All staff, including those in casual, honorary and volunteer positions, are required to identify, disclose and manage conflicts of interest.

Continuing and fixed-term staff are also required to complete an online conflict of interest disclosure each year, even if they don’t have any conflicts.

3. Disclosing conflicts of interest

You must disclose any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest. In your disclosure, you need to explain what the conflict is and propose a plan for managing it.

You need to disclose all:

  • new conflicts of interest
  • changes to existing conflicts of interest
  • ongoing conflicts of interest – these must be disclosed annually.

If you're unsure whether a conflict of interest exists, it's best to disclose the conflict and seek advice from your supervisor or the Integrity Unit.

How to complete the online disclosure

Read each section for help understanding and answering the questions in the online conflict of interest disclosure.

You may not have anything to disclose, or you may answer yes to a question initially and then after seeing more questions realise you don't have a conflict to disclose. This is perfectly acceptable – the process is designed to help you work this out.

You don't need to disclose situations that don't represent a conflict, or things that might happen in the future – you should disclose conflicts if and when they occur.

Familial or close personal relationships with a current UQ student or applicant to UQ

I have a family member, partner or close friend studying or applying to study at UQ in a unit in which I have influence

Why we ask this question

The University wants to know if anyone close to you is:

  • about to study, or applying to study, at UQ, and
  • in an area where you have some influence.
What influence you might have

If the person is in a course that you teach then the influence is obvious, you can favour them in a number of ways.

If you are involved in enrolments, you could use your position to give them preferential treatment.

What not to disclose 

You don't need to disclose: 

  • situations that don't represent a conflict. For example, there is no issue with a friend or relative enrolling to study in an area you do not work in
  • things that might happen in the future – you should disclose them if and when they happen. 

Familial or close personal relationships with a UQ employee

I have a family member or close friend working at UQ

Why we ask this question

The University wants to know if anyone close to you, such as a child, partner, close relative or family friend, also works for UQ. This is so any conflicts of interest can be properly disclosed and managed.

Why having a family member, partner or close friend working at UQ is an issue

In most cases it will not be an issue at all. 

However, if you supervise this person then conflicts of interest will arise. For example, if you are supervising a person you have a close or familial relationship with, any approvals you make cannot be independent of these personal ties.  

Even if there is no bias in your decision-making, others who observe the relationship may reasonably believe that, as a supervisor, you are favouring your close friend or relative.

It may also be possible for a conflict of interest to arise if the person works in a different organisational area. You should make a disclosure if: 

  • you have the capacity to directly influence any circumstances or their employment, or
  • you interact with the person regularly in your role. 
What not to disclose 

You don't need to disclose: 

  • situations that don't represent a conflict. For example, there is no issue with a family member, partner or close friend working in the same area as you, as long as you are not supervising them and can't exercise influence over them
  • things that might happen in the future. For example, if you are thinking about applying for a role where you would supervise someone you have a close or familial relationship with. 

Procurement and relationships with external entities

I am, or a family member or close friend is, a director, employee, shareholder or other beneficiary of a company which contracts with UQ to provide goods or services

Why we ask this question

The University wants to know if you or anyone close to you provides any goods or services to UQ. This is so we can manage the risks associated with conflicts of interest that can arise from staff having close personal relationships with people who contract to UQ.  

Conflicts of interest may arise if:

  • you are involved in any procurement activities or the awarding of contracts for companies that you have close ties with 
  • you provide goods and services to UQ as well as being a staff member.
Why this needs to be disclosed

UQ is obliged to follow:

  • the Queensland State Government's purchasing guidelines, and
  • UQ’s policies around procurement, including conflicts of interest policy and procedures.

If conflicts exist, UQ will need to manage them, including the probity of the process, impact on your work duties and relationship between yourself and the person that awarded you the contract.

What not to disclose 

You don't need to disclose: 

  • things that might happen in the future. For example, if someone close to you is interested in tendering for a contract that you are involved in.

Research-related commercial activity

I am, or a family member or close friend is, a director, employee, shareholder or other beneficiary of a company which is commercialising UQ Intellectual Property (IP) I have developed

Why we ask this question

We want to know if you have any conflicts of interest of this nature so we can manage any associated risks. 

Relationships can be quite complex and care must be taken to ensure that when decisions are made as a UQ staff member, self-interest or personal gain is not an intended outcome of the decision-making process.

The Commercialisation Pathways Advisory Group has been established to provide guidance for these types of disclosures.

Why this needs to be disclosed

UQ has invested a considerable amount of money and resources into providing research facilities.

These are public resources, so it's important that UQ protects these investments and ensures the best possible outcomes, both in meeting our objectives and return on the investment. One of the ways this can be achieved is through the protection of IP. 

