For the College to deliver world class scholarship, education and research in science, engineering, medicine and business, all its members should adhere to the highest academic standards.
The College has an overall Ethics Code and Relationship Review Policy, as well as policies relating to specific processes or procedures with ethical relevance.
It is important that all members of the College community are aware of these policies and understand how they are required to implement them.
The College has adopted an overall Ethics Code which sets out conduct expected from the College community to promote and support good ethical behaviour.
The Ethics Code applies to all staff, students and other members of the College community, and is intended to encourage all relevant parties to consider the ethical aspects of their work and studies. It is not intended to replace the College’s established policies and procedures relating to ethics.
It provides that any ethical concerns should be raised either:
(a) In accordance with a specific policy or procedure; or
(b) Where the matter does not fall within a specific policy or procedure, with the relevant Head of Department/equivalent.
Thereafter matters will be assessed in accordance with the escalation procedures set out within the Code.
Relationship Review Policy
The College has adopted a Relationship Review Policy which sets out how members of the College community should consider whether there are any concerns in connection with proposed and continuing relationships with third parties, and how the due diligence review process dovetails with the existing College review processes in certain areas. It does not seek to set out absolute prohibitions, but sets out matters that need to be considered and a clear approval and escalation procedure.
The Relationship Review Policy provides a consistent approach to consideration of ethical matters within a framework of proportionate scrutiny and clear accountability, whilst providing sufficient flexibility in areas where difficult value judgements sometimes need to be made.
The document covers all relationships, but contains specific detail in relation to:
- Academic collaborations
- Commercial partnering
- Receipt of philanthropic income and other gifts
- Receipt of research funding and related relationship agreements
- Receipt of certain other income
- Procurement and supplier relationships
It informs College members of the need to notify certain proposed relationships for consideration in accordance with detailed policies and procedures in each of these areas.
Please note: you can download the Due diligence proforma research education enterprise relationships and Due diligence and Ethical Notification proforma (Appendices B and C of the Relationship Review Policy) as separate Word documents.
Scrutiny Committee added in 2021:
In March 2021 the President’s Board agreed that the Relationship Review Policy should be enhanced by the establishment of a Scrutiny Committee chaired by the Vice Provost (Research & Enterprise). The Committee will review all proposed new College relationships with the limited range of countries where UK sanctions apply. This will be a quick and mainly written process, with expert advice available from the Research Office, enabling the College to take decisions on new relationships coherently.
If you are proposing to start a new relationship where funding is involved with an organisation based in any of the countries specified in Appendix A of the Relationship Review Policy, you should submit your Due diligence pro-forma- research, education, enterprise relationships (Appendix B of the Relationship Review Policy) to your Head of Department or equivalent as usual. For fundraising, you should also submit your Due diligence and ethical notification pro-forma (Appendix C of the Relationship Review Policy). The Head of Department or equivalent will then send your notification to the College Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will send it on to the new Scrutiny Committee for a decision.
Guidelines for accepting philanthropic income and other gifts
The College seeks and encourages charitable donations from a range of sources including individuals, companies, charitable trusts and foundations, alumni and friends of the College. However, as is acknowledged in the College’s Relationship Review Policy:
(a) All relationships with third parties should be subject to prior and continuing consideration in order to confirm that they support the College’s mission, vision and strategic aims and are consistent with the overall objectives of the College; and
(b) Careful review of proposed and on-going relationships is required in order to mitigate the risk of ethical issues causing damage to the College’s reputation, reducing the College’s ability to secure funding and reducing its capacity to develop beneficial relationships in the future.
Further consideration is also required to confirm that proposed receipts and the terms of such receipts are in the College’s best interest.
Accordingly, all gifts are accepted at the College’s discretion and following a proportionate review. The College’s Guidelines for accepting philanthropic income and other gifts sets out the process for such review. Responsibility for the review of proposed gifts rests with the Development Division, reporting to the Director of Development. This includes a review of the ethical considerations as well as the wider scope of any proposal.
All staff at the College have a responsibility to notify the proposed receipt of all gifts to the Development Team. The College reserves the right to refuse or refund any income thought not to meet the requirements set out in the policy.
The College continues to have in place a number of additional policies and procedures of ethical relevance, for example, relevant to fundraising and philanthropic income, research ethics and integrity.
Advice and assistance
If you need any advice or assistance in respect of the information contained within these pages, please contact your Head of Department or equivalent in the first instance. Thereafter, further guidance may be obtained from the Head of the Central Secretariat.