Resolving or Managing Conflicts

Conflict of Interest
When to Use KCOI
Complete a Disclosure
Disclosure Review Process
Resolving or Managing Conflicts
Collaborating with a Non-Federal Sponsor
Policies and Procedures
Frequently Asked Questions

Resolving or managing a conflict of interest

Conflicts—whether real or perceived— can undermine the integrity of UMD research and sponsored programs.

Management Strategies to minimize Research COIs: 

  • Eliminate the incentive bias (e.g., give up equity, step down from consultancy)
  • Reduce incentive bias to an acceptably low level (e.g., restrict equity)
  • Manage the consequences of the incentive bias (e.g., independent monitoring via a managment plan).

However, while some conflicts of interest cannot be entirely avoided, they often can  be effectively resolved or managed.

To ensure this objectivity, members of the UMD community are expected to:

  • Prevent individual or institutional conflicts of interest/commitment in their assigned duties for the University;
  • Disclose potential conflicts of interest and adhere to any requirements created to manage or eliminate any conflicts of interest;
  • Ensure personal relationships do not interfere with objective judgment in decisions affecting University employment or the academic progress of a Community Member or a student; and
  • Ensure their assigned duties for the University receive their full effort, attention, and commitment.

IMPORTANT: Before writing a management plan, we strongly recommend that you contact the COI office to talk with the COI administrator and/or COI Chair about your particular situation and what documents must be submitted with your disclosure.

University of Maryland campusManagement Plans must describe the means by which the conflict or potential conflict can be eliminated, reduced, or managed.

All plans must include:

  • Provide a brief description of the conflict or potential conflict of interest. 
  • Describe a management plan that will permit approval of an exemption, in accordance with the provisions of the State Ethics Law.

Other documents that may be required at the time of submission:

  • Employee acknowledgment
  • Oversight official agreement
  • Oversight committee agreement

Please review our Management Plan Checklist.

Sample Management Plans






COI Management Plan Risk Level Resource

When a Conflict of Interest disclosure is approved, the COI Committee assigns a risk level of 1-Low, 2-Moderate, or 3-High. Examples of each level of risk are provided below (click above for PDF of full document). PLEASE NOTE: The left column highlights the perceived/actual conflict and the right column highlights possible management plan elements put in place to manage the conflict.

Management Plans - Risk Level 1: These Management Plans present the lowest level of risk.

» Consulting Agreement

» Consulting Agreement - Mentorship

» Spouses/Significant others

» Ownership/Equity – Use of UMD Students

Management Plans - Risk Level 2: These Management Plans present a moderate level of risk and are typically overseen by an Oversight Official.

» Ownership/Financial Interest – MIPS – Use of UMD Students & UMD Lab Space

» Ownership/Financial Interest – MII Grant – Family Relationship

» Ownership/Financial Interest – MIPS Award – Use of UMD Lab Space

» Ownership/Financial Interest - Subaward

Management Plans - Risk Level 3: These Management Plans present the highest level of risk and are typically overseen by an Oversight Committee.

» Ownership/Financial Interest – Employment Interest – Participation in Research – Married Couple



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University of Maryland
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