The Johns Hopkins University
Homewood Conflict of Interest and Commitment
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Policy Overview

  • The JHU institutional policy can be reviewed here.
  • The WSE and KSAS divisional policy can be reviewed here.

Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy

The Johns Hopkins University has Conflict of Interest and Commitment policies at both the institutional and divisional levels. Both require JHU investigators to disclose to the institution financial interests that reasonably appear to be related to their institutional responsibilities. To ensure that time commitments and specific services to outside organizations are consistent with institutional, divisional, and/or departmental policies, JHU faculty members also must disclose outside activities.  Disclosure requirements vary depending upon one’s employment status, appointment, and involvement in research. Failure to abide by these policies may result in review under professional or academic misconduct policies.

All disclosures must be submitted via JHU’s online disclosure system, eDisclose. During review it will be determined what, if any, conditions apply to the disclosed arrangement. Click here for more information on what you should disclose.

Note: Full-time and salaried part-time faculty affiliated with the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Whiting School of Engineering should adhere to the disclosure requirements included in the institutional policy.

Professional Commitment

The primary duty of full-time faculty members is to the University.  Determining whether a particular outside arrangement constitutes an acceptable or unacceptable commitment is a joint responsibility of the faculty member’s department director (or, in some cases, division director) and the Homewood Conflict of Interest, who review commitments for compliance with institutional and divisional policies, including:

  • Time commitment (with each outside entity and in total)
  • Conflict of commitment with Johns Hopkins duties
  • Use of the Johns Hopkins name by or in connection with an outside activity
  • Use of Johns Hopkins facilities and resources
  • Academic freedom

Conflict of Interest in Research

Objectivity in research is a core scientific value. Johns Hopkins policies are designed to protect against risks to objectivity associated with financial conflicts of interest and complies with the Public Health Service (PHS) regulations regarding objectivity in research. The regulation includes disclosure requirements for investigators; institutions’ responsibilities for reviewing disclosures; and requires institutions to make certain information about financial conflicts of interest with PHS-supported research available to the public.

Financial Conflict of Interest

You may access our HCOI Guide to Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) review to find out more about what is considered when Academic staff have FCOI.

Disclosures are reviewed by divisional offices to determine (a) if there are issues of professional commitment and (b) whether the financial interest that is disclosed relates to the individual’s research and, if so, whether it represents a financial conflict of interest. Under JHU policy, the review for financial conflict of interest addresses potential conflicts with all research. For research sponsored by Public Health Service agencies (e.g., NIH), the review also must comply with regulatory requirements. Under the regulation, when the institution determines that a financial interest is related to PHS-supported research and “could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct or reporting” of the research, the institution has identified a financial conflict of interest (FCOI).  The FCOI must be eliminated or managed to protect the integrity and objectivity of the research. Many conflicts of interest can be successfully managed with measures designed to protect the integrity and objectivity of research and other areas of risk. However, some financial conflicts of interest cannot be managed and the financial interest needs to be reduced or eliminated in order for the researcher to participate in the project.