A financial conflict of interest in research exists when an individual (or his/her immediate family) has a financial interest that affects, is affected by, or has the potential to affect or be affected by, the individual’s research activities.
Financial (and other) conflicts of interest can arise naturally from an individual’s engagement with the world beyond campus, and the existence of a conflict does not imply wrongdoing on anyone’s part. When conflicts of interest arise, they must be recognized and eliminated or managed appropriately.
An individual’s financial interests may include consulting work, board memberships, ownership of equity, role in a start-up company, or any other activity for which the individual receives or expects to receive remuneration. They also include such financial interests held by their spouse, partner, and dependent children.
UNH researchers have an obligation to maintain the integrity of their research, protecting the design, conduct, and reporting of the research from undue influence related to the researcher’s other economic interests.
Conflicts of interest related to research involving human research subjects pose special concerns. UNH and its researchers have ethical obligations to protect the rights and safety of individuals who participate in research conducted by UNH investigators. Financial interests held by those conducting or sponsoring the research may compromise or appear to compromise the fulfillment of those ethical obligations and the well-being of the research subjects, as well as the integrity of the related research. Any research conducted at UNH that involves human subjects and an identified financial conflict of interest may be monitored by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research as well as the Disclosure Review Committee.
Why it’s important
A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a PI, has competing professional or personal interests that may make it difficult to fulfill his or her UNH duties impartially. In addition, conflicts of interest could undermine the credibility of a PI and UNH and thus jeopardize future funding for both.
How to Comply
Compliance with the UNH Policy on Financial Conflict of Interest in Research requires disclosure of an investigator’s relevant financial relationships when submitting proposals for external funding. A separate policy and procedure applies to investigators funded or proposing to be funded by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) (e.g, DHHS, NIH, CDC, AHRQ, HRSA) and other organizations that require compliance with the PHS financial conflict of research in research regulations.
The Knowledge Base contains forms, instruction and training material, minutes, policies, tools and other resources to support your research efforts by topic area.
Melissa McGee, Compliance Officer
Research Integrity Services
Service Building, Room 106B
51 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-2005