Research Conflict of Interest

The term "conflict of interest in research" refers to situations in which financial or other personal considerations may compromise, or have the appearance of compromising a researcher's professional judgment in conducting or reporting research.

Federal regulations, state laws and University policies recognize that researchers may have financial interests in research sponsors and/or in entities with business interests closely related to their research.

UNTHSC is committed to ensuring an open and productive environment in teaching, patient care, and research. However, the ever-increasing complexity of our society and the various relationships between researchers and outside institutions require attention to ensure the avoidance of real or apparent conflict of interest issues.

To assist researchers manage and navigate this often complex area, the Office of Research Compliance has developed training programs, policies and procedures to try and keep this "simple but correct."

General Guidance
It is the policy of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth ("UNTHSC") that no proposed, awarded, or ongoing UNTHSC Research shall be biased by any conflicting interests of UNTHSC Investigators responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of that Research. The Research Conflict of Interest Policy is applicable to all UNTHSC Investigators and applies to all Research regardless of funding. The purpose of this policy is to assure objectivity in Research.

Investigators are expected to make reasonable inquiry as to whether their relationships and activities fall within the provisions of this Policy. It is not the intent of this Policy to eliminate or prohibit all situations involving a potential conflict of interest. This Policy is intended to enable Investigators to recognize situations that may pose a conflict of interest, to report these situations to the Research Conflict of Interest Committee ("RCOI Committee"), and to ensure that the RCOI Committee reviews, supervises or monitors these situations, where necessary. An integral part of this Policy is an annual disclosure mechanism whereby Investigators regularly review their activities.

UNTHSC RCOI Training
Successful completion of the RCOI Conflict of Interest Training is required once every four years, and when:
  • A new Investigator moves to the university
  • The university finds that an Investigator is not compliant
  • The university revises its RCOI policies or procedures in ways that affect Investigator compliance

Training must be completed prior to submitting a Disclosure Statement.

Who needs to complete an Annual Disclosure Statement?
Anyone engaged in research at UNTHSC including, but not limited to, administrators, faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, students, interns, residents, collaborators, subcontractors or consultants whose institutional responsibilities include the design, conduct, or reporting of research, funded or proposed for funding.

Federal regulations require the submission of an Annual Research Conflict of Interest (RCOI) Disclosure Statement. During the month of September, you have the opportunity to complete and submit your required Annual Disclosure Statement. Access to the required form is available at https://apps.unthsc.edu/rcoi. You will need to log in with your EUID (Ex: abc1234) and your network password.

In addition, Investigators are required to submit an amended Disclosure Statement within 30 days of discovering or acquiring a new Significant Financial Interest or other potential conflict of interest. All forms are submitted through the Research Conflict of Interest Disclosure site at https://apps.unthsc.edu/rcoi. The Research Conflict of Interest Policy is intended to maintain the professional autonomy of scientists and physicians inherent in the self-regulation of science. 

Links:

Questions?

Contact Susan Harlin

(817) 735-2742

Susan.Harlin@unthsc.edu

This page last updated 15th Sep 2014