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. For access to the online training, click here.

Who needs to complete an Annual Disclosure Statement?
All UNTHSC personnel, including, but not limited to, administrators, faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, students, interns, or residents, whose institutional responsibilities include the design, conduct, or reporting of Research, funded, or proposed for funding. In addition, Investigators are required to submit an amended Annual Disclosure Statement within 30 days of discovering or acquiring a new Significant Financial Interest or other potential conflicts of interest. The Research Conflict of Interest Policy is intended to maintain the professional autonomy of scientists and physicians inherent in the self-regulation of science. 

Federal regulations require the submission of an Annual Research Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement. The submission period for FY2015 will be announced in the Daily News.

    Links:

    Questions?

    Contact Susan Harlin

    (817) 735-2742

    Susan.Harlin@unthsc.edu

    This page last updated 02nd Sep 2014