The University of Southern California defines Conflict of Interest (COI) as “a situation in which financial or other personal considerations compromise, or have the appearance of compromising an individual’s professional judgment in proposing, conducting, supervising or reporting research.”
The appearance of a COI exists when a reasonable person would think that the professional’s judgment is likely to be compromised. A COI only implies the potential for bias. It is important to note that a COI exists whether or not decisions are affected by personal interest.
USC faculty members (including part-time and visiting faculty), staff (such as postdoctoral scholars), and students (including postdoctoral fellows, undergraduate and graduate students) are expected to avoid financial or other personal interests that might compromise their objectivity in discharging responsibilities related to proposing, conducting, or reporting research. Financial or other personal interest that may significantly affect any other aspect of USC research interests must also be avoided.
USC COI Policies/Guidance
- Conflict of Interest in Research
- Conflict of Interest in Research: Policy and Procedure
- Policy Regarding Relationships with Industry
- Institutional Conflict of Interest in Research: Policy and Procedure