft inquiry report for comment and rebuttal and will provide the complainant, if he or she is identifiable, with portions of the draft inquiry report that address the complainant's role and opinions in the investigation.

Confidentiality
To the extent permitted by Georgia law, the Provost may establish reasonable conditions for review to protect the confidentiality of the draft report.

Receipt of Comments
Within ten (10) business days of their receipt of the draft report, the complainant and respondent will provide their comments, if any, to the inquiry committee. Any comments that the complainant or respondent submits on the draft report will become part of the final inquiry report and record. Based on the comments, the inquiry committee may revise the report as appropriate.

Decision by President
The Provost will transmit the final report and any comments to the President, who will make the determination of whether findings from the inquiry provide sufficient evidence of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct to justify conducting an investigation.  The inquiry is completed when the President makes this determination, which will be made within five (5) business days of receipt of the final report of the inquiry committee. Any extension of this period will be based on good cause and recorded in the inquiry file.

Notification
The Provost will notify both the respondent and the complainant in writing of the President's decision of whether to proceed to an investigation and will remind them of their obligation to cooperate in the event an investigation is opened. The Provost will also notify all appropriate institutional officials of the President's decision.

Time Limit for Completing the Inquiry Report
The inquiry committee will normally complete the inquiry and submit its report in writing to the Provost no more than fifteen (15) business days following its first meeting, unless the Provost approves an extension for good cause. If the Provost approves an extension such that completion of the inquiry including the report will require more than sixty (60) calendar days, the reason for the extension will be entered into the records of the case and the report. The respondent will be notified of any extension.

5.7.7 Conducting the Investigation

Purpose of the Investigation
The purpose of the investigation is to explore in detail the allegations, to examine the evidence in depth, and to determine specifically whether misconduct has been committed, by whom, and to what extent. The investigation will also determine whether there are additional instances of possible misconduct that would justify broadening the scope beyond the initial allegations. This is particularly important where the alleged misconduct involves clinical trials or potential harm to human subjects or the general public or if it affects research that forms the basis for public policy, clinical practice, or public health practice. The findings of the investigation will be set forth in an investigation report.

Sequestration of the Research Records
The Provost will immediately sequester any additional pertinent research or other records that were identified during an inquiry and not previously sequestered. This sequestration should occur before or at the time the respondent is notified that an investigation has begun. The need for additional sequestration of records may occur for any number of reasons, including the institution's decision to investigate additional allegations not considered during the inquiry stage or the identification of records during the inquiry process that had not been previously secured. The procedures to be followed for sequestration during the investigation are the same procedures that apply during the inquiry.

Appointment of the Investigation Committee
The Provost, in consultation with other institutional officials as appropriate, will appoint an investigation committee and the committee chair within ten (10) business days of notifying the respondent that an investigation will take place. The investigation committee should consist of at least three individuals who do not have real or apparent conflicts of interest in the case, are unbiased, and have the necessary expertise to evaluate the evidence and issues related to the allegations, interview the principals and key witnesses, and conduct the investigation. These individuals may be scientists, administrators, subject matter experts, lawyers, or other qualified persons, and they may be from inside or outside the institution.  Individuals appointed to the investigation committee may also have served on the inquiry committee.

Upon selection, the Provost will notify the respondent of the proposed committee membership. If the respondent submits a written objection within ten (10) business days to any appointed member of the investigation committee or expert, the Provost will determine whether to replace the challenged member or expert with a qualified substitute.

Charge to the Committee
The Provost will define the subject matter of the investigation in a written charge to the committee that describes the allegations and related issues identified during the inquiry, define scientific and other scholarly misconduct, and identify the name of the respondent. The charge will state that the committee is to evaluate the evidence and testimony of the respondent, complainant, and key witnesses to determine whether, based on a preponderance of the evidence, scientific or other scholarly misconduct occurred and, if so, to what extent, who was responsible, and its seriousness.

