Several types of conflicting interests may arise in conducting research. Project personnel must report all such real or potential conflicts to the PI. The PI is responsible for making certain that no project personnel perform research tasks if there is likely to be a conflicting interest.
Conflicting interests apply to both funded and non-funded research. 45 CFR 46 does not directly address conflicts of interest, but the IRB is required to determine that information provided to potential and actual participants regarding the research is objective and complete regarding the risks and benefits. It is also required to determine whether risks of the research have been properly addressed in the protocol. If conflicting interests exist, then such objectivity and handling of risks can be compromised.
Such potential conflicting interests include, but are not necessarily limited to those discussed below.
Financial Conflict of Interest:
Federal policy covers Financial Conflicts of Interest in Research that is funded by DHHS, FDA, and NSF, among others. Disclosure of any such conflicts must be made in writing. The Office of Sponsored Programs has final responsibility to assure compliance with University policy and state and federal regulations regarding financial conflicts of interest.
All investigators must adhere to the University’s policy regarding intellectual property claims (see ).
Conflicts of Commitment:
Conflicts of commitment arise when an investigator’s time or other commitments to a project cannot be honored because of other existing commitments to the University. All investigators must avoid such conflicts that may arise due to the conduct of a research project.
Dual relationships exist whenever one role of the investigator calls into question his or her ability to be objective about fulfillment of another role. While such dual relationships may involve financial conflicts of interest, many do not.
The most common situations are likely to be those in which faculty recruit students for research projects. Faculty must not recruit students from their own classes, unless the IRB grants approval for doing so. See Section O of this policy for a more detailed discussion of students as research participants.