Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Financial Conflicts of Interest in Research Program

 The Research Integrity Office within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research is directly responsible for the University’s Research-Related Financial Conflicts of Interest (FCOI) Program. PHS and NSF regulations and sponsor requirements guide Penn's research-related conflicts of interest policy, effective August 24, 2012.

FCOIs may exist when financial considerations have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment or objectivity regarding the design, conduct or reporting of research.  The University has one policy governing research-related FCOIs, the University of Pennsylvania Policy on Conflicts of Interest Related to Research (the FCOI Policy).

This policy is distinct from School-based annual extramural activity reporting policies and is designed to reduce, manage, and / or eliminate identified financial conflicts related to specific research projects. When required under Penn’s FCOI policy, disclosure of financial interests related to a specific research project should be submitted electronically through the Financial Interest Disclosure Electronic System (FIDES). FIDES disclosures are initially reviewed by the OVPR and may be referred to the Conflict of Interest Standing Committee (CISC) for further review and recommendations.

Prior to participating in research that will be funded by the Public Health Service (PHS), the FCOI Policy also requires Investigators to submit a Financial Interest and Travel Statement (PHS-FITS) to their Schools.  Depending on the nature and value of financial interests disclosed and whether those financial interests are determined by their School to be related to a PHS proposal, Investigators may be required to provide a more detailed disclosure in FIDES.  In addition to meeting the above disclosure obligations, Investigators must receive FCOI training prior to engaging in research at the University and at least every four years.

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