Wake Forest University is committed to meeting the highest ethical and legal standards. The Policy on Conflicts of Interest or Commitment is designed to reinforce a standard of conduct that engenders public trust in the University, preserves its reputation and financial well-being and protects it from exposure to unnecessary legal risk.
Wake Forest encourages and supports faculty and staff participation in various external scholarly, professional, business and community activities especially when these endeavors benefit both the University and the individual. This policy is intended to provide guidance in the identification of potential Conflicts of Interest or Conflicts of Commitment and a process for their disclosure, consistent evaluation, and management.
This policy applies to full-time faculty and exempt staff employed by Wake Forest University. Individuals should evaluate and arrange their external interests to avoid compromising their ability to carry out their obligations to the University. Most Conflicts can be avoided, and if not avoided, resolved, through the Individual’s exercise of prudent personal judgment. However, in every instance of a potential Conflict, the University reserves the right to make a determination of the acceptability of, or the management of, the activity in light of the University’s best interests.
Conflict of Interest means a situation in which an Individual’s Financial Interest or other personal interests, or that of the Individual’s Family or Close Friend or Colleague, may compromise, or have the appearance of compromising, the Individual’s professional judgment in the conduct of administration, management, instruction, research, or other activities on behalf of the University.
Conflict of Commitment means a situation where an Individual’s involvement in external activities, whether paid or unpaid, that may in fact or appearance 1) adversely affect the Individual’s time and/or ability to fulfill their duties to the University; or 2) materially overlap with their duties to the University.
Full-time faculty and exempt staff must disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest:
Annually, those required to complete a disclosure will receive instructions for submitting the report and will be given one month to complete it and have it reviewed. The annual disclosure process generally takes place in September to coincide with the start of the academic year.
Within 30 days of your awareness of a new actual or potential conflict of interest or commitment, you are required to disclose the relationship. This is accomplished by re-opening your electronic disclosure via the link below and adding the new relationship.
The Conflict Disclosure process is automated and available online at the link below. The site is configured for Google single sign-on with your WFU account and password. If you are not able to log-in, please contact COI@wfu.edu.
If you are completing the disclosure on your own behalf, please use the respondent instructions. The reviewer instructions are only needed if you are responsible for approving a COI disclosure for someone who reports to you.
A copy of the instruction documents will also be available in the COI system Document Library.
Management Plan Templates
Faculty engaged in sponsored research that have an actual or potential conflict of interest should work with their Reviewer and the Compliance Office to develop an appropriate Research Management Plan using the template link below. If you have an active Research plan, subsequent year reporting for each management plan should be developed using the Research Interim Report template link below. Managed research requiring a trainee advocate should use the Trainee-Faculty Agreement.
- Research Management Plan Template (downloads Word document)
- Research Interim Report Template (downloads Word document)
- Trainee-Faculty Agreement (downloads Word document)
Faculty or staff that have a non-research actual or potential conflicts of interest or commitment should work with their Reviewer to develop an Administrative Management Plan using the template link below.
- Administrative Management Plan Template (downloads Word document)
Public Accessibility for NIH Research COIs
WFU will respond in writing within five business days of any request for information concerning Significant Financial Interests disclosed to the Institution if they meet the following three criteria:
- The Significant Financial Interest was disclosed and is still held by the Investigator for the NIH-funded research project identified by the Institution in the grant application, progress report, or any other required report submitted to the NIH;
- The Institution determines that the Significant Financial Interest is related to the NIH-funded research; and
- The Institution determines that the Significant Financial Interest is a Financial Conflict of Interest.
For questions or assistance with the COI process or development of management plans, contact us at:
1100 Reynolds Blvd, Suite 1022
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm
Our main office is in the University Corporate Center, first floor, located off campus on Reynolds Drive and adjacent to Truist Field.
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