UM Policies

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Research Policies

Interim Code of Business Conduct & Ethics
   Reporting of Suspected Violations
   Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment
   Scholarly Misconduct
   Misuse of University Resources
   Confidential or Privileged Information
   Responsible Contracting
   Financial Transactions and Reporting

For consolidated policies & procedures manual visit the president policies page.

Research Policies

  • II-3.10 Policy on Professional Commitment of Faculty
  • II-3.10(A) Policy on Conflict of Interest & Conflict of Commitment (CoI Website)
  • II-3.10(B) Procedures on Conflict of Interest & Conflict of Commitment (CoI Website)
  • II-3.10(C) University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on Financial Conflicts of Interest in Public Health Service Funded Research
  • III-1.10 Policy On Misconduct In Scholarly Work
  • III-1.10(A) University of Maryland Procedures for Scholarly Misconduct
  • IV-2.00 Policy on Solicitation and Acceptance of Sponsored Projects
  • IV-2.10 University Of Maryland System Policy On Human Subjects Of Research
  • IV-2.20 Policy On Classified And Proprietary Work
  • IV-3.00 [Former] Policy on Patents [still applies to inventions disclosed prior to the effective date of the current policy.]
  • IV-3.10 - Policy On Copyrights
  • IV-3.20 University of Maryland System Policy on Intellectual Property
  • IV-3.20 (A) University of Maryland Policy on Intellectual Property
  • IV-4.00 (A) University of Maryland Policy and Procedures for Cost Sharing [Replaces former policy VIII-10.60A]
  • VI-11.00(B) UMCP Policy On Occupational Exposure To Bloodborne Pathogens
  • VI-13.00(A) UMCP Policy on Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories
  • VI-17.00(A) University of Maryland Policy on Biosafety
  • VIII-3.10(B) University of Maryland Policy and Procedures for Delegated Purchasing Authority
  • VIII-7.10 University of Maryland Policy on Reporting Suspected or Known Fiscal Irregularities
  • VIII-10.40(A) UMCP Policy For Direct Charging Of Costs To Federal Grants, Contracts, And Cooperative Agreements
  • VIII-10.50(A) University Of Maryland College Park Policy Governing Specialized Service Facilities
  • IX-2.00 Policy on Affiliated Foundations
  • X-14.00(A) University of Maryland Policy on Institutional Conflicts of Interest
  • UMCP Policy on Animal Care and Use
  • UMCP Policy on the Use of Recombinant DNA

Please refer to the Consolidated USMH and UMCP Policies and Procedures Manual for a comprehensive listing of policies that apply to research.

Interim Code of Business Conduct & Ethics


The University of Maryland is committed to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct. The University President and Vice Presidents expect that each individual conducting business on behalf of the University will adhere to those standards in the performance of his or her duties. The professional integrity of our faculty and staff is at the core of our reputation for excellence and innovation. It is the responsibility of each individual acting on behalf of the University to comply with legal and regulatory requirements, policies, and procedures that apply to her/his particular duties. In addition, it is the responsibility of supervisors to see that staff receive adequate information and training to permit full compliance and to monitor that compliance occurs.

This Code is intended to remind everyone of the importance of adhering to University policies as well as to those that are specific to particular administrative areas or functions. This Code is intended to promote compliance with existing policies and not to change or replace them. Any conflicts or inconsistencies between this Code and more specific ones shall be controlled by the more specific statement.

There may be instances when a policy or regulation appears difficult to interpret or apply. In those instances, faculty and staff should seek clarification through the normal supervisory channels. If necessary, further questions should be directed to the administrative office that has responsibility for the oversight of that policy or to the appropriate Vice President or the Office of Legal Affairs.

Reporting of Suspected Violations

Duty to Report. To maintain the highest standards of business and ethical conduct, the University depends on each individual to report potential or perceived conflicts of interest involving themselves or others and suspected violations of applicable laws, regulations, government contract and grant requirements or of this Code (together referred to as "violations") The Failure to report known or suspected violations is itself a breach of University ethical standards and can lead to discipline, up to and including separation from the University, in accordance with applicable personnel policies.

Reporting Procedures. Faculty and staff should understand that the University encourages reporting of suspected violations and makes available alternative ways to do so. Staff are encouraged to report violations to their immediate supervisor, but may also report to more senior management, or to the Office of Legal Affairs. Supervisors or any other person who receives a report are directed to consult with the Office of Legal Affairs and to further inform the respective Vice President in whose area of responsibility the violation has occurred.

Confidentiality. Reports of suspected violations may be made confidentially, and even anonymously, although the more information is provided, the easier it is to investigate the reports. Retaliation is not permitted, and your identity will be protected to the maximum extent possible under the law.

