What is a Conflict of Interest? Program Goals & Expectations COI Committee & Staff

What is a Conflict of Interest?  What is a Research Conflict of Interest?

Conflict of Interest:  For OSU employees and affiliates, a conflict of interest (COI) is when an individual has interests that affect - or appear to affect - their professional judgment in carrying out their OSU responsibilities and duties.

The existence of a real or potential conflict of interest does not necessarily mean that the interest has biased someone's University activities. However, it does increase the risk of unintentional bias related to their OSU responsibilities and activities.  And it's possible that these interests may tempt individuals to act in ways that result in bias related to those responsibilities and activities.

Research Conflict of Interest:  A research COI (RCOI) can occur when OSU "covered persons" with responsibility for design, conduct, and/or reporting of research activities or results, has a financial interest that could affect - or appear to affect - their research, research they help oversee, or other OSU responsibilities.

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RCOI Program Goals

  1. Promote objectivity and integrity across OSU's research programs and activities
  2. Protect the public's trust in research at OSU
  3. Comply with federal regulations and requirements for research funding, oversight, and publication
  4. Communicate clear disclosure guidelines, and identify real and potential conflicts of interest
  5. Create an environment that allows individuals to feel comfortable communicating with the RCOI Program Office 

Expectations for Faculty and other Covered Persons

  1. Promote research objectivity and integrity at OSU by following the Research Conflicts of Interest Policy
  2. Complete an online disclosure form annually and when your outside activities and financial interests change.         See also: RCOI FAQs
  3. Communicate with the RCOI Program office when any questions ariseReturn to Top of FAQ Section


Research Conflict of Interest Committee

The Research Conflict of Interest Committee is made up of faculty representing the diverse academic research and scholarship disciplines, as well as administrative functions, at the University.  The committee serves in an advisory capacity to the RCOI Officer who is responsible for reviewing, identifying, and managing potential conflicts of interest associated with research responsibilities, activities, and programs.

COI Officer: 

Staci Simonich


Associate Vice President for Research

Executive Committee Members Department/Unit
Lisa Leventhal Human Research Protection Program (HRPP)
David Dickson Office of Commercialization and Corporate Development (OCCD)

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Research COI Staff

RCOI Administrator

Rebecca Henry
Phone: 541-737-2762
Email: COI@oregonstate.edu

Responsibilities: Provides educational opportunities for faculty about various aspects of OSU's RCOI Program; conducts disclosure submission pre-reviews and communicates with submitters as needed to gather information regarding their research, supervisory, and financial interests; maintains the COI online disclosure system; provides support to the RCOI Officer and committee members


RCOI Officer

Staci Simonich, Associate Vice President for Research
Email: COI@oregonstate.edu

Responsibilities: Performs final review of disclosures; in-depth review and assessment of research conflict of interest cases; requests advice from RCOI committee members; exeutes RCOI assessments and management plans; and monitors research conflict of interest management plans along with RCOI committee members.

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