Outside financial interests can facilitate opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and support.   The Conflict of Interest Oversight Committee (COIOC) supports research and the pursuit of outside financial interests by reviewing financial disclosures required by Federal, state, and university regulations and policies to address those instances when the outside financial interests may bias or appear to bias the research.  In addition to promoting transparency and accountability, financial disclosures also protect the researcher’s interests by (1) meeting the requirements set by sponsors and the University; (2) having the COIOC, an objective third party, review the financial interests and the research; and (3) demonstrating a commitment to scientific integrity.

Conflict of Interest is also a compliance area that is a focus of the federal government's undue foreign influence concerns.  For more information about how everything relates, please visit International Research Activities and Engagement.

Frequently Asked Questions

A conflict of interest is a situation where an investigator's outside financial interests (e.g., salaries; consulting income; equity interests; honoraria; gifts; loans; or travel payments) or paid or unpaid obligations (e.g., director, officer, partner, consultant or manager of an entity) bias or have the potential to bias a research project.  When a financial interest constitutes a financial conflict of interest, the COIOC will work with the disclosing individual to develop a management plan before the disclosure can be approved.

A “positive disclosure” or "disclosable financial interest" is when an Investigator is required by State, Federal, and/or IRB policies to disclose their specific financial interests because they surpass the maximum thresholds indicated in the policies.  Please note State, Federal, and IRB policies require Investigators to disclose not only their financial interests but also the financial interests of their spouses/registered domestic partners and dependent children.  Investigators may be required to submit additional forms to be reviewed by the Conflict of Interest Oversight Committee (COIOC).

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