UC Davis Principles of Conflict of Interest


The university’s overall policy on conflict of interest specifies that none of its faculty, staff, managers and officials shall engage in any activities which place them in a conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest or obligation. It requires that all university employees disqualify themselves from participating in a university decision when a financial conflict of interest is present.

Administrative Officials are responsible for ensuring an open, free, and objective environment in the conduct of the University’s teaching, research, and service roles by applying the following Principles and Responsibilities:

  1. Teaching, research, public services and patient care performed by UC Davis employees are to be conducted in an atmosphere free of conflicts or the appearance of conflicts of interest.
  2. Employees act with integrity and objectivity in the performance of their university obligations by assuring that outside activities or interests do not conflict with their university responsibilities.
  3. Each unit is responsible for maintaining a reasonable balance between competing interests and providing a mechanism to help maintain research integrity, protect student interests, and foster an open academic environment.
  4. The reporting of financial interests and the withdrawal from decision-making shall be consistent with the university’s Conflict of Interest Code and the State of California’s Political Reform Act of 1974.
  5. A process must be in place to assure the systematic review of all Principal Investigators financial disclosures prior to the acceptance of gifts, contracts, or grants from non-governmental sponsors.
  6. Details on conflict of interest principles may be found in the UCD PPM 380-16, and in the California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 18730 at the UCOP Office of the General Counsel website. See Resources below.
  1. Designated Officials, defined as university employees who make or participate in decision-making that may result in personal financial interests and identified in the Conflict of Interest Code, must file a financial disclosure statement when they assume office, annually thereafter, and when they leave office.
  2. Faculty and staff should not purchase, lease, and/or contract for goods and services from any University employee or near relative unless the Procurement & Contracting Services Director has determined that goods or services are not available from commercial sources or from the university’s own facilities.
  3. The university’s Conflict of Interest Code prohibits UC employees from participating in university decisions when personal financial interests may be affected by those decisions. The Code requires that all UC employees disqualify themselves from participating in a decision when a financial conflict of interest is present. To disqualify themselves from making or participating in the making of a university decision, the employee must refrain from participating in any way in the decision and must not use their official position to influence any other person with respect to the matter. The determination not to act may be accompanied by disclosure of the disqualifying interest, but the disclosure is not required.
  4. Faculty responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of a sponsored project must disclose to the university, interests:
    1. That would appear to be affected by the funded research or educational activities.
    2. In entities whose financial interests would reasonably appear to be affected by such activities.
    3. In entities owned by the Principal Investigator or a near relative.

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