3.44 Conflicts of Interest for Principal Investigators

Syracuse University’s mission is to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment, and service. As a natural outgrowth of the University’s mission, it may be appropriate and desirable that University faculty and staff be professionally involved in outside activities such as lecturing at other institutions, practicing their profession, consulting for businesses, or serving in community organizations. These outside activities can enrich teaching, extend professional expertise, and contribute to the advancement of knowledge; however, in some circumstances they can give rise to real or apparent conflicts of interest.

For the purposes of this policy,

  • A Conflict of Interest exists when an Investigator’s financial interests may reasonably be affected by research, scholarship, educational or other externally funded activity.

To minimize the potential for financial interests to influence federally funded research, in 1995, the Federal government implemented regulations [1] requiring institutions to develop a way for their investigators to disclose the existence of financial interests that may reasonably be affected by the research.

Purpose and applicability

The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that any financial interest(s) of Investigators responsible for the sponsored activity, funded or proposed, do not bias the credibility and objectivity of the activities and its findings. Syracuse University has established the following written standards and procedures to be followed by all Investigator(s) applying for or receiving external funding, regardless of source or funding mechanism to comply with federal regulations. These procedures do not replace the faculty member’s obligation to obtain University approval prior to beginning outside activities (See Section 3.4)

The University will obtain assurance that other institutions collaborating with University Investigators on sponsored projects have comparable policies that comply with Federal regulations. See http://supolicies.syr.edu/fac_teach/conflict_int_pi.htm for full statement regarding conflicts of interest for principal investigators.

[1] 42 CFR 50.610-607 and 45 CFR 94.1-6.