Conflict of interest annual disclosures can now be completed via the Activities, Interests, and Relationships (AIR) online module. Please consult the detailed guide for completing the annual disclosure process. In addition, below are answers to some frequently asked questions.
What is the deadline for completing the annual disclosure process?
The deadline for completing Annual Disclosures has been moved to September 30th.This change gives us ample time to adjust to the new system. We also anticipate this revised timeframe will be reflected in upcoming policy revisions, as it would reduce the burden of end-of-the-year administrative tasks, and it better aligns with the intent of the disclosure process to be forward thinking (e.g., you are asked to disclose current activities and those anticipated over the next year).
What happens once I complete the disclosure process via AIR?
You should receive an email indicating that your disclosure has been received. The next steps depend on the content of your disclosure:
- If you answered “No” to all questions, then your annual disclosure process is complete.
- If you answered “Yes” to any questions, you will receive a follow-up email indicating whether additional steps (e.g., review by the COI Committee, creation of a management plan) are needed. Please give us two weeks after you complete your submission to complete the initial review process and get back in touch with you.
- If you have a potential conflict that needs to be addressed immediately, please contact Lisa A. Goble directly at email@example.com or 336.256.1173.
How do I determine the status of my disclosure once I’ve submitted it?
You can check the status of your disclosure and review prior disclosures at any time by logging into AIR, locating the Disclosure Dashboard on the left side of the screen, and clicking on “My COI Disclosures”. Next, in the “Filter By” drop-down box at the top, select “All Disclosures”. All prior disclosures (including project-specific disclosures resulting from RAMSeS proposal submissions) will appear, organized under three tabs: Incomplete (awaiting completion by you); In Process (submitted but under review); and Complete.
Now that we are using the AIR system, what is the process for reviewing disclosures?
All disclosures will receive an initial administrative review by staff in the Office of Research and Engagement. This will allow ORE staff, who are managing the launch of AIR and have long managed the larger system to which AIR belongs, to better monitor the functioning of the system. With this approach, Department Heads/Chairs and other supervisors will not need to undergo detailed training on the administrative side of the system while we work through our inaugural disclosure cycle. Department Heads/Chairs and other supervisors will continue to play a key role in the determination process when a potential conflict of interest exists; they also will be given a summary report that indicates the Annual Disclosure status for individuals within their units. ORE staff will serve in a case management role, shepherding situations where a potential conflict of interest exists through the review process by coordinating communication and information, providing guidance on policy, and referring cases to the COI Committee when appropriate. For those with known conflicts and/or existing management plans, this also will allow for greater streamlining of the review process.
What is the COI Committee and what is their purview?
The main function of the Conflict of Interest committee is to review COI cases that relate to research and other forms of scholarship. The COI Committee primarily reviews COI cases related to externally funded projects. For instance, we are required by federal regulations to evaluate, manage, and report COI in many instances when federal funding is involved. The COI Committee also may review research-related COI when external funding is not involved. This is most likely to happen when human subjects research is involved. This committee serves in an advisory role to the Provost’s Office and the Office of Research and Engagement.
Members of the committee are selected to be representative of the disciplines, but also knowledgeable of the topic at hand (including the COI regulations of not only the UNC System and UNCG, but also multiple federal agencies). Staff in the Office of General Counsel, Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Integrity, the Innovation Partnership Services Office, and other offices provide additional expertise and consultation.
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