A conflict of interest implies only the potential for bias or wrongdoing, not a certainty or likelihood.


It is clear that conflicts of interest will not go away. We hope that this module has given the reader help with identifying types of conflicts of interest and suggestions for managing them. It is important to understand that the enterprise of research depends on all of us being vigilant against conflicts of interest that lead to bias and loss of objectivity.

Please understand that this module was not designed to be the definitive piece on the often confusing world of Conflicts of Interest. It was designed with the hope that the reader would become more sensitive to the issues and begin to think about them armed with the strong foundational knowledge we have provided. You should take a moment to review the Learning Objectives for this module and then please feel free to return to the core of the module to cover any information that you have missed.

We have again provided the Challenge Questions, so that you may re-read the questions armed with the knowledge you have acquired and compare your answers at this stage of the module with the answers to the same questions given at the start of the module.

Finally, for the benefit of Columbia University members we have provided a link to Rascal, the university’s Research Administration System. Once in Rascal, you may test your knowledge of the RCR modules and upon completion of the test, a permanent record will be stored as verification of RCR training. This may prove invaluable as the Department of Human and Health Services and other grant funding agencies may require RCR training for researchers in the future.

Rascal is a Web-based application that is constructed to improve resources available to faculty/researchers for information in planning, analysis and management decision-making. RASCAL's responsibility is to provide access to research information for the entire Columbia research community. The openness of RASCAL technology will allow authorized access to central administrators, researchers, and departmental administrators at all levels of need.

To further test your knowledge of the module, please visit: https://www.rascal.columbia.edu/. Please be advised that you will be required to submit a Columbia University UNI and password. After logging in, go to the Testing Center and select the test for this module.

We thank you for your interest and and your attention.