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Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is a situation in which an investigator’s outside financial interest(s) or obligation(s) (real or perceived) have the potential to bias a research project or cause harm to human subjects participating in a research project. A conflict exists whenever an employee’s personal, professional, commercial or financial interests or activities outside the university have the possibility (whether potential, real or perceived) of:

  • Compromising the employee’s judgment;
  • Biasing the nature or direction of scholarship;
  • Influencing the employee’s decision or behavior with respect to teaching, student affairs, promotions and appointments, use of campus resources, interaction with human subjects or other matters of interest to the university;
  • Resulting in personal or a family member’s gain or advancement at the expense of the university; or
  • A relationship exists that could result in an undue influence on the employee’s professional judgment

You do not have to do anything improper to have a conflict of interest; it can be strictly situational.

The UC Disclosure of Financial Interests and Management of Conflicts of Interest, Public Health Service Research Awards policy took effect in 2012 for Public Health Service (PHS)-funded research, including NIH and other federal health agency-funded research.

For NSF-funded research and other university-funded research programs, the University Policy on Disclosure of Financial Interests and Management of Conflicts of Interest Related to Sponsored Projects is in effect.