It is the policy of the University of Wyoming/NCAR Alliance (WNA) that procedures and policies regarding WNA allocation requests assure fair and equitable to all requestors, and protect the integrity of the research, science, the NWSC, the NCAR, and the University of Wyoming.
The policies and guidelines presented below help assure that WRAP allocation recommendations are based solely on objective judgments of a proposal’s merits, by identifying and resolving conflict of interest (COI) situations to minimize the potential of personal bias in decisions.
A conflict of interest is a potential overlap between an individual’s concern for the public interest or the best interest of WNA and his or her private interests or allegiances. Conflicts of interest, actual or perceived, may compromise professional reputations of individuals, and the effectiveness of WNA’s allocation process. Thus conflicts of interest must be scrupulously avoided.
Individuals involved with WRAP activities shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any individual or organization; and may not use their position on CHAP or knowledge gained through CHAP activities to obtain a personal advantage either for themselves or for any other person or entity in whom or in which they have a financial or other vested interest.
Conflicts of interest are common, and even inevitable. A disqualification to review should be understood to be a positive contribution to assuring the integrity of the process.
In determining whether or not a particular circumstance creates the appearance of a violation of one of the ethical standards outlined below, we appeal to the perspective of a reasonable person with the knowledge of the relevant facts.
Responsibilities of WRAP Members. Appointment as a WRAP member requires awareness of COI situations that may arise during the evaluation of WNA resource requests.
Conflicts of Interests exist for any of the relationships below:
1. Affiliations with the requestor:
2. Relationships with an Investigator or other person who has a personal, academic and/or financial interest in the request and/or proposal:
3. Other relationships with the requestor or the request. The interests of the following persons are to be treated as if they were the panel member’s own:
Recommended actions for WRAP COIs are the following:
Disclosure. Prior to the assignment of reviewers, CISL will provide the WRAP co-chairs (Co-chairs) with a summary of all known COIs with the panel members. In some instances, a COI is known only to the individual panel member. Each panel member is responsible to declare immediately each COI and to bring the matter promptly to the attention of CISL and the Co-chairs. The Co-chairs, acting as an objective disinterested third party, determine how the matter should be handled and additional steps, if any, to take. Simply stating and documenting the existence of a conflict of interest does not suffice to eliminate it. A written record of how each conflict was resolved for each CHAP panelist shall be compiled by the Co-chairs as part of the official record of the meeting.
Avoidance. Members should avoid all conflicts or interest or the appearance of such. In the course of their duties with WRAP, members should avoid situations in which they can influence or appear to influence a decision or course of action, as well as any actions that may give monetary gain or personal benefit to themselves or to those with whom they are associated professionally and personally, as covered under the relationships discussed above.
Removal. In those instances in which a WRAP member is a Requesting Scientist on a resource request for the current panel meeting, or a Principal Investigator (PI), or Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) on the award supporting the resource request, the resource request will be evaluated and a resource allocation recommendation will be made to the WNA prior to the panel meeting. The resource request will be discussed via email or via a teleconference involving those panelists without a COI on any of the requests being discussed. In instances where the Co-chairs have judged that a COI exists for an CHAP member who is not a PI, CO-PI, or Requesting Scientist for a proposal being considered, or if there is a need for further discussion of a request that was reviewed in advance to balance the resources allocated, the conflicted panel member shall physically leave the room during discussion of the proposal. In other instances in which a COI is disclosed, and the Co-chairs have judged it to be minor, the panelist may continue to participate in the discussions.
WRAP participants are encouraged to seek guidance on these conflict of interest guidelines at any time.