A Word From Human Resources
Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy Revised
In the last few years, transparency in reporting and disclosing financial, professional, and intellectual conflicts of interest and commitments has been fueled by public embarrassment of principal investigators and institutions, according to recent reports. In an effort to improve transparency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced new regulations to strengthen standards of compliance.
The revised policy changes will help to promote better objectivity in research by establishing standards that provide a reasonable expectation that the design, conduct, and reporting of sponsored research will be free from bias resulting from an investigator’s financial conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment. In addition, the revised policy supports the highest ethical principles in the conduct of an institution’s business as it relates to an employee’s outside business and financial relationships.
At Rensselaer, we are committed to preserving the public trust, and strongly believe that it is vital that all our work and research be conducted with the highest adherence to scientific and ethical standards. We also
expect that all members of the Rensselaer community will devote their primary professional loyalty, time, and energy to the service of the Institute in fulfilling our education, research, and service mission.
The new regulatory change will require that all Rensselaer faculty and required staff—regardless of their title or position—will need to gain an understanding of conflicts and complete and submit a Financial Conflict of Interest and Commitment Disclosure form at the time of a grant or sponsored research application. Also, a disclosure form must be completed annually, and/or within 30 days of discovering or acquiring (e.g., through purchase, marriage, or inheritance) a new significant financial interest.
To assist our faculty and required staff to be in compliance with the revised regulation, the Division of Human Resources has implemented two online modules, developed by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative, that are designed to educate all faculty and required staff of the new regulatory requirements.
Registration is required. Individuals may access the training modules by using the following link: www.citiprogram.org.
Curtis Powell, SPHR
Vice President for Human Resources