Research Conflict of Interest

Significant financial interests which have any relationship to proposed research, must be disclosed at the time the application is submitted to an external agency for funding, or when an application for that research project is made to the IRB (whether or not the study has external funding). If external funding is obtained for the project, the conflict must be reviewed, and managed, reduced, or eliminated, before any external funds would be received or spent.

The requirements for disclosure and management of conflict of interest for research come from the federal government, and need to be taken seriously in every instance. More details regarding the federal requirements are found under the tabs on "Resources" and "Office of Research Affairs".  Sheila Vrana, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research, reviews applications for funded research projects. If any significant financial interests are disclosed, she and Neal Thomas, M.D., Conflict of Interest Coordinator, will work with you to resolve them.


All sponsored project applications require the completion of an internal form known as the PIAF (Proposal Internal Approval Form). All investigators on the proposed project must sign a declaration on the PIAF that they have read and understood institutional conflict of interest policies, and must also declare whether or not they have a significant financial interest in connection with the proposed project. Additionally, if the research project involves human subjects, the IRB application also requires disclosure of any significant financial interest which may be related to that research. In either case, if an affirmative response has been made to a significant financial interest on either the PIAF or the IRB application, then additional paperwork related to the disclosures would need to be completed. To make this disclosure, log into the electronic Conflict of Interest Disclosure System (COINS) at and either make a new disclosure, or if you have an existing disclosure, edit it to include new information.