A Conflict of Interest (COI) 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.
Below please view a flowchart that visually describes the COI disclosure process and a set of FAQs to help explain COI and Outside Activities:
Conflict of Interest Disclosure Process Flowchart (PDF download)
Conflict of Interest and Outside Activities FAQs (Word download)
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.
- Request for Prior Approval of Outside Activities
- UMass Policy on Consulting and Outside Activities (Trustee Policy T96-047).
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
- Conflict of Interest relating to Human Subjects Research (UMass President's Office)
- Conflict of Interest relating to Human Subjects Research (UMass Medical School)
Intellectual Property and Commercial Ventures
- Conflict of Interest relating to Intellectual Property and Commercial Ventures
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement Form - 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."
- Presentation on Policy on Conflicts of Interest
- Guidance on Conflict of Interest (UMass Conflicts Committee)
- Conflict of Interest and Textbook Royalties
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 firstname.lastname@example.org