Conflict of Interest

Wake Forest University is committed to meeting the highest ethical and legal standards.  The Conflict of Interest Policy 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.

Policy Basics

Members will strive to identify and avoid actual or potential conflicts of interest.  Member means officer, Investigator, faculty engaged in sponsored research or exempt employee.

Complete transparency and full disclosure play a key role in reducing, eliminating or managing conflicts of commitment and conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived.

Outside Interest Disclosure Process

The Outside Interest 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.

A copy of the instruction documents will also be available in the COI system Document Library.

Members must disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest:

Annually, those Members required to complete a disclosure will receive instructions for submitting the report and will be given 1 month to complete it and have it reviewed.  The annual disclosure process generally takes place early in the calendar year. The process was delayed to mid-year in 2022 to accommodate the transition to a new COI system. We will resume the normal schedule in early 2023.

Within 30 days of the Member’s awareness of a new actual or potential conflict of interest, Members are required to disclose the relationship.

Faculty engaged in sponsored research that have an actual or potential conflict of interest should work with their Reviewer and the COI 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 found at the link below.

Members that have a non-research actual or potential conflict of interest should work with their Reviewer to develop an Administrative Management Plan using the template link below.

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:

  1. 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;
  2. The Institution determines that the Significant Financial Interest is related to the NIH-funded research; and
  3. The Institution determines that the Significant Financial Interest is a Financial Conflict of Interest.

Request for Information

Contact Information

The University’s Compliance Services office assumed responsibility for administration of the Conflict of Interest disclosure and management plan process in July 2021. Any reference to the Conflict of Interest Office in policy or documents refers to the University Compliance Services office.

For questions or assistance with the COI process or development of management plans, contact us at

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