University of Minnesota  Appendix

Prohibited Activities with Business Entities


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

The following are prohibited activities for employees.

Prohibited activity Details
Having a financial or personal beneficial interest in a University contract or purchase order (Minnesota Statute, Section 15.43)

No employee of the state or of the University of Minnesota in direct contact with suppliers or potential suppliers to the state or the university, or who may directly or indirectly influence a purchasing decision or contract by establishing specification, testing purchased products, evaluating contracted services, or otherwise has official involvement in the purchasing or contracting process may:

  1. Have any financial interest or have any personal beneficial interest directly or indirectly in contracts or purchase orders for goods or services used by, or purchased for resale or furnished to a department or agency of the state or the university;
  2. Accept, directly or indirectly from a person, firm, or corporation to whom a contract or purchase order has been or may be awarded, a rebate, gift, money, or anything of value other than items of nominal value [$5 or less].  No such employee may further accept any promise, obligation or contract for future award.
Receiving personal gain resulting from the use of instructional materials without proper administrative approval No member of the instructional staff of the University may personally profit from the assignment of materials or the assignment of the venue of the purchase of materials, to students in classes, or any other instructional setting at the University without proper administrative approval by their collegiate department. See Administrative Policy: Educational Materials Conflict of Interest.
Ghostwriting Employees may not have their names and University affiliation associated with a publication or other article that was created by a business entity where the covered individual had no meaningful authorship in the publication or article. Authorship must be restricted to those individuals who made a significant intellectual contribution to the work including: conception, design, and performance; analysis and interpretation; and manuscript preparation and critical editing for intellectual content.
Endorsement of a product or service Employees may not endorse a product or service developed or sold by a business entity unless (a) a contract entered into by the University permits the endorsement, or (b) the endorsement is based on the employee’s scholarly activity and research. This prohibition applies to both written and oral endorsements when the product or service relates to the employee’s University-related expertise and responsibilities, whether or not the employee uses their title in making the endorsement. This provision is not intended to restrict: (1) classroom discussion or other educational activities that involve comparative analysis; or (2) the employee from providing an opinion based on scholarly activity or research.    
Accepting Payment for Selection, Use, or Promotion of Products or Services for University purposes

Employees may not accept payments, gifts, or other benefits that are tied to the employee’s selection, use, or promotion of a product or service for University purposes.

An employee, with the approval of a chancellor, dean or administrative unit head, may use for educational, research, clinical care, or outreach purposes, a product that the employee developed. See Administrative Policy: Educational Materials Conflict of Interest.

  Accepting Payment for Employment Referrals Employees may not accept a fee, gift, or other benefits from a business entity for making an employment referral to that business entity.  
Accepting Payment for the Recruitment of Patients for Clinical Research Studies Employees may not accept payment, gifts or other benefits solely for the purpose of recruiting patients for clinical research activities unless it is in the form of a payment made as part of a global fee for performing or overseeing a clinical trial.
Accepting payment for participating in surveys intended to promote, market or sell a drug or medical device directly to the practitioner

Practitioners may not accept cash payments for participating in surveys that are intended to promote, market, or sell a drug or medical device directly to those practitioners. Payment for participation in bona fide market research conducted by an independent survey research organization is authorized.

See MN Statute § 151.461, Gifts to Practitioners Prohibited

Using or disclosing nonpublic research information in violation of insider trading laws Employees who have access to preliminary nonpublic research results related to clinical trials or other research with potential commercial value may be considered insiders for purposes of federal insider trading laws if the research is sponsored by companies with publicly traded stock. Until the research is completed and the results become publicly available, employees may not use nonpublic research information to buy or sell stock and may not disclose this information to investment companies or other third parties for personal gain.
Making professional referrals to a business entity in which they or their family members have a business or financial interest Employees acting in the context of their University duties may not make professional referrals to a business entity in which they or their family members have a business or financial interest. Only in special situations should employees be permitted to make a professional referral, for example, when the business entity’s service or product is not generally available from other sources and the employee fully discloses relevant business or significant financial interest to prospective clients. 
Receiving Personal Remuneration from a Company While Participating in a Human Participant Study Sponsored by that Company.

Investigators who participate in an open human participant research study requiring IRB approval and oversight that is sponsored by a company, or involves the development or evaluation of a company’s product, device, or other technology, may provide consulting or speaking services (“services”) for the company during the period of the research study under the following conditions:

  1. Any payments made in exchange for the services are directed to the University under the terms of a University External Sales Agreement;
  2. The funds are not used to support the salary of the investigator.
  3. The arrangement is approved by a Conflict Review Panel.

For purposes of this provision, a human participant research study is open from the time the study is approved by the IRB until participant enrollment is closed and the primary outcome from the study has been published.

Investigators may receive study-related expenses as approved in the University budget for the study, including salary support and travel expenses.

An investigator may request that the Conflict Review Panel approve an exception to this provision in order to receive personal remuneration or equity from the company while participating in the study. Compelling circumstances must be present to warrant approval of the exception.