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Conflict Types

Conflicts are situations that create perceived tensions between personal financial gain, outside commitments, personal interests, and the fundamental values of honesty, accuracy, efficiency and objectivity in research.  Conflicts are not inherently wrong nor are they a judgment call about your ethics.  Conflicts focus on the reasonable appearance to outsiders and not what you will or will not do.

A description of the different conflict types can be found below.  For more information on who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed in the various conflict review processes, please review the OROI - RACI Matrix available on our COC & COI Review Processes webpage.

Conflict type


who does it apply to?

conflict official

Conflict of Commitment (COC)

Relates to:

  • distribution of time and effort between institutional duties & responsibilities and responsibilities resulting from Outside Activities,

  • University resource allocation,

  • use of University assets,

  • intellectual property protection, and

  • potential for conflicts of interest.

  • Full-time (0.50 FTE or greater) UArizona employees

  • Investigators, but only as required by the sponsor

Individual's Supervisor

(Dept Head & Dean for Faculty)

Financial Conflict of Interest in Research (FCOI)

Relates to the condition in which it may reasonably appear that choices made in the Conduct of Research or other performance of the individual’s institutional responsibilities could be directly and significantly influenced by the existence of an Outside Interests.


What is a Financial Conflict of Interest?


Any person who shares the responsibility of Conducting Research.


Who is an Investigator?

Role Mapping - Identifying Investigators & COI Disclosers

Office for Responsible Outside Interests (OROI)

Institutional Conflict of Interest (ICOI)

Relates to when an Institutional Financial Interest may reasonably appear to influence (a) the Conduct of Research; or (b) business or administrative decisions related to the University’s Missions, including but not limited to the Conduct of Research, that are made by University Administrators on behalf of the University.

University Administrators

Any University Employee in a position of administrative leadership of a college, academic department, business, or other administrative unit, where a regular job requirement is to make institutional decisions on behalf of the University of Arizona.

Office for Responsible Outside Interests (OROI)

Organizational Conflict of Interest (OCI)

Relates to the University as an institution and everyone within the institution.

Focuses on whether activities and relationships will render the University, the Principal Investigator or Project Director, and others involved in the project unable to (1) provide impartial assistance or advice, or (2) objectively perform work.  

OCI review also focuses on whether the institution has an unfair competitive advantage compared to other entities.


(When required by sponsor.)

Office for Responsible Outside Interests (OROI)

Substantial Interest

Relates to the possibility that a personal influence might bear upon a University employee’s contracting or purchasing decision in their capacity as a public employee.


How is Arizona’s COI law applied to Research and Startup Companies?

University Employees

Office for Responsible Outside Interests (OROI)


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