Outside Activities, Conflict of Interest, and Conflict of Commitment

The University of Texas at Austin supports and encourages faculty and professional staff to engage in outside professional activities that support the University’s mission while also being committed to ensuring personal, financial, and organizational conflicts of interest do not interfere with the ability to contribute to the advancement of society through education of our students, research, creative activity, scholarly inquiry, and the development and dissemination of new knowledge, including the commercialization of University discoveries.

While outside activities are encouraged, it is important that the university know about such interests to help avoid potential conflicts of interest. A conflict of interest or commitment is created when personal, financial, or outside interests could unduly influence the design, conduct, or reporting of research, or interfere with the performance of institutional responsibilities. For example, real or perceived conflicts have the potential to influence decisions related to research study design, data collection and analysis, intellectual property ownership, oversight of students and trainees, and use of university facilities and property.

To identify and manage conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment, UT Austin requires:

  • Prior approval of outside professional activities to allow the university to determine if activities present a conflict of commitment with university responsibilities.
  • Disclosure of financial interests at time of initial employment, at least annually, and within 30 days of a change to financial interests to allow real or perceived conflicts of interest to be identified and managed.
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