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.