Ms. Alisha Giron, Director of the Office of Grants and Contracts at New Mexico State University, is the sponsored activities conflict of interest officer. For information about conflicts of interest in sponsored activities, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Policy applies to all NMSU employees including full and part-time faculty and staff, inclusive of any individual involved in an externally funded sponsored activity. (NMSU Policy §3.20.22)
All covered individuals must complete a COI disclosure (1) upon hire, (2) annually when initiated by HR Services in the Fall Semester, and (3) when a real, apparent or potential conflict arises that has not been reported. (NMSU Policy §3.20.15 A) Individuals involved in sponsored activities must disclose if a new real, apparent or potential conflict of interest or commitment arises during the course of sponsored work. The person having such conflict must submit a disclosure form updating his/her status in accordance with NMSU policy. (NMSU Policy §3.21.26)
A sponsored activity is a research, training, service, or other type of project with identifiable objectives and/or deliverables for which external funding, material support, or other compensation, in the form of a grant, gift, contract, cooperative agreement, or other formal arrangement, is being requested or has been received. (NMSU Policy §3.20.25)
Actual or perceived conflicts of interest or commitment in sponsored activities generally arise when an investigator or family member has a significant financial interest in, or a consulting arrangement with, a private business concern, or other organization that is or may be affected by the sponsored activity. For a list of examples of this kind of conflict please see NMSU Policy §3.21.21.
Actual or perceived conflicts of interest or commitment that arise from sponsored activities are of special concern because they almost always involve or implicate entities outside of the University community, are frequently governed not only by University policies, but also by governmental conflict-of-interest regulations and are subject to special disclosure requirements administered by the Vice President for Research. (NMSU Policy §3.21) The principles, definitions and policy statements set forth in Sec. 3.19 and 3.20 also apply.
Full-time faculty and staff of NMSU owe their primary professional allegiance and their primary commitment of time and intellectual efforts to the education, research and service programs of the University. Conflicts of commitment occur whenever the time devoted to external activities adversely affects a faculty or staff member’s capacity to undertake NMSU responsibilities, including maintaining appropriate time and accessibility as defined by the requirements of the job. (NMSU Policy §3.20.28)
Significant financial interest must be disclosed, and this means anything of monetary value in excess of $5,000 per year when aggregated for the employee and his or her family members) owned or payable to a faculty or staff member, including but not limited to:
- Salary, royalties, commissions, consulting fees or honoraria and/or any other form of compensation for services, which is directly or indirectly paid or payable to the faculty or staff member by an entity other than the University or an affiliate or instrumentality of the University; and in excess of $5,000 per year when aggregated for the faculty or staff member and his or her family members.
- Equity interests such as stocks and stock options and other ownership interests which: exceed $5,000 in value, when aggregated for the faculty or staff member and his or her family members; and do not comprise widely held, publicly available, diversified investment funds over which the faculty or staff member does not and has no ability to exercise control; and are not held in a blind trust where the faculty or staff member has no knowledge of trust assets. (NMSU Policy §3.20.26)
Yes. Intellectual property rights, such as patents and copyrights and royalties from those rights, must be disclosed. (NMSU Policy §3.20.26 C)
An actual or perceived conflict of interest or commitment may also arise from situations that may have a significant impact on an investigator involved in sponsored research, even though the situation does not involve a significant financial interest. These non-financial conflict situations frequently involve personal interests or relationships that are or may be affected by sponsored activities. For a list of examples of this kind of conflict, please see NMSU Policy §3.21.22.
All travel related to sponsored projects must be reported, regardless of the amount of the expenditure. (See NMSU and State Regulations on transportation at http://www.nmsu.edu/~travel/ and http://www.nmsu.edu/~boffice/bpm_2009/BPM_2009.html)
Each person engaged in an area of sponsored research and covered by this policy is responsible for determining whether any actual, potential or apparent conflict of interest or commitment exists.
The principal investigator of each specific sponsored activity, in consultation with all other participants in the activity, is responsible for determining whether any possible conflicts exist with respect to such activity and for so indicating on the NMSU Proposal Award Form submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Research at the time approval for such activity is sought.
If any possible conflicts are identified, the person or persons having the conflicts should attempt to resolve them in advance of submitting the activity proposal for review and approval, but in any event must concurrently disclose them for review by the Conflict of Interest Committee during the pre-award process.
Disclosure shall be made by submitting the individual’s current annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with the approval documentation provided to the Office of the Vice President for Research. If a new conflict of interest or commitment arises during the course of sponsored work, the person having such conflict must submit an updated disclosure form. The Office of the Vice President for Research shall furnish such disclosure forms to the Committee on Conflicts of Interest in Sponsored Activities. (NMSU Policy §3.21.26)