While it is UQ’s policy position that our staff can benefit from their research, care should be taken that this is managed in accordance with policy and that conflicts of interests are managed.

What not to disclose 

You don't need to disclose: 

  • situations that don't represent a conflict or things that might happen in the future. For example, if UniQuest has patented UQ IP generated by you and is sourcing external investment – you can make any disclosure, if necessary, when contracts materialise.

Teaching-related commercial activity – textbooks and commercialised teaching resources

I have authored a textbook or developed commercialised teaching material that is prescribed for a course taught at UQ

Why we ask this question

The University wants to:

  • know if any textbooks or commercialised teaching material developed by you have been prescribed to a UQ class, and
  • make sure that the decision to prescribe the material was made independent of you and by an organisation unit head who has the authority to do so.

There is no problem with your materials being prescribed for a UQ class. But it is not acceptable for you to make the decision that your materials are the most suitable for a UQ course. This is where a conflict of interest would arise.

Why this needs to be disclosed

UQ has an obligation to ensure that teaching is world standard, and this extends to the prescribed texts and other teaching material. 

As the developer of teaching resources, it is impossible for you to independently evaluate their relevance compared to other sources that are available to students.

There may also be financial benefits to you if your materials are prescribed, which is also a conflict of interest.

Where a conflict exists, the Head of School will be asked to consider if your materials are the best available for a particular course. If the Head deems this to be the case, then they can be prescribed. 

What not to disclose 

You don't need to disclose: 

  • situations that don't represent a conflict. For example, if your textbooks or commercialised teaching resources are prescribed at another university.

Teaching-related commercial activity – private tutoring

External to my UQ role, I receive payment for privately tutoring a student who is enrolled in a UQ course that I teach

Why we ask this question

The University wants to know if you are privately tutoring one of your students, as this might create a conflict of interest and raise questions about your ability to be impartial.

There is no general issue with tutoring in your own time. But it becomes a problem if you are tutoring one of your UQ students. This puts your formal UQ role into question and impinges on your capacity to evaluate their work. 

If other students become aware of this arrangement, they may raise concerns that the student you're privately tutoring is receiving preferential treatment, for example receiving better grades than they're entitled to, or gaining information or guidance that may not be available to all other students in the course. 

Why this needs to be disclosed

UQ wants to ensure that we are delivering high quality teaching in an equitably sustainable way. Private tutoring of your own students raises questions about equity that cast doubt over the integrity of the teaching program.

What not to disclose 

You don't need to disclose: 

  • situations that don't represent a conflict. For example, if you are tutoring other students that are not enrolled in your classes.

However, you should always ensure that your supervisor is aware of your external commitments so that your workloads can be managed appropriately.

Other conflicts of interest

I may have a conflict of interest not captured by the previous questions

Why we ask this question

If you have a specific situation or circumstance that gives rise to a conflict of interest that isn't covered by the previous questions, you can use this space to disclose the conflict and explain what it involves.

    Examples of situations that may fall into this category
    • You have been invited by an international entity to attend a conference and give a keynote address, and when you arrive are handed a cash sum of money by the host organisation. As this is a form of remuneration and may impact on UQ’s financial obligations, this should be disclosed.
    • You are about to travel to Europe for a series of collaborative workshops and your partner has also been approved to attend on your recommendation. This should be disclosed and managed as you should not be involved in any part of a decision that impacts upon your spouse.
    What not to disclose

    You don't need to disclose: 

    • conflicts of interest that are covered by the previous questions
    • situations that don't represent a conflict
    • things that might happen in the future. 

    Need advice?

    Conflicts of interest can be complex and hard to recognise. If you’re not sure how to identify, disclose or manage a conflict of interest, you can can talk to:

    For general queries regarding the disclosure and management of interests, contact:

               

    Disclosure and management of interests - who needs to register?    

    UQ has created an integrated framework regarding the disclosure and management of interests, which simplifies and clarifies policies and procedures to ensure ethical and legal compliance.        

    All fixed-term and continuing staff members are required to complete the Conflict of Interest Register. Casual, unpaid and honorary staff who have a conflict of interest to declare are required to complete the Conflict of Interest form (PDF, 1.42 MB) and submit to your supervisor in your organisational unit. Note that this form is different to the Conflict of Interest Register.

    All professional staff (HEW 8 level and above) are required to complete the Secondary Employment Register.

    All academic staff (continuing and fixed-term contracts of 12 months or longer; conjoint appointments where UQ is the lead employer) are required to complete the:

    These registers must be completed annually, even if there is no item to disclose, and when circumstances change.