Research Conflict of Interest

Duke University researchers have an obligation to disclose conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment to University officials so that potential conflicts of interest or commitment can be evaluated and managed by the Duke Office of Scientific Integrity – Conflict of Interest Office (DOSI-COI). University officials may be engaged if the need for eliminating the conflict arises. The management and/or elimination of conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment allows the University to maintain the integrity of the institution, its personnel, and the public’s interest.

This policy applies to regular-rank tenure and non-tenure track faculty members. These faculty members will hold one of the following titles: unmodified professor, associate professor and assistant professor; unique named titles associated with named chairs; and approved non-tenure track titles including professor of the practice, clinical professor, research professor, lecturer and medical instructor (and associate/assistant professors of the same categories).

Furthermore, the policy also applies to: 1) individuals granted Principal Investigator status and 2) those individuals employed by the University and providing material benefits to externally funded research projects. This will be indicated by being named a key personnel or receiving salary from effort on a U.S. federal, state or local government funded project that had financial activity within the preceding twelve months.

Important Points

  • An annual disclosure form is required from faculty and non-faculty who participate in research at Duke.

  • In addition to the annual review and reporting, the office also performs an event-based review as grants are awarded to the institution (or preferably at “Just in Time” notification).
  • Disclosure forms are analyzed by staff to determine if disclosed relationships are related to the disclosing individual’s research and/or administrative responsibilities.
  • The Conflict of Interest Office manages COI in a manner compliant with federal policies, particularly those of PHS.
  • Management plans are acknowledged by the individual, tracked over time, and monitored.
  • We report managed overlap relating to PHS funding in accordance with PHS regulations.
  • All management plans are reviewed with the COI Committee by consent agenda and/or full review.
  • Individuals are responsible for maintaining a current, accurate disclosure form with the Conflict of Interest Office. Individuals must update their COI disclosure form within 30 calendar days of discovering, acquiring or establishing any new significant financial interests or changes in any existing significant financial interests that might reasonably be related to their Duke responsibilities.
  • COI training must be completed prior to engaging in research related to any PHS-funded project and updated as required by the institution.
  • Failure to fully and accurately disclose financial interests, to maintain a current accurate disclosure form or to follow federal or other sponsor or institutional requirements related to COI may result in disciplinary action.

To contact the Conflict of Interest Office by email:

Note: COI/COI Policy updated effective June 1, 2020