A brief overview of the concept of conflict of interest and links to more detailed information for individuals within the College of Letters & Science.
The College of Letters & Science recognizes that faculty and staff may have activities outside of, yet related to their institutional activities, including consulting, starting a business or serving on an advisory board. While these activities can bring benefits to the campus community, they also present the potential for conflict of interest between the activity and an employee's University appointment. The University of Wisconsin-Madison's COI Policy provides a mechanism for disclosing and managing the potential conflicts of interest which may arise out of these activities.
A Conflict of Interest (COI) may exist when an investigator has significant financial interests, including compensation, ownership, or leadership, that could lead an independent observer to reasonably question whether the design, conduct, or reporting of research might be influenced by the possibility of personal gain to the individual or his or her immediate family.
In order to identify potential conflicts of interests, faculty and academic staff must annually disclose outside activities and financial interests related to their institutional responsibilities at UW-Madison via an Outside Activities Report (OAR). Federal, State and University regulations and policies require this annual disclosure.
UW-Madison has developed mechanisms to assess COI by collecting Outside Activities Reports (OAR), evaluating these reports for the existence of significant financial interests (SFIs), and, if conflicts of interest exist, to manage or eliminate these conflicts in a transparent and effective manner.
UW-Madison also requires all investigators engaged in federally funded and/or human subjects research to receive training in conflict of interest. This training must be completed every 4 years and is offered online through Learn@UW.
Rebecca Dunn, Ph.D.
Conflict of Interest
College of Letters & Science