The University of California's general policy on conflict of interest is that none of its faculty, staff, or administrative officials shall engage in activities that place them in a conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest or obligation.
A conflict of interest is the entanglement of an individual's private interests with his or her professional UC obligations, such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the individual's professional actions or decisions are improperly influenced by considerations of personal financial gain. These interests most often relate to income, loans or gifts to the individual, and ownership, investments or positions held by the individual. UC policy relating to research activities extends to the investigator's spouse and dependent children; other policies relating to purchasing decision-making extend to siblings, parents and in-laws.
Administrative officials are subject to the policies and guidelines on conflict of interest, and have oversight responsibility for managing conflict of interest activities in their departments or units.
For more information on the University's conflict of interest policies, see:
- the University's conflict of interest policies and guidelines relating to sponsored projects
- UCOP policies and guidelines relating to general conflict of interest issues
- the Ethics, Risk & Compliance Services Office Conflict of Interest web site
Research Conflict of Interest: Faculty at the University of California are subject to two additional financial conflict of interest requirements. The State of California requires principal investigators to disclose financial conflicts when they are the recipients of a research gift, grant or contract from private sources. The federal agencies of the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health require that all key personnel working on projects sponsored by their agencies disclose significant conflicts that might directly affect the conduct of the research project. The University will take steps to either manage or eliminate the conflict before funds are released. Questions or requests for further information on conflict of interest questions regarding sponsored projects should be directed to the Sponsored Projects Office.
Financial Conflict of Interest: An employee may not make or participate in the making of a decision if a financial conflict of interest exists. Questions on financial conflict of interest issues should be directed to the Conflict of Interest Coordinator at Conflicts@berkeley.edu or 510-643-0233.
Gifts: Certain gifts to University employees are prohibited by law. The acceptance of personal gifts from those doing business or seeking to do business with the University, even when lawful, may give rise to legitimate concerns about favoritism, depending on the circumstances. See the policy and guidelines regarding the acceptance of gifts and gratuities. Questions on conflict of interest issues regarding gifts should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employee/Vendor Relationships: University credit, purchasing power, and facilities shall not be used to purchase material for individual or non-University activities. Goods or services shall not be purchased from an employee or near relative unless there is a specific determination that the goods or services are not available otherwise. More information can be found on the Procurement web site.