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Resolving or managing a conflict of interest
In some cases, conflicts of interest cannot be entirely avoided, but they can be addressed effectively with the assistance of IU’s Conflict of Interest Office.
If the Conflict of Interest Committee determines that an outside interest could rise to the level of a conflict, the committee will recommend that the outside financial interest be reduced, eliminated, or managed.
Reducing the impact of an outside financial interest on your research may mean decreasing your role in a particular entity or placing the interest into a trust, among other techniques.
Eliminating the outside interest or relationship may be recommended by the Conflict of Interest Committee when the committee deems the conflict sufficiently serious.
In most instances, managing an outside financial interest can be achieved through the use of a detailed management plan. A management plan ensures that design, conduct, or reporting of research is not directly and significantly affected by any financial conflict of interest. These management plans are designed to protect you and to comply with the applicable university policies and federal law. Management plans also help protect students and postdoctoral fellows from inappropriate pressures and protect intellectual property rights.
Management plans take the form of an agreement confirming that you understand the policies governing your research activities at Indiana University. The plan may set out requirements tailored to your specific activity with the university or outside interest.
Learn more about managing conflicts of interest
IU policy requires a disclosure form to be submitted to the Conflict of Interest Office annually and within 30 days of new or changed significant financial interests. Changes and/or a new interest must be reported to comply with IU policy and to allow for accurate and up-to-date management plans.
It is important to disclose significant financial interest in publications and presentations to maintain a level of integrity and transparency in research reporting.
Investigators share an obligation to identify and, when possible, avoid financial conflicts of interest. When conflicts cannot be avoided, investigators must disclose outside financial relationships that create, or reasonably appear to create, conflicts of interest, and work with university officials to manage or resolve those conflicts.
Yes. Students and postdoctoral fellows may be involved in your research, even if the research reasonably would appear to affect the interest of the managed outside interest.
While students are allowed to work for faculty members’ outside companies, the Conflict of Interest Committee must ensure that the student is protected from any undue bias and inappropriate pressure from researchers. Before beginning employment with a faculty member’s outside company, the student, and the faculty member and the faculty member’s unit head, must sign an Agreement Regarding Graduate and Undergraduate Student Employment in Faculty Business Venture.