UT Austin responds to new federal requirements with revised Objectivity in Research policy
August 30, 2012
From the COLA Research Office, based on information provided by the UT Austin Office of Research Support:
Requirement for Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosures
The University of Texas System has approved a revised Objectivity in Research policy effective August 23, 2012. The University Handbook of Operating Procedures (7-1210) contains information about the new policy.
The policy contains significant revisions to the previous policy and incorporates changes that meet updated federal requirements governing disclosure and reporting of financial conflicts of interest. The new policy will affect all individuals who are responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research.
The revised policy requires completion of Conflict of Interest training by all individuals who are responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research starting this year and at least every four years. A web-based training module has been implemented and training may be completed at any time.
Upon completion of the Conflict of Interest training modules, and after a lag of at least six hours, all affected researchers will receive a link to access the web-based Financial Interest Disclosure form (FID form). The revised Conflict of Interest policy requires completion of the FID form annually or when changes that require disclosure occur.
For information on the new Public Health Service (PHS) policy, see the Frequently Asked Questions at the National Institutes of Health website. At the university, the Office of Research Support has updates on its Conflict of Interest page.
Tips from the COLA Office of Research
The Conflict of Interest training consists of four modules:
- Financial Conflicts of Interest: Overview, Investigator Responsibilities, and COI Rules (Followed by Quiz)
- Institutional Responsibilities as they Affect Investigators (Followed by Quiz)
- Conflict of Interest Institution-Specific Policies (No quiz with this section)
- Conflicts of Commitment, Conscience, and Institutional Conflicts of Interest (Followed by Quiz)
The first two modules are detailed, with short yet comprehensive multiple-choice quizzes at the end. Expect to spend 30 to 45 minutes on each of the two modules. The third module is informational and readable. The final module is less challenging than modules one and two.
Associate Dean Raizen completed the modules on Thursday, July 26. Her advice is to plan on completing the training in multiple sessions and expect to spend an hour and a half to two hours total on the training. She suggests that you might want to approach the training at a time when you can anticipate no distractions and can fully concentrate on the content of the modules.
For instructions, see Mandatory Training for Conflict of Interest