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Review of Research for COI

West Virginia University encourages its faculty, students and staff to participate in research activities and to do so with the highest ethical standards.

While the potential for conflicts of interest to arise is understandable, investigators must strive to limit introduction of bias into their research. The WVU Conflict of Interest Office serves to educate the WVU academic community about federal and institutional requirements concerning conflict of interest in research.

  • Any individual who meets the definition of Investigator and is conducting research under the auspices of WVU is subject to COI review prior to engaging in the research.
  • “Investigator” means the project director or principal investigator/program director, co-investigator, collaborator, senior/key personnel, Faculty, and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct, reporting, or proposing of research or other activity that is sponsored by an extramural agency or enterprise. For the purposes of this rule, graduate and undergraduate students generally are not considered Investigators. Postdoctoral scholars and fellows may be considered investigators if designated as such by the principal investigator on a case-by-case basis.

  • Research COI Disclosure Forms submitted by Investigators shall be reviewed by the COI Office. The COI Office shall determine if an investigator has a conflict of interest in research or the appearance of a conflict of interest in research. If a conflict is identified, the Office may determine that the conflict can be managed through an appropriate management plan. If the COI Office determines that the conflict cannot be managed, then it shall recommend steps to resolve the conflict.
  • At the discretion of the COI Office, an investigator’s Conflict of Interest in Research Disclosure may be immediately referred to the university's Conflict of Interest Committee for review and determination, if the information contained within the Research COI Disclosure Form appears to contain a complex or significant conflict.
  • An investigator may request a review by the university Conflict of Interest Committee of the decision of the COI Office. The COI Committee may then review the investigator’s research COI Disclosure Form and make a final determination on whether a conflict exists, whether such a conflict can be managed, or whether the proposed management plan is appropriate. If the COI Committee determines that the conflict cannot be managed, then it shall recommend steps to resolve the conflict. The decision of the COI Committee is final.

Reviews of research for COI are initiated by:

  1. Submission of a Research COI Disclosure Form by an investigator, or
  2. Prior to the start of a research project.