Cooperation. All employees must cooperate fully in the investigation of any misconduct.

Monitoring of Reports of Violations. The Vice President for Administrative Affairs and the Senior Vice President and Provost shall be responsible for monitoring reports of violations to determine the effectiveness of business ethics awareness and the compliance program.

Consequences of Violations of Law and University Policies. Violations by faculty or staff may result in disciplinary action, as appropriate, including and up to termination in accordance with applicable University policies and State law. Violations of law may also carry civil and criminal liabilities, including fines and/or imprisonment.

Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment

The University is concerned with two broad kinds of conflict: (1) Conflicts of interest, which typically involve potential financial gain or personal benefit to an employee or related individuals; and (2) Conflicts of commitment, which typically arise when otherwise positive activities may compromise the fulfillment of an employee's basic job responsibilities to the University.

The term "conflict of interest" denotes situations in which members of the University community are in a position to gain financial advantage or personal benefit (broadly construed) arising from their University positions, either through outside professional activities or through their research, administrative, or educational actions or decisions at the University.

Because University employees are also State employees, a conflict of interest may also arise in the context of State Ethics Law, which, among other things, generally restricts the interests and relationships that a University employee may have with any external entity that also does or seeks to do business with the University. Among other things, State Ethics Law generally prohibits University employees from having financial interests in or employment relationships (including consulting) with entities under the authority of the University or which have or are negotiating contracts or subcontracts with the University. Other employment relationships (including consulting) prohibited under State Ethics Law include those that could impair the impartiality or independent judgment of the employee and those that involve an entity that is a party to a state contract (greater than $1000) if the employee's duties include matters that substantially relate to the subject matter of the contract. State Ethics Law also contains other prohibitions against State employees: participating in matters in which they (or certain family members or business entities) have an interest; soliciting and accepting gifts; using the prestige of their office or confidential information for private gain; and representing parties in State matters for contingent compensation. The State Ethics Commission has the sole authority to interpret State Ethics Law.

The term "conflict of commitment" denotes situations that arise when outside professional activities or other significant commitments, whether outside or within the University, interfere with an employee's (faculty or staff) meeting his or her primary job responsibilities to the University.

The responsibility for managing potential conflicts of interest or commitment begins with the faculty and staff involved, who must timely disclose to their unit head certain relationships, activities or situations where conflict or the perception of conflict may occur. They must also complete an Annual Report on Outside Professional Activities which provides an appropriate context in which the unit head can evaluate individual conflict issues. It is the responsibility of the unit head to ensure that members of the unit are familiar with University policies and procedures relative to outside professional activities, conflicts of interest, and conflicts of commitment. In cases of potential conflicts of interest under University policy that do not involve research or development or State Ethics Law, the question of whether there is a conflict of interest will normally be resolved by the unit head of the next higher level of supervision.

In recognition of the University's role in promoting economic and technological development in the State, the University has been given the authority under State law and BOR policy to consider and waive certain State Ethics Law conflict of interest constraints in connection with research or development activities, provided they are approved in accordance with specific University procedures. In cases of activities related to research or development wherein either the unit head or the employee expresses a concern about a possible conflict of interest, the unit head is responsible for ensuring that the faculty or staff member completes a Research or Development Interest Disclosure Form.

Outside professional activities are generally permitted as long as they do not result in a conflict of interest or a conflict of commitment. Employees are expected to comply with the following additional standards relating to these outside professional activities: (1) Payment for consulting or professional service rendered within the University or to another University System institution or State agency is generally not permitted. (2) Modest use of University resources in connection with consulting or other outside activities is generally permitted, however, faculty, staff or other employees must notify the unit head whenever outside activities may involve more substantial use of such resources and secure written consent, as appropriate. (3) Faculty, staff or other employees may not, in any way, convey endorsement by the University of the results of their outside activities. (4) Faculty, staff or other employees may not enter into any agreement that conflicts with System or University policies on intellectual property absent written consent of the Chancellor and/or President, as appropriate.

The following System and University policies and state ethics laws more specifically address issues of Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment:

II-3.10 – Policy on Professional Commitment of Faculty (Amended by the Board of Regents, 6/27/03)

II-3.10(A) University of Maryland Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment (Approved by the President, 5/20/03)

II-3.10(B) University of Maryland Procedures on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment (Approved by the President, 5/20/03)

III-1.11 Conflicts of Interest in Research or Development (Approved by the Board of Regents, 8/23/96)

IV-3.20(A) University of Maryland Policy on Intellectual Property (Approved by the Chancellor, 7/18/05)

The Conflict of Interest provisions of Maryland State Ethics Law are codified in Annotated Code of Maryland, State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 5. and click on Maryland Code OnLine.

