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Office of Grants & Research

Conflict of Interest

To ensure that UW-Green Bay grant-funded researchers do not have external financial interests which would conflict with or bias the results of their research.

New federal rules require universities receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and Public Health Service to have in place a Conflict of Interest/Financial Disclosure policy by October 1, 1995.

Financial Disclosure Form

Overview/Background:

In recent years, several scandals have emerged which call into question the ethics of some academic scientists. For instance, researchers investigating the efficacy of new drugs have been found to be very well-paid consultants to the pharmaceutical companies which had invented the new drugs and proposed them for FDA approval. In the face of Congressional pressure, the Public Health Service and the National Science Foundation created new rules governing conflict of interest and financial disclosure which will prevent such abuses. Early versions of those rules were proposed in 1994. After comment and reconsideration, final rules were published in the Federal Register on July 11, 1995 (vol. 60, no. 132, pp. 35809-35819; editorial corrections appear in the July 31 issue).

Chapter UWS 8 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code currently serves as the Code of Ethics for unclassified staff. It requires unclassified staff to report significant outside activities and interests each year. Those requirements are unchanged by this policy paper. UWS legal counsel has determined that UWS 8 is not sufficient to meet the new rules. Consequently UW institutions must implement a policy in accord with the new rules; hence this UW-Green Bay information document.

Types of interest that are reportable:

Anything of monetary value that you and/or your immediate family received from for-profit businesses, including but not limited to:

  • salaries or other payments for services (e.g. consulting fees or honoraria)
  • equity interests (e.g. stocks, stock options, or other ownership interests)
  • intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights, and royalties from such rights, including books if published by commercial presses)

Types of interest that are not reportable:

  • salaries, royalties, or other payments from UW-Green Bay
  • income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by public or nonprofit entities
  • payments from advisory committees or review panels for public or nonprofit entities
  • payments from a single business if the entire amount of payments you and your immediate family together received is less than $5,000.
  • ownership interest in a business if you and your immediate family's ownership interest in the business together represent less than 5% of the total ownership interests in the business.

Formula to determine whether a financial interest is reportable:

Do you and/or your immediate family have a financial interest from or in a for-profit business that is reasonably likely to be directly and significantly affected by the research or educational activities for which you have received or expect within the year to seek and receive funding? If not, then the interest is not reportable.

Do you and/or your immediate family together receive from such a business $5,000 or more per year, or is the ownership interest you and your family have together in such a business 5% or more of the total ownership interest? If no, then the interest is not reportable. If yes, you must report the interest(s) on the other side of this form.