Financial Conflict of Interest

The Financial Conflict of Interest Federal Regulation

A Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Federal Regulation requires any Significant Financial Interest (SFI) be disclosed in pre-award research proposals, during the research, or in post-award research, as well as any research that does not have an award. The Federal Regulation was instituted by the Public Health Service (PHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and National Science Foundation (NSF).

Most importantly, the Federal Regulation was implemented to protect against improper, unethical and/or illegal use of power, where a financial conflict of interest exists in research. An example is the "fracking" research conducted at the University of Texas whereby a financial conflict of interest existed within a fracking research project. The conclusions were biased towards the positive use of fracking due to researchers involved in the project having financial interests in the companies that could provide fracking in the future.

Your Research and Compliance with the Financial Conflict of Interest Federal Regulation

The Texas A&M University – Central Texas Division of Research, Economic Development, and Innovation, along with the university FCOI Officer, want you to be in compliance with the FCOI Federal Regulation. Therefore, you need to disclose if you do or do not have an SFI relating to any research you may conduct in conjunction with Texas A&M University-Central Texas. All IRB proposals must conform to the FCOI Federal Regulation, as well as research conducted that does not involve the IRB.

You may or may not need to complete the FCOI form due to your responsibilities in a research project. However, regardless of your research project connection, and to keep the FCOI compliance simple, we highly recommend that you fill out the FCOI form indicated below and send to the FCOI Officer:

The FCOI Officer will review the form and indicate actions that include:

  1. No issue, proceed with the research or start the IRB process
  2. Need to Reduce the FCOI
  3. Need to Manage the FCOI
  4. Need to Eliminate the FCOI

For more information on the FCOI Federal Law, please see the following:

  1. TAMUS Guidance on Conflict of Interest in Research
  2. TAMUS Regulation 15.01.03
  3. FCOI Form
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