Further information regarding Conflict of Interest including Frequently Ask Questions and Answers is also available on Conflict of Interest website.

Scholarly Misconduct

It is the policy of the University to maintain high ethical standards in science and other scholarly work, to prevent misconduct where possible, and promptly and fairly to evaluate and to resolve instance of alleged or apparent misconduct. It is the policy of the University to terminate the employment and/or to take other disciplinary action against any individual found responsible for misconduct. It is the policy of the University to award no degree if misconduct in science or other scholarly work contributed to that degree, and when warranted, to revoke such a degree if misconduct is discovered after its award.

Scholarly misconduct may take many forms including, but not limited to:

(1) Falsification or Misrepresentation of Data: such as fabrication, manipulation, alteration or falsification of data or background information, deceptively selective reporting, purposeful omission of conflicting data and conflicting data and willful suppression, distortion or destruction of data.

(2) Plagiarism: the appropriation of the work of another, such as taking credit for an exact copy or the rewritten or rearranged work of another.

(3) Improprieties of Authorship: including improper assignment of credit, such as excluding or insufficiently citing others; misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication; inclusion of individuals as authors who have not made a contribution to the work published; or submission of multi-authored publications without the concurrence of all authors.

(4) Abuse of Confidentiality/Misappropriation of Ideas: improper use or appropriation of information obtained from scholarly exchanges and other types of confidential access, such as review of grant applications or manuscripts and service on peer review panels, editorial boards or University committees.

(5) Violation of Generally Accepted Research Practices: serious deviation from accepted research practices such as improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.

(6) Deliberate Material Failure to Comply with Federal, State or University Requirements Affecting Research: such as violations involving the use of funds or resources, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, radioactive, biologic or chemical materials or the health and safety of individuals or the environment.

(7) Deliberate Misrepresentation of Qualifications: such as misrepresentation of experience or research accomplishments to advance the research program, to obtain external funding, or for other professional or personal advancement.

(8) Misappropriation of Funds or Resources: such as misuse of funds or resources for personal gain.

The President has delegated to the Vice President for Academic Affairs the responsibility for administering the University’s Procedures for Scholarly Misconduct. Reporting of scholarly misconduct is a responsibility shared by everyone at the University. All participants in the inquiry and investigation process should be treated with fairness, respect and sensitivity to their reputations and should be protected against retaliation in connection with good faith participation. Reports of scholarly misconduct which are not made in good faith will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary or other actions. If disciplinary sanctions are recommended following a finding of scholarly misconduct, the University shall follow any applicable policies and procedures in the imposition of those sanctions.

The following System and University policies more specifically address issues of Scholarly Misconduct:

III-1.10 Policy on Misconduct in Scholarly Work (Approved by the Board of Regents, 11/30/89)

III-1.10(A) University of Maryland Procedures for Scholarly Misconduct (Approved by the President, Revised 08/01/91; 04/06/09 Technical Amendment)

Misuse of University Resources

Employees shall not transmit to outsiders or otherwise use for personal gain University funded or supported property, work products, results, materials, record, or information developed with University funding or other support. Use of University resources, including facilities, personnel, equipment for non-University purposes, except as expressly approved in accordance with University protocols, is prohibited. Except as expressly approved in accordance with University protocols, the University name, logo, service marks or letterhead should be used for University business only, and not for any personal communication or purpose or non-University use or purpose.

The following University policies more specifically address issues of Misuse of University Resources:

VI-4.10(A) University of Maryland Procedures for Use of Physical Facilities (approved by the President, 8/8/91, 11/24/93 Technical Amendment)

X-1.00(A) Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources (approved by the President, 4/5/06)

X-2.00(A) University of Maryland Policy Concerning On-Campus mail (Approved by the President 8/1/91, Amended 04/22/11)

X-3.00(A) UMCP Policies and Procedures Concerning Telephone System Usage (Approved by the President 8/1/91) 

X-3.01(A) UMCP Policy and Procedures Concerning Telephone Billing (Approved by the President 8/1/91) 

X-3.02(A) UMCP Policy and Procedures Concerning Telephone Credit Cards (Approved by the President 8/1/91)

X-3.06(A) University of Maryland Policy on University Funded Cellular Telephones and Service (Effective 10/19/06)

X-6.00(A) UMCP Administrative Computer Center Security of Administrative Data (Approved by the President 4/1/92)

