Ethics & Compliance: Financial Conflicts of Interest

AboutResponsible for providing training and support to faculty and staff engaged in scientific research. Specific areas include, but are not limited to animals, biohazards, human subjects, export control, and responsible conduct of research including managing conflicts of interest.


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Learn More | Disclosure of Financial Interests | Training | Review of Disclosure | Contacts


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What is a potential financial conflict of interest (FCOI)?
A potential financial conflict of interest, as defined by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, and Texas A&M Forest Service Rules and Procedures (Rules and Procedures corresponding to System Regulation 15.01.03) exists when an Investigator’s financial interests in business enterprises or entities meet the following conditions:

  • An equity interest that when aggregated for the Investigator and the Investigator’s spouse and dependent children, meets both of the following tests: exceeds $5,000 in value as determined through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value, and represents more than a five percent ownership interest in any single entity; or
  • Salary, royalties or other payments that, when aggregated for the Investigator and the Investigator’s spouse and dependent children over the next 12 months, are expected to exceed $5,000.
  • Reimbursed or sponsored travel related to institutional responsibilities which exceed $5,000 in value as determined through reference of purchase price or other reasonable measures of fair market value.

Conflict of interest does not include:

  • Salary, royalties, or other remuneration from the A&M System;
  • Income or travel from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by public or nonprofit entities;
  • Income or travel from service on advisory committees or review panels for public or nonprofit entities.

Exactly what must I do?
Note the following requirements:
Disclosure of Financial Interests
All investigators must certify any FCOI related to their research projects by August 31st of each year (See System Regulation 15.01.03). If the investigator certifies that he/she may have a significant financial interest, then the investigator must also complete the Significant Financial Interest Disclosure Form with any supporting documentation.

Training in Financial Conflicts of Interest
All investigators who are responsible for designing, conducting, or reporting on research or research activities must now complete training on financial conflicts of interest. Employees will receive automatic notifications with a link to the training. The training is currently available via TrainTraq (course 2111716) available through the A&M System’s Single Sign On system.

Review of Disclosure
Upon notification of an approved award, Sponsored Research Services shall forward all pertinent information to the AgriLife Ethics and Compliance Office, who will conduct an initial review of all financial disclosures. If the initial determination is that there may be a potential financial conflict of interest, the investigator will be notified and the Disclosure packet will be forwarded to the Financial Conflict of Interest Review Committee. Committee members and chair are appointed by the Research Compliance Officer. Training for Financial Conflict of Interest is available through TrainTraq ( as:

  • Course 2111453 : Financial Conflict of Interest Training – Research Compliance

For more information, please contact AgriLife Ethics and Compliance | Kevin Helmer at or 979-314-3646.

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