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Research Safeguards

Jump to: COI Point Person | Examples - Disclosures to Study Team | COI Liaison 


To promote transparency and best practices in mitigating conflict of interest concerns, the COIOC, as of June 1, 2021 will require that all studies that are reviewed by the Committee have:
  1. COI Point Person
  2. Email Disclosure of related financial interests to all research personnel involved in that study that also directs the team to the COI Point Person if they were to have any COI-related questions or concerns.  This disclosure should be made, at a minimum, through email for documentation purposes.

COI Point Person

The COI Point Person is a non-conflicted individual that is peer-level or higher to the disclosing individual (the person who has the related financial interest). The Point Person would be identified to the entire study team via the required email disclosure. They would serve as a resource for the study team to reach out to if they were to have any COI-related questions or concerns throughout the duration of the research project. Here are a few examples of who can be identified as the COI Point Person, depending on the specific situation:

  • Disclosing Individual is is not the PI: If the PI is non-conflicted and of equal or higher rank to the DI, they can serve as the COI Point Person.
  • Disclosing Individual is the PI, but there is a non-conflicted investigator of equal or higher rank on the project: The non-conflicted investigator that is of equal or higher rank to the DI can serve as the COI Point Person.
  • Disclosing Individual is the PI and highest ranking individual on the project: Identify a non-conflicted individual of equal or higher rank who can serve as the COI Point Person for the study team. Ideally, the Point Person would be in the same department or at least have knowledge of the research subject matter. This can be the department chair or a similar leadership role. They would not need to be added to the project.

If the Disclosing Individual has difficulty finding an appropriate COI Point Person, pleease contact the COI Team at coioc@research.uci.edu

Email Disclosure of Related Financial Interest to Study Team (Examples)

Below are examples of disclosure language to help you disclose your related significant/disclosable financial interest to the lab/study team members involved in a project related to that significant/disclosable financial interest and identify the person they should contact if they have any COI-related questions or concerns, the "COI Point Person". The COI Point Person should be a peer (i.e., an independent, non-conflicted, equal rank or higher) researcher that can serve as a point person for the project team if they were to have any COI-related concerns.

Disclose Your Related Financial Interest for the First Time:

"To promote transparency and protect the objectivity of the research and the interests of the research personnel involved, I am disclosing my financial interest to the research personnel involved in [PROJECT/PROTOCOL NUMBER: TITLE], which is related to my financial interest in [COMPANY NAME]

[COI POINT PERSON NAMEhas also been notified of this potential conflict of interest and identified as the person to contact if any research personnel have any conflict of interest related questions or concerns. If you have any questions, please contact the COI Team at coioc@research.uci.edu

Please note this disclosure is not a punitive requirement but a new standard best practices requirement from the Conflict of Interest Oversight Committee (COIOC), the committee of faculty members tasked with reviewing financial interests related to research, to promote transparency as an important mitigating factor for potential conflicts of interest.  The COIOC fully supports the development of relationships with outside entities as long as the appropriate measures exist to protect the objectivity of the research and interests of students and research subjects, as well as to comply with the various state and federal policies. The primary purpose of the COIOC process is to review and document how the potential conflict of interest issues are addressed so that research can continue, which is why openness and transparency are especially important."

Document Your Previous Disclosure of Your Related Financial Interest:

"As you know, I have a financial interest in [COMPANY NAME], which relates to [PROJECT/PROTOCOL NUMBER: TITLE].  To continue to promote transparency and protect the objectivity of the research and the interests of the research personnel involved, in addition to  disclosing my financial interest to the research personnel involved in the related project, I have also identified [COI POINT PERSON NAMEas the person to contact if any research personnel have any conflict of interest related questions or concerns. If you have any questions, please contact the COI Team at coioc@research.uci.edu

Please note ths email is not a punitive requirement but a new standard best practices requirement from the Conflict of Interest Oversight Committee (COIOC), the committee of faculty members tasked with reviewing financial interests related to research, to promote transparency as an important mitigating factor for potential conflicts of interest.  The COIOC fully supports the development of relationships with outside entities as long as the appropriate measures exist to protect the objectivity of the research and interests of students and research subjects, as well as to comply with the various state and federal policies. The primary purpose of the COIOC process is to review and document how the potential conflict of interest issues are addressed so that research can continue, which is why openness and transparency are especially important."

COI Liaison

In some cases, the research project may need additional oversight, on top of the above standard research safeguards (required email disclosure and COI Point Person).  

The COI Liaison is a non-conflicted individual that is peer-level or higher to the disclosing individual (the person who has the related financial interest) who will provide additional conflict of interest oversight for the project by taking on additional responsibilities. In some case, this COI Liaison may be the same individual identified as the COI Point Person for the study. The elements of the COI Liaison role would vary across projects based on the role and responsibilities of the Disclosing Individual, the level of potential conflict of interest, and the study design. Examples of some tasks the COI Liaison may participate in to provide additional COI oversight include but are not limited to:

  • Data collection
  • Access to project data
  • Data analysis
  • Data reporting
  • Study design
  • Review of reports
  • Co-supervising students (undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students)

For more ideas, refer to the Case Studies webpage.  The duties should be clearly described in the COI Liaison Acknowledgement Form, which needs to be signed by the Disclosing Individual and COI Liaison. Please submit the COI Liaison Acknowledgement Form along with the requested COI Addendum to the COI team at coioc@research.uci.edu to faciliate the COIOC review process.

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