Institutional Conflict of Interest (ICOI)

An institutional conflict of interest (ICOI) exists whenever the financial interests or holdings of the institution, or the personal financial interests or holdings of institutional leaders might affect or reasonably appear to affect the design, conduct, reporting, review or oversight of human subjects research (USU Policy 584). 

Some examples of interests that could create an ICOI include:

  • USU having an equity interest in a company also involved in funding research
  • USU having an ownership interest in intellectual property being researched
  • Gifts or donations, including goods and services, from a potential research sponsor who also wishes to collaborate on research
  • USU institutional officials receiving payments, honoraria, royalties, equity, or company positions (i.e., board membership) from a company

If the Research Integrity & Compliance Office finds a potential ICOI from information provided by the Sponsored Programs Office, the Institutional Review Board, or Technology Transfer Services, the finding will be forwarded to the USU Conflict of Interest Committee (COIC) for further review. The COIC must approve all institutional conflicts involving research with human participants. After its review and action, the COIC shall forward its determination, including any ICOI management plans, to the Institutional Review Board. Copies of any determinations or management plans shall also be provided to the department head and dean of the affected unit(s). The Institutional Review Board shall have final authority to accept and implement, revise, or deny any proposed ICOI management plans. The Research Integrity & Compliance Office reports all ICOIs that involve human subjects research and related management plans to the Vice President for Research (Institutional Official), via an annual report.