Conflict of Interest (COI) Review

Committee Determination Process

The conflict of interest (COI) review is an essential part of U-M’s research compliance processes.  If a conflict of interest is determined, it must be effectively managed before U-M can accept internal awards, sponsored awards, or finalize agreements, such as research subcontracts or technology transfers agreements.

Initial Review

The U-M COI offices (UMORCOI, MEDCOI) identify potential conflicts of interest in research by reviewing:


In general, the COI offices review the situation created by the combination of the external entity, your activity with that external entity, and your sponsored research conducted at or through the University of Michigan to identify if a potential conflict of interest exists.

Specifically, the COI offices evaluate your disclosure of outside activities, including:

  • Activities on behalf of and relationships with external entities (paid or unpaid)
  • International engagements
  • Ownership interest in a company or business, including equity, stock, or stock options
  • Intellectual property rights or interests, including license and option agreements made through U-M Innovation Partnerships for technology, etc. developed at U-M, and non-UM patents, copyrights, and royalties
  • Payments, loans, and reimbursements


If a COI office requires additional information in order to identify if a potential conflict of interest exists, you will receive an email with a link to the online Research Certification (RC) in M-Inform.  Using the RC, you answer a series of questions to provide detail to the COI office via the M-Inform system (see References & Resources below for downloadable instructions).

There are three (3) COI Review processes:  

  • Initial Review
  • Determination & Response to Management
  • Annual Review

The disclosures that go through the initial review process conducted by a COI Office are those that:

  • Reference a PHS project, and/or 
  • Indicate an outside interest related to research, and/or
  • Are by an individual with an existing COI management plan 

As a U-M employee, you participate in this process by:

References and Resources


Submit Information for a Research Initiated Certification Instructions for a discloser to answer a series of follow-up questions regarding an outside interest disclosure from a COI Office using M-Inform.


For questions about the COI review and management processes email: