Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of interest, and how to manage them

Conflicts of interest occur when a researcher’s personal financial interests overlap or conflict with that person’s university research.

These conflicts—whether real or perceived—can undermine the integrity of IU research and sponsored programs.

However, some conflicts of interest cannot be entirely avoided. Often, conflicts of interest can be effectively resolved or managed.

When to disclose financial interests

Disclose financial interests each year, or as soon as possible whenever interests change.

Complete or update a disclosure

Disclosing financial interests

Anyone responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research or sponsored projects at Indiana University—including principal investigators, project directors, consultants, students, non-paid volunteers, and others—must complete an annual research-related conflict of interest disclosure form each year, or as soon as possible whenever interests change or new interests occur.

Significant financial interests

Financial interests are defined as anything of monetary value, whether or not the value is readily available. Financial interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Salary and commissions
  • Consulting fees
  • Royalties
  • Business ownership
  • Capital gains
  • Intellectual property rights

For a full list of what constitutes a financial interest, and details on exceptions that may apply, review the IU Financial Conflicts of Interest in Research policy.

Request to see conflict information

Certain financial conflict information is public record and is available by request. You may also review how actual or potential conflicts are managed.

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Need help?

If you have any questions about the Kuali COI system or process, please contact the COI Office by phone at 812-856-1706 or email at