Privacy & Conflict of Interest

The UCSF Rosenman Institute’s mission is to make a greater impact on innovation that improves patient care. It is important for the Institute to engage Fellows in order to assess ideas, identify the most effective path to commercialization, and assist the teams in advancing their research and ideas. Additionally, privileged information may need to be shared at these early stages of innovation.

We acknowledge that conflict of interest and premature disclosure are risks to be managed. The purpose of these guidelines is to enable the greatest amount of cross-fertilization of ideas while protecting intellectual property, minimizing the risk of premature disclosure, and ensuring that advice given to entrepreneurs, clinicians, and researchers is fair and objective.

Guidelines for handling privileged information

Meetings and activities identified as privileged are by invitation only, are not public, and are conducted with the understanding that Fellows participants are specially invited by the UCSF Rosenman Institute staff for the academic review of new ideas and mentoring of researchers on a privileged basis. By agreeing to take part, participants in these activities agree to:

  • Maintain privileged information in confidence
  • Not use the information for personal gain at the expense of the researchers/entrepreneurs or the UCSF Rosenman Institute
  • Notify UCSF Rosenman Institute staff of any potential conflict of interest
  • Recuse themselves from participating in any activity where there might be a conflict of interest
Intellectual Property

When you advise a research team, intellectual property (copyrights, inventions, trade marks, etc.) may be developed. Fellows do not receive any ownership interest in any intellectual property defined above by participating as Fellows.

Information received through UCSF Rosenman Institute activities concerning a technology should not be construed as a representation or warranty that such technology is patentable or does not infringe on the rights of any third parties.

Guidelines for managing conflict of interest

According to Wikipedia, a conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust has competing professional and/or personal interests. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties fairly. Even if there is no evidence of improper actions, a conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidence in the ability of that person to act properly.

Rosenman Fellows must avoid positions of conflict of interest wherever possible and notify the staff any time there is a potential conflict. Conflict of interest becomes a problem in situations where the Fellow tries to influence a decision for personal gain, or to use information for personal gain at the expense of the researcher or the UCSF Rosenman Institute. Examples of such situations include, but are not limited to, the following:

Receiving privileged information or giving advice on a project when the Fellow has a financial stake in a potential competitor. Giving advice on a project when the Fellow has a potential financial stake in a spinout from the research. As a result, if a Fellow decides he or she wants to be involved with the project on a professional level, he or she must notify the researcher and the UCSF Rosenman Institute immediately and step back from advising the project.

Reviewing a proposal when the Fellow has a financial stake in the success of the proposal (such as an interest to invest or a financial stake in a competitor), has a proposal under consideration in the same grant round, or if he or she has a relationship with the team that would make an objective review difficult. On the other hand, the Fellow in a mentoring role could lead to very valuable insight, as long as this relationship is disclosed to the UCSF Rosenman Institute during the review process.