Conflict of Interest

A Conflict of Interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interests.

All Faculty (Outside Activities)

The Amherst campus requires an annual disclosure from all faculty members regarding Outside Activities. Faculty members are expected to devote to the University their primary professional loyalty and to direct to the University their time and energy. As they are considered "special state employees" for purposes of the Massachusetts law governing the conduct of public officials and employees (Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 268A), however, they are permitted to engage in limited activities outside of the University during normal working hours, provided such outside activities do not interfere with their primary obligations. The University recognizes that outside activities can be of value to faculty and the University.

U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Funded Researchers

The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) amended its Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Regulations effective August 24, 2012. These regulations have unique reporting and conflict management requirements and require an initial disclosure of all financial interest related to the institutional responsibilities of the investigator to the UMass Amherst Office of Research Compliance. Faculty investigators who are supported by U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) funding, including, but not limited to, NIH, CDC, HRSA, SAMHSA, FDA, and AHRQ, are required to submit a PHS Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form to the UMass Office of Research Compliance at the point of each proposal submission and receive training on the regulations. More information, including policies, resources, forms, and training schedule, can be found at Conflict of Interest for PHS Funded Researchers.

NSF (National Science Foundation) Funded Researchers

Faculty investigators who are supported by external funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other federal agencies adopting the NSF requirement, must submit an annual NSF Conflict of Interest disclosure, as well as a "transactional update" at the point of each proposal submission. Please see the corresponding UMass Policy for compliance with NSF and other Federal Agency's COI regulations. 

Human Subjects Research

Intellectual Property and Commercial Ventures

All University Employees 

Employees of the University of Massachusetts Amherst are subject to the Conflict of Interest Law for State Employees and must verify their state required Conflict of Interest electronically through the HR Direct system. Typically, employees are prompted annually after logging in to view paychecks.  Alternatively, employees can log into HR Direct and go to "Self Service" and "Personal Information" where they will find a section entitled "COI Acknowledgement." 

Resources 

 

For More Information

Should you have any questions regarding conflict of interest, conflict of commitment policies, procedures or regulations, please contact Jennifer Donais, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement, Compliance & Support Services, at 545 - 5283 or via email at jadonais@research.umass.edu