A conflict of interest occurs when there is a divergence between an individual's private interests and his or her professional obligations to the University such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the individual's professional actions or decisions are determined by considerations of personal gain, financial or otherwise. A conflict of interest depends on the situation, and not on the character or actions of the individual.
Significant financial interests, or any employment or consulting roles, raise particular questions of potential or apparent conflicts of interest which require special ad hoc disclosures, review and approval. A financial conflict of interest (FCOI) is one where Northeastern University reasonably determines the significant financial interest could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of research.
Public Health Service (PHS) FCOI regulations differ, in some respects, from Northeastern University’s Policy. PHS funded researchers, and those researchers funded by other agencies who have elected to follow PHS FCOI guidelines, must follow newly revised PHS FCOI regulations beginning August 24, 2012; all other funded researchers should continue to follow FCOI regulations as stated in the Faculty Handbook.
- FCOI regulations for PHS funded researchers (and other agencies following PHS FCOI guidelines) can be found at the FCOI for PHS funded researchers webpage.
- FCOI regulations for other funded researchers can be found in the Faculty Handbook, section 5 “Faculty Involvement in Outside Entities Which Have Relations with Northeastern.”
- The FCOI Policy can be found here: