Who is required to file Conflict of Interest (COI) reports?
Kansas Board of Regents and KUMC policies require conflict of interest reporting by all full and part-time faculty and unclassified staff and other individuals who are responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research, and certain sub-recipients of sponsored projects or awards from PHS compliant agencies
What is a conflict of interest?
"Conflict of interest" refers to situations in which financial or managerial interests or time commitments may compromise, or have the appearance of compromising, scientific judgment, integrity of research data, fulfillment of professional duties, or the safety and welfare of research volunteers. A conflict of interest depends on the situation and not on the character or actions of the individual.
Conflicts can be individual or institutional in nature. Individual conflict of interest may be associated with financial incentives in research, business ownership, consulting, intellectual property development, outside employment, and commitment to external organizations. Institutional conflict of interest arises from financial interests of the university or senior officials that might color the review, approval, or monitoring of research.
It is important to note that potential conflicts frequently arise in university settings, often as part of desirable and legitimate professional development. Activities such as consulting and commercialization of technologies represent the fulfillment of the university's mission to translate scientific discoveries into beneficial products and services. KUMC encourages interactions that promote public benefit while ensuring the integrity with which those activities are accomplished.
Standards for reporting: financial and managerial interests of:
What is a Conflict of Time Commitment?
Conflict of time commitment exists whenever a faculty or staff member's external activities exceed reasonable time limits or whenever an unclassified staff or faculty member's primary professional responsibility is not to the institution.
Standards for reporting: External time commitments should be reported if they relate to university responsibilities. These include consulting, outside employment, public service, pro bono work, or service as an officer in an external entity.
How often is filing required?
Reports must be filed:
Ad hoc / update reports: Regents policy requires ad hoc reporting of any new situations that may raise questions about conflict of interest. These activities should be reported as soon as they become known. If the issue pertains to federally funded research, government regulations require that the newly-disclosed conflict be managed, reduced, or eliminated, at least on an interim basis, within sixty (60) days of its identification.
My department has traditionally requested that new-hires do all training on their first day; we're not finding COI in chalk - what's up?
The Conflict of Interest form in no longer in Chalk. It's an online system managed from KU Lawrence.
How do I file my report in the new system?
You received an e-mail notification in late November or early December from the email@example.com mailbox instructing you to file an FY2013 Annual Certification of your significant financial interests and time commitments. We will continue on our usual schedule with the FY2014 notification in July of 2013.
Your first Certification in the new COI reporting system may take a bit longer than subsequent certifications, because you will need to become familiar with the reporting format and enter information about your significant financial interests, if any. Please plan accordingly.
Quick and easy after the first certification: Most faculty and staff members will complete subsequent Annual Certifications in less than five minutes once an initial certification has been made in the new reporting system. After following the e-mail link and logging in to the COI reporting system, the individual will simply update any disclosures and certify OR certify that all disclosures are up to date.
What's new in the COI Reporting process?
For PHS-Sponsored Researchers:
The University must be in compliance with the new Public Health Service (PHS) regulations, "Promoting Objectivity in Research," by August 24, 2012. You may be listed as an investigator on a currently funded or proposed project sponsored by an agency that has adopted the new PHS regulations (hereafter "PHS-compliant" agency). There are three procedural changes applicable to investigators on PHS-compliant projects that will require your attention and participation.
1. Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Training. As of 8/24/12 award funds for PHS-compliant project must be withheld until all investigators on the project have been trained. To satisfy the training requirement, KU has produced an online tutorial that takes about 45 minutes to complete. If you are an identified investigator, you will receive an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the KU tutorial. Please complete the tutorial as soon as possible to ensure that your award funds are not delayed. On completion, your training will be certified for four years.
2. Certification of disclosed financial interests per PHS-compliant project. As of 8/24/12, each Investigator on a PHS-compliant project will also need to submit a special conflict of interest certification ("Research Certification") prior to each PHS-compliant proposal submission, or prior to the availability of funds for PHS-compliant projects pending or renewing the award.
Research Certification process: After a PI initiates contact with pre-award staff about a proposal or renewal submission, pre-award staff will generate an e-mail that contains a link to the new COI reporting system to each Investigator on the project. All Investigators must submit their certifications in the online system before the proposal is submitted.
Your first Certification in the new COI reporting system may take a bit longer than subsequent certifications since you will need to become familiar with the reporting format and enter information about your significant financial interests, if any. Please plan accordingly.
Quick and easy after the first certification: Most Investigators will complete subsequent Research Certifications in less than five minutes once an initial certification has been made in the new reporting system. After following the e-mail link and logging in to the COI reporting system, the investigator will simply respond to a question about the relation of his or her disclosed financial interests, if any, to the current project and certify that all disclosures are up to date.
You will still need to file an Annual Certification of your significant financial interests and time commitments each fiscal year, beginning in July. The process is basically the same as the Research Certification. If you have already completed a Research Certification and have nothing further to disclose, the Annual Certification will consist of confirming that your record is up to date.
3. PI decides who is an Investigator. The FCOI training and per-project Research Certification requirements apply to all "Investigators" on PHS-compliant proposed or funded projects. The PI is responsible for identifying individuals who will be participating at the Investigator level on the project.
While the federal definition of Investigator, below, is quite broad, keep in mind that its application to an individual is dependent on the individual's contribution to the project and may not apply to everyone named on the project.
The federal definition of Investigator is "the project director or principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research funded by the PHS, or proposed for such funding, which may include, for example, persons who are subgrantees, contractors, consortium participants, collaborators, or consultants."
What are the PHS-compliant agencies?
For your information, the current list of PHS-compliant agencies, as of 8/10/2012:
What does the supervisor's signature indicate?
"Supervisor Review Completed" as used in the COI Reporting System indicates that the supervisor has reviewed the individual's certification and agrees to the best of his or her knowledge that the filer is in compliance with the COI policy, specifically as it relates to conflicts of time.
What is the difference between the State of Kansas Statement of Substantial Interests and Board of Regents Conflict of Interest Reporting?
For many years, state employees with certain kinds of responsibilities have been required to file an annual State of Kansas Statement of Substantial Interests (KS SSI) in accordance with the laws administered by the Kansas Secretary of State. More information about the KS SSI is available on the Kansas Governmental Commission website.
In 2006, the Kansas Legislature approved a change in the scope of state employees required to file the KS SSI. As a result, many KU faculty were required to file the statement for the first time in the spring of 2006. These are two separate reporting requirements. Having filed a KS SSI does not change faculty or staff obligation to file a COI declaration at least annually.
My department performs research and we use the online account request form for Chalk access for members of the research team who are not KUMC faculty or unclassified staff. How do we request COI access?
The account request form you've used for Chalk has been udpated to include a box to check for COI access.Chalk access will be arranged within 24 to 48 business hours; COI will take longer.
We have a student listed as study personnel of a grant so she/he must compete a COI. How do I request access?
Use the online request account update form for Chalk, it has been updated to include COI.
How do I check to see who has completed their COI?
Access to the data is limited. Your department faculty and staff can go to the system and print out their certification and submit as proof.
Sometimes we have researchers needing proof of COI training/certification and disclosure completion for grant applications at other institutions. Who handles this?
The Research Institute: call the main line at 913-588-1261 and request COI training or recertification proof for researcher.
Some people in my department have received the email, but when they go to the link, they can't log-in. Whom should I call?
The KUMC help desk can check the account and password. 8-7995. Make sure the caller knows if they are paid university faculty or unclassified staff so they can communicate clearly with the help desk.