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Institutional Conflicts of Interest

An institutional conflict of interest describes a situation in which the financial interests of the University, or a University official, may affect or appear to affect its research, education, business transactions or other activities. University officials must balance external relationships and activities which could lead to financial benefit for the University in the form of royalty payments, equity from licensing intellectual property, sponsored research agreements and major gifts. Such relationships are essential for advancing the research mission and enabling the commercial development of academic discoveries to the benefit of the public but cannot be allowed to compromise, or appear to compromise, the integrity of the University. To protect its reputation and credibility, updated outside interest disclosures are required at least annually or as otherwise needed. Disclosures for University Officials are reviewed by the Conflicts of Interest Compliance Manager and reported to the Conflict of Interest Committee:

  • The Manager performs an administrative review of potential institutional conflicts of interest and drafts necessary management plans. This includes a review of:
    • Relationships with vendors and prospective vendors.
    • Financial interest in a company that sponsors research at the University.
    • Financial interest or board appointments with businesses which could appear to affect institutional decisions about goods or services students receive, or that may have unwarranted influence on academic decisions.
    • Acceptance of gifts, paid travel, paid honoraria or consulting income.
    • Gifts, when the donor has an interest in the research
  • Management plans are reviewed and approved by the Conflict of Interest Committee. Plans should address the nature of the conflict, actual or perceived risk to the reputation of the University, conflict mitigation steps and the party responsibility for implementing and monitoring the plan. Conflicted University Officials should make every possible effort to recuse themselves from the chain of authority over the applicable situation of conflict.
  • Technology transfer and patentsĀ are reviewed through the UT Research Foundation