This page describes how The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) will identify and manage personal conflicts of interests created by the appointment of relatives in externally funded research. The purpose of identifying personal conflicts of interest is to ensure objectivity in the design and conduct of externally funded research projects.

Responsible Parties

“Principal Investigator” is a UT Dallas employee responsible for the direction and/or oversight of an externally funded research project.

“Relative”  is a UT Dallas employee related to the Principal Investigator within the second degree by affinity or the third degree by consanguinity.

“Unrelated Faculty Member” is a UT Dallas faculty member who is not related to the Principal Investigator within the second degree by affinity or the third degree by consanguinity and who is not administratively supervised by the Principal Investigator.

The Department Head and Dean are the Principal Investigator’s Department or Program Head and School Dean.

Request for Appointment

A Principal Investigator is responsible for requesting approval from the Department Head when they:

  1. Submit proposals for external research funding that involve a Relative; or
  2. Request to have a Relative assigned to an awarded project.

Principal Investigators cannot request or recommend the appointment of a relative who is not a UT Dallas employee as an independent contractor under the Principal Investigator’s supervision.

The Principal Investigator is responsible for disclosing such requests for the appointment of a Relative to the Office of Research Integrity and Outreach (ORIO).

The Department Head is responsible for justifying and approving the request for the appointment of a Relative described above. A Principal Investigator may not directly supervise a Relative’s contributions to the performance of a project. A request will not be approved unless an Unrelated Faculty Member can be identified to supervise and review the Relative, or unless the Department Head will supervise and review the Relative.

ORIO is responsible for assisting Principal Investigators in documenting compliance with the Policy related to externally funded research projects, for assisting the Principal Investigator in reporting to and/or obtaining the approval for the appointment of Relatives from external funding agencies, as required by the agency’s policies.

Supervision and Review

An Unrelated Faculty Member is responsible for providing direct supervision of the Relative for the purposes of performing a project. An Unrelated Faculty Member is responsible for making a written review of the work performance of the Relative on a project at least annually and submitting that review to the Department Head.

In the cases where an Unrelated Faculty Member is unavailable to supervise the Relative, the Department Head will provide supervision of the Relative on a project and will be responsible for making a written review of the work performance of the Relative at least annually.

The Department Head is responsible for submitting the written performance reviews of the Relative to the President. Copies of such reviews will be provided to the Dean and Chief Academic Officer.

The Department Head is responsible for all subsequent actions with regard to evaluation, reappointment, or salary of the Relative’s contributions to the performance of a project.

The following memorandum must be used to document compliance with UT System Rule 30106 for externally funded research project:

Contact coi@utdallas.edu with any questions.

Certification

The Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSP) will not execute or approve a grant, contract, or agreement that involves a Relative until the Relative’s appointment has been approved by the Department Head and Dean. OSP will not process a request to appoint a Relative to an awarded project until the Relative’s appointment has been approved by the Department Head and Dean.

Relevant Laws and Regulations