COI Definition

A potential or actual conflict of interest arises when an individual's commitments and obligations to the University or to widely recognized professional norms are likely to be compromised by a person's other interests or commitments, particularly economic, especially if those interests or commitments are not disclosed.

Such commitments or obligations may constitute a real conflict of interest, a potential conflict of interest, a perceived conflict of interest from the viewpoint of some external observer, or some combination of these three categories.

Possible intrusions on research integrity could occur if the outside interests of a researcher, financial or otherwise, affect the design, conduct, or reporting of professional activity.

Not all conflicting interests are unethical or impermissible. Ways can usually be found to manage or reduce a conflict to an acceptable level.