Conflict of Interest (COI) FAQs
Accessing the COI System
How do I access the Cayuse Outside Interests (COI) site?
- Open a browser and type https://nyu.app.cayuse.com in the address bar. OR
- Log in to NYU Home access the “WORK” tab and under “Administrative Systems” select “Conflict of Interest”.
How do I log in to Cayuse Outside Interests?
You will use the same Single Sign On usename and password for NYU. When you log in you will see the Cayuse Platform Home page. If you have any issues logging into Cayuse Outside Interests contact email@example.com.
Who do I contact if I'm having trouble accessing the Cayuse Outside Interests system? E.g. I'm receiving an error message.
Email eResearch.firstname.lastname@example.org with a detailed explanation of the error message and provide screen shots whenever possible.
Who do I contact if I'm have technical issues with the Cayuse Outside Interests system?
Email eResearch.email@example.com with a detailed explanation of the error and provide screen shots whenever possible.
How do I make changes to my certification?
Refer to the Adhoc Updates User Guide for more information.
To update your certifications go to the dashboard profile in Cayuse COI (Outside Interests). You can log in from the email you receive from Cayuse Outside Interests or log in directly to the dashboard profile to submit a certification.
How does a User (NYU WSQ employee) create a Research Certification?
Research certifications are automatically created based on a proposal submission via Cayuse SP. Research certifications are now automated via Cayuse Outside Interests.
I am a Department Administrator and I am not able to see my PI's certifications. What should I do?
You will be able to view the status of your PI's disclosures by accessing the relevant Cayuse SP record. Access to the COI system is no longer required.
Should a PI or Department Administrator upload to the SP record screen shots of the annual and research disclosure associated with the specific sponsored project as verification that the process was completed in the NYU COI system?
Does NIH interpret the terms "spouse" and "marriage" to include legally-recognized, same-sex spouses/marriages?
Yes. All NIH grant programs and research and development (R&D) contract programs now interpret the terms "spouse" and “marriage” to include same-sex spouses/marriages. Under this policy, a same-sex relationship between two individuals is recognized as a marriage if (1) the state or other jurisdiction, whether foreign or domestic, where the couple was married recognizes the marriage under its laws or (2) the state or other jurisdiction where the couple currently resides recognizes the relationship as a legally valid marriage.
The COI system asks for the date I took the training course. I am not sure what training this refers to and doubt I remember the date. What is the best way for me to answer this question?
This question refers to the Conflict of Interest training provided by CITI. You can sign into the system at https://www.citiprogram.org and verify your information. Please enter that date in the COI system to complete the Research Initiated Disclosure. Refer to the Conflict of Interest Required Training page.
Where do I find the policy? What part of the policy specifically addresses sponsored programs?
- View the Policy on Academic Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment.
- View the Addendum on Conflicts of Interest in Research and Other Sponsored Projects.
- View May 23, 2014 memo (PDF) re: implementation of COI system.
Is there guidance specific to consulting arrangements?
NYU’s policies recognize that private consulting is often an appropriate faculty activity that benefits the university, the general public, and the faculty member. Whether called consulting agreements, scientific advisory board service agreements, product development agreements, or otherwise, the agreements covering your private consulting can sometimes contain unfair or onerous terms that may have an unnecessary and negative impact on you and on NYU and NYU community members. You are urged to review every consulting engagement and agreement very carefully to determine whether the proposed activity and/or agreement terms will: a) expose you to personal legal, ethical or financial risks; b) negatively impact your NYU research program or scholarly activities, the rights of and of your research sponsors (including the federal government); or c) will be in conflict with your obligations to NYU as a faculty member.
This Guide is not legal advice and is not a substitute for personal representation. You are encouraged to seek personal legal and tax advice prior to entering into consulting agreements.
What is consulting?
A professional activity related to the person's field or discipline, where an agreement exists for a fee-for-service or equivalent relationship with a third party. Consulting is recognized and often an appropriate activity that benefits the university, the general public, and the faculty member.
Are NYU faculty and researchers permitted to engage in outside consulting activities?
Yes. Faculty must comply with the University’s Policy on Academic Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment (“NYU COI Policy”), its Statement of Policy on Intellectual Property (“NYU IP Policy”), and any school specific related policies.
Do I need to disclose my consulting engagements to NYU?
Yes, disclosure is paramount to ensuring that the engagement does not compromise your obligations to your students, colleagues, sponsors (including the federal government) or NYU. Disclosures must include an accurate description of the exact nature of the engagement (e.g., “statement of work”) to ensure your Dean and the Director of Conflicts of Interest are able to protect your interests, and those mentioned above with any conflict of interest plan required under NYU’s COI Policy.
What constitutes an appropriate consulting activity?
Activities that do not:
- conflict with a faculty member’s primary commitment and obligations to NYU;
- expose faculty to personal legal, ethical or financial risks;
- negatively impact the faculty members research program or scholarly activities;
- negatively impact student’s academic or research progress; or
- impugn the rights of research sponsors (including, but not limited to, the federal government. Examples include serving as a scientific advisor or expert witness.
What constitutes an inappropriate consulting activity?
Activities or titles that constitute or imply managerial or supervisory responsibility for the company in question; these activities are generally not permitted. Titles such as CEO, Director, Scientific Officer, or Vice President, etc., are designations generally assigned to people with line management responsibilities and as such, are not permitted without express approval for an exception from the Dean, and described in a conflict of interest management plan.
How much time can faculty spend on consulting activities?
Not more than one day per seven day week, or the equivalent to a 8 hour day. Consulting time that exceeds this limit must be approved by the School Dean and the Provost.
Who should faculty talk with to determine whether or not the consulting engagement will violate the University policy?
