Conflicts of interest

A conflict of interest arises when there are two or more conflicting (or potentially conflicting) sets of wishes which relate to a particular set of circumstances. 

Researchers should disclose financial and other conflicts of interest that could compromise the trustworthiness of their work in research proposals, publications and public communications as well as in all review activities.

Where members of staff think that there is any risk of a conflict of interest arising in their activities, they should disclose this fully to their Head of Resource Centre and Stephen Griffiths, Solicitor and Director of Contracts, RIS Legal Services. When Heads of Resource Centre are personally involved in any conflict of interest, they should disclose the risk to the Vice Chancellor. In all cases of potential conflicts of interest, written agreement should be obtained before any commitment is made.

By declaring a conflict of interest, the University can work with the individuals concerned to work out the best way do deal with the situation to avoid difficulties or embarrassment further down the line.  

Authors must acknowledge the source of grant funding associated with a research output. 

University policy statement on conflict of interest in research

University protocol on investigating and resolving allegations of misconduct in academic research

SDDU Independence of Research and Conflicts of Interest presentation

Anti-bribery policy

National Institutes of Health (NIH) financial conflicts of interest online tutorial

Annual Staff Declaration (ASD) for external work including Directorships, Partnerships, Trusteeships & Public Appointments, Consultancy, and Related Party Transactions. 

Example

A PI wants to conduct collaborative research in conjunction with an external company and the PI has other connections with the company, eg either the PI or a close relative is a shareholder or partner in the company, or is about to become one.  

Further information 

RCUK Policy and Guidelines on Governance of Good Research Conduct

NIH Financial conflict of interest guidance

HEFCE Concordat to support research integrity

UK Research Integrity Office code of practice for research

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Financial Conflict of Interest Policy

 

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