For research universities to retain their standing as independent arbiters of knowledge, research must be conducted according to the highest ethical standards. The partnership between research universities and their principal research sponsors – including the federal government – must be based on the conviction that universities are accountable for the research they perform. If research universities do not demonstrate their ability to maintain accountability for individual and institutional COI, more prescriptive approaches may well be pursued by either the executive or legislative branches of government, or both.

Federal Regulations cover Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) for Grants and / or Cooperative Agreements - Title 42 CFR Part 50 Subpart F; with Research Contracts being regulated by Title 45 CFR Part 94. These regulations require federally supported investigators to disclose to their institution significant financial interests that would reasonably appear to affect their research. Consequently, institutions are required to determine if a COI exists, and if so, how the COI can be managed, reduced, or eliminated.

On August 25, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) enacted new, more stringent rules for PHS-supported personnel regarding financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) in research. As implemented, the regulations will substantially impact researchers who have personal financial interests in the sponsor of their research, or in companies providing investigational drugs, devices or other financial support to their HHS-funded projects.

In addition, the State of Kansas has requirements for disclosure and management of potential or actual conflicts of time or interest.

For a comprehensive explanation of K-State policies regarding Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Time, please refer to the complete policies at http://www.k-state.edu/academicpersonnel/fhbook/fhxs.html