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:  A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when a person has relationships or interests that affect - or could appear to affect - their professional judgment as they perform their OSU-affiliated work and responsibilities.

The existence of a conflict of interest (perceived, potential, or real) does not necessarily mean that the conflict has resulted, or will result, in undue influence or bias to their work at OSU. However, it does increase the risk that a person will not recognize and/or appropriately manage the influence(s) that their additional relationships or interests may impose on their OSU responsibilities and activities.  

Research Conflict of Interest:  A research COI (RCOI) exists when a "covered person" with responsibility for design, conduct, reporting, or oversight of OSU-affiliated research activities, has a financial interest external to OSU that could affect - or appear to affect - their research, research they help oversee, or their other OSU responsibilities.

Return to Top of FAQ Section

RCOI Program Goals

  1. Promote objectivity and integrity across OSU-affiliated 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 initial RCOI Program Requirements
    • Complete OSU's COI training course in CITI:  www.citiprogram.org 
    • Complete OSU's Research COI Disclosure form in iRIS:  https://oregonstate.imedris.net
    • See the RCOI FAQs for more detailed instructions on the above tasks
  3. Ensure your RCOI disclosure in iRIS is current.  You must review and update your RCOI disclosure information:
    • Annually, at minimum
    • Prior to submission of a research funding proposal
    • Within 30 days of a new or significant change in your outside professional activities or financial interests   
  4. Update your COI training at least once every four years by completing the current OSU's COI course on the CITI website
  5. Communicate with the RCOI Program office when any questions arise.  See contact information below or email COI@oregonstate.edu.Return 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)

Return to Top of FAQ Section


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.

Return to Top of FAQ Section