What is a conflict of interest (COI)?

Conflict of interest:  For an employee of the University, a conflict of interest, in general, is when their outside interests affect or appear to affect the individuals’ professional judgment in carrying out University responsibilities.

The existence of a conflict of interest does not mean that the outside interest is influencing University activities; however, a conflict of interest does increase the risk of unintentional bias and, in some cases, outside financial interests may tempt individuals to intentionally bias their University activities.


Research Conflict of Interest: The types of conflicts reviewed by the COI Officer and the COI Committee are conflicts of interest in research.  Research conflicts of interest occur when an individual responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of OSU research has an outside interest that may affect or appear to affect the research they are responsible form.

*Note: OSU policy specifically defines a research conflict of interest existing when the outside financial interest is “significant” (see What is a significant financial interest?).


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