Definitions: Significant Financial Interest

Significant Financial Interest: Significant financial interests are defined under the Faculty / Academic Staff Conflict of Interest Policy and must be reported.

A significant financial interest includes, but is not limited to, a financial interest in the sponsor, product, or service being tested, or in a competitor of the sponsor or product or service being tested.

The following are deemed to create a “significant financial interest”:

  • Income or receipt of payments of any kind totaling more than $5,000 over the last calendar year from a single entity;
  • Ownership interests in a single entity of greater than one percent (1%) or of an amount exceeding $5,000;
  • Intellectual property rights or licenses with an established fair market value exceeding $5,000 or which generate income of any value from other than MSU (including royalties from other domestic universities);
  • Unvalued stock options or other options for ownership in a privately held company of any value;
  • Paid or unpaid service on a governing or advisory board, or in a fiduciary or managerial role, for, or as a general partner of, an entity;
  • Serving as a trustee for a trust or estate, or having a beneficial interest in a trust or estate, whose value exceeds $5,000;
  • Indebtedness to or from a single entity in an amount exceeding $5,000;
  • receipt of gifts of goods, property, or services, like transportation, resort or hotel accommodations, or other recreational or personal amenities;
  • Other opportunity for tangible personal benefit.

The following financial interests are excluded from consideration and do not need to be reported:

  • MSU salary,  remuneration by MSU, or other payments at MSU’s behest (including from an MSU-approved practice plan);
  • Income from seminars, lectures, teaching engagements, or service on advisory committees or review panels paid by:
    • Federal, state, or local U.S. government agencies;
    • U.S. institutions of higher education;
    • U.S. academic teaching hospitals and medical centers;
    • U.S. research institutes affiliated with an institution of higher education;
  • Financial interest arising solely by means of investment in a mutual, pension, or other institutional investment fund over whose management and investments neither the individual nor any immediate family member has control;
  • Indebtedness from a bank, credit union, or other commercial lender.

MSU HRPP Manual Section 10-1, Conflict of Interest