Conflict of Interest in Research

Conflict of Interest in Research Policy

An individual conflict of interest related to research arises when financial or other personal considerations compromise, or have the appearance of compromising, an individual’s professional judgment in proposing, conducting, supervising or reporting research.  University researchers (faculty, staff and students) have an obligation to disclose outside activities when they maintain an interest (equity interest, management role or consulting income in excess of $5,000 per year) in a sponsor, or in an outside entity whose product (drug, device, equipment, supplies, etc.) is under study, regardless of the sponsor.

Researchers who are proposing or have received HHS (including NIH, CDC, HRSA, and AHRQ) support must also make an annual disclosure of all financial interests related to their institutional responsibilities to USC, regardless of whether any of these interests give rise to a conflict of interest related to their research.  The annual disclosure must be completed before a proposal can be submitted to HHS, and any identified conflicts must be managed before an account can be established.

In addition, all HHS investigators must complete training on conflicts of interest once every four years.  For more information on online training, please click here.

The university’s Conflict of Interest in Research policy (see link above) defines and closely scrutinizes significant conflicts of interest.  In these circumstances, the investigator must present compelling reasons for why research should be allowed to proceed at USC.

Conflicts of interest covered by the Conflict of Interest in Research policy must be disclosed in diSClose, USC’s online disclosure system, for review: