Institutional Conflict of Interest

An institutional conflict of interest (ICOI) arises when the financial interests of the university or personal financial interests of Institutional Officials (IOs) create the potential for inappropriate influence over research activities.

In comparison, an individual conflict of interest arises when the financial interests of investigators compromise or appear to comprise their professional judgment in research activities. Although collaboration with industry at the university and faculty level promotes commercial development of academic discoveries, which benefits the public, it can lead to conflicts of interest. In order to protect human research participants and the integrity of the university’s research programs, separate committees and policies have been established at the university to manage institutional and individual conflicts of interest.

These committees are:

The ICOI Review Committee is comprised of six to nine members appointed by the Chancellor, with at least one member having no university affiliation. Administration of the ICOI Policy is performed by the ICOI Office, which reports administratively under the University Compliance Office and functionally to the Chairman of the ICOI Review Committee.

ICOIs are generally identified by monitoring research activity and associated sponsors of research activity to:

  • Financial relationships reported by IOs on their annual financial disclosure statements.
  • Payers of license revenue associated with technologies licensed by the university.
  • Donors of major gifts.
  • Organizations in which Washington University has an equity interest.
  • Sponsors of educational grants.

Link to ICOI Contacts