Originator: Director, Research and Planning
Approver: President’s Council
Effective: May 10, 2005
Replaces: New

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Purpose

Red River College recognizes that situations may arise for researchers that could comprise a conflict of interest. The purpose of this policy is to minimize and manage situations pertaining to conflict of interest in research.

Definitions

A conflict of interest in research arises in the following circumstances:

  1. when the personal or business interests of the researcher, including the interests of his/her family or associates, conflicts with the researcher’s obligations to:
    1. the College, including respect for the College’s policies;
    2. students, or staff, under his/her supervision.
  2. when, without prior agreement, use is made of College resources, including secretarial, office and administrative services, technical services, laboratories, assistants, premises, logo, insignia, for the personal gain or benefit of the researchers or for the gain or benefit of others related to or associated with the researcher.
  3. when the work of students is directed with a view to benefiting the personal or business purposes of the researcher, his/her associates or relations, to the detriment of the student’s progress of scholarly academic endeavours.
  4. when the personal or business interests of the researcher, his/her associates or relations compromise the independence and impartiality necessary to perform his/her duties.
  5. when a researcher uses confidential information that is gathered in the course of his/her duties for personal or business gain or for the gain of his/her associates or relations.
  6. if, in the course of his/her duties, a researcher incurs an obligation to an individual or business that is likely to benefit from special treatment or favours granted by the researcher or the College.
  7. when a researcher influences or seeks to influence a decision made by the College or an outside agency for personal or business benefit.
  8. when a researcher accepts an executive appointment, employment, or shares in any non-College organization which might reasonably expect them to disclose confidential or proprietary information to which they have access by virtue of their College appointments.
  9. when a researcher accepts, without written authorization of the College, a research grant or contract from any outside non-College organization from which they receive or may subsequently receive direct or indirect benefits as an executive officer or shareholder.
  10. when a researcher employs students in any commercial venture related to the student’s study or research or proceeds to commercialize the student’s work in such a way as to restrict the student’s ability to complete their academic program or their ability to communicate their findings.

Policy

  1. Since the possibilities for conflict of interest and its resolution are almost limitless and cannot all be covered in procedures, members of the College community are expected to conduct themselves at all times according to the highest ethical standards, in a manner which shall bear the closest scrutiny, and they are responsible for seeking guidance from the appropriate source before embarking on activities which might raise questions about conflict of interest.
  2. The College views unresolved conflicts of interest in the conduct of research to be a serious breach of academic responsibility. Such alleged breaches are investigated under the Integrity in Research and Scholarship policy.
  3. The Red River College Conflict of Interest Policy (F9) applies in all circumstances involving research.

Related Policies

H1- Research involving Human Subjects
H2 – Integrity in Research and Scholarship
H3 – Animal Care and Research
A9 – Intellectual Property and Copyright
F9 – Conflict of Interest