Conflicts of Interest in the academic environment arise when there are situations in which financial or other personal considerations may directly and significantly affect, or have the appearance of directly and significantly affecting, a person’s judgment in exercising their University responsibilities.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro recognizes that conflicts of interest can arise across the campus: from research activities, from commercialization activities, and from the many facets of professional activities engaged in by our campus community. Federal regulations and North Carolina state laws specifically address conflict of interest and conflict of commitment of UNCG personnel. Several prominent federal agencies have agency-specific policies regarding Conflict of Interest, chiefly the Public Health Service (PHS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The Federal COI regulation promotes objectivity in research by establishing standards that provide a reasonable expectation that the design, conduct or reporting of research funded under PHS/NIH grants or cooperative agreements will be free from bias resulting from Investigator COIs. Institutions are required to implement policies and procedures consistent with the regulation. This website is designed to ensure that information regarding these policies and procedures is widely available to UNCG’s campus community.
Further, North Carolina Enacted Legislation, the State Government Ethics Act (2006-201, s. 1.) and NC General Statute 14-234 also addresses Conflict of Interest as it applies to employees (public servants) of state governed institutions. We seek to identify and manage any conflicting relationships that may arise from these activities, restricting those that may introduce bias when and where necessary. Such situations do not necessarily imply wrong-doing or inappropriate activities. However, it is important that these situations are disclosed and appropriately managed.
In addition to conflicts arising from individual investigator interests, the University’s financial holdings, intellectual property agreements, and the personal interests of its officials may give rise to conflicts of interest related to potential business transactions or research activities.
Our goal is to preserve transparency, protect the independent decision-making process, to protect all research subjects, and to protect the integrity of the research and educational experience of our students.
Lisa A. Goble, PhD
Director, Office of Research Integrity