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Promoting Transparency and Maintaining Objectivity

Through identifying and reviewing activities, interests or relationships, whether as possible conflicts of interest or commitment, the University’s goal is a standard of ethics and integrity while forging ahead with innovative and entrepreneurial endeavors.

As members of a scientific and intellectual community, we recognize that objectivity about one’s own situation and credibility with external observers requires an evaluation external to oneself. Moreover, the fact that an individual may be determined to have a conflict does not imply that the conflict is unethical or impermissible; it means simply that the relation of the conflict to the individual’s institutional responsibilities must be carefully examined and in some cases managed, because conflicts – real, potential or perceived – may impair performance of the missions of teaching, research, and public service, as well as jeopardize public trust and support.

–Policy on Individual Conflicts of Interest and Commitment

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recognizes conflicts of interest and commitment will arise from the research enterprise, from technology transfer activities, and from the many facets of our employees, students and trainees’ professional activities and personal lives.

It is also recognized that in addition to the individuals’ interests, the University’s financial holdings, intellectual property agreements, and the personal interests of its officials may give rise to institutional conflicts of interest related to potential business transactions or research activities. The University is committed to ensuring the integrity of its decision-making processes.

The Conflict of Interest Office is responsible for implementing the policies and processes related to these areas, along with partnering offices and committees across the University.  The Office seeks to be a resource to all individuals and units across campus as they navigate multiple responsibilities and activities, particularly related to sponsored research or human studies research. The goal is to manage all relationships appropriately, pursuant to the applicable University policy.

Most of these processes are accomplished through one site. The AIR (Activities, Interest and Relationships) system serves as a portal to manage many disclosure and request forms related to Conflicts of Interest and Commitment. You may access any COI disclosure form, Research COI training or External Professional Activities for Pay (EPAP) request form through this website.