Protecting Ideas: Ethical and Legal Considerations When a Grant’s Principal Investigator Changes
- 232 Downloads
Ethical issues related the responsible conduct of research involve questions concerning the rights and obligations of investigators to propose, design, implement, and publish research. When a principal investigator (PI) transfers institutions during a grant cycle, financial and recognition issues need to be addressed to preserve all parties’ obligations and best interests in a mutually beneficial way. Although grants often transfer with the PI, sometimes they do not. Maintaining a grant at an institution after the PI leaves does not negate the grantee institution’s obligation to recognize the PI’s original ideas, contributions, and potential rights to some forms of expression and compensation. Issues include maintaining a role for the PI in determining how to take credit for, share and publish results that involve his or her original ideas. Ascribing proper credit can become a thorny issue. This paper provides a framework for addressing situations and disagreements that may occur when a new PI continues the work after the original PI transfers. Included are suggestions for proactively developing institutional mechanisms that address such issues. Considerations include how to develop solutions that comply with the responsible conduct of research, equitably resolve claims regarding reporting of results, and avoid the possibility of plagiarism.
KeywordsGrant transfers Grant stipulations Grant awards Principal investigator PI transfer Authorship Plagiarism
The authors wish to thank Lana Christian for her expert editing assistance with this manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Potential conflict of interest
LGK has transferred a grant to another investigator.
- Assembly Bill 609, Chapter 789. (2014). State-funded research: State Department of Public Health. State of California.Google Scholar
- Atkinson, R. D., & Stewart, L. A. (2011). University research funding: The United States is behind and falling. The information technology and innovation foundation.Google Scholar
- Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., et al. (2011). No. 09-1159. Retrieved from: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1159.pdf.
- Browning, D. (2014). Decline in federal grants threatens state research. Star Tribune. Retrieved from: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/241990681.html.
- Council on Governmental Relations (2001). Managing externally funded programs at colleges and universities a guideline to good management practices.Google Scholar
- Council on Governmental Relations (2011a). A tutorial on technology transfer in U.S. Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
- Council on Governmental Relations (2011b). Access to rights and responsibilities sharing and retention of research data: Rights and responsibilities.Google Scholar
- Faust, D. G. (2010). The Role of the University in a Changing World. Presented at the Royal Irish Academy, Trinity College; Dublin, Ireland; 30 June 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.harvard.edu/president/speech/2010/role-university-changing-world.
- Government Accounting Office (2013). Biomedical research: NIH should assess the impact of growth in indirect costs on its mission. Retrieved from: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/658087.pdf.
- Harper, G. K. (2007). Copyright Crash Course: Who Owns What? University of Texas Libraries. Retrieved from: http://copyright.lib.utexas.edu/whoowns.html.
- Henderson, J. A., & Smith, J. J. (2002). Academia, Industry and the Bayh–Dole act: an implied duty to commercialize.Google Scholar
- International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2015) Defining the role of authors and contributors. Retrieved from: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html.
- Lawrence, C., & Gunther, G. (1990). Good speech, bad speech. Stanford Lawyer, 24(1), 4–9.Google Scholar
- Mangan, K. S., & Blumenstyk, G. (2000). Colleges’ conflict-of-interest rules are criticized as vague. The chronicle of higher education. Retrieved from: http://chronicle.com.proxy2.ulib.iupui.edu/article/Colleges-Conflict-of-Interest/13975/.
- National Institutes of Health (2010a). Grants and funding: NIH grants policy statement part II: Terms and conditions of NIH grant awards. Retrieved from: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2010/nihgps_ch8.htm.
- National Institutes of Health (2010b). Equipment under grants. Retrieved from: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/equipment_faqs.htm.
- National Institutes of Health (2013). Types of grant programs. Retrieved from: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/funding_program.htm.
- National Institutes of Health (2015). NIH budget: Research for the people. Retrieved from: http://www.nih.gov/about/budget.htm.
- National Institutes of Health (2015) NIH peer review: Grants and cooperative agreements. Retrieved from: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/PeerReview22713webv2.pdf.
- Office of Research Integrity; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1994). ORI Provides Working Definition of Plagiarism. ORI Newsletter, 3(1), 5–6.Google Scholar
- Sargent, J. F. Jr. (2013). Federal research and development funding: FY 2013. Congressional Research Service, 7-5700, R42410.Google Scholar
- Shamoo, A. E., & Resnik, D. B. (2009). On being a scientist: A guide to responsible conduct in research (3rd ed.). Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication. (2010). Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotheraphy. 1(1), 42–58.Google Scholar
- Who Owns Patent Rights: Employer or Inventor? (2015) Retrieved from: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/who-owns-patent-rights-employer-inventor.html.