University of California, San Diego


November 29, 2005


SUBJECT:    Independent Review Committee on Conflict of Interest

Dear Colleagues,

The Independent Review Committee (IRC) on Conflict of Interest is a faculty committee, which serves as my principal advisory group on conflict of interest in research. The IRC was established in 1982 and is charged to review situations where a potential, perceived, or real conflict of interest in research exists by virtue of financial interest. This review allows the University to establish a mechanism to reduce, eliminate, or manage conflicts of interest, if possible. This oversight role endeavors to safeguard the interests of the University and the individual principal investigator and ensure compliance with state and federal government mandates regarding conflict of interest. The IRC protects and facilitates your research and is a great asset to the campus.

I am writing to alert you to the existence of legal requirements faced by the campus with respect to conflict of interest issues related to external grants, contracts or gifts that you may receive. Scandals nation-wide in recent years have brought attention to conflict of interest issues and revealed the risks associated with violating conflict of interest laws. At the same time, policies throughout the University of California have evolved significantly.

I encourage you to visit the Conflict of Interest section of the Office of Contract and Grant Administration Web site to read the Clarification of Principles Related to Conflict of Interest in Research. This special message from the IRC includes pertinent information concerning recent changes in the management of conflict of interest.

Inquiries regarding the IRC may be directed to Valerie McFarland, Interim Director-Conflict of Interest Office, by email at vmcfarland@ucsd.edu or via phone at (858) 534-6465.

Marye Anne Fox