Conflict of interest refers to situations in which employees may have the opportunity to influence the University’s business decisions in ways that could lead to personal gain or give advantage to associates or firms in which employees have an interest. A management plan is required whenever there is a potential for a conflict of interest or commitment, or the perception of such a conflict.
- The employee should download and complete the appropriate form in draft and send it to the Conflict of Interest Official for initial review and clarification of issues.
- The plan should be submitted to the head of the department, lab or center where the employee works or the sponsored project will be conducted; as well as Dean of the home department where the investigator is appointed for review and vetting.
- Once the details of the plan have been finalized, the employee/researcher should finalize the document, sign it, and circulate it for signature to the appropriate department head or dean.
- A scan of the final, completed documents should be submitted to the COI Official for final signature authorization and record keeping.
Family Relationships: Ownership Interests & Reporting Structures
According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 2.A §200.318(c)(2), which defines uniform administrative requirements, costs principles, and audit requirements for federal awards:
“No employee, officer, or agent may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by a Federal award if he or she has a real or apparent conflict of interest. Such a conflict of interest would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in or a tangible personal benefit from a firm considered for a contract.”
Per CFR §200.465 family members are defined as:
Family members include one party with any of the following relationships to another party:
- Spouse, and parents thereof;
- Children, and spouses thereof;
- Parents, and spouses thereof;
- Siblings, and spouses thereof;
- Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses thereof;
- Domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic partners of any individual in 2 through 5 of this definition; and
- Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
Management Template can be found at this link: Organizational Family Relationships 1.31.2018
Significant Financial Interests, Equity Ownership, Entrepreneurial Activities
The 2011 NIH/PHS revised regulation defines a “Significant Financial Interest” and provides for what is required to be disclosed as follows:
(1) A financial interest consisting of one or more of the following interests of the Investigator (and those of the Investigator’s family members) that reasonably appears to be related to the Investigator’s institutional responsibilities:
- 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;
- Intellectual property rights and interests (e.g., patents, copyrights), upon receipt of income related to such rights and interests.
(2) Investigators also must disclose the occurrence of any reimbursed or sponsored travel (i.e., that which is paid on behalf of the Investigator and not reimbursed to the Investigator so that the exact monetary value may not be readily available), 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, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education.
(3) The term significant financial interest does not include: salary, royalties, or other remuneration paid by the Institution to the Investigator if the Investigator is currently employed or otherwise appointed by the Institution, including intellectual property rights assigned to the Institution and agreements to share in royalties related to such rights; any ownership interest in the Institution held by the Investigator, if the Institution is a commercial or for-profit organization; income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts; income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by a federal, state, or local government agency, an Institution of higher education, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education; or income from service on advisory committees or review panels for a federal, state, or local government agency, an Institution of higher education, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education.”
Management Template can be found at this link: COI-SFIEquityOwnershipTemplate1.31.2018
Consulting and other External Professional Activities for Pay
The UNC Board of Governors’ policy on Conflict of Interest and Commitment provides provisions governing External Professional Activities for Pay of Faculty and EPA non-Faculty employees. All Faculty and EPA non-Faculty employees of the University are required to receive approval in advance (minimum of 10 days) of engaging in external professional activities for pay (except for contract employees performing external professional activities for pay entirely outside the months of their University contract employment).
A small group of activities are exempted from the requirement for prior approval because they can typically be considered to be secondary employment responsibilities and, given their nature, will not generate financial conflicts of interest. These exempted activities include:
- Seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by a Federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institution that is affiliated with an institution of higher education;
- Service on advisory committees or review panels for a Federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institution that is affiliated with an institution of higher education;
Activities for pay not involving the professional knowledge, experience and abilities you are employed for at UNCG are not subject to the advance disclosure and approval requirements of the Board of Governors’ Policy, although they are subject to the basic requirement that outside activities of any type must not result in the neglect of primary University duties, creation of a Conflict of Interest, involve inappropriate uses of the University name or resources, or include claims of University responsibility for the activity.
Management Template can be found at this link: Consulting & EPAP 1.31.2018
Protection of Student Interests
Colleagues, patients, students, and the public need to trust that judgments of faculty researchers in oversight of students are not compromised by financial ties to industry or other commercial entities, nor that students are being utilized as a resource for private gain.
To preserve the integrity of programs of education and training and to foster optimal professional development of faculty and students at UNCG, the COI Committee of UNCG wishes to closely monitor these relationships and where appropriate, assignment of responsibility to other senior individuals isolated from or immune to the specific financial conflict.
Management Template can be found at this link: Protection of Student Interests 1.31.2018
 See the UNC Policy Manual §300.2.2.1[R] at http://www.northcarolina.edu/apps/policy/index.php?pg=vs&id=18166&added=1