The University of Windsor is preparing for a safe return to campus. Learn More.

Completing a Research or Post-Doc Appointee Conflict of Interest Form

As outlined in University of Windsor Senate Policy C1: Conflict or Interest or Commitment (.pdf):

"A conflict of interest or commitment arises when a member of the university community acts, or where there is a reasonable presumption that such a member has acted, in a manner that seeks to advance or has the effect of advancing her or his own interests or the interests of others in a way that is detrimental or potentially harmful to the interests, integrity, or fundamental mission of the University."

Under Section 7, Favoritism in Employment, Senate Policy C1 states:

"The university takes every precaution to guard against favoritism of every kind in hiring. Faculty and staff members must be scrupulously fair and honest in ensuring that positions are well advertised and that appointments are offered always to the best-qualified available candidates. In so doing, however, the university acknowledges that, occasionally and in unique circumstances, there are cases in which, to fulfill the mission of the university, potential conflicts of interest may arise.

When a faculty or staff member is in a position to influence personnel decisions (such as the recruitment, offer of employment, evaluation of performance, promotion, granting of tenure, or termination of employment) with respect to another with whom the faculty or staff member has a relationship, which might reasonably be construed as a conflict or potential conflict of interest, then the faculty or staff member has a duty to disclose the situation to the administrative head of the unit.

Search, hiring, tenure, promotion procedures are regulated by Senate bylaws, Collective Agreements, and equity policies and practices of the University of Windsor. The principle prevails that members involved in these processes are expected to avoid conflicts of interest situations by not participating or withdrawing from the decision-making process when such a relationship exists with the candidate.

There are, however, cases in which this is not possible, such as that of a researcher who employs a research assistant on a grant...

...A record of each case will be documented and kept on file in the office of appropriate Vice President for the duration of the employment and in accordance with legislated requirements governing employment records..."

Accordingly, if you are appointing a relative or an individual with a special relationship to you, you are required to submit a Research or Post-Doc Appointee Conflict of Interest Form (.pdf) with the Request for Research or Post-Doc Appointment package acknowledging your relationship to the appointee and declaring that no conflict of interest exists in his or her appointment. Requests for appointments where the supervisor is a relative or has a special relationship to the appointee that are not accompanied by a signed conflict of interest form will not be processed.

Below, you will find the information you need to complete a conflict of interest form.

In the Appointment Details section of the conflict of interest form, list the appointee's name, position title, supervisor's name and department as they appear on the Request for Research or Post-Doc Appointment form. 

In the Relationship Details section of the conflict of interest form, indicate that the appointee is a relative and what your relationship to the appointee is. If the appointee is not a relative but has a special relationship to you, list the type of relationship next to "Other".

Under Appointee Qualifications, you must confirm that the appointee is qualified for the position. You must also provide a "written declaration" outlining how the appointee meets the qualifications for the position, as stipulated in the Research or Post-Doc Appointment Position Summary, and indicate that no conflict of interest exists. 

Typically, the written declaration is one paragraph or less in length. However, should your declaration exceed the space provided, you can append additional pages to the conflict of interest form.

In this section, the supervisor is asked to declare that the appointment does not constitute a conflict of interest and that all information provided on the conflict of interest form is true and accurate.

In addition to ticking the appropriate boxes, the supervisor is asked to sign and date the conflict of interest form.