Conflict of Interest at MSU
Changes in requirements by the Public Health Service (PHS) took effect in August of 2012. Conflict of Interest training is now required for investigators for PHS-sponsored projects, and annual disclosure of significant financial interests is required for investigators for PHS and NSF-funded projects.
MSU updated its Faculty/Academic Staff Conflict of Interest Policy to reflect these new requirements. It applies to faculty and academic staff as well as to other individuals who propose, conduct, or report the results of University research and other sponsored projects.
Note that the requirement to be trained applies only to investigators for PHS projects. The requirement to annually disclose all interests apply at this time only to investigators for PHS or NSF projects.
Other MSU faculty and academic staff (i.e. those not involved with PHS/NSF research) continue to be required to disclose interests related to any new proposal or project.
The difference is that all faculty and academic staff persons must disclose personal interests that are related to a proposed research project; PHS/NSF investigators must annually disclose all interests related to their institutional duties, whether or not the interests are related to their projects.
"A conflict of interest is a situation in which financial or other personal considerations have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity. An apparent conflict of interest is one in which a reasonable person would think that the professional's judgment is likely to be compromised. A potential conflict of interest involves a situation that may develop into an actual conflict of interest. It is important to note that a conflict of interest exists whether or not decisions are affected by a personal interest; a conflict of interest implies only the potential for bias, not a likelihood.”[from RCR Conflicts of Interest - Columbia University]
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