Although no prior approval is required, a faculty member who is an investigator (responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of proposed or active research) is required to disclose financial interest exceeding $5,000 acquired from any one entity in the previous 12 months for their participation in any professional public service activities listed in numbers 2) and 3) above.All other external activities which draw upon the knowledge and skill of a faculty member require prior approval. Although examples in and of themselves require interpretation and judgment, a sample of such compensated activities usually will include (a) one-time or multiple visits to a business for the purposes of offering advice and counsel, (b) carrying out investigations or studies which are not UAB grants or contracts, (c) a series of non-UAB lectures or performances for commercial entities, (d) serving as an expert witness, or (e) rendering specific professional services other than those through a UAB-affiliated professional services fund. Faculty also are responsible for ensuring that external activities are conducted in accordance with UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy, as well as policies on disclosure of discoveries and inventions, patents, and computer software. When participating in external activities other than professional service activities, the faculty member should not use the name of the University of Alabama at Birmingham to imply that UAB is sponsoring the activity or the project.
Examples of internal activities within UAB by which additional compensation may be paid to the faculty member include special lectures, short courses, sponsored research projects, and continuing education projects.
Internal activities for UAB-administered projects financed by non-UAB sources may or may not be permitted in accordance with the policy of the sponsoring source. If permitted by the sponsor, approval within UAB must be obtained as indicated below. In cases in which the sponsor’s policy is unclear or unknown, clarification should be obtained from the UAB Office of Sponsored Programs.
Rates of payment for internal activities or special services are to be determined on the basis of the individual’s salary or evidence that the fee is appropriate considering the qualifications of the consultant, normal charges, and the nature of the services to be provided and should be approved by the appropriate administrator(s). Work for special fees should be performed so as not to interfere with academic or other UAB responsibilities. Such fees are considered income and, as such, are paid and reported according to stipulations of the “Personal Services Approval and Payment Policy–UAB Employee.”
The appropriate Department Chair, Dean, or Library Director of the faculty or staff performing the internal activity and Department Chair, Dean, or Library Director of the unit requesting the service must give their approval of these internal activities. If internal activity is across school lines, approval by the Provost also is required. Internal activities by UAB faculty or staff under funds obtained from UAB grants or contracts or funds from any extramural source additionally requires the approval of the Provost. All such approvals must be obtained before a commitment is made.
(Return to top)3.11.3 Conflicts of Commitment and Conflicts of Interest A conflict of commitment exists when a faculty member's engagement in internal or external activities compromises the ability to carry out his/her primary obligations and commitments to UAB. A conflict of interest exists when a faculty member's financial, professional, or personal interests affect, or have the appearance of affecting, judgment in exercising a duty or responsibility owed to UAB.Expeditious disclosure and resolution of such conflicts or potential conflicts is in the best interest of all involved. Actual or potential conflicts of commitment or interest must be disclosed using the electronic process for Faculty/Staff External Activities/COI disclosure. When a potential or actual conflict of commitment/interest arises, it is expected that the faculty member, with the assistance of the Department Chair, Dean, Library Director, and others as necessary, will act to manage the potential or actual conflict. The use or orientation of any faculty effort at UAB to serve the needs of an individual, group, firm, corporation, or other organization or entity without proper disclosure of such use or orientation to a sponsoring agency and to UAB constitutes a serious breach of confidence. Furthermore, there should be no purchase by a UAB employee of any major equipment, instruments, materials, services, and other items for use in UAB faculty efforts from a corporation, company, firm, or organization in which the employee has a pecuniary interest without obtaining approval by UAB in advance. Disclosure of conflicts of interest/commitment involving extramural funding is the responsibility of the faculty member or employee and must be done prior to, or as a part of, the UAB grant and contract application process. All individuals who are “investigators” are required to disclose significant financial interests (1) which reasonably would appear to be related to research for which funding from any source is sought and (2) in any and all entities whose financial interests reasonably would appear to be affected by the research. The term “investigator” includes any person who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of extramurally funded research or educational activity. The term includes principal investigators, project directors, co-principal investigators, co-project directors, and other faculty investigators and faculty project personnel. The term also may include staff, trainees, students, administrators, and other collaborators who have such responsibilities. Many conflicts of commitment/interest situations may arise, both obvious and subtle, in such variety that they cannot be presented adequately in this document. The UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy provides greater insight into these important issues.
Senior administrators shall disclose any potential conflict of interest as described in the UA System Board Manual Policy 106 – Ethics – Conflicts of Interest – Members of the Board of Trustees and Senior Administrators. Questions related to the UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy should be directed to the University Compliance Office.(Return to top)