Policies for Faculty Inventors

Vanderbilt's Policy on Technology and Literary and Artistic Works

Click here to view Vanderbilt's Policy on Technology and Literary and Artistic Works.

Conflicts of Interest

If you are a faculty member, industry partner or entrepreneur involved in licensing Vanderbilt intellectual property, please ask your CTTC representative how the Conflicts of Interest (COI) policy applies to your particular situation.

Members of the Vanderbilt University community, including all staff, faculty, executive administration and trustees, must fulfill the education, research, patient care and public service missions to which Vanderbilt University is dedicated.  All members of the Vanderbilt community have a clear obligation to conduct the affairs of Vanderbilt University and to make decisions based upon the desire to promote the best interests of Vanderbilt in a manner consistent with these goals.  The purpose of the Vanderbilt University Conflicts of Interest Policy is to set forth a policy statement regarding conflict situations and to provide guidelines to protect the University and its mission. 

It is Vanderbilt’s policy that all members are expected to devote their primary professional loyalty, time and energy to Vanderbilt to assist it to fulfill its education, research, patient care and public service missions.  Members are expected to evaluate and arrange their external interests and commitments in order to avoid compromising their ability to carry out their primary obligations to Vanderbilt, and most conflicts should generally be avoided or resolved through the exercise of individual judgment or discretion. 

All members of the Vanderbilt community are expected to (i) abide by the conflict of interest policies and standards set forth in the Policy; (ii) fully disclose professional and relevant personal activities when required by the University, or when there is potential for a conflict situation; (iii) remedy conflict situations or comply with any management or monitoring plan prescribed by the University; (iv) remain aware of the potential for conflict; and (v) take initiative to manage, disclose, or resolve conflict situations as appropriate.

Return of Rights

Due to the high cost of patenting and the high volume of new innovations being developed across campus, it is understood that CTTC will not be able to pursue commercialization of every disclosed technologies.  The Faculty Advisory Committee, comprised of two dozen faculty from throughout the institution who provide guidance on various technology transfer-and commercialization-related issues, reviewed and revised the criteria for returning rights to inventions that are not moving forward for commercialization, or for which commercialization efforts have been discontinued.  These criteria have been codified in the Guidelines for Returning Inventions provided here.

Click here to view federal guidelines and regulations.


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