By Annemarie Mountz, Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK – Staff in the Penn State Conflict of Interest Program are in the process of making changes to provisions of RA20, the University’s policy on individual conflict of interest, in order to comply with changes made last August to federal regulations regarding conflicts of interest in research.
One of the most significant changes is that beginning in March all individuals that meet the definition of “Investigator” — those responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of University research, will be required to make an annual financial disclosure. This change does not apply to the College of Medicine, where Investigators, faculty, administrators and staff already make the required annual financial disclosures.
Failure to comply with this new requirement would put the University’s eligibility for federal funds in jeopardy.
In order to accommodate the large volume of disclosures that are expected, the Conflict of Interest Program staff plans to implement the new annual disclosure requirement in stages. The first category of investigators expected to complete an annual disclosure will do so in March, and will include all investigators receiving or applying for research funding from either a Public Health Service agency such as the Food and Drug Administration or the National Institutes of Health, or from the National Science Foundation.
In the coming weeks, more details and information will be sent directly to those University investigators receiving or applying for such research funding. Once approved, changes to the policy will be posted online.