The Office of Conflict of Interest, the School’s Vice Dean for Research, Dean, the Office of General Counsel, and Technology Opportunities and Ventures frequently advise faculty in the contemplation of consulting engagements, pursuant to the terms of University policies on Academic Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment and/or its Statement of Policy on Intellectual Property. These offices coordinate review of disclosures, the Scope of Work contemplated in a consulting arrangement, and apply special rules when faculty propose to consult with a company that licenses their inventions or other intellectual property, sponsors research in faculty members NYU labs, or could affect the objectivity and/or results of NYU research.
Do I have to keep my consulting work separate and distinct from my work at NYU?
Yes. Generally, faculty are not permitted to use any NYU time, space, facilities, resources, personnel or equipment, or give special access to NYU resources, including research results and materials when conducting consulting activities, except under special circumstances*
Is it possible to use NYU facilities or equipment in the course of my consulting work?
Generally, no. On rare occasions, NYU may approve such limited use on a case-by-case basis. That decision is made by a Dean, and any such use must include fair market value rates that are established by NYU’s Office of Finance, and must be reported to the Director for Conflict of Interest. If you think use of NYU resources is justified and appropriate, you must disclose it and obtain the approval in writing before the activity begins. Your disclosure should clearly identify the extent and nature of the facilities being utilized and the activities being conducted. The approval must be in writing and may include a plan to manage, reduce or eliminate any conflict of interest resulting from the activity. NYU may also establish a use charge based on the fair-market cost to NYU of providing the resources you will be using.
Can faculty reference NYU in any way in their capacity as a consultant?
No, NYU is not to be connected in any way with private consulting services rendered by a faculty member. The NYU name, logo or other marking may not be used and in no case shall faculty make or distribute, or approve the making or distribution by the company, of any statement or display which conveys or implies NYU’s endorsement or support of the company or any of its products or services. Faculty must not use NYU’s stationery or stationery having an NYU address or an NYU telephone number in connection with any consulting activity.
What issues must be addressed in a consulting agreement in order to comply with University policy?
The easiest way to ensure that your consulting agreement complies with NYU’s policies is to request the Company with whom you are consulting to incorporate the “Additional Terms” document that NYU has drafted. A summary explaining the need for certain terms and model language to address the issues can be found here: https://wikis.nyu.edu/x/urQOC (NYU Home login required)
Generally, consulting agreements must:
- acknowledge the faculty members primary employment relationship is with NYU;
- state that faculty consulting activities are personal, are the faculty member’s responsibility, are being performed at the faculty member’s risk and/or the company’s risk and are not being performed by NYU;
- include a narrow and well-defined field with a clear “Scope of Work “ (“SOW”) so outside entities are not entitled to more than intended (which could have dramatic and negative impact on freedom to conduct NYU research, to publish, or conflict with/compromise terms of agreement with other research sponsors); Where required or advised under the NYU COI Policy or the NYU IP Policy, you should disclose the SOW to your Dean and/or the Director for Conflicts of Interest, to ensure that the SOW does not trigger any real or perceived conflicts of interest or commitment; and
- make sure the technology or IP involved are separate and distinct from any technology or IP that would be owned by NYU under relevant University policies, or under research sponsorship or funding agreements between an outside entity and NYU.
What can I do to mitigate personal and professional risk when considering a consulting engagement?
- Require the Company to incorporate Appendix A into your consulting agreement
- Avoid or use caution in working with different companies on the same subject matter. Keep records of the Exact work you performed for the company, in the event there is disagreement downstream about the nature or extent of your engagement.
- Clearly segregate the work product for each company and to ensure that confidential information from one company cannot be perceived to have “spilled over” to another company. This can be difficult to accomplish and even more difficult to adequately document;
- Carefully consider the nature and scope of any confidentiality provisions, and make sure those provisions do not impact your obligations to NYU sponsors (including the federal government), or to you students, colleagues or NYU.
- Avoid any restriction on publication that could compromise the freedom to freely publish research results on a timely basis;
- Avoid “exclusivity” in consulting arrangements, as such terms can severely limit your rights to enter other consulting engagements, and may significantly conflict with your obligations to NYU and its sponsors.
- Carefully consider the duration of the consulting agreement. An agreement should ordinarily last a few months. In any agreement, faculty should reserve the right to terminate the consulting agreement “without cause” so as to ensure it won’t interfere with University-based research, the development of non-consulting inventions and developments, and relationships with other companies, including research sponsors;
- Carefully consider the implications of any “non-compete” provisions of a consulting agreement, as it may interfere with ongoing research programs and other consulting opportunities;
- Carefully review any requirements for representations and warranties, including with regard to intellectual property issues. NYU does not offer its intellectual property licensees warranties about whether the intellectual property infringes third party rights, and NYU advises faculty to not do so in any consulting engagement; and
- Carefully review any indemnification or other liability terms. NYU does not provide insurance coverage that protects a faculty member during and while performing under a consulting engagement, consider whether your services will be covered by the company’s insurance policies.
Who can I ask for advice on how best to structure the terms and conditions of a consulting arrangement/agreement?
Generally, no. The involvement of students and staff in faculty consulting activities should be undertaken only with extreme caution, and with express written approval from the school dean (or institute director) and the Provost. If permitted in writing, safeguards (including a formal conflict of interest management plan) will be instituted to protect students’, staff, or scholars’ interests and to ensure their roles do not conflict with their obligations to NYU. These interests may include avoiding any interference with their educational/scholarly activities and choices, their ability to timely complete course requirements, or other circumstances giving rise to coercion or exploitation of any nature. NYU will not permit the involvement of students and staff if the scholarly or educational mission of NYU is compromised. Whenever possible, you should avoid even the appearance of directing students into research activities that serve your own personal interests outside of NYU.