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Background  |  Guiding principles for faculty and students  |  Managing the proposal review and selection process

Each University of California agreement with an external party must recognize the importance of managing the results of research to enhance the teaching and research programs of UC faculty, researchers, students and postdoctoral scholars. The University is committed to making the fruits of its research widely available through publication and open distribution of research products. UC also seeks to protect the viability of its research programs, foster open inquiry beyond the interests of any one research partner, and recognize its fiduciary responsibility as the beneficiary of a publicly funded research infrastructure.

The Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation foster an environment that increases opportunities for cooperation between industry and the University of California to speed delivery of public benefits from research and education. The University of California has a long history of cooperation with industry in the support of research, instruction and public service, and has implemented effective policies and procedures for faculty, students and staff on identifying and managing interests in these settings.

Guiding principles for faculty and students
The University of California increasingly is called upon to participate in a broad spectrum of research relationships with governmental agencies, nonprofit foundations, and industry. Such relationships encompass traditional extramural research funding arrangements, research collaborations, multi-party research consortia, visits by others to UC laboratories, student and faculty visits to external laboratories, and use of UC equipment and facilities by others. Other university relationships with external parties, such as purchasing or real estate transactions, may also have implications for future university research results. Properly cast, all such relationships can help both UC and the external party advance their respective and mutual research interests.

For University relationships with external parties to succeed, agreements must address the parties' interests in future research results through flexible application of fundamental principles to a broad range of specific circumstances. Rights and obligations associated with future research results shall be based on the following principles:

  1. Open dissemination of research results and information
    Agreements with external parties shall not abridge the ability of University researchers to disseminate their research methods and results in a timely manner. The most fundamental tenet of the University is the freedom to interpret and publish or otherwise disseminate research results in order to support the transfer of knowledge to others and maintain an open academic environment that fosters intellectual creativity.
  2. Commitment to students
    Agreements for research relationships with external parties shall respect the University's primary commitment to the education of its students.

  3. Accessibility for research purposes
    Agreements with external parties shall ensure the ability of University researchers to use the results of their research to perform future research.

  4. Public benefit
    Agreements with external parties shall support the ability of the University to make available for the public benefit in a diligent and timely manner any resulting innovations and works of authorship.
  5. Informed participation
    All individuals involved in research governed by a University agreement with an external party shall have the right and responsibility to understand the rights and obligations related to future research results embodied within the agreement.
  6. Legal integrity and consistency
    Commitments concerning future research results made in agreements with external parties shall be consistent with all applicable laws and regulations and the University's contractual obligations to others.
  7. Fair consideration for university research results
    Agreements with external parties shall provide fair consideration to theUniversity and the general public for granting commercial access to future University research results.
  8. Objective decision-making
    When establishing or conducting University relationships with external parties, decisions made about rights to future research results shall be based upon legitimate institutional academic and business considerations and not upon matters related to the personal financial gain of any individual.

For full text: "Principles Regarding Rights to Future Research Results in University Agreements with External Parties," Aug. 26, 1999

Managing the proposal review and selection process
From the six proposals submitted by UC campuses, three institutes were selected through a competitive, merit-based, peer review-driven process. The UC General Counsel's Office provided guidance to UC employees on managing interests during the review and selection process.

Key points:

  • No individual with direct or indirect interest in one of the six submitted proposals participated in the peer review process managed by the Office of the President.
  • No individual with direct or indirect interest in one of the six submitted proposals participated in the Selection Committee's review process.
  • UC conflict of interest standards have been applied to all UC employees involved in the institutes' selection process.

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