HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR ONLINE DECLARATION OF EXTERNAL INTERESTS

SECTION A – PERSONAL DETAILS

Screenshot of External Interests Declaration Form Personal Details Field

Provide your first name and last name as these appear on your payslip and your preferred telephone contact number during the day. If you have more than one University email addresses, provide the one that is linked to your UniKey. If you have more than one role, please discuss declaration requirements with each of your managers.
If you don’t know your staff ID number, look it up on myHRonline – log in and look for the number that displays on the top right hand corner of the first screen.
Select the faculty/unit and school or department details. Then, select the appropriate reviewer and executive supervisor from the dropdown menu. If you are unsure as to your reviewer, please contact your manager or email the External Interests Administrator. Note: if you are a reviewer or an executive supervisor, when asked to select a reviewer or executive supervisor, please select External Interests.

SECTION B – EXTERNAL INTERESTS DECLARATION

You are asked only to consider and declare any external interest which could be “broadly relevant” to your professional role at the University – both current interests and any that can be reasonably predicted to occur over the next twelve months.

These “external interests” are grouped under five headings in the declaration. Click on the “add another external interest” button to add an external interest. You can add as many as you like for each question.

For each external interest you declare, you are asked to provide details about the nature of the interest. You are also asked: “Do you think that this relationship (or source of funding or commitment or activity) could give rise to a conflict of interests?” Note that you are asked to disclose “actual”, “perceived” and “potential” conflicts. These terms are defined as:

  • actual conflict - if you are in a position to be influenced by your external interests when doing your job
  • perceived conflict - if you are in a position to appear to be influenced by your external interests when doing your job
  • potential conflict – if you may be influenced by your external interests in the future when doing your job.

You will need to apply the conflict of interests rule outlined in clause 8 of the External Interests Policy to each of the interests you declare to determine whether you have a conflict of interests.

Use this checklist to help you identify your external interests and view examples of conflicts of interests.

If you choose “Yes”, you will be asked to provide your proposed, or any previously agreed, management plan. You may wish to discuss the proposed management plan with your manager or a senior colleague prior to including it in your declaration. You can enter the information relating to the management plan in the open field in the form or attach a document. See clause 14 of the External Interests Policy for requirements for managing conflicts.

More information on putting together a management plan, including a template, strategies and scenarios

Question 1: Relationships with industry, business, professional associations and similar entities

Screenshot of External Interests Declaration Form Question 1

Any of the relationships or interests you list here are with “external” entities which means organizations which are not legally the University of Sydney. Please include any positions or interests you may hold in an external entity that funds any of your activities (including research, teaching or public communication). Include honorary and volunteer positions. Relationships with business, industry etc do not always involve a financial interest. Financial interest means any interest that could result directly or indirectly in you receiving a monetary gain or sustaining a monetary loss. The financial interest may be an in-kind benefit (eg travel, entertainment) or can refer to an opportunity eg offer of a job. You do not need to specify the value of your financial interests. Non-financial interests (eg job opportunities, publication in a journal) can also give rise to a conflict of interests. Ask yourself: "Would my actions meet the standards of external audit?" "Would I be confident in explaining my interests if they were scrutinized for any reason?"


Question 2: Other research funding or relationships with research funding entities

Screenshot of External Interests Declaration Form Question 2

A conflict of interests may affect, or be seen to affect, the collection, analysis and interpretation of research data. Provide details of sources of funding and relationships with research funding entities which may be considered to affect your research focus or outcomes. Funding for research may take the form of direct or unrestricted grants; benefits in kind such as the provision of materials, facilities or equipment; or benefits to individuals such as travel or conference expenses. Ask yourself: "Is there the possibility that my research credibility or ethics, or those of the University, be placed at risk?", "Am I in a position to make a decision on how I conduct my research that may result in a personal gain, financial or otherwise?"

Question 3: Personal relationships

Screenshot of External Interests Declaration Form Question 3

Note that the definition of personal relationships is broad and goes beyond immediate family. Ask yourself: "Would I be happy if my colleagues became aware of my involvement?", "Would I be happy if my involvement appeared in the media?", "Would I be perceived as doing someone a favour?"

Question 4: Other relationships, commitments, activities

Screenshot of External Interests Declaration Form Question 4

Declare any relevant relationships, commitments or activities which have not been declared elsewhere in the form. In this section, you can list relationships with students at the University that could be seen as having an influence on student related activities (eg admissions, teaching, supervision and assessment). You can also include affiliations with groups not listed elsewhere. Ask yourself: "Would relevant others trust my judgment if they knew I was in this role?", "How would a reasonable person assess the situation?"

Question 5: Outside earnings

Screenshot of External Interests Declaration Form Question 5

Academic staff members wishing to engage in outside earnings activities must obtain the prior written approval of the relevant executive supervisor. Provide details of your current approved private professional earnings activities as submitted in the Permission to Conduct Private Professional Outside Earnings Activities application form.

SECTION C - DECLARATION AND SUBMISSION

Read through your declaration carefully before you sign it. You have the option of saving or submitting it. If you save it, you can reopen it and keep working on it. To reopen it, log in to the external interests system, on the homepage go to “My Declarations” on the left hand menu and click on your declaration (the status should be showing as “saved”). Once you submit it, your declaration is sent to your external interests reviewer for endorsement and you will not be able to make changes to it unless your reviewer requests an amendment.