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Key Policies

For general application and grant-related policies, see the Research Grants Programs Office (RGPO).

Policy regarding scientific misconduct

The University of California manages the Tobacco Related Disease Research Program in general accord with the policies and procedures employed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including those that apply to scientific misconduct. The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Research Integrity is responsible for implementing HHS regulations regarding scientific misconduct in research conducted with NIH and other support from the US Public Health Service.

The administrative actions imposed by HHS include the following: correction of the scientific literature; special plan of supervision to ensure integrity of the scientific research; certification of the accuracy of the scientific data; certification of the accuracy of sources and contributions for scientific ideas and writings; prohibition against service on PHS advisory committees or as a consultant; and debarment from receipt of Federal funds. These actions are for a specified duration, depending on the nature and seriousness of the misconduct. TRDRP follows these guidelines and remedies involving scientific misconduct.

Applicants for or recipients of grants from the TRDRP must promptly inform the University of an administrative action or notification of disciplinary action by HHS, either at the time of application or within 30 days of the notification of disciplinary action or imposition of the administrative action. In general, the University will apply the same administrative or disciplinary action. For example, if HHS has debarred an investigator from applying for or receiving NIH awards for a specified period of time, that investigator would also be excluded from applying for or receiving awards from the TRDRP. To take another example, if an investigator has entered into a voluntary agreement with HHS for a special oversight and supervision of the investigator's grant applications, research, and publications, that agreement would apply to that investigator's grant applications to, or awards from, the TRDRP.

Grant applicants or recipients may request that HHS administrative actions be waived or modified with respect to a grant application or awards from TRDRP. In such case, the application must present a justification for the request. The TRDRP must be notified promptly of any administrative action taken by any funding agency or the institution against a TRDRP-funded investigator.

Conflict of interest

RGPO grant recipients must adhere to the Federal OMB Uniform Guidance regarding conflict of interest.  Grant recipients must establish safeguards to prevent employees, consultants, subcontractors, members of governing bodies, and others who may be involved in grant-supported activities from using their positions for purposes that are, or give the appearance of being, motivated by a desire for private financial gain for themselves or others (such as those with whom they have family, business or other ties). These safeguards must be reflected in written standards of conduct.  No employee, officer, or agent of a grantee may participate in the application or administration of any RGPO award or contract funded by an RGPO award if he or she has a real or apparent conflict of interest.  The officers, employees, and agents of the grantee may neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from award contractors or parties to subawards.  The grantee’s standards of conduct must provide for disciplinary actions to be applied for violations of such standards by officers, employees, or agents of the grantee.

The grant recipient is not required to submit its general standards of conduct to RGPO for review or approval; however, a copy must be made available to each officer of the grantee, employee, subcontractor and consultant working on the grant-supported project or activity, and each member of its governing board.  A copy must also be provided to RGPO upon request. The grantee is responsible for enforcing its standards of conduct, taking appropriate action on individual infractions and informing the program if the infraction is related to an award. If a suspension or separation action is taken by a grantee against a PI or other key personnel under an RGPO grant, the appropriate RGPO Program Officer must be notified immediately.