Conflict of Interest

Identifying and managing financial conflicts of interest related to research

Disclosure and management of real or apparent financial conflicts of interests is critical to the integrity of the research process. Cornell has defined policies, created guidance, and implemented tools to help researchers meet regulatory requirements and uphold the values of the university.

COI at Cornell: Overarching Principles

  1. Support faculty entrepreneurship, support industry engagement
  2. Meet sponsor, public, regulatory, and legal requirements
  3. Preserve research integrity
  4. Protect academic freedom
  5. Protect human participants
  6. Protect interests of students and staff

What is a conflict of interest ("COI")?

A financial conflict of interest related to research exists when a financial interest – or other opportunity for personal financial gain – is likely to compromise or influenceor appear to compromise or influencethe objective design, conduct, reporting, or direct administration of research. Conflicts are a set of intersecting relationships; they are not inherently bad, but they must be properly managed to protect the integrity of Cornell research.

Looking for guidance?

Interested in learning about COI considerations as they relate to start-ups? Consulting or similar external engagements? SBIR and STTR projects? Human participant research? We have guidance on all of those topics on this website.

If you want information specifically about the COI reporting process, check out:

For PHS-funded researchers

If you receive funds from NIH or another Public Health Service agency, there are special COI-related considerations and requirements, including additional reporting to the COI office and online training. Learn more.