Council Considers Conflict of Interest

In November the Faculty Council reviewed the conflict of interest policies outlined in the Emory Faculty Handbook, which is now under the authority of the Council. Brenda Seiton, Assistant Vice President for Research Administration, spoke on the work of the Conflict of Interest Office. Seiton said that most of the policies in the handbook are administered through the Office of the Provost and the deans’ offices. She also noted that all Emory faculty engaged in research must complete an annual electronic certification in conflict of interest. Faculty not engaged in research should check with their deans’ offices on what is required. The eCOI system, she said, “captures information about financial interests and external activities,” from consulting activities and investments to externally funded research. Her office is responsible for policies for investigators holding financial interest in research and institutional financial interest in human subject research. She put the question to members as to whether guidelines for scholarship needed to be adjusted to respond more effectively to the needs of humanities and social sciences faculty. The Council approved a motion to form an ad hoc committee to review the policies currently in the handbook and present recommendations by the end of this academic year.


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