A Conflict of Interest (COI) exists when it can be reasonably determined that an investigator's personal financial concerns could directly and significantly influence the design, conduct, or reporting of government funded research activities. Faculty and staff of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (the University) have an obligation to maintain the objectivity of their research, avoiding any conflict of interest. All UMass Amherst investigators are expected to comply with the University's and sponsor-specific COI policies by disclosing any significant financial interests prior to or at time of proposal submission and to update them as required.
Below is a flowchart that visually describes the COI disclosure process. It also includes links to the various types of Conflict of Interest and information about Kuali COI, the electronic platform used to submit disclosures.
Institutional and Massachusetts State Conflict of Interest and Outside Activities (OA) (Conflict of Commitment) - policies and guidance
- Consulting and Outside Activities: Policy on Faculty Consulting and Outside Activities (Conflict of Commitment) (BOT T96-047): see corresponding section below
- COI in Human Subject Research: Guidelines & Procedures for the Oversight of Individual and Institutional Financial Interests in Human Subjects Research (BOT T96-039)
- General COI Guidance (Faculty) - Outline of Guidance Principles for Faculty on Conflicts of Interest
- Intellectual Property & Commercial Ventures - University of Massachusetts Amherst and Boston Policy on Conflicts of Interest relating to Intellectual Property and Commercial Ventures (UMass President's Office)
- Nepotism - Self-Dealing and Nepotism - Conflict of Interest Law Restrictions G.L. c 268A, sections 6, 13, and 19 (Massachusetts State Ethics Commission) - see corresponding section below
- State Employees: Massachusetts General Law Chapter 268A: Conduct of Public Officials and Employee - Employees verify annually through the HRDirect system.
- Textbook Royalties: Textbook Royalties (EC-COI-04-2) under GL 268A, Section 6
Sponsor Specific COI Disclosure Requirements
- See NASA, NSF, PHS/NIH, and DOE sections below for policy links as well as disclosure and training guidance as required by each sponsor.
- All Conflict of Interest and Outside Activity disclosures are submitted through Kuali COI, a module within Kuali Research. The Kuali COI is an integrated disclosure which also includes questions related to Foreign Engagement. See the Kuali COI section below for submission guidance.
Kuali COI disclosures are reviewed by staff in the Office of Research Compliance who have expertise in the areas of Conflict of Interest, Foreign Engagement, and Research Risk. Reviewers will contact submitters if more information is required. If Outside Activity review is indicated, approval is requested from the appropriate Department Head, Dean, or Provost.
Questions? Contact Us.
- For questions regarding regulations, reporting requirements, or other policies regarding conflicts of commitment and interest, please contact contact the Office of Research Compliance at (413)545-5283 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For questions about the disclosure and review process, including assistance with Kauli COI, please contact Melinda LeLacheur at (413)545-5283 or email@example.com.