Researchers at MIT are subject to the Institute’s Conflict of Interest in Research Policy which supports compliance with Federal and sponsor-specific conflict of interest (COI) disclosure requirements. Anyone submitting a COI disclosure should first read the Institute's Conflict of Interest in Research Policy. Any questions about a potential COI or the COI policy should be discussed with the department, lab or center head, or MIT’s COI Officer ( We are here to help you.

COI In the News

  • Virginia Tech professor accused of scamming National Science Foundation

    NEW! The scramble for government funding on the university level is a bare-knuckle competitive business. Careers — and fortunes — are often tied directly to getting the right grant at the right time.

  • Idaho State uncovers COIs, misuse of funds at research center

    NEW!! An investigation of financial misdeeds at an Idaho State University research and innovation center has cost the director of the center his job, and maybe more as the findings are now with the local prosecutor’s office.

  • Years of Ethics Charges, but Star Cancer Researcher Gets a Pass

    from The New York Times —Dr. Carlo Croce was repeatedly cleared by Ohio State University, which reaped millions from his grants. Now, he faces new whistle-blower accusations.

  • Watch: Brookings Institute on Conflict of Interest

    video icon from Brookings Institute — OGE Director Walter Shaub asks Trump to do more to resolve conflicts of interest. Walter M. Shaub, Jr., Director of U.S. Office of Government Ethics announces that Donald Trump’s attempts to resolve his conflicts of interest are inadequate, adding that divesture is not too high a price to pay to be president of the United States of America.

  • The Array of Conflicts of Interest Facing the Trump Presidency

    From The New York Times —Donald J. Trump’s global business empire will create an unprecedented number of conflicts of interest for a United States president, experts in legal ethics say.

  • Spoiled Milk

    U of Maryland finds numerous problems related to conflicts of interest in a controversial press release about a brand of chocolate milk and treatment of concussions. 

  • Should a paper be retracted if an author omits a conflict of interest?

    A JAMA journal has quickly issued a correction for a 2016 paper after the author failed to mention several relevant conflicts of interest.

  • Lehigh University professor and wife convicted of cheating NASA

    Lehigh University engineering professor Yujie Ding and his wife, Yuliya Zotova, appeared to be talented researchers dedicated to advancing science, jurors in their federal fraud trial said.

  • Former UCSD Scientist Charged With Defrauding U.S.

    A former research scientist at the University of California at San Diego and his corporation admitted to illegally obtaining millions of dollars in government grants and contracts, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

What's New?

Sparking Economic Growth Report

The Science Coalition released a Sparking Economic Growth report that traces the origins of 302 companies – many of them small businesses – back to federally support research. The report is “intended to showcase one of the ways that federal investment in basic scientific research helps stimulate the economy."

A few “Bright Lines” to Remember from the COI Policy:

Investigators may not:

  1. accept research sponsorship or gifts, in support of the Investigator’s Institutional Responsibilities from a for-profit privately-held Related Entity;
  2. subcontract to a for-profit privately-held Related Entity;
  3. negotiate with MIT on behalf of a Related Entity, or negotiate with the Related Entity on behalf of MIT;
  4. involve a student for whom the Investigator is a thesis supervisor in the Investigator’s Outside Professional Activities;
  5. divert research opportunities to a Related Entity, which are more appropriately undertaken at MIT, such as research sponsorship or other projects;
  6. promote the use of products or services of a Related Entity in the course of the Investigator’s Institutional Responsibilities; or
  7. engage in research involving human subjects that could reasonably be expected to affect the financial condition of a Related Entity.

Read more about Guiding Principles

Questions or comments?  E-mail

Trigger points that will require a COI disclosure revision and will reset the 12-month expiration date:

  1. Each of the following trigger points will require a COI disclosure revision and will reset the 12-month expiration date
    • When you add or revise an SFI – (within 30 days of acquiring the new financial interest (PHS Investigators only), 90 days for all others); or
    • At time of award – if you didn’t complete a COI disclosure at proposal time; or
    • Annually –  if neither of the above occurs in a 12-month period

You will receive an e-mail notification at least 2 months prior to the expiration date of your disclosure.