Concord Hospital Concord Hospital
The Concord Research Office

Conflicts of Interest


Declaring conflicts of interest in research 

A conflict of interest exists where an independent observer might reasonably conclude that the professional actions of a person are or may be unduly influenced by other interests. In the context of research, it exists where a person’s individual interests or responsibilities have the potential to influence the carrying out of their institutional role or professional obligations in research or where an institution’s interests or responsibilities have the potential to influence the carrying out of its research obligations.

While a conflict may relate to financial interests, it can also relate to personal, familial, professional or organisational benefits or advantages that depend significantly on or could unduly influence research outcomes. Refer to National Statement Section 5.4 and the NHMRC Disclosure of interests and management of conflicts of interest Guideline Document.

It is essential that all conflicts of interest are identified, transparently reported and appropriately managed to reduce the risk of bias. The nature and extent of the interest for each member of the research team should be explained. An explanation should also be provided on how these interests will be managed and address any potential conflicts that may arise.

The below table can be used as a guide when declaring conflicts of interest. The table is also within the protocol templates available on our website here:


Research or Non-research member name

Type of Interest (please specify and provide details including monetary value ($$)**

1.      Employment or voluntary involvement

2.      Grants or scholarships to the author or organization

3.      Personal fees (eg, honoraria, consulting fees, lecture or speaking fees)

4.      Intellectual property (eg, patents, copyrights, royalties)

5.      Stock or share ownership

6.      On the board

7.      Benefits related to the development of products as a result of the research

8.      Royalties

9.      Operational/ Infrastructure support


Management of the Potential Conflicts of Interest^

If applicable;

Have the relevant details been disclosed in the Participant Information Statement?








** When disclosing financial interests, researchers and institutions should consider the significance of the financial interest, including:

• the monetary value of the payment, gift, or interest

• the significance that a reasonable, independent observer would attach to the payment,

gift or interest

• the circumstances under which a gift or payment is made, for example, if the gift or

payment is a regular payment or a single instance.

Non-financial interests that require disclosure include, but are not limited to:

• board membership (even if unpaid) or other affiliation with an organisation that could stand to benefit from or be affected by the research

• personal or social relationships and current and past professional relationships, where relevant

• recent employment with, or role in, organisations with financial links or affiliations with industry groups that could stand to benefit from or be affected by the research.

^ If a conflict of interest is identified, the appropriate decision maker must determine what measures, if any, are most appropriate to manage that conflict of interest. These measures should be tailored to the individual circumstances and could include one or more of the following:

• requiring the public disclosure of the interests, for example when presenting or publishing the research

• involving an appropriate individual to oversee some or all of the research activity

• requiring the researcher to absent themselves from any deliberative decision making regarding the research

• requiring the researcher to play a different or reduced role in some or all of the research

• requiring the researcher to relinquish financial or other interests.

• Registering the conflict of interest in the conflict of interest register at your institution

• Developing a detailed conflict of interest plan


When to Declare Conflicts of Interest


  1. Ethics Application: Declare all known and potential conflicts of interest in your initial ethics application, even if you are unsure of their significance.
  2. Throughout the Research Process: Continuously monitor for any new conflicts that may arise during the course of your research. If new conflicts emerge, report them promptly to the ethics committee. This will be done via an ethics amendment.
  3. Publications and Presentations: Disclose conflicts of interest when publishing or presenting your research findings.


NSW Health staff declarations

For staff members of NSW Health, compliance with the NSW Health Policy Directive PD2015_045 “Conflicts of Interest and Gifts and Benefits” must be followed. All staff in any permanent, temporary, casual, termed appointment or honorary capacity within NSW Health, including volunteers, patient advocates, contractors, visiting practitioners, students, consultants and researchers performing work within NSW Health facilities are expected to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest and must not accept gifts or benefits of a non-token value.


1. The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) (National Statement (2007), and as updated, CHAPTER 5.4: CONFLICTS OF INTEREST - 

2. NHMRC: Disclosure of interests and management of conflicts of interest: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research -