Conflicts of Interest & Commitment

The University of North Carolina at Asheville encourages scholarship leading to commerical and consulting activities. Such activities, however, have the potential to lead to conflicts of interest, which may have untoward effects. Each year, the University receives inquiries regarding potential conflicts of interest. These inquires have been generated by media outlets, as well as federal, state, legal, and internal regulatory entities. Submitting a disclosure form, and vetting potential conflicts of intersts, helps to protect employees and students, departments, and the University, as a whole, from adverse outcomes resulting from inquiry.

What is considered a conflict of interest or commitment for a University employee?

  1. A conflict of interest exists when a university employee, student or affiliate's financial or personal considerations may comprimise, or have the appearance of comprimising, personal judgement in administration, management, instruction, research, or other professional and academic activities. For example, if an employee consults for, or has ownership in, an outside company involved with research similar to the employees' area of expertise, it might appear that the employee's university research is at risk from bias that would benefit the outside company. Numerous studies show that even the most conscientious researchers can be unconsciously influenced by unintentional bias, so it is important that an objective review of such arrangements occurs.
  2. A conflict of commitment exists when professional service or research contracted outside the University interferes with the employee, student, or affiliate's paramount obligations to the primary missions of the University includeing teaching, research and outreach.

Areas of concern include: scientific integrity; protection of students' academic interests/progression; protection of human subjects; protection of intellectual property; misuse of university funds, services, facilities.

What are the reequirements regarding COIC reporting?

The requirements and instructions for reporting can be found by following the following links:

  1. Conflict of Interest on Federally-Sponsored Projects - Sponsored By the Public Health Service (PHS)
  2. Conflict of Interest on Federally-Sponsored Projects - Not Sponsored by the Public Health Service (PHS)
  3. UNC General Administration Regulations on External Professional Activities for Pay by Faculty and EHRA Non-Faculty Employees