Conflict of Interest

In accordance with WPUNJ Functional Policy 02-15-80-00-15 on Conflicts of Interest and Commitments the University enforces compliance requirements related to disclosures of conflicts of interest, commitment and review at the time of proposal and award and for IRB applications submitted by faculty, staff and doctoral students. Additionally, on an annual basis investigator with on-going, funded research are required to complete a Conflict of Interest and Commitment (COIC) Disclosure, and also within 30 days of any change to the last disclosure.

  • The institution’s policy is specific to conflicts of interest and commitment regulations for sponsored projects and research activities and is supplemental to the ethical obligations imposed by the State of New Jersey. These additional requirements are generally limited to Federal sponsors but could include any other government entity, foundation, corporation, or sponsor, or lead agency on a sub award. Therefore, all recipients of Federal awards and sub awards are required to follow the State of New Jersey Uniform Ethics Code and the WPUNJ policy. Additionally, the IRB holds an FWA that falls under the federal requirements whether the project has funding or not.

A Conflict of Interest and Commitment Disclosure must be submitted by each individual who functions as an investigator prior to the submission of a proposal for research project or other funded activities, at the time of award, and for IRB applications submitted by faculty, staff or doctoral students. The following elements are required:

  1. A Conflict of Interest and Commitment Disclosure must be submitted online by all key personnel prior to proposal submission and at the time of award as well as annually for as long as an award is active. Conflict of Interest and Commitment Disclosures must also be submitted by all investigators and key personnel with each IRB application for each faculty member, staff and doctoral student’s IRB application. An updated COIC must be submitted within 30 days of any change or modification to an individual or his or her family's financial or material interests that differs from previously submitted responses to any of the questions in the report.
  2. CITI Conflicts of Interest Training must be completed by ALL investigators prior to all proposal submissions involving any faculty, staff, or doctoral student’s IRB application if not already completed. For instructions to register for training as part of a new CITI account registration or adding to the course to an existing account, please click here. This training must be completed every three years, and documentation must be attached to each report submission.

How to Submit your COIC Disclosure

  1. Navigate to and select “Conflict of Interest and Commitment Disclosure.”
  2. Click the “Prepare Report” button in the right sidebar. In some browsers, this button may show as "Apply."
  3. Log in as an WPUNJ user with your WPUNJ credentials (email address and password).
  4. Provide your personal contact information and the name of the grant proposal or award for which you are reporting and respond to the yes/no questions. If you answer “yes” to any questions, a Significant Financial Interest Details Form must be completed and attached to your submission.
  5. Attach a copy of your CITI Financial Conflicts of Interest training documentation from the CITI training system. This is REQUIRED.
  6. Click the Submit button.

You will receive a submission confirmation by email and then another email when your report has been accepted or returned to you for updates.

Note: Investigator means the project director or principal investigator and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research funded by or proposed for funding by an external sponsoring agency. This definition also applies to collaborators and consultants. In classifying an individual as an investigator, the role of the individual must be considered rather than the individual's title.

How to complete your CITI Training for COI:

Navigate to the CITI Program Website: and login using your credentials. If you have not yet accessed the CITI Program for other trainings, you will need to create an account.

To add the COI Training Course, navigate to the section titled, “Learner Tools for William Paterson University” and select “Add a Course”, and answer the questions as follows:

  • Question 1-2: Select Not at this Time
  • Question 3: leave blank
  • Question 4: Select No
  • Question 5: Conflict of Interest: Select YES. Then click “Submit.”

This will add the COI training to your list of “Courses Ready to Begin.” Once you complete the course, you will need to upload a copy of the certificate of completion each time you prepare your COIC disclosure report.

Other Materials: