National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council

Policy and Procedures on Committee Composition and Balance and Conflicts of Interest for Committees Used in the Development of Reports

The purpose of the policy approved by the National Academy of Sciences Council and the National Research Council Governing Board is to provide clear guidance for evaluating potential conflicts of interest of provisional committee members appointed by the National Academies. This allows the institutions to better ensure proper composition and balance of committees that will be used in authoring reports of the Academies.

Under the policy, all committees used in authoring reports are divided into categories based on the nature of the task. Each category has a separate form to be filled out by provisional committee members.

For anyone interested in quickly understanding the National Academies' approach to determining whether or not a conflict of interest exists for a provisional committee member, the best place to start is reading Part II of these forms after glancing at the policy document. Part I of the forms is intended to provide relevant background information to help the institution to determine an appropriate balance of scientific viewpoints on the study committee.

Policy on Committee Composition and Balance and Conflicts of Interest (141 KB PDF file, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)

The categories and forms are:

Studies Related to Government Regulation: This category includes any committee that will be used by the institution in the development of one or more reports to be provided by the institution to a sponsoring agency for use in the regulatory process.

Studies Involving Program Reviews and Evaluations: This category includes any committee that will be used by the institution in the development of one or more reports to be provided by the institution to a sponsoring agency for use as an independent review or evaluation of one or more programs of the sponsor.

General Scientific and Technical Studies and Assistance: This category includes any committee not in the first two categories that will be used by the institution in the development of a report by the institution. It includes any committee that will be used by the institution in the review of specific applications and proposals for contract, grant, and fellowship awards.