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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Conflict of Interest (COI)

In accordance with Federal regulations, SUNY Potsdam requires that a researcher disclose any potential conflict of interest (COI) due to a significant financial interest in a sponsored activity to the Research and Sponsored Programs Office before a proposal for that activity may be submitted to a sponsoring agency.

The Research Foundation for the State University of New York (RF) has adopted a COI Policy  effective March 15, 2013. The State University of New York at Potsdam's Research and Sponsored Programs Office (RSPO) has adopted and incorporated the RF's COI policy as its own. View Policy

This SUNY Potsdam COI policy applies to all investigators, co-investigators and anyone with significant decision making authority for the grant.

In accordance with Federal regulations, the RF adopted a separate policy on August 24, 2012, for all research grants sponsored by the Public Health Services (PHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). View Policy (PDF)

For PHS/NIH grants, COI rules and the accompanying policy applies to all investigators, which includes the following: the project director, principal investigator, or anyone responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research results. It can encompass a collaborator, consultant, subgrantee/subcontractor/subrecipient.

PHS/NIH grants require all investigators to complete Conflict of Interest training. This training is available through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).

A potential conflict of interest exists when the personal or private interests of an individual, their spouse or child might lead an independent observer to reasonably question whether the individual's professional actions or decisions are influenced by considerations of significant personal interest, financial, or otherwise, particularly if those interests or commitments are not disclosed.

In order to provide assurance that any potential conflict is disclosed all investigators must submit an annual grant disclosure form before:

  • Submission of an application to an external sponsor, or
  • Acceptance of award where there was no prior disclosure submitted for that work
  • On an annual basis once a grant is awarded

In addition, a revised disclosure must be filed whenever an investigator's significant financial interests and obligations change materially.

The completed disclosure statement(s) should be placed in a sealed envelope, marked Confidential and sent to Jack McGuire, Interim Director, Research and Sponsored Programs Office, Saterlee Hall, Rm. 238.

The office of Research and Sponsored Programs will not submit your sponsored programs application until your annual disclosure form or PHS Significant Financial Interest Disclosure Form, whichever one is required, has been submitted.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact Jack McGuire, (315) 267-2130, or