Conflict of Interest (COI) Overview

The Research Integrity and Compliance office(RIC) is responsible for managing all individual Conflicts of Interest that are related to research. USU’s Policy 545 states that a Conflict of Interest (COI) exists when a University employee owes a professional obligation to the University, which is or can be compromised by the pursuit of outside interests. USU does not take the view that a Conflict of Interest is inherently bad for the University. If an employee does have a potential COI, RIC works with them to create an effective Management Plan.

COI is the result of a situation and not on any actions or character on the part of the researcher.


Joy Van Nostrand
Phone: 435-797-1235

There can be a lot of overlap between COI, Foreign Engagement, and Export Control policies and regulations, especially if your research or professional activities involve any international elements. For more information, visit these other pages.

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Kuali Instructions

Find instructions on how to complete a COI disclosure in Kuali.

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Find more about COI training requirements and resources.

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Institutional Conflict of Interest

Learn more about Institutional Conflicts of Interest.


Foreign Influence

Find information regarding Foreign Influence in Research


Standard Operating Procedures

Find standard operating procedures.


Related Policies & Procedures

Find COI related policies and procedures.

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Find more about Employee and COI-related Responsibilities.



Types of Research COIs

Financial Conflict

A researcher stands to gain financially from the research, particularly if the research has a certain outcome.

  • A researcher owns stock in a company that is sponsoring her/his research project, to be conducted at the University.
  • A researcher serves as the evaluator on a project for which she/he receives federal funding, which is contingent upon the project’s success.

Conflict of Commitment

An employee has committed more than 100% effort to a range of projects.

  • A faculty member uses University resources, including office or laboratory space, in support of her/his personal consulting work.
  • A faculty member dedicates more than the permitted four days per month working as a member of an advisory board.

Conflict of Allegiance

An employee's personal interests may create a bias in his/her discharge of University duties.

  • A faculty member receives research funds (or equipment or supplies) from a source outside the United States and these funds do not go through the Sponsored Programs Office.
  • A faculty member has a joint appointment at another institution inside and/or outside the United States.

Personal Conflict

A researcher takes actions in order to help a relative or close acquaintance

  • A faculty member hires a company owned by a relative.


A researcher's personal opinions or ideas may influence their research.