AAU works with the federal government, partner organizations, and its member universities to ensure that research activity is conducted safely, responsibly, ethically and in compliance with all federal rules and regulations. In consultation with the federal government, AAU seeks to ensure: only the most meritorious research is awarded funding; regulations and administrative requirements do not place unreasonable or excessive administrative burdens on faculty researchers; and the costs required to conduct research are reasonably shared by universities and the government.
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The Association of American Universities (AAU) established the Task Force on Research Accountability in response to concerns that individual conflict of interest processes were not always achieving the highest standards, and that institutional conflict of interest policies had rarely been develop