Individual Conflict of Interest

Penn State’s Individual Conflict of Interest (COI) Committee and program exist to reduce or eliminating real or perceived financial conflicts of interest investigators may have.

All investigators must disclose Significant Financial Interests (SFI) as defined in policy RP06 to the COI prior to the submission of an application for research funding, at least annually, and within thirty (30) days of the acquisition of a new SFI. An "investigator" is any individual and all faculty who has the ability to make independent decisions related to the design, conduct, or reporting of University Research. Late disclosures may result in a delay in funding, non-compliance determinations, or, if you have PHS funding, a retrospective review of the funded project to determine if bias had occurred. 

Disclosures are confidential and will only be shared to the extent necessary to manage any identified conflicts of interest.

Disclosure Process

Investigators should disclose SFU using Penn State’s Conflict Of INterest System, COINS. SFI disclosures are reviewed either administratively or by the Individual COI Committee. In either review process, the reviewers determine whether the SFI constitutes is a real or perceived conflict of interest, and if so, the Committee develops a plan to manage or eliminate the conflict. Read about recommended disclosure language.

The diagram below shows the COI disclosure process. As depicted in the image, after disclosing in COINS, the reported conflict will go through Administrative or Committee Review. Once the review is complete, it will be decided if there is no conflict or if a management plan is needed.

COI Disclosure Flowchart

Management Plan

A Management Plan is a set of requirements outlined by the Individual COI Committee and agreed to by the Investigator, which are aimed at promoting transparency in financial relationships, objectivity in research, and protecting human research participants and students. Investigators can provide feedback and request changes to the plan before agreeing to it. 


Committee Membership

The Individual COI Committee is comprised of faculty from at least two of the following disciplines:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Earth and Mineral Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Health and Human Development
  • Science

One faculty from the social sciences/humanities and one active human participants investigator are also on the committee.

Individual COI Meeting Schedule

Disclosure Forms must be
submitted by 4:00 pm on:
Meeting Dates (called to order at 9:30 am)
January 8, 2020 January 17, 2020
February 12, 2020 February 21, 2020
March 11, 2020 March 20, 2020
April 8, 2020 April 17, 2020
May 6, 2020 May 15, 2020
June 10, 2020 June 19, 2020
July 8, 2020 July 17, 2020
Augut 12, 2020 August 21, 2020
September 9, 2020 September 18, 2020
October 7, 2020 October 16, 2020
November 11, 2020 November 20, 2020
December 9, 2020 December 18, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the confidential nature of the information discussed, Committee meetings are not open to the public. Meetings may be canceled if there is not a quorum or if no new disclosures were received.

If you have questions about individual COI and COI disclosure, please email or call 865-1775. Investigators whose primary affliation is with the College of Medicine should go to the COM Conflict of Interest website.