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New Conflict of Interest Policy

Changes to policy and research grant disclosure process effective Aug. 24

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August 24, 2012 | by Stephen Anzaldi

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University has implemented a new conflict of commitment/conflict of interest policy for faculty and staff.

The new policy covers both the annual disclosure of possible conflicts and new disclosure requirements for individuals participating in research proposals and projects supported by external agencies, especially the United States Public Health Service.

The new research policy and process will apply to all individuals responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research for all proposals submitted and current awards received on or after Aug. 24, 2012.

Key changes in the research policy include lower financial disclosure thresholds, required conflict of interest training, increased transparency for travel reimbursement and more detailed reporting to the National Institutes of Health.

Conflict of Interest training must be completed every four years, which consists of reading and attesting to understanding the training document. Those required to complete the disclosure in the Faculty and Staff Information System (FASIS) can access the disclosure by logging in to the Self-Service Portal.

According to the Northwestern University Conflict of Interest Office website, “the responsibility for disclosing potential conflicts of commitment or conflicts of interest rests with individual members of the Northwestern community. It is the University’s obligation to determine if the disclosed interests could directly or significantly affect University responsibilities and, if so, require management, reduction or elimination of the identified conflict.”

Northwestern has updated its policy to comply with new federal regulations governing Financial Conflict of Interest policies at all institutions accepting Public Health Service research funds.

Visit the Conflict of Interest Office website to view previous presentations, the policies, the disclosure questions and training materials.

An email announcing the policy change was delivered July 23, 2012, to all faculty and staff on behalf Provost Daniel Linzer and Vice President for Research Jay Walsh.

Topics: University