5600 - Financial Disclosure Policy
Last updated: August 01, 2012
PREAMBLE: This policy reflects NSF, NIH and other agencies’ requirements and applies to all University investigators applying to funding authorities that mandate disclosure of significant financial interests. This section was added to the Handbook in July of 1995. Unless otherwise noted, the text is as of July 1996. On August 24, 2012 an emergency policy FSH 5650 was enacted to supersede application of this policy, FSH 5600, to financial conflicts of interest related to Public Health Services funded research and to supplement FSH 3170 and FSH 6240. Further information may be obtained from the Research Office (208-885-6651). (rev. 8-12)
A-1. Investigator refers to the principal investigator, co-principal investigators, and any other person at UI who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research substantially funded by money managed by UI.
A-2. Research is a scholarly activity or creative endeavor designed to develop or contribute to a field of knowledge.
A-3. Significant Financial Interest means anything of monetary value held by an investigator or that investigator's spouse and dependent children. This includes, but is not limited to, salary or other payments for services (e.g. consulting fees or honoraria), equity interests (e.g. stocks, stock options or other ownership interest), and intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights, and royalties from such rights). Significant financial interest, however does not include:
a. Salary, royalties, other remuneration from UI, or other ownership interests in any UI entity or activity;
b. Income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by public or nonprofit entities;
c. Income from service on advisory committees or review panels for public or nonprofit entities; or
d. An equity interest that, when aggregated for the investigator and the investigator's spouse and dependent children, meets both of the following tests: does not exceed $10,000 in value as determined through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value, and does not represent more that 5% ownership interest in any single entity; or
e. Salary, royalties or other payments that, when aggregated for the investigator and the investigator's spouse and dependent children, are not expected to exceed $10,000 during the next twelve month period.
A-4. Business refers to a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, trust or foundation, or to any other individual or organization carrying on a business, whether or not operated for profit.
A-5. Intellectual Property means ideas, inventions, technology, creative expression and embodiments thereof in which a proprietary interest may be claimed without limitation, patents, copyrights, trademarks, know-how, and biological materials.
B-1. The University of Idaho requires investigators seeking funds from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, or other agencies that have mandated a financial disclosure policy to comply with the following policy, which is intended to comply with both the National Science Foundation Investigator Financial Disclosure Policy (Vol. 60 Fed. Reg. 132, July 11, 1995 pp 35820-35823), and the Public Health Service Policy (Vol. 60 Fed. Reg. 132, pp 35809-35819, and Vol. 60 Fed. Reg. 142, pp 39076-39077).
B-2. The vice president of research and economic development or his or her designee will be the university authority that reviews disclosures of all significant financial interests and approves a proposed activity or determines whether a report to a federal authority is required. The Research Office is responsible for creating and maintaining appropriate disclosure forms. (ed. 9-10)
C-1. Disclosure. Disclosure is the key mechanism to bring potential financial conflicts of interest to light for further evaluation and for oversight, where necessary.
C-2. University Responsibilities.
a. To best provide for the achievement of this policy, the university must (1) inform each investigator of the requirements regarding significant financial interests found in this policy and any other applicable university conflict of interest requirements and (2) solicit and review financial disclosure statements from each investigator who is planning to participate in any federally funded activity that requires such disclosure.
b. Additionally, the university must ensure that investigators have provided a listing of significant financial interests to the designated official, prior to submitting an application for funding, that discloses all significant financial interests that would reasonably appear to be affected by the activities funded or proposed for funding. The university must also make reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the regulations by investigators working for subgrantees and contractors, either by including those investigators in UI's policy or by receiving appropriate assurances from their employers.
c. The submitted financial disclosure forms will only be reviewed if UI is notified that the application is to be funded. This review and the resolution of any identified conflicts will occur prior to UI's expenditure of any funds under the award. All financial disclosures must be updated during the period of the award, either on an annual basis or as new reportable significant financial interests are obtained. Any conflicting interest that is identified subsequent to the UI's initial report under the award must be managed, reduced, or eliminated, at least on an interim basis, and in the case of PHS grants, reported within 60 days of that identification.