During the investigation, if additional information becomes available that substantially changes the subject matter of the investigation or would suggest additional respondents, the committee will notify the Provost, who will determine whether it is necessary to notify the respondent of the new subject matter or to provide notice to additional respondents.

The First Meeting
The Provost, with the assistance of the VP-LA&RM, will convene the first meeting of the investigation committee to review the charge, the inquiry report, and the prescribed procedures and standards for the conduct of the investigation, including the necessity for confidentiality and for developing a specific investigation plan. The investigation committee will be provided with a copy of these instructions and, where sponsor support is involved, the applicable sponsor regulation.

Investigation Process
The investigation committee will be appointed and the process initiated within thirty (30) calendar days of the completion of the inquiry, if findings from that inquiry provide a sufficient basis for conducting an investigation.

The investigation will normally involve examination of all documentation including, but not necessarily limited to, relevant research records, computer files, proposals, manuscripts, publications, correspondence, memoranda, and notes of telephone calls.  Whenever possible, the committee should interview the complainant(s), the respondents(s), and other individuals who might have information regarding aspects of the allegations. All other interviews should be transcribed, or tape recorded. Summaries of the tape recordings or transcripts of the interviews should be prepared, provided to the interviewed party for comment or revision, and included as part of the investigatory file.

5.7.8 The Investigation Report

Elements of the Investigation Report
The final report must describe the policies under which the investigation was conducted, describe the procedures used, describe how and from whom information relevant to the investigation was obtained, state the findings, and explain the basis for the findings. The report will include the actual text or an accurate summary of the views of any individual(s) found to have engaged in misconduct as well as a description of any sanctions imposed and administrative actions taken by the institution.

Comments on the Draft Report

Respondent
The Provost will provide the respondent with a copy of the draft investigation report for comment and rebuttal. The respondent will be allowed ten (10) business days to review and comment on the draft report. The respondent's comments will be attached to the final report. The findings of the final report should take into account the respondent's comments in addition to all the other evidence.

Complainant
The Provost will provide the complainant, if he or she is identifiable, with those portions of the draft investigation report that address the complainant's role and opinions in the investigation. The report should be modified, as appropriate, based on the complainant's comments, which must be received by the committee within ten (10) business days.

Vice-President for Legal Affairs and Risk Management (VP-LA&RM)
The draft investigation report will be transmitted to the VP-LA&RM for a review. Comments should be incorporated into the report as appropriate.

Confidentiality
In distributing the draft report, or portions thereof, to the respondent and complainant, the Provost will inform the recipient of the confidentiality under which the draft report is made available and may establish reasonable conditions to ensure such confidentiality. For example, the Provost may request the recipient to sign a confidentiality statement, come to his or her office, or come to the VP-LA&RM’s office to review the report.

Transmittal of the Final Investigation Report
After comments have been received and the necessary changes have been made to the draft report, the investigation committee should transmit the final report with attachments, including the respondent's and complainant's comments, to the President, through the Provost.

Institutional Review and Decision
The President will review the final report and recommendations of the Investigation Committee. Based on a preponderance of the evidence, the President will make the final determination whether to accept the investigation report, its findings, and the recommended institutional actions. The President will make the final decision regarding any institutional actions or the imposition of any sanctions. There is no further appeal within Georgia Tech of any sanctions imposed as a result of a finding of scientific or other scholarly misconduct.

If the President’s determination varies from that of the investigation committee, the President will explain in detail the basis for rendering a decision different from that of the investigation committee in a letter to the Provost which shall become part of the investigation file.  This shall also be included in Georgia Tech’s letter transmitting the report to appropriate sponsor including ORI if PHS funding or a proposal for such funding is involved. The President's explanation should be consistent with the definition of scientific or other scholarly misconduct (Section 5.7.2 of this policy) and the evidence reviewed and analyzed by the investigation committee. The President may also return the report to the investigation committee with a request for further fact-finding or analysis. The President's determination, together with the investigation committee's report, constitutes the final investigation report for purposes of review as may be required by law or sponsor regulations.

