Do I Have a Conflict of Interest?
I am a Berkeley Lab employee, a UC employee with an appointment at Berkeley Lab, or a rehired Berkeley Lab retiree and…
I want to take on some consulting work in my area of expertise or serve on a Science Advisory Board or Board of Directors. What are the steps I need to take in order to engage in this outside work?
I must fill out the online Compensation for Outside Professional Activity form*
My request has to go through the review and approval process
Supervisor ==> Patent Attorneys (if written agreement present) ==> Division Director ==> Research Compliance/Conflict of Interest office
I must get approval before engaging in outside work
*Income, wages and salary are all considered compensation. Stock, stock options, or other forms of equity and ownership are considered compensation, even if the equity currently has no value. Gifts given for work performed (such as travel beyond reasonable business travel) are compensation.
I am making a financial or purchasing decision for Berkeley Lab – do I have a financial interest* in any of the stakeholders involved in the purchasing decision?
Financial interests in financial or purchasing decisions must be avoided. They create a conflict when owing to other activities or relationships with other parties a person is unable or potentially unable to render impartial assistance or advice to the Lab or to the Government, or the person’s objectivity in performing the contract work is or might be otherwise impaired, or a person has an unfair competitive advantage.
* A financial interest is anything of economic value, including a fiduciary relationship with an outside entity. While not an exhaustive list, examples of financial interests include positions such as director, officer, partner, founder, consultant or manager of an entity (whether paid or unpaid); scientific advisory board or technical advisory board membership; salaries; consulting income; stock or stock options (vested or not vested); honoraria; gifts; loans; and travel payments.
I want to start a company to commercialize something I’ve discovered in my research at Berkeley Lab
I want to start a side business doing something not related to my job at Berkeley Lab
No review or permission are usually needed – please feel free to proceed, as long as you have checked with line management or the Conflict of Interest office to be sure others agree the business is unrelated to your Berkeley Lab work.
I want to give a speech (paid or not) to a public audience
As long as the speech is for a public audience to share the results of your research, go right ahead. It’s okay to accept modest honoraria for such speeches. If the speech is for a private audience, and/or will share information not in the public domain, consult with the Research Compliance and Intellectual Property Offices.
I want to do volunteer work with something unrelated to my work at Berkeley Lab
Go right ahead, no review or permission needed!
Berkeley Lab is bound by a variety of conflict-of-interest policies, some of which emanate from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contractual requirements (DOE Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, also known as Contract 31) and some of which are founded on University policies, California law, and federal regulations. These policies pertain to a broad range of employee activities, including compensated outside business and professional activities, hiring procedures, sponsored research, human subjects research, licensing, and technology transfer. An employee who fails to comply with Laboratory conflict-of-interest policies may incur disciplinary action by the Laboratory and prosecution under state law. These policies apply to all Berkeley Lab employees regardless of percent time of appointment at the Laboratory, including rehired retirees and University of California faculty associated with the Laboratory.