Office of Research

PHS Conflict of Interest

PHS-COI Disclosure Form

PHS-COI Training 


What is a Conflict of Interest (COI)?

A general conflict of interest is when an individual’s outside interests affect or appear to affect his or her professional judgment in carrying out University responsibilities.

The existence of a conflict of interest does not mean that the outside interest is influencing University activities; however, a conflict of interest does increase the risk of unintentional bias and, in some cases, outside financial interests may tempt individuals to intentionally bias their University activities.

Research conflicts of interest occur when an individual responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research has an outside interest that may affect or appear to affect the research they are responsible.

Why is there a specific COI policy regarding PHS Investigators?

The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) amended its Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Regulation effective August 24, 2012.  These regulations are stricter than for other funding agencies.  PHS regulations apply to current interest, and interests in the 12 months preceding a disclosure, rather than interests that are anticipated in the future.  All PHS investigators must comply with the rules of the policy which include training and disclosing of significant financial interests.

What is required of PHS Investigators?

PHS Investigators must be aware of and comply with Clemson University’s PHS COI policy, complete COI training every four years, and submit a disclosure form annually or as their outside activities or financial interests change.

What are the Objectives of the PHS COI Office?

  • Maintain the integrity of Clemson University research
  • Protect the public trust in Clemson University’s research and practices
  • Communicate clear guidelines for identifying and disclosing information to recognize real and perceived conflicts of interest
  • Create an environment that allows faculty members to feel comfortable communicating with the PHS COI office, including
    • Discussing situations to determine if a COI exists
    • Asking questions regarding COI policy and procedures
    • Providing educational opportunities for faculty and staff