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Review for Tobacco Industry Sponsors

By Regental order on September 20, 2007, investigators seeking funding from Tobacco Industry Sponsors are required to submit to special review, approval and reporting procedures. Tobacco Industry Sponsor is defined as "entities whose principal business is the manufacture and sale of tobacco products, and agencies that are substantially controlled by or acting on behalf of such entities."

UC Office of the President determined that these review/approval procedures should extend to all tobacco-funded University activities that can reasonably be construed as research (e.g., including testing or services that may be provided under a research services agreement), regardless of whether they were initiated by an investigator submitting a proposal and regardless of the funding mechanism (i.e., whether the university activity is funded via grant, contract, gift, research services agreement or other mechanism). Such funding arrangements and sponsorships must undergo internal review and be approved by the Chancellor.

Review and Approval Requirements

Researchers intending to seek funding from a sponsor that may be considered part of the tobacco industry should contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for guidance regarding the process for review and approval, and should do so well in advance of any submission deadline.

  • All Tobacco Industry Sponsored proposals must be reviewed by a scientific peer review committee designated by the Chancellor for that purpose.
    • The scientific review committee will be composed of at least three faculty members with expertise in areas of science relevant to the proposal being submitted, and they will advise the Chancellor regarding whether the proposed study uses sound methodology and whether it appears designed to allow the researcher to reach objective and scientifically valid conclusions.
    • For each proposal it reviews, the scientific review committee will produce a written report including a recommendation as to whether the proposal should be approved for submission, and/or whether any changes should be made to the proposal prior to submission, along with the rationale for the committee’s recommendation.
  • The Chancellor’s approval is required prior to submission of any proposal seeking or accepting funding from the tobacco industry via grant, contract, gift, research services agreement or other mechanism. In deciding whether to approve submission of a proposal, the Chancellor will take into account the written review of the scientific peer review committee and any advice issued by UC Irvine’s Conflict of Interest Oversight Committee, in cases where, under existing policy requirements, the researcher has disclosed a financial interest in the research sponsor.

The complete policy is available at: Sec. 483-40: UCI Implementation Guidelines for Tobacco Industry Funding of Research.

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