Conflict of Interest Guidelines

An IRB member is said to have a conflicting interest whenever that IRB member, spouse or dependent child of the member:

  • Is the PI and/or Co-PI on the protocol,
  • Has a significant financial interest in the sponsor or agent of the sponsor of a study being reviewed by the IRB, whereby the outcome of the study could influence the value of the financial interest (see TCCD's Conflict of Interest Policy, for the definition of significant financial interest),
  • Acts as an officer or a director of the sponsor or an agent of the sponsor of a study being reviewed by the IRB or
  • Has identified him or herself for any other reason as having a conflicting interest.

It is the responsibility of each IRB member to identify and avoid any situations in which he or she, either personally or by virtue of their position, might have a conflict of interest, or may be perceived by others as having a conflict of interest, arising in connection with a matter before an IRB of which they are a member.

If assigned as a reviewer for a matter with which the IRB member feels that he or she may have a conflict of interest, the IRB member must notify the IRB Chair immediately so the matter may be reassigned to another reviewer. In order not to delay the review process, it is essential that potential reviewers peruse the matters for which they are assigned reviewers immediately upon receipt to determine whether they may have a conflict.

Typically, there are three distinct phases of an IRB's consideration of a matter:

  1. Discussion
  2. Deliberation
  3. Actions (including vote)

In general, IRB member(s) who have a real or perceived conflict of interest may remain in the meeting room, at the discretion of the IRB Chair during the discussion of the matter in order to provide answers to questions, clarifications, etc. However, said member must leave the meeting room for deliberations and actions/votes regarding the matter.

Minutes of IRB meetings will reflect the absence of a member (by name) when he or she leaves the meeting during deliberations and actions regarding matters for which they have, or may be perceived to have, a potential conflict of interest.

Board members perceiving a conflict of interest must complete and submit the Local Government Office Conflicts Disclosure Statement(PDF will open in a new window) and submit it to the IRB Chair.

Email forms and supporting documentation to


Updated December 04, 2013


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