Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of interest can arise in sponsored programs when personal financial interests are held by researchers in a company either sponsoring the research or potentially benefiting from the results of the research. They may also occur when the university subcontracts to a company owned by the researcher or a member of his or her family. As stated in the university’s policy on Conflict of Interest and Commitment Pertaining to Sponsored Projects:

The University and its Employees often benefit from Employees' participation in both public and private outside activities. The University has no interest in unreasonably interfering with Employees' legitimate outside interests. University Employees, in turn, have an obligation to ensure that their outside obligations, financial interests, and activities do not conflict or interfere with their commitment to conduct University research and other sponsored activity without improper influence, and to disclose to the University all actual or potential conflicts of interest. 

Disclosures of conflicts of interest should be made on grant proposals, IRB protocol proposals, and agreements concerning intellectual property. To assist faculty and research staff in identifying potential conflicts and managing those that exist, the university has created a Conflict of Interest Committee to evaluate disclosures of conflicts of interest and, if necessary, develop a plan to manage it. It is important for researchers to anticipate and manage even the potential perception of a conflict of interest, since it could have a negative effect on the public’s view of the researcher’s work. Guidelines on acceptable and unacceptable external affiliations can be found in the Resources section at the bottom of this page.

If conflict of interest training is needed for PHS funded grants, this can be completed through CITI.

Conflicts of commitment are addressed in the Faculty Handbook.

If you have any concerns or questions and would like to discuss a matter further, please contact Jiin-Yu Chen.


Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest