Conflict of Interest and Outside Activities
What is Conflict of Interest?
A conflict of interest in basic terms is described in University policy as a situation in which a person serves or represents two distinct entities or persons or must choose between two conflicting interests or loyalties. A University employee has a conflict when their outside activity or financial interest could potentially interfere with the employee’s professional obligations to the University.
Examples of Possible Conflicts
Outside activities which represent time commitments that could interfere with an employee accomplishing their University duties.
Outside activities using equipment, personnel, or resources of the University.
Outside activities where students supervised by the employee are involved.
Outside activities or financial interests in an entity that is supporting the faculty or staff member’s research activities at the University.
Outside activities (consulting, employment, management, etc) with a person or entity, or financial interests in an entity, that does business with the university.
Florida and Federal Conflicts
Florida statutes provide that a University employee may not have a contractual, employment or financial relationship with a company which is doing business with the University. An Exemption is provided which allows an employee to have such a relationship when the company licenses the employee’s technology from the University or when an employee is an investigator on a research contract between the university and the company. However, such Exemptions are allowed only with prior review and approval. The Exemption procedure is done through the Division of Research Compliance and the appropriate college. Federal regulations require that the University manage, reduce, or eliminate any Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) involving certain compensated outside activities and financial interests of persons involved in research projects funded by the Public Health Service (PHS), the American Heart Association (AHA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other organizations that adopt the PHS regulations. The NIH has issued a guide summarizing in the 2011 PHS FCOI regulation. The University’s Conflict of Interest and Outside Activities Policy contains a detailed description of what constitutes a conflict under both the Florida and Federal regulations. The Researcher’s Handbook also provides helpful information concerning conflicts of interest.
What do I do if I think I may have a Research Conflict?
Contact the Division of Research Compliance at 846-3533
Send an email to the Division of Research Compliance at email@example.com
- Come in person to the Division of Research Compliance – 460, Grinter Hall
- The University’s Conflict of Interest and Outside Activities Policy provides the forms required for approval of conflicts. The federal regulations require disclosure of Financial Conflicts of Interest and the NSF disclosure form and the PHS disclosure form. For non-research conflicts contact your college.
What Conflict Training is Available?
The Public Health Service (PHS) conflict of interest regulation requires that all investigators in a PHS funded project must complete FCOI training before engaging in the research. UF has established a specific FCOI training class that satisfies the PHS requirement that is accessed through myUFL > My Self Service > Training and Development > Request Training Enrollment, Course Number: DSR810. Additional information concerning the PHS training.