COI for Faculty

I would like to start a company, become part-owner of a company, or become a consultant. What should I do?

Ask Questions
  • Contact if you’d like to meet with the Office of Research Integrity for guidance on this process and your COI obligations.
  • You may also contact your dean’s office.
Submit a Prior Notification of Outside Activities
  • Prior to engaging in a new outside activity, complete an Outside Activity Notification Form in COIRM.
Update Your Disclosure
  • Update your disclosure here for new activities or when there is a material change to your outside interests or activities.
  • Your Dean's Office and the Office of Research Integrity will review your disclosure and determine whether a management plan is needed.
Sign a COI plan (if needed)
  • Sign a COI management plan when directed by your Dean's Office and/or the Office of Research Integrity.

After your management plan is signed, here’s what happens next:

  • The Faculty Conflicts Committee (FCC) will review your disclosure and plan. The FCC will either recommend the plan for final approval by the the Chair of the FCC and your Associate Dean of Research, or request additional changes to the management plan.

Throughout the year, here are your continuing obligations:

  • Update your disclosure for new activities.
  • Submit requests for prior notification of outside activities and outside interest in the electronic system HERE or by contacting CONFLICTS@RICE.EDU for instructions.
  • When submitting sponsored research proposals relating to your activity, ensure that the COI question in Cayuse is answered “Yes”.
  • When submitting manuscripts and giving presentations related to your activity, disclose your COI. Email CONFLICTS@RICE.EDU for sample disclosures you can include in such manuscripts and presentations.
  • As new students and staff join your lab and research team, disclose your conflict to them in writing.
  • Yearly, resubmit your COI disclosure during the annual disclosure season even if there are no changes in your activities with the outside company.
  • Every four years, take COI training.

What are some best practices for managing my COI?

  • Create a clear separation between company activities and your Rice activities
    • Do not use Rice equipment and labs for company activities unless authorized under a sponsored research agreement or permission from your dean’s office and/or department. Otherwise, Rice facility use must comply with POLICY 831 (“Stewardship and Personal Use of University Property”)
    • Do not use your Rice email, address, and telephone number as the company contact.
    • When negotiating a consulting agreement, negotiate a clear scope of work (“the development of enzyme abc and its uses in company’s technology xyz” is preferable to "research in biosciences")
  • Be aware of the Conflict of Commitment POLICY 217. Consult with your dean’s office if your activities require a greater level of commitment than the guidelines stated in Policy 217.
  • Inform your dean’s office and/or before engaging Rice students and staff in your activities with the company.

What’s in a management plan?

  • Here (Coming soon) is a sample management plan.
  • However, every situation is different, and additional elements to this plan may be necessary to mitigate the conflict. These additional elements can include:
    • Monitoring of research and financial expenditures by independent reviewers;
    • Modification of the research plan;
    • Disqualification from participation in the portion of funded research that could be affected by the conflict of interest;
    • Reduction or elimination of the Outside Interest (e.g., sale of an equity interest); and
    • Severance of relationships that create conflicts.