What do you need to know to handle and report outside relationships

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Of late, there has been a flurry of conversation around research activities that involve others outside of Duke.  How should things be reported? What if there is no financial conflict of interest?  Federal regulation requires that institutions like Duke need to make determinations, and that requires that the information is known.  Here is what you need to know if you struggle to find the answer.

Outside relationships and activities are relationships that are not considered to be a part of your regular work duties. They could be consulting activities, outside employment, advisory board membership, or other activities.

If the activity, interest or relationship in any way relates to, is similar to, or could be perceived as related to your Duke responsibilities or area of scholarship, it should be reported on your annual Conflict Of Interest (COI) disclosure form and updated within thirty days of a change in activity (such as a new activity or increased compensation).

Outside relationships have often been referred to as a Conflict of Interest. In reality though, they may or may not present an actual conflict. Federal regulation requires institutions to make this determination rather than the individuals themselves. However, to make this determination, the activity must be disclosed.

Disclosure and transparency is always the best course of action. Disclosure includes the relationships or activities that apply to you, your spouse, domestic partner, and/or dependent(s). If you are uncertain about what to disclose or report on your institutional COI disclosure form, please contact DOSI-COI at dosicoi@duke.edu.