X-10.00(A) University of Maryland Policy Concerning Use of University Stationery (Approved by the President 8/1/91)

Confidential or Privileged Information

Employees must not use for personal gain or other unauthorized purposes confidential or privileged information acquired in connection with the individual's University-supported activities. Confidential, proprietary and private information relating to the University, its departments/units, employees and students is to be kept in confidence, except as authorized by law. This includes information from all sources, including but not limited to medical records, student records, e-mail, voice mail, personnel and payroll records, financial systems, and all other files belonging to the University. Employees should access and/or use information only with proper authorization and as needed to perform their job responsibilities and the need for staff access should be reviewed periodically by supervisors. Each employee is responsible and will be held accountable for securing his or her passwords for any information system to which he or she has access.

IT resources are provided to support the academic, research, instructional and administrative objectives of the University. These resources are extended for the sole use of University faculty, staff, students and authorized guests to accomplish tasks related to the status of that individual at the University, and consistent with the University's mission. Those using University IT resources are responsible for complying with security standards set forth by the Vice President and Chief Information Officer, safeguarding identification codes and passwords, and for using them solely for their intended purposes. Individuals are solely responsible for their personal use of IT resources and are prohibited from representing or implying that statements related to such use constitute the view or policies of the University.

The following policies specifically address obligations regarding confidential and privileged information:

II-3.10(A) University of Maryland Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment (Approved by the President, 5/20/03)

II-3.10(B) University of Maryland Procedures on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment (Approved by the President, 5/20/03)

Specific information on the acceptable use of Information Technology Resources is also addressed in the following University policy:

X-1.00(A) Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources (Approved by the President, 4/5/06)

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers regarding the Acceptable Use Policy

Additional information may be obtained from Project NEThics at (301) 405-8787 or Questions may also be directed to the Office of Legal Affairs.

The University also complies with applicable federal and state laws pertaining to confidentiality of education records, e.g., the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and medical records, e.g., the Americans with Disability Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Responsible Contracting

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) is the pre- and post-award administration office for the University of Maryland. ORA works to facilitate the submission of all sponsored project proposals on behalf of the university, and helps researchers and business officers administer projects when contracts and grants are awarded to UM. ORA's Contract Administrators review each proposal to ensure compliance with laws and regulations and university policy. They work with researchers, business officers and other administrators to resolve problems of institutional financing, cost sharing, contractual terms and budget matters. ORA reviews and advises UM on matters of new or revised federal and state laws, rules and regulations that affect research administration at UM. Further information regarding applicable University policies and federal contract requirements for sponsored research agreements is available through the Office of Research Administration website.

The Department of Procurement and Supply is responsible for the acquisition, rental, purchase or lease of supplies (including vehicles and information technology requirements, services, maintenance, capital improvements and architectural and engineering services on behalf of the University consistent with the USM Procurement Policies and Procedures. Information regarding University purchases in accordance with University policy and applicable law is generally available at the Department of Procurement and Supply website.

The University Procurement Policies and Procedures

The Department of Procurement and Supply General Code of Ethics

University rules regarding use of the University purchasing card in connection with delegated purchasing authority

Financial Transactions and Reporting

University resources should be used only for legitimate University purposes, and proper documentation should be kept for all charges and expenses. All university accounts, financial reports, tax returns expense reimbursements, time records and other documents should be accurate, clear and complete.

Care should be taken to ensure the proper recording and charging of costs. It is important that costs are accurately recorded so that only allowable costs are charged to the government. Reimbursement from the government shall be requested only for costs that are allowable under state and federal regulations. If there are any questions about proper treatment of costs, contact the Comptroller’s Office or the Office of Research Administration, as appropriate.

The following University policies among others are applicable to sponsored research agreements:

IV-4.00(A) University of Maryland Policy and Procedures for Cost Sharing (Approved by the President, 11/19/99; Technical Amendments Oct 2014)

VIII-3.10(B) University of Maryland Policy and Procedures for Delegated Purchasing Authority (Approved by the President, 9/9/97; revised 5/00)

VIII-7.10 University of Maryland Policy on Reporting Suspected or Known Fiscal Irregularities (Approved by the Board of Regents, 6/21/90) 

VIII-7.10(A) University of Maryland Procedures on Reporting Suspected or Known Fiscal Irregularities (Approved by the President, 8/1/91; revised 8/98)

VIII-10.40(A) UMCP Policy for Direct Charging of Costs to Federal Grants, Contracts and Cooperative Agreements (Approved by the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, 11/27/96)

VIII-10.50(A) University of Maryland College Park Policy Governing Specialized Service Facilities (Approved by the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, 11/27/96)


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