d. The university must keep these disclosures confidential, treating them as a portion of an employee's confidential file. The vice president of research and economic development will be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of disclosures, following all UI guidelines for UI personnel files. Such records can only be disclosed with the permission of the investigator, unless the university is required by law to disclose. (ed. 9-10)
e. In each application submitted for funding, UI must certify that this policy is in effect and will be enforced to identify and manage, reduce or eliminate significant financial interest prior to UI's expenditure of any funds under the award. Conflicts which cannot be satisfactorily managed, reduced or eliminated must be disclosed to the proper funding authority prior to issuance of the award. Records, identifiable to each award, of all financial disclosures and all action taken by UI with respect to each significant financial interest, must be maintained for at least three years beyond the termination or completion of the grant to which they relate or until the resolution of any action taken by a funding authority involving those records, whichever is latest.
C-3. Employee Responsibilities. Each investigator shall disclose, in writing, all significant financial interests of the investigator and the investigator's spouse and dependent children that would reasonably appear to be affected by the activities funded or proposed for funding by the grant agency; or in entities whose financial interests could reasonably appear to be affected by such activities to the vice president of research and economic development on forms to be provided by the Research Office. Each investigator is also responsible for updating financial disclosure statements during the period of the award, either on an annual basis or as new reportable significant financial interests are obtained. (ed. 9-10)
C-4. Approval Process.
a. The vice president of research and economic development or his or her designee will make a determination regarding conflicts of interest upon review of the financial disclosure form submitted by the investigator(s). For the purposes of this policy, a conflict of interest exists when the review has determined that a significant financial interest could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct or reporting of the research or educational activities funded or proposed for funding by the agency. If necessary, the vice president will impose conditions or restrictions to manage, reduce or eliminate conflicts of interest including but not limited to: (ed. 9-10)
(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 agency-funded research that would be affected by the significant financial interests;
(5) divestiture of significant financial interests;
(6) severance of relationships that create actual or potential conflicts.
b. The vice president of research and economic development shall have the authority to approve, disapprove, or approve with conditions any conflict of interest. (ed. 9-10)
c. In instances when the vice president of research and economic development intends to reject the employee's request, he or she will advise the employee of that intent and, if the employee so requests, will refer the matter to the provost for a final decision. (ed. 9-10)
C-5. Post Approval Measures.
a. Prior to the university's expenditure of any funds under the award, UI will report to the appropriate awarding component of the granting agency the existence of any conflicting interest (but not the nature of the interest or other details) found by UI and assure that the interest has been managed, reduced or eliminated. Any financial interest UI identifies as conflicting subsequent to UI's initial report under the award must be reported and the conflicting interest managed, reduced, or eliminated, at least on an interim basis (in the case of PHS grants, notification must be made to PHS within sixty days).
b. The vice president of research and economic development may permit the research to go forward without imposing conditions or restrictions if it is determined that such conditions or restrictions would be ineffective or inequitable, and that the potential negative impacts that may arise from a significant financial interest are outweighed by interests of scientific progress, technology transfer, or the public health and welfare. (ed. 9-10)
c. In such cases where conflicts cannot be satisfactorily managed, reduced or eliminated, the Research Office must file a report signed by the vice president of research and economic development or his or her designee to the funding agency of its findings and its decision to not impose conditions or restrictions. A copy of this report is to be given to all investigators involved in the project at the time they are informed that the research may proceed. (ed. 9-10)
d. The vice president of research and economic development shall maintain accurate records of all financial disclosures and of all actions taken to resolve actual or potential conflicts of interest until at least three years after the termination or completion of the award to which they relate, or the resolution of action by a funding authority involving those records, whichever is latest. (ed. 9-10)
D-1. Failure to disclose all significant financial interests or violations of this policy shall be considered a violation of university policy and regulations and shall result in a formal inquiry and an investigation by UI's Scientific Misconduct Committee. This committee may recommend sanctions such as, but not limited to, the following:
a. disciplinary action up to and including suspension and dismissal;
b. requiring repayment of all financial benefits resulting from such violation;
c. freezing research funds or accounts;
d. rescinding contracts entered in violation of this policy, federal law, or state law;
e. bringing legal action to recover the amount of financial benefit received by an employee as a result of the employee’s violation of this policy.
D-2. The remedies provided and referenced herein are cumulative and shall be deemed to include any other remedies required or provided by applicable state or federal law.