MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota has endorsed a new research ethics plan designed to guard against conflicts of interest and improve patient safety.

The 75-page plan recommends many changes. Among them, university scientists will be barred from accepting consulting fees from companies that sponsor their research.

University president Eric Kaler tells the Star Tribune that this rule is one of the strictest among academic research centers nationwide.

The plan was commissioned following criticism over the way the university's psychiatry department handled a 2004 drug study. Dan Markingson, a 27-year-old schizophrenic patient in the study, took his own life.

The plan calls for more scrutiny of research involving patients. It also recommends paying experts to serve on oversight panels.