New Conflict of Interest Policy and Training Required for all Funded Researchers
The Public Health Service (“PHS”) issued new regulations on August 25, 2011 related to financial conflicts of interest of investigators receiving PHS funding. In response, the University Conflict of Interest (“COI”) Committee has revised Conflict of Interest Policy 11-01-03 to reflect the requirements of the new regulations. The new COI Policy, as required by the PHS regulations, establishes a lower reporting limit for all investigators currently receiving, or applying for funding from any PHS agency. PHS agencies include: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Indian Health Service (IHS),National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The new COI Policy also made some clarifications and adjustments to other provisions that apply to all funded researchers, including non-PHS funded investigators. All investigators currently receiving, or applying for, funding must complete mandatory training on the new COI policies. New training modules have been developed for investigators seeking PHS funding, and for investigators seeking other forms of funding.
The new COI Policy, and a summary of the changes to that policy, can be found here: http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/policies/documents/policy11-01-03pdf.pdf, and information on how to access the new COI training modules can be found here: http://www.coi.pitt.edu/COItraining.htm.
All PHS funded researchers, or researchers who are seeking PHS funding, must also fill out a new COI disclosure, which can be accessed here: https://coi.hs.pitt.edu.
Protecting Children at the University
The University strives to provide a safe academic and work environment for all members of its community and guests. This is especially important with respect to the safety and welfare of children. Click here for information about reporting child abuse or sexual misconduct and required clearances.
Addressing Emergencies on Campus
The Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) recently released new guidelines that provide information on the FERPA and HEA legal requirements related to preparing for and addressing situations that threaten the health or safety of campus communities.
CHECKLIST FOR DEPARTING INVESTIGATORS
For investigators leaving the institution, this checklist summarizes proper procedures for closing or transferring research protocols, disposing of unwanted materials, arranging for securing of data, and other common issues.
OGC Staff Member Given Chancellor’s Award for Staff for Excellence
Congratulations to Laurie Sallows of the Office of General Counsel, who was recently awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Staff for Excellence in Service to the University. These awards recognize staff whose excellence and commitment make an impact on the University. Laurie has been a member of the Office of General Counsel for thirteen years, and has served as a dedicated and caring professional at the University for almost eighteen years. Read more about the award in this University Times article.
Department of Athletics awards Rich Holmes the Leo “Horse” Czarnecki Award (2010)
At an Athletics ceremony held on July 28, 2010 at the University Club, OGC Attorney Rich Holmes was awarded the Leo “Horse” Czarnecki Award (2010) “for outstanding teamwork, enthusiasm, and effort on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Program.” The award goes on to say: “During his 42 years of service on the grounds crew, Leo “Horse” Czarnecki was the funny bone, back bone and wish bone of the Athletic Program, working tirelessly to provide the best facilities possible for Pittsburgh Panther student-athletes and coaches, never losing his sense of humor and his affection for those he served. This award is made in recognition of the same type of commitment to excellence exemplified by Horse Cazrnecki.” The Office of General Counsel wishes to extend its congratulations to Rich for this much deserved recognition from Athletics, a department he has served so well and tirelessly during his 20 year tenure at the University!
Updated Guidance on Research Data Management
The Provost's Office has issued an updated version of the University Guidelines on Research Data Management,
which is available at: RDM Guidelines.
These guidelines should be reviewed by all research investigators, research coordinators, and department administrators involved in research. All departments engaged in research activities should review their internal data storage and retention practices in conjunction with this guidance. Further information on maintaining the security of electronic research records, and security software for electronic devices used to store research data, can be found on the CSSD website at: http://technology.pitt.edu/security.html.
E-Verify is here
The federal government recently enacted a new requirement, which applies to all federal contracts issued after September 8, 2009, with a value of over $100,000 and a performance period of greater than 120 days ("Qualifying Contract"). Any University faculty, staff or students who are charged to a Qualifying Contract, must have their eligibility to work in the United States confirmed through the Department of Homeland Securitys ("DHS's") E-Verify on-line system. The E-Verify system checks information already provided by an employee's I-9 form against records maintained in Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases. The new federal regulations require the University to check both existing and new employees who perform work on Qualifying Contracts through the E-Verify system, so even if your faculty, staff and students completed an I-9 some time ago, they are subject to the E-Verify process. Further information on the University's procedures for compliance with the new requirements may be found on the Office of Research website.