When a final decision on the case has been reached, the Provost will notify both the respondent and the complainant in writing. In addition, the President will determine whether law enforcement agencies, professional societies, professional licensing boards, editors of journals in which falsified reports may have been published, collaborators of the respondent in the work, or other relevant parties should be notified of the outcome of the case. The Provost is responsible for ensuring compliance with all requirements to notify sponsors.

Time Limit for Completing the Investigation Report
An investigation should ordinarily be completed within one hundred twenty (120) calendar days of its initiation, with the initiation being defined as the first meeting of the investigation committee. This includes conducting the investigation, preparing the report of findings, making the draft report available to the subject of the investigation for comment, submitting the report to the President for approval, and submitting the report to the sponsor if required.

5.7.9 Requirements for Reporting to Sponsers

In the event that an allegation of scientific or other scholarly misconduct involves grants, contracts or cooperative agreements or proposals or applications for funding submitted to a Federal or other sponsor, the Provost’s decision to initiate an investigation must be reported in writing to that sponsor if required by state or Federal laws or the sponsor’s regulations or by contractual agreement (see Section 5.7.13, Reference 7). At a minimum, notification, when required, should include the name of the person(s) against whom the allegations have been made, the general nature of the allegation as it relates to the definition of scientific and other scholarly misconduct, and the applications or grant number(s) involved.  In accordance with the applicable regulations, Georgia Tech may also be required to notify the sponsor of the final outcome of the investigation and provide a copy of the investigation report.  Any significant variations from the provisions of the institutional policies and procedures should be explained in any reports submitted to a sponsor.

If Georgia Tech plans to terminate an inquiry or investigation for any reason without completing all relevant requirements of the applicable regulations, the Provost will submit a report of the planned termination to the sponsor, including a description of the reasons for the proposed termination as required by those regulations.

If Georgia Tech determines that it will not be able to complete the investigation in one-hundred twenty (120) days, Georgia Tech may be required to submit to the sponsor a written request for an extension that explains the delay, reports on the progress to date, estimates the date of completion of the report, and describes other necessary steps to be taken. If such a request is required in the event that the scientific or other scholarly misconduct occurred in a activity supported by PHS, the Provost will submit it and, if the request is granted, the Provost will file periodic progress reports as requested by the ORI.

When an admission of scientific or other scholarly misconduct is made, the individual making the admission will normally be asked to sign a statement attesting to the occurrence and extent of misconduct (see Reference 8).

The Provost will notify sponsors or other appropriate Federal, state or local officials or Georgia Tech administrative officials at any stage of the inquiry or investigation if:

  • There is an immediate health hazard involved;
  • There is an immediate need to protect Federal funds or equipment;
  • There is an immediate need to protect the interests of the person(s) making the allegations or of the individual(s) who is the subject of the allegations as well as his/her co-investigators and associates, if any;
  • It is probable that the alleged incident is going to be reported publicly;
  • The allegation involves a public health sensitive issue, e.g., a clinical trial; or
  • There is a reasonable indication of possible criminal violation (see Section 5.7.13, Reference 9).

5.7.10 Institutional Administrative Actions

Georgia Tech will take appropriate administrative actions against individuals when an allegation of misconduct has been substantiated.  If the President determines that the alleged misconduct is substantiated by the findings, he or she will decide on the appropriate actions to be taken, after consultation with the Provost. The actions may include: withdrawal or correction of all pending or published abstracts and papers emanating from the research where scientific or other scholarly misconduct was found; removal of the responsible person from the particular project; letter of reprimand; special monitoring of future work; probation; suspension; salary reduction; or initiation of steps leading to possible rank reduction or termination of employment; restitution of funds as appropriate; or failure or reduction of a grade in a course.

5.7.11 Other Considerations

Termination of Institutional Employment, Resignation, or Withdrawal from the Institution Prior to Completing Inquiry or Investigation
The termination of the respondent's institutional employment or enrollment, by resignation or otherwise, before or after an allegation of possible scientific or other scholarly misconduct has been reported, will not preclude or terminate the misconduct procedures.  If the respondent, without admitting to the misconduct, elects to resign his or her position prior to the initiation of an inquiry, but after an allegation has been reported, or during an inquiry or investigation, the inquiry or investigation will proceed. If the respondent refuses to participate in the process after resignation, the committee will use its best efforts to reach a conclusion concerning the allegations, noting in its report the respondent's failure to cooperate and its effect on the committee's review of all the evidence.

Restoration of the Respondent's Reputation
If Georgia Tech finds no misconduct, after completing any required consultation with a sponsor and after consulting with the respondent, the Provost will undertake reasonable efforts to restore the respondent's reputation.

Depending on the particular circumstances, the Provost should consider notifying those individuals aware of or involved in the investigation of the final outcome, publicizing the final outcome in forums in which the allegation of scientific or other scholarly misconduct was previously publicized, or expunging all reference to the scientific or other scholarly misconduct allegation from the respondent's personnel file. Any institutional actions to restore the respondent's reputation must first be approved by the President.

Protection of the Complainant and Others
Regardless of whether the institution or ORI determines that scientific or other scholarly misconduct occurred, the Provost will undertake reasonable efforts to protect complainants who made allegations of scientific or other scholarly misconduct in good faith and others who cooperate in good faith with inquiries and investigations of such allegations. Upon completion of an investigation, the President will determine, after consulting with the complainant, what steps, if any, are needed to restore the position or reputation of the complainant. The Provost is responsible for implementing any steps the President approves.  The Provost will also take appropriate steps during the inquiry and investigation to prevent any retaliation against the complainant.

Allegations Not Made in Good Faith
If relevant, the President will determine whether the complainant's allegations of scientific or other scholarly misconduct were made in good faith. If an allegation was not made in good faith, the President will determine whether any administrative action should be taken against the complainant.

Interim Administrative Actions
Institutional officials will take interim administrative actions, as appropriate, to protect Federal funds and ensure that the purposes of the Federal financial assistance are carried out.

5.7.12 Record Retention

After completion of a case and all ensuing related actions, the VP-LA&RM will prepare a complete file, including the records of any inquiry or investigation and copies of all documents and other materials furnished to the Provost or committees. The Office of Legal Affairs will keep the file for three years after completion of the case to permit later assessment of the case. As required by law or regulation, sponsor personnel, including ORI or other authorized DHHS personnel in cases involving PHS support, will be given access to the records upon request.

5.7.13 References

  1. The PHS regulation at 42 C.F.R. Part 50, Subpart A applies to any research, research-training or research-related grant or cooperative agreement with PHS.
  2. The DOD Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFARS) lay out minimum requirements of a system of management controls to promote integrity and honesty in the contractor’s business conduct. These are found at SUBPART 203.70--CONTRACTOR STANDARDS OF CONDUCT.
  3. http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/
  4. The Georgia Institute of Technology Policy on Conflict of Interest, Consulting, and Disclosure may be found in Section 5.6 of the Faculty Handbook.
  5. See Section 5.7.11.
  6. In the event PHS funding or applications for PHS funding are involved, the Provost and VP-LA&RM may consult with ORI for advice and assistance regarding the sequestration of research records.
  7. In the event the alleged scientific or other scholarly misconduct involves PHS funding or proposals or applications submitted for PHS funding, Georgia Tech’s decision to initiate or terminate an investigation must be reported in writing to the Director, ORI, on or before the date the investigation begins.
  8. When the case involves PHS support, Georgia Tech cannot accept an admission of scientific misconduct as a basis for closing a case or not undertaking an investigation without prior approval from ORI.
  9. In this instance, the institution must inform ORI within twenty-four (24) hours of obtaining that information if PHS funding is involved.