Conflicts of Interest in Research

Conflicts of interest (COIs) arise where one could financially benefit from research, causing or appearing to cause potential bias in its design, conduct or reporting. COIs are not inherently bad, and often come as a result of successful business partnerships and hours of hard work, all of which uphold the highest standards of integrity.

Below are the basic steps of the process for all those responsible for design, conduct or reporting of research at Boston University and Boston Medical Center.

  1. Complete a Financial Interest Disclosure Form

  2. Complete Financial Interest Disclosure Training

  3. COI Committee Review

  • In some instances, a financial interest disclosure may need further review. The COI Unit will reach out to research investigators for additional information.
  • The COI Committee will review the research project and any conflict of interest and then recommend a management plan
  4. Management Plans

  • An investigator will have an opportunity to review and comment on a management plan before it is sent to the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance rendering the final decision.
  • The COI unit will send the final decision to the investigator for confirmation and sign off.

If you have any comments, questions, or just want to learn more about conflicts of interest – let us know at