Conflict of Interest
Human subject research protocols shall be reviewed for potential real or perceived conflicts of interest involving possible financial gain or other personal advantage to persons associated with the research. Researchers are required to disclose potential conflicts of interest when submitting a protocol for approval and during the research process, should a conflict later arise. Willful failure to disclose a significant conflict of interest is considered serious and continuing non-compliance.
Conflict of interest may arise in several forms but most commonly involve explicit or anticipated financial benefit to the researcher.
The benefit may be direct payment or it may be indirect, such as through ownership interest in a firm that may benefit from a particular outcome of the research. A conflict of interest also may exist for a researcher’s immediate family member(s) or life partners who could potentially benefit in such ways from the research results.
Researchers must to disclose any and all of the following as part of the protocol materials submitted for approval:
- all financial interests of $5,000 or more in any research project sponsor
- all personal or fiduciary relationships to the project personnel including study participants
- all personal or fiduciary relationships to entities that stand to benefit from the research results
Disclosure may not be sufficient to discharge the conflict; in some cases the Human Research Review Committee, in consultation with the university Research Integrity Officer, may direct the researcher to divest of some or all financial interests in the conflicting entity or to withdraw from the research project as an investigator.
Additional information can be obtained from the Office